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The 20 Best Danny Brown Guest Verses Since ‘XXX’

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

While we wait for Danny Brown’s ‘Old,’ to drop Andrew Martin (@Andrew_J_Martin) ranks Brown’s 20 best guest verses since his Fool’s Gold debut ‘XXX’ was released in 2011.

Remaining relevant in our increasingly ADHD-addled culture is difficult, but it’s merely a sign of the times. If you want to stay on your fan base’s radar, you must be active on social media, tour for at least one third of a year’s time, and drop enough music to keep everyone satiated. Of course, this is quite a balancing act, especially in hip-hop where many artists either release too much or too little music. Not Danny Brown.

The Detroit rapper has stayed in the public eye not just because of his hilarious interviews, colorful Twitter feed, and road-warrior work ethic. He’s also ripped apart guest feature upon guest feature, all the while building anticipation for his new album, ‘Old.’ This is evident when you look at all the verses he’s rapped since releasing game-changer ‘XXX’ back in August 2011. Since then, Brown has been on a beyond-impressive roll without dropping so much as a handful of his own tracks.

Let’s take a look back at 20 (of the 30 or so) best guest appearances by Danny Brown since ‘XXX’ put him on everyone’s radar.


20

Trampy - 'Express Yourself' Feat. Danny Brown (2013)

 
 

‘Express Yourself,’ a collaboration with New York producer Trampy, is as ratchet as it gets. This is Danny Brown shifting into turn-up mode and remaining locked in to binge for three solid minutes on sex-fueled bars. It’s inspired by Major Lazer’s track of the same name and the many, many twerking photos that followed, but it’s also a nod to Danny’s closest listeners. It boasts subtle references to 'XXX' gem ‘I Will’ and his verses on Darq E Freaker’s ‘Blueberry.’

Best line: “Between me and you girl keep it on the low/ Everytime I come around you know it's a freak show/ Four bad hoes in my hotel room/ F--king on the pillows while I sleep till noon.”

 
19

Open Mike Eagle - 'Cobra Commander' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

If one thing is for certain on 'Cobra Commander,' it's that way-too-slept Los Angeles rapper Open Mike Eagle and Danny Brown have no sympathy for the G.I. Joe bad guy. And in this case, the Cobra leader essentially plays the role of big brother, watching everything the two rappers do as they flip the middle-finger and tell him to go f--k himself with aplomb. It reads as somewhat silly, but there's an ongoing looking-over-their-shoulder vibe that makes this track all too real.

Best line: "Go to hell!/ Gayest s--t I ever did was let a ni--a braid my hair in jail."

 
18

MHz Legacy - 'Glowstick' Feat. Danny Brown (2013)

 
 

Danny Brown’s verse on MHz Legacy’s ‘Spaceship’ is the audio equivalent of going to a rave at a NASA’s Hangar One in California. Essentially, you’re tripping your face off yet you have managed to get enough of your s--t together to spit some game to a female that’s caught your attention. It’s a bizarre and an absurdly drugged-up experience, but the way Danny raps about it makes you think it’s an everyday occurrence. Maybe the world needs more intergalactic parties.

Best line: “Rolling off the ecstasy/ F--king with a raver chick/ Wave the d--k in front of her face like it's a glowstick.”

 
17

E-40 - 'All My Ni--as' Feat. Danny Brown & ScHoolboy Q (2013)

 
 

If you're on a track with E-40 and ScHoolboy Q, chances are the energy level is the equivalent of an adrenaline shot. And sure enough, that's exactly what we have across the superb bounce of 'All My Ni--as.' It's relentless in its goal to incite a party and by the time Danny arrives rapping about weed and lean, several folks have probably already hit the ceiling from excitement. Or drugs.

Best line: "I just whip up a 80, so hit my phone when you're ready/ Turkey bag of the loud, we ain't f--kin' with reggie."

 
16

The Alchemist - 'Flight Confirmation' Feat. Danny Brown & ScHoolboy Q (2012)

 
 

If nothing else, 'Flight Confirmation' proves that the Alchemist and Danny need to collaborate more often. In fact, let's make sure the track's other guest, ScHoolboy Q, is around, too. This drug-loving trio knows how to mix psychedelia (the beat) and braggadocio (the rhymes) without forcing it. Instead, you're left with what sounds like an acid trip fueled by battle raps and aided by blunt smoke.

Best line: "Shark face bite the style but these ni--as second rate/ I cannon-balled in the pool of fuckin' rap and I splashed on these ni--as."

