“When it rain, when it pour, get your ass on the floor now!”
Shit is grim so shake your ass, because what else are you going to do? “When It Rain” is Danny Brown's laugh-at-death anthem, and it's great. I'm not going to get to deep into the lyrics, because I don't want to take away from the horror-movie soundtrack banger. But never dismiss Danny as some kind of horror-core dummy. He's talking about partying and violence as the same thing, and when it rains it pours. He paints a grim reality while being wild, funny, and careless, but never corny. Danny's 35, middle-aged for any musician let alone a rapper, and has only had mainstream traction since 2011. He's been around long enough to figure out what he wants to do, and he does that regardless. He's got a high voice, and he spits carelessly through his gap-toothed grin while wearing tight pants. Not the model of a rapper. So when he makes it work, and it's hard, there is nothing to compare it to, and nothing as hype as this.
The song sounds like it sampled a forgotten track from the original “Halloween” movie and added a bass drum. It's dark and straight forward. Then Danny explains the grim reality of life in Detroit and makes you want to grin and jump to it. “Living every day like it's the end / Just waking up, feelin' like a sin.” Not bouncing to this would be disrespectful to those who can't anymore.
In When It Rain, Danny shouts, "Ain't no water how a flower gon' grow / ain't no change then how we gon' change." That is Tupac poetry and Pusha T entendre while making a timely reference to his own backyard, Flint MI.
It's hard for me not to just scream about how great Danny Brown is and why you're wrong for not loving it. But that's stupid. If he was for everyone I wouldn't love him so much. This is hardcore-punk-rap by way of 90's dance and house. But he's so loyal to his love of dance and Detroit that it makes you love them. If you're new to the man, and you need a little help appreciating him please check out the video for “Grown Up."
I apologize for the awful censoring of the song, but the video concept is great, and maybe a little more digestible for those of you adjusting the Danny. The features the riff from Lou Reed's “Walk on the Wild Side” that was used on “Can I Kick It,” so the song has a great throw back feel. Also please check out “Side B (Dope Song)”, and appreciate the line, “Not my last dope song, but my last dope song," where Danny promises to stop making songs about selling drugs because he's tired of rappers talking about what they USED to do, but he's not going to stop making great music.... And he didn't.
by Nathan Hankins (@nathanhmhankins)