1. Brown is one of the most complete rap artists in the game
His flow is freakish in its elasticity and he writes amazing hooks. No one knew quite what to make of him when The Hybrid circulated through the corridors of a stunned blogosphere in 2010, but it was clear he was here to stay. The following year’s XXX was even better.
2. The guest list for Old is insanely stacked.
Particularly promising are the inclusions of Montreal band Purity Ring and English dance producer Rustie. A rapper who gets EDM—God help us—is someone we can always use.
3. Brown cares fuck-all about selling records.
XXX’s “Radio Song” was a gnarly middle finger to industry suits. It should follow that his music isn’t catchy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Brown spews id and buckspot all over “Dip,” “Dope Song” and the fantastically damaged “ODB.”
4. Although from the Midwest, Brown is a callback to a freer, wilder era of East Coast hip-hop—immortalized by Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Redman, the Outsidaz and other rebel sprits.
Like those guys, Brown spits fire and brimstone over bugged-out, purposely alienating production.