 
15

Don Trip - 'Gold' Feat. Starlito & Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

The story behind 'Gold' is basically the same story behind the career of both Don Trip and frequent collaborator Starlito. Way too many hip-hop heads, casual listeners, and the like sleep on these guys, though like-minded, albeit not as talented, rappers get all the buzz. You would think that having Mr. Everywhere himself, aka Danny Brown, on the track would have given it a proper boost, but it just wasn't meant to be bigger than it is. No problem; it exists and that's all that matters.

Best line: "I'm the exclamation point, y'all can't be serious/ Quotations, leave a ni--a bloody, period, no questions."

 
14

Purity Ring - 'Belispeak II' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

Danny Brown doesn’t mess around when it comes to his guest verses, a fact cemented by his appearance on Purity Ring’s ‘Belispeak II.’ Not only does he complement the dream-pop soundscape with a more laid-back delivery, but he captures the essence of the track with a gripping moment of clarity. This is Danny at his most introspective, waxing on the days he did whatever it took to quiet his grumbling stomach and the regret that came with it.

Best line: “Raised in the gutter, I ain't really had nothin’/ No silver spoon, I was raised a rusty shovel.”

 
13

Childish Gambino - 'Toxic' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

‘Toxic’ is another instance where it easily could have landed on one of Danny’s projects, especially considering his go-to producer, Skywlkr, provided the beat. Speaking of the instrumental, it finds Danny trading verses with Childish Gambino over a zonked flip of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic.’ Yeah. It’s genuine hedonistic rap insanity, and who better to kick it off that the Bruiser Brigade leader?

Best line: “I'm a pill poppin' ET, Givenchy on a ten-speed/ Hot like Britney in '03, ya know me.”

 
12

A-Trak - 'Piss Test' Feat. Juicy J & Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

Sometimes, Danny Brown likes to just let loose on a track, rapping about his fondness for drugs and sex. And in the case of 'Piss Test,' there ain't no half steppin' when it comes to his subject matter. It's all debauchery, all the time as the Motor City rapper smokes blunt after blunt, rolls on MDMA, and big ups his fellow guest rapper. That would be the king of getting royally messed up, Juicy J. F--k a piss test indeed, gentlemen.

Best line: "It's Fool's Gold in this bitch/ So ya know that Trizzy with me/ Uncle Juice up in the party/ You know we gettin' trippy!"

 
11

A$AP Rocky - '1 Train' Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T. (2013)

 
 

‘1 Train’ is an event just as much as it is a highlight on A$AP Rocky’s debut album, LongLiveA$AP. Hit-Boy supplied the RZA-esque head-nodder of a beat and seven of hip-hop’s finest teamed up to trade verses, each seemingly better than the next. Danny Brown, who clocks in at verse number five, sticks to gut-busting punchlines before switching into show-off mode with an onslaught of verbal assonance.

Best line: “Lawless, obnoxious, on that "suck my c--k" s--t/ That is my synopsis, ostrich posh s--t.”

 
10

Quelle Chris - 'Shotgun' Feat. Danny Brown & Roc Marciano (2011)

 
 

Quelle Chris, Roc Marciano and Danny Brown make for a deadly combination and it goes beyond the fact that they’re three supremely talented MCs. Rapping back-to-back-to-back, each offers palate-cleansing cadence flips while maintaining the track’s goal: intimidating whoever’s listening. All three accomplish this with ease, but it’s Danny’s decision to go dead-eyed assassin that makes his verse all the more compelling.

Best line: “Hip-hop fuse box/High like your pop socks/Your boy ‘bout to bubble like cola and Pop Rocks.”

 
9

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire - 'The Last Huzzah! (Remix)' Feat. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown & El-P (2011)

 
 

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's 'The Last Huzzah!' remains the gully Brooklyn rapper's biggest track to date, and with good reason. The drunken banger of a beat sets the tone for guest verses from the now-defunct Das Racist, El-P, Despot, and Danny Brown. While narrowing down who had the best bars is an argument for another day, Brown definitely brought some of his best stuff on this posse cut. It's also one of those verses where picking a favorite line seems easy at first but grows incredibly difficult as you analyze his bars.

Best line: "I'm about my bread, you ain't, you can roll/ Try and stop that, get a bagel-sized hole."

 
8

El-P 'Oh Hail No' Feat. Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire & Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

In the case of 'Oh Hail No' off El-P's ‘Cancer 4 Cure,’ the argument can be made that Brown's almost off-beat flow is too distracting when compared to the more straight-ahead deliveries of El and Mr. MFN eXquire. But this more authoritative cadence allows for Brown to serve as a rap dictator of sorts, shouting his bravado-laced rhymes at everyone in earshot. Never ask him to hail.

