GAF-Hop |OTXVI| Build a Wall (of Better Top 20 Albums)

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Des maybe if you put the Atrocity Exhibition post out a few hours after the album leaked like a competent Youtube generation reviewer, you would've made some waves. The world literally went to hell since that album came out breh. You need a quicker trigger finger. Less thinking, more hot takes.



Really though, I thought you made a good argument for the way you feel about the album, and I definitely noticed how much less humorous the lyricism is, and how Danny sort of had to ground his flow because of the production, but the album still really works for me despite all that. The listening experience and atmosphere is just so strong. I think I said it sounded like Wonderland put to hip-hop music as a thematic, well, Downward Spiral, and that feeling hasn't waned 3 months later. Not XXX tier, but very strong.
 
I'm still kinda pissed that Des never really acknowledged my post. Why ignore me? Did I say something wrong? Maybe you think you're better than me or above it. Whatever, I don't care anymore. I have other things to worry about.
 
I'm still kinda pissed that Des never really acknowledged my post. Why ignore me? Did I say something wrong? Maybe you think you're better than me or above it. Whatever, I don't care anymore. I have other things to worry about.
B-b-baka!
Finally have solidified my thoughts on Atrocity Exhibition:

It's kind of odd when an artist's output matches up perfectly with what you had ideally conceived for them. Atrocity Exhibition pretty much delivers on the exact sound and concept that I thought I had always wanted out of Danny. It's a natural maturation of his sound, a culmination of the some of the darker experiments showcased on XXX, and Side A of Old. However, for some reason I don't find myself as excited to listen to Atrocity Exhibition as many of his other works. It's definitely a weird realization to come to terms with considering I definitely think it's probably Danny's second best album ever and easily one of the best rap albums of the year.

Atrocity Exhibition is Danny at his most streamlined and focused. For the most part Danny's zany antics are somewhat put in check, the production is quite murky, busy and atmospheric at times. It's so heavily layered, and dense at times that I think it often competes with Danny at times and forces him into a somewhat more stagnant flow. For a guy with so many different flows and the ability to hit so many different dynamic points often times Danny just sort of resorts to these sort of recycled grooves. Of course there are some exceptions, on White Lines maintains this really lovely off-kilter melody throughout and it's also one of the few tracks which sticks to a first person narrative.

The album feels too polished and though Danny's adherence to the overarching themes are a definite strength in one sense, the concepts themselves seem to have already been exhausted by Danny himself. He's not talking about anything different than the things he's already discussed on XXX and Side A of Old, and in fact I don't think he ever gets close to touching the intimacy of XXX, Side A, or even The Hybrid. It's like he skimmed the main themes of those albums and left out the personal intricacies. I touched on it before, but I think Danny's biggest strength is showcased when he's rapping from a first person perspective, through that lens Danny is able to generate these really poignant references to pop culture and takes on the world that are equally depressing, revealing, and comedic. Just take a listen to a song like Fields, DNA, 30, Adderall Admiral or even if you go back to The Hybrid there's S.O.S. and Thank God. His punchlines were simply ingenious, though he still told stories with them if that makes sense.

Atrocity Exhibition is probably Danny's most serious album. There's a constant sense of darkness and paranoia throughout it, but very little of the ironic humor that made Danny's other works so special. Furthermore, the brief moments when Atrocity Exhibition lets up and offers a break from this tension are boring and not amusing, whereas on XXX and The Hybrid you had these really zany breaks that maintained the subject matter while also injecting bit of parody and self-awareness. For example, Radio Song, Scrap or Die, and Party All The Time maintain a certain bleakness while also being quite humorous in a way. I think Danny lost sense of how to do both on A.E.

I think my biggest takeaway on the album is that although the production seems to be more convoluted and heavily layered on Atrocity Exhibition, Danny's sensibility seems more insular throughout. It's still a very good album, but I think it's lacking a lot of the personality and character that made XXX so brilliant. XXX hits on so many emotions concurrently kind of like Mona Lisa's Smile, whereas A.E. would be like if Da Vinci simply drew her with a woeful frown.
I largely agree with your post, but I don't think we're ever getting another XXX from Danny. I'm a large believer in the idea that an album's circumstances play a huge role in making the album great. XXX was Danny making an album with the intent of greatness, but I don't doubt XXX was the make or break record for him as well. If XXX didn't do well, I think there was a very good chance Danny would have retired. Because of that hunger to succeed, XXX got as good as it was.

