Danny Brown drew from an eclectic pool of inspirations for his album Atrocity Exhibition. The name itself is borrowed from a Joy Division song that he knows well, and there are all sorts of genres that he rocks over on the album, from club vibes to grime, classic East Coast Rap to underground Detroit sounds. In his installment of Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 series he reveals the music that shaped his tastes and sensibilities to make his own.
It’s no surprise that Brown is an avid David Bowie fan — Bowie’s reach is immeasurable. But what he had to say about Blackstar and why he thinks it’s the album of the year was pretty funny:
Blackstar is definitely the biggest album to me this year. That album is fucking creepy. It scares the shit out of me. And those videos. Fuck. I kind of relate to it, to him. When you put that much of your life into music, can’t nobody ever take that — you can’t rate that. You can’t review this. He died for this. This is his life right here. When people talk about the best albums of the year, I be like, “Y’all don’t realize Bowie’s album came out this year and he fucking died? What is y’all talking about?” We should hands-down know what the best album of this year is. Shouldn’t be talk of nothing else.
Brown also names Run D.M.C.’s Raising Hell, Scarface’s Mr. Scarface Is Back, Nas’ It Was Written, the White Stripes’ “Hotel Yorba,” Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere, and St. Vincent’s Strange Mercy as major influences.