Best line: "My lecture is Lecter, your texture is pocket protector/ With techniques I tech up your sector/ Inspector Gadget with the ratchet."

 
7

House Shoes - 'Sweet' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

With fellow Detroit native House Shoes supplying the dusty, chilling production, Danny Brown reaches for your throat and maintains his grip throughout 'Sweet.' That alone should tell you that this track is anything but saccharine as the MC raps like he's about to run out breath with every bar. This is as raw as it gets, and it's a real treat for longtime Danny fans who wish he spit over more boom-bap beats.

Best line: "Nights I used to sleep by a kerosene heater/ Wishing I could get some Lil Caesar's/ That’s why I rhyme tight like Scrooge Ebenezer."

 
6

Evil Nine - The Black Brad Pitt' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

If there's one Danny Brown track you should never play around your grandparents, it's his collaboration with U.K. producers Evil Nine. 'The Black Brad Pitt' is unadulterated porno-rap mayhem supported by a bonkers grime instrumental. It's the perfect backdrop for Danny to outline each and every one of his fantasies and rules when it comes to sex, including how he prefers to keep it natural, um, down there.

Best line: "Begging for the semen from the demon with no tooth/ Getting head in the back seat, reflection on the moon roof."

 
5

Heems - 'You Have To Ride The Wave' Feat. Danny Brown & Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire (2012)

 
 

At this point in his career, Brown is at his most comfortable and agile over fuzzy, synthesizer-heavy production. Which is why his appearance on Heems' 'You Have to Ride the Wave' sounds so natural and, of course, quotable. Brown's verse might rely upon many of his favorite topics—women, drugs, and partying—but it's his command of language that makes this equally visceral and technically sound.

Best line: "Ya bitch look like Rondo, and mine Jane Fonda/ Hit you with a hundred slaps ni--a, E Honda/ Ni---as see me always give me dap, but they don't wanna."

 
4

The Purist - 'Jealousy' Feat. Danny Brown (2013)

 
 

‘Jealousy’ is one of those guest appearances that’s so sharp and 100 percent Danny Brown that it could have found a home on one of his own project. Essentially, it’s Danny in pure post-'XXX' mode, reflecting on how he “really ain’t have shit” but now he’s shinin’. And this upswing in his life has indeed bred jealousy, and Danny’s not afraid to let him know he’ll be the same “Linwood ni--a ‘til I’m dead in the grave.” In other words, don’t mistake his kindness (or happiness) for weakness.

Best line: “Raised around Ks, but a ni--a escaped/ So bitch-ni--a, don’t make me take that bait.”

 
3

Darq E Freaker - 'Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

There's a lot to love about Brown's 2012 collaboration with grime rapper-producer Darq E Freaker, who provides the rambunctious beat on 'Blueberry.' And even though purists will no doubt shake their head at the gratuitous use of the word "ni--a," Brown justifies it by destroying an instrumental most MCs would be afraid to approach. It's also, without a doubt, the most hype portion of his already-nuts live show.

Best line: "Your bitch want my photo/ Tattoo with my logo/ My d--k like a pogo/ Come ride it in slo-mo."

 
2

Paul White - 'Street Lights' Feat. Danny Brown (2013)

 
 

There are a handful or so of producers that just seem to "get" Danny Brown, and South London's Paul White is one of them. His stark instrumental sets the tone for a guided journey through the rough part of town, in this case Brown's native Detroit. While he makes room for some bravado, the majority of his rhymes are that of a cat rollin' down Linwood where the street lights only flicker.

Best line: "So in the battlefield keep your hard hat on/ ‘Cause out there are savages, aiming at your cabbages/ Dunk in the wheelchairs, be considered radishes."

 
1

Ab-Soul - 'Terrorist Threats' Feat. Danny Brown (2012)

 
 

Ab-Soul and Danny Brown are a match made in paranoia-rap heaven, and that's made evident on ‘Control System’ highlight 'Terrorist Threats.' Following two sharp verses from Soulo, his guest bursts through the gate with an attention-commanding hunger. There's also bar upon bar of street-tested insight, which culminates in Brown announcing through gritted teeth that he "ain't finna be nobody's shadow."

Best line: "Feel my pain, going insane, I’m ashamed/ Cause I ain’t got shit but an EBT card from a fiend/ That owe me and it’s in her daughter name/ How the f--k is they pose to eat?/ How the f--k am I pose to eat?"

 

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