It's the same reason with "College Dropout", "Blueprint Vol. 1", "Illmatic", "The Infamous", etc. got so good: simply put, the hunger to succeed shows and elevates these album. That's why I believe we're not going to get another XXX from Danny, and that's not a bad thing. If Atrocity Exhibition is one thing, it's the evolution of Danny's style that "Old" should have been. It's the use of beats other rappers couldn't even spit on, it's breaking typical rap song structure when needed, it's eschewing detailed verse for short sentence fragment bursts. Lyrically, that evolution comes from moving away from just recollections of his life pre-fame. There was always going to be a point where Danny moved away from the autobiographical raps, and "AE" is the step towards that. "AE" seems like the transition album so to speak; it's the album where Danny drops less and less focus on his past, and uses his story-telling skills to tell something more abstract. It's less about recollecting events and more cultivating this grimy, regretful, hedonistic, painful atmosphere, and to that extent, the album largely succeeds.

But, like you said, I feel less inclined to return to it even though I like a lot of the songs on the album.
 
Torre I think that's definitely spot on, maybe he only has so many stories and punchlines and this current evolution is much more sustainable as a seasoned artist.
 
It's really tough for me to put my feelings on Atrocity Exhibition to words. It's quite good. Definitely better than most of what I've listened to this year, but I don't have the urge to run it back the way I did for XXX. The tracks just don't have the same personality to them that XXX had. I hate to admit, but Ain't it Funny is downright grating to me.

White Lines is one of the best songs of his career. Alchemist is easily my favorite modern producer, but I was still shocked to find out he was responsible for that beat. Danny's delivery meshes with it almost perfectly, especially on the chorus. He has this ability to make utter debauchery sound fucking great.

torre, I'm going to have to disagree with you about breaking typical rap structure on this album. XXX was much more experimental than AE. Most songs on the latter do the typical verse-chorus-verse thing. There's no Adderall Admiral or Outer Space on here. One thing you'll notice throughout XXX is parts where Danny messes up his own lyrics ("gabortion" instead of abortion on 30, "got me callin me yo papa" on I Will seems like it should be "got you callin me yo papa"). He was more concerned with capturing an emotion than saying exactly what he had written down. AE is a much more refined record. Warped money'll do that.
 
It's really tough for me to put my feelings on Atrocity Exhibition to words. It's quite good. Definitely better than most of what I've listened to this year, but I don't have the urge to run it back the way I did for XXX. The tracks just don't have the same personality to them that XXX had. I hate to admit, but Ain't it Funny is downright grating to me.

White Lines is one of the best songs of his career. Alchemist is easily my favorite modern producer, but I was still shocked to find out he was responsible for that beat. Danny's delivery meshes with it almost perfectly, especially on the chorus. He has this ability to make utter debauchery sound fucking great.

torre, I'm going to have to disagree with you about breaking typical rap structure on this album. XXX was much more experimental than AE. Most songs on the latter do the typical verse-chorus-verse thing. There's no Adderall Admiral or Outer Space on here. One thing you'll notice throughout XXX is parts where Danny messes up his own lyrics ("gabortion" instead of abortion on 30, "got me callin me yo papa" on I Will seems like it should be "got you callin me yo papa"). He was more concerned with capturing an emotion than saying exactly what he had written down. AE is a much more refined record. Warped money'll do that.
I can definitely believe that. Didn't he say he did 30 in one take and has never performed it live? Powerful record.
 
torre, I'm going to have to disagree with you about breaking typical rap structure on this album. XXX was much more experimental than AE. Most songs on the latter do the typical verse-chorus-verse thing. There's no Adderall Admiral or Outer Space on here. One thing you'll notice throughout XXX is parts where Danny messes up his own lyrics ("gabortion" instead of abortion on 30, "got me callin me yo papa" on I Will seems like it should be "got you callin me yo papa"). He was more concerned with capturing an emotion than saying exactly what he had written down. AE is a much more refined record. Warped money'll do that.
I agree. It was something I only noticed after I went back and looked at the rap genius lyrics and saw there were a lot more chorus-verse structures than I remembered.
 
