The 5 Best Danny Brown Guest Verses Released Over the Past 4 Months

While we continue to anticipate Quaranta, the rapper’s given us plenty to be thankful for since August.

The 5 Best Danny Brown Guest Verses Released Over the Past 4 Months

While we continue to anticipate Quaranta, the rapper’s given us plenty to be thankful for since August.

Words: Mike LeSuer

Photo: Joshua Mellin

November 28, 2022

While new music from Danny Brown hasn’t quite dipped into the dense and ever-growing speculative mythologies surrounding artists like Frank Ocean and, as of late, The Cure, come March we’ll technically be two years overdue for the rapper’s promised new LP Quaranta—a sequel of sorts to 2011’s XXX to mark his 40th (or 42nd) birthday. It may feel a little demanding to pressure Danny for new music considering uknowhatimsayin¿ only just turned three years old back in October, but on the other hand, well, he isn’t doing a great job of not hyping it.

In fact, even outside of his own music Brown had been uncharacteristically quiet throughout 2022 after a series of high-profile guest spots in 2021 for artists ranging from Brockhampton to Dorian Electra, along with features on tracks for up-and-coming names like Chester Watson and Payday—not to mention extensive collaboration with artists among his Bruiser Brigade collective. It wasn’t until mid-August that we first heard from him this year with the one-off, extremely lo-fi SoundCloud upload “Winter,” exclusively released for the Your Mom’s House podcast, which has yet to appear on any other streaming services. 

But that blip of a return signaled a small-scale Dannyssaince of memorable guest spots with unlikely and highly experimental artists, culminating in a bizarre sign-of-the-times remix project alongside a nu metal giant released earlier this month. As a brief recap of the past four months in Danny Brown output, we’ve ranked all five features below.

5. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, “The Last Huzzah!” (feat. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown, and El-P)
Placing this one deep at #5 only because of its status as a reissue (it was finally released as a single and uploaded to streaming services in August). Originally released as the nail in the coffin to Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire’s 2011 mixtape Lost in Translation, revisiting “Last Huzzah!” feels like a passing of the baton between featured rappers Das Racist—whose not-joking-just-joking-we-are-joking raps got swept under the rug shortly afterward—and El-P, who was on the verge of launching a not entirely dissimilar project alongside Killer Mike (who appears in the video for this single) that’s reached quite a few more ears than “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” The glue that holds both of these cultural touchstones together, of course, is one Danny Brown, who more than holds his own buried within five and half minutes of like-minded stoner-comedy raps over an ominously apocalyptic beat. Can’t wait for a Danny verse on the Despot LP if we’re still holding out for one of those.

4. Korn, “Worst Is on Its Way” (HEALTH Remix) (feat. Danny Brown & Meechy Darko)
At this point there’s really no surprises when it comes to who HEALTH is working with. Over the past few years they’ve morphed into an aesthetic connecting block between artists as disparate as Lamb of God, JPEGMAFIA, and Soccer Mommy, who’ve all appeared comfortably alongside each other on the experimental noise-rock act’s latest DISCO installments. But I guess when it comes to remixing other artists’ work (as they recently did with Danny Elfman) it can be hard to connect with their contribution when you don’t particularly care for the original version of the song, as is how I feel with this industrialist reworking of a recent Korn track, with Jonathan Davis’ distinct vocals bringing down my high between expert verses from Danny Brown and Flatbush Zombies’ Meechy Darko and the familiar knife-sharpening sounds of HEALTH—all before Davis does, y’know, that junkyard-dog scatting thing he does in all his songs.

3. isomonstrosity, “Careful What You Wish For” (feat. Danny Brown and 645AR)
Might take a few paragraphs to fully explain isomonstrosity’s whole deal—feel free to read up on that here—but the trio’s highly unique DNA, both on paper and in practice, feels like the perfect launchpad for a Danny verse. “Careful What You Wish For” is such an oddly subdued instrumental that presents him with an over-the-plate opportunity to become the track’s focal point, yet instead he takes the approach of a late-career Nic Cage one-for-me role a la Pig or Joe and plays it commendably straight. It’s funny how a decade ago he was the exact type of rapper you’d want batting cleanup on a track like this, whereas here he’s way out-weirded by 645AR and his momentum-changing falsetto R&B squeaks.

2. Dom Maker (Mount Kimbie), “In Your Eyes” (feat. slowthai & Danny Brown)
There’s a tight circle of rappers that includes Danny Brown, slowthai, Denzel Curry, and JPEGMAFIA where if you get any two of them on a track together, it’s basically unstoppable. Few of those tracks have the hypnagogic texture or outsider-house agenda of a beat from Mount Kimbie’s Dom Maker, yet that backdrop makes the perfect setting for what is somehow the first recording slowthai and Danny have appeared on together, both of them knocking their verses out over a subtly shifting instrumental. Here’s hoping Dom and/or slowthai are among the “lot of people” involved in the “fun” that will be “Quaranta.”

1. Quadeca, “house settling” (feat. Danny Brown)
I’ve listened to this Quadeca album half a dozen times, yet I can never seem to predict at what point over the course of I Didn’t Mean to Haunt You’s hour-long runtime Danny Brown will suddenly materialize. I think that may be the exact reasoning for his verse being buried so deep in the record—not that the preceding songs begin to waver, but the sudden presence of a guy with a long history of carrying already-great recordings into the end zone in an always-memorable fashion injects new life into both the track and the album, Danny’s voice buried in the swelling instrumental nearly to the point of inscrutability. More than any of the other actually-kind-of-similar features on this list, his spot of “house settling” makes you realize how far he’s come from nearly being a novelty figure spouting goofy innuendos on his friends’ tracks to his voice becoming an additional layer of texture to a complex tapestry of sound, ultimately pushing it into the realm of the goosebump-inducing.