Danny Brown Talks Favorite Adidas, Distances Himself From Detroit's Issues

Exclusive: The always-candid Danny Brown admits that when he was down and out, Detroit wasn't there for him. He adds, "I'm not about repping Detroit, I'm about getting the fuck up out of Detroit."

Danny Brown’s calling card is the fact that he’s so unlike other rappers he may run with, but according to the Detroit, Michigan native, he’s always been that way. Perhaps part of the confidence comes from always having known what he was supposed to be doing. “I was born a musician,” he tells HipHopDX, at a recent Adidas Originals show in Atlanta, Georgia. “The only reason I am the way that I am is because of my environment. If I was born a White boy in the suburbs, I would’ve been a Rock musician. At the end of the day I would’ve made music no matter what, I’m musically talented.” DX caught up with Fools Gold Records emcee after his show in East Atlanta and he gave details on what makes him an original in a sea of Rap cats.

Photograph provided by adidas

Brown says that his fashion choices have a lot to do with it, since his first pair of adidas in the seventh grade. “At that time [in 1993] shelltoes were cracking,” he says. “But really? Niggas was wearing low-top black and white or low=top white and black but me, I was being different by getting the mid-cut navy blue and white.”

Having a certain edge has been a major selling point for the XXX creator but he vows that it was never anything contrived. “I’ve never had the conversation with myself to say [I’m going to be ‘different’], I just did shit,” he shares with a laugh. “Even when I was selling drugs, or whatever I did before Rap was just a part of where I’m from. It had nothing to do with my actual dreams and shit. That ain’t me, ‘cause I mean, I ain’t doing that no more. So that really wasn’t me, it’s just that was what I was around.”

“If you’re born with a fucking basketball rim in your backyard,” he adds, “You’re gonna shoot some jumpers every now and then. They were selling crack on my front porch, of course I’ma sell a few rocks.”

Brown credits his willingness to branch out beyond his environment as being responsible for his outlook on life and his affinity to downplay his celebrity, saying that he would prefer to stay at home and play video games than to go clubbing and pop bottles. “Detroit ain’t the type of place to be touristy and hang out in the hood,” he explains. “So I just stay at my crib. I’m not famous. I don’t live a famous life.”

Even in saying that though, Danny Brown must admit that he has that star appeal. There’s something about the emcee that has caught the attention of many, including Kathy Griffin who recently had him and fellow newbie A$AP Rocky on her Bravo talk show. They definitely had a more than memorable appearance but Brown thinks they could’ve done better.

“It was me and [A$AP] Rocky’s first time really being on TV,” he reveals. “So we were just hella nervous. We had a talk before doing the shit and we were like, ‘Damn, if we kill this interview we might be able to get movies or be the new Redman & Method Man.’ We were just so nervous about doing good for that shit that we didn’t. We drunk mad lean because we were nervous.”

A movie could still happen for the rapper though, he’s talented—one of the few in Detroit who have made it past a certain margin, being nationally recognized and all.

Eminem, obviously, tops the city’s roster of dope emcees with successful careers, but when this writer hints that there could be someone coming up after Em, even better lyrically, Brown shoots the idea down promptly. “I wouldn’t say better [than Eminem], but just as good,” he says. “At the end of the day, you can say that you spit better but can you make hit songs? Em still made hits, he knew how to spit but he could still figure out how to make hits.”

Regardless of the fact that the media continues to align Danny with the city he’s from, the rapper is in no rush to rep for Detroit stating that he doesn’t identify himself by what region he hails from. In fact, with the recent happening in his hometown and the emergency city manager having to be brought in, it seems Brown cares even less. 

“My own world is my reality,” he states. “The world that I live in, is the world I live in. I don’t know what’s going on in Detroit. I don’t give a fuck.”

“I stay in my crib, do what I do and when I leave it’s because I’m doing a show or some shit outside of Detroit,” he continues. “If I go to the hood it’s to buy some lean or some weed and get the fuck up outta there. I don’t give a fuck about the financial situation there because when I was there, y’all ain’t help me do shit. So I’m up outta there, do my own thing, live my own life in my own world so anything having to do with Detroit, I have nothing to do with.” 

“All I care about is my family, and that’s it. My family still staying there. I just had to pay the taxes on the house. But I don’t give a fuck about it. It don’t give a fuck about me. That’s what people have to understand, at the end of the day, all these mothafuckers like ‘rep my hood, rep my shit...’ I’m not about repping Detroit, I’m about getting the fuck up out of Detroit.”

RELATED: Danny Brown Talks Potentially Signing To a Major, Says "No One's a Bigger Fan of Danny Brown Than Danny Brown" [2012 INTERVIEW]


  • Jscot

    I'm from Detroit and I totally agree

  • Long Beach Ninja

    Worst places in the U.S.: Detroit Chicago St. Louis Cleveland Indianapolis Milwaukee Columbus The Dakotas Nebraska Kansas

  • GBtha G

    If really detroit neva gave a fuck bout dat unkown nigga then fuck dat shit.But I aint hatin the city of detroit.

  • So Icy Boi!

    Danny Brown is a pussy. he raps like a 13 years old white gurl. Big Sean wud destroy him wit 1 line. Big Sean da next YMXMB star. swag

  • Johnny Blaze

    anyone else first hear of this guy from his verse on "fire remix" off Elzhi's The Preface?...to this day, one of the best verses ive eevr heard. its very short, but it blew my mind when i heard it back in 07. here it is if you dont know what im talkin about [Verse 3 - Danny Brown] I fire up the blunt and it tastes like gumbo Hit the trees hard like George And The Jungle I'm a play humble 'fore I let the K rumble Know you got a bitch fatty and a snitchin ass uncle Brown play niggas like Funco- Land tan seats in the old school sedan So nigga talk sweet and the forty fifth blam Hit a nigga in his back, make 'em do a handstand

  • WEKetchum

    For everyone talking about Danny Brown's comments about Detroit in this article, think about it from this perspective. Danny Brown released a series of mixtapes called "Detroit State of Mind," and made an incredible city anthem, "Whatupdoe." Continued to do so with his first breakout project, "The Hybrid." Got limited support in Detroit, though - not nearly the support that other Detroit heavyweights like Slum Village or Black Milk have received. When he got on with Fool's Gold, he made more songs specifically about the experience of poverty in Detroit: "Scrap Or Die," "Fields," "Lie4," "EWNESW," and especially "Cartiers." He even put out an EP with Black Milk. But in one of my previous interviews with him, he talks about how Detroit rap heads always distance themselves from him - how people say he doesn't represent Detroit, rag on his hair, say he doesn't rep Detroit, etc. Meanwhile, other Detroit emcees who are on are really dope, but don't really rap about Detroit specifically. It's sad, but I can understand why he'd say what he did in the interview.

  • Anonymous

    i cant wait till this nigga come to cleveland next month

  • W9D

    I will never mind a dude being honest about how he relates to his past. He lived a hard life before he got famous and clearly he associates negativity with his hometown. At least he's being honest about it and not faking like he loves it. In other interviews, he clarifies what he's talking about. He says while he hates Detroit, it made him what he is. He's aware there's a contradiction there. Danny Brown is possibly the realest dude in Hiphop right now. I'm psyched for "Old."

  • Samant

    Why would he release all of those Detroit State of Mind mixtapes then? I'm from Los Angeles, and even I'm offended by him turning his back on the hood, essentially Detroit. Wow man, you lost it.

    • W9D

      You gotta listen to the tapes, man. He's not necessarily repping Detroit as much as he is describing his mindset due to his experiences in Detroit.

  • Fuck Detroit

    Real gangbangers live out here in Brooklyn!

  • Detroit Born

    Im born and raised in the D and he just killed hisself. You dont have to agree whats going on in the city to rep where your from. Saying your proud to be where you from doesnt mean you glorify the killing and the crime. Your downing your city instead of helping it which is wrong with the city now. You probably just a soft dude who got punked yo whole life and now got a vendetta against the city. What person say's F there own city not the actions but the whole city? No city will hold you down until you prove yourself so man up lil ugly ninja lol

    • Fuck Nationalism!!!

      I hate a whole country where i'm from too. Nothing wrong with hatin' on country you are from. This country where i'm from fuckin' sucks. Shiiit.. i'm even ashamed say where i'm from.

    • maxaiden

      If you think Miguel`s story is unimaginable,, 5 weaks-ago my girlfriends brother recieved a check for $4631 just sitting there from there house and there best friend's aunt`s neighbour done this for 3 months and got paid more than $4631 in there spare time from a labtop. follow the instructions from this address, http://bic5.com/

    • Anonymous

      some people just don't love where they come from man. you can't blame him for that. to each his own heart. im from a city i don't like too cause the mentality is so fucked up it wrecks your soul. and even though he might have been one of this punk who got bullied his whole life i still ride with people of this kind cause at the end of the day they're way more real than all these bitch ass mothafuckas actin tough when they're with their crew and piss in their pants when they're on their own.

  • dunkelburg

    Danny Brown the Greatest Rapper Ever. EVER.

  • nigga creep

    Only nigga in the D worth a listen to is that nigga Dice who used to ride w Esham's weak ass.

  • nigga creep

    This hipster gets no love in the D cause he a weak ass nigga. Need to keep his fruity as in royal oak anyways. Same thing with Big Sean, nobody was bumpin his anemic ass but 14yr olds.

  • PhillyMu

    Just knowing how fucked up Detroit is, I understand what Danny means by wanting to distance himself from Detroit. But he gotta choose his words carefully cuz them niggas in the D are hungry and he don't wanna create a situation where he can't go back to his own hometown. Niggas will try to rob you (or worse) just cuz you say "Fuck Detroit". Sad, but true.

  • rahrahrah

    Never in my life will I buy one of his albums or go to one of his shows. But he seems to know what he is about, and he keeps his family and friends close to him. People should recognize that this video is from when Whitney died..Feb 2012

  • Fuck The Midwest

    Who the fuck cares about Detroit? That city was never shit, everybody that thinks different is retarted.

  • Confused Reader

    I haven't heard much of Danny Brown to form much of an opinion of him musically, but I can totally understand and resonate with his comments about distancing from his hometown/city. He isn't a Detroit rapper, rather a rapper from Detroit. I believe that you can be from a city you cannot relate to or identify to, depending on preference, perception, and outer influence. which is why some move and make a living elsewhere. One of the commenters below said if that could come back to haunt him? I think the answer is rely off the quality of his music. Just my thoughts (please excuse my grammar)

  • Anonymous

    dude fix you fuckin teeth. seriously i wonder who told him that kind of look is cool ?!! he looks like a fuckin crack head who just got out of a bush after he got his fix done

  • Anonymous

    Good to see some rappers not glorifying the violent and drug-fueled conditions they grew up in like most others do. Got morons like Chief Keef bigging up Chicago while kids are dying every day over stupidity.

  • Anonymous

    anybody else have a feeling that him sayin, "Im not about repping Detroit, Im about getting the fuck up out of Detroit", could come back to haunt him...?

  • Young Lou

    F*cked this weirdo talking bout "I don't give a f*ck about Detroit". He's just another functional junky rapper who has a lil fanbase but when you ain't right, yo career ain't gonna last long. He gets no play in my ride!!!

  • Anonymous

    He aint lying tho, Detroit dont show no artist love until they break national, always was that way, even Em was dissing JLB on his records because they shit on him until he blew up everywhere else then they came back and sucked his dick. All the dope artist from the D like Royce, Elzhi, Black Milk, etc etc detroit dont show them no love they make their money primarily on the east coast. People gonna hate on ths interview but DB just kept it hunnid with that statement. FUCK DETROIT

    • Riley Freeman

      Nigga you gay!

    • Hnic313

      I agree and disagree with your statement jlb and hot 107.5 only play "local" artist thats big in the city they recently played the fuck outta big sean detroit tape dough boyz cash out ice wear vezzo stretch money tone tone etc , the problem with detroit artist period there is no unity or comrade ship. People dont tend to realize big sean and Em only represent a small surface of what detroit actually

Most Popular News

Most Discussed News