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Danny Brown

Danny Brown

CITY: Detroit
WEBSITE: http://itsbruiserbrigade.tumblr.com/

Let’s face it, in terms of underground hip-hop, last year was Danny Brown’s for the taking. After signing with A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records, his first album, XXX, was released to incredible critical acclaim, taking Spin’s slot for Best Hip-Hop Record of 2011. Brown’s badass sense of style (which separated him entirely from the G-Unit crew who took him under his wing), his impeccable sense of humor and clever language (which the LA Times described as “if Conan O’Brien had grown up selling crack”), and his skill at choosing great producers make him indispensible to this year’s list. His 2012 is shaping up to be pretty amazing — after a tour with Childish Gambino, he’s recorded a track with indie favorites the Avalanches called “Frank Sinatra,” the name a fitting tribute to two fantastic artists with similarly meteoric rises to the forefront of their respective musical cultures.

_Nick Johnston

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Record Label You Should Know: Ghostly International

This Ann Arbor–based label is home to some of the most aesthetically pleasing visual designers working in the music industry, plus Matthew Dear, School of Seven Bells, and a host of other eclectic artists.


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