The lyrics on rapper Danny Brown's new single "Pneumonia" might be the standard hip-hop subject matter of sex, weed and making cash, but the music is deliriously