Drake is not even an actual artist at this point. Like, if Apple Music was a breakfast cereal, he'd be its Tony the Tiger or Toucan Sam. He's a fictional creation used to make the product appealing to its target market.
 
Yup Storm Chamber, I remember watching an old interview where he mentioned that he's never actually listened to 30.

I'm gonna use this post to gush over XXX a little more. There're a couple of things about it I didn't notice until I saw someone point it out in a review. On the first track (XXX) the first thing he says is 30. On the last track (30), the last thing he says is XXX.

Compare the two verses on Pac Blood. On it's surface it sounds like typical boast track, but he does it in a really clever way. The first verse makes older references (Shakespeare, likens himself to historic aristocracies "style uninherited, laughin at you peasants cause my penmanship is excellence"). Verse two gets more modern: Bukowski, Langson Hughes, Punch-out!

I've seen Enzo talk shit about the repetition in the chorus of Fields. This might be blatant stannery talking, but I think that song is a great example of how a repetitive chorus can actually be an advantage. Imagine growing up here.
I've never lived in Detroit, but I'd imagine you'd see something similar if you took a drive around town in the mid-nineties. A house here, an empty field there and oh look another abandoned house. You'd get sick of seeing that. The chorus is actually pretty generous.
 
Sometimes you just got to let that shit go. I have tons of favorites when it comes to media, but I usually stay away from arguments because I know it's just not worth it. I don't read ANYTHING pertaining to BioShock, for example.
Yeah, it's just frustrating to see people say all this really nasty shit about a guy clearly suffering from mental health issues. It doesn't help either that he's my personal GOAT. I should really just avoid any Kanye hate threads on OT, because they just descend into circle jerks about how fucked up he is. Still really can't believe one person said Kanye should be killed, another said they thought Kim's robbery was false, and the litany of insults ,like Kanye fucked their mom, their sister, and their grandma and didn't call any of them back.
 
I don't think I've ever singled out Fields? Correct me if I'm wrong. You might be thinking of someone else, PlayDat.


There is no amount you can be paid where this is acceptable.
Gotch you

I like Old better than XXX.

XXX has the better high (30 vs. Dope Song), but when it comes to the lows, you just have Ab-Soul's verse really on Old and XXX has Outer Space, Fields (FIELDS FIELDS HOUSE smh), I Will, etc. I can see an argument being made for Ab-Soul's verse being that bad but overall I was able to listen through Old better without being double minded about any of the songs.

Feeling the production on Old a bit more too, it's just a bit more consistent, but they're different sounds entirely and thus it's down to preference there IMO.
 

Blackthorn

"hello?" "this is vagina"
Just to quickly drop my Atrocity Exhibition thoughts in, I agree with Des that Danny's lyricism isn't as quirky and personal as some of his prior tracks, but on the other hand the music does much more work than before. Atrocity Exhibition is as much carried by the mood and atmosphere created by the music as it is by the lyrics. If there was an instrumental mix you'd probably be able to pick up on many of the themes through that alone.

Take Ain't It Funny. From sound alone, you can tell it's about being in an out of control, nightmarishly hyped state, "staring in the devil's face but you can't stop laughing." There's a dark, sinister comedy to it, if there was a music video it'd all be sped up footage of evil dancing clowns.

If this is the direction he continues in, I'm all for it. There's plenty of great rappers out there, but few truly musical rappers, who feel like they're perfectly in tune with their instrumentals (and their voice being instrument itself) like the lead of a band rather than a MC over a beat. His influences from outside hip-hop really pay off here, and it must have been intense work to get it sounding like this.

Side note, I recently saw him live and he's fucking flawless, no idea how he maintains his energy for so long. I only remember him messing up a couple of lines and that was right at the end of the set with When It Rain, which is a tough fucking track anyway. Great mix of tracks from all his albums too, presented semi-chronologically - with Grown Up and a track from The Hybrid mixed in just before Atrocity Exhibition tracks. Goes withou saying, but you gotta see him if you get the chance, especially if it's a fairly small venue.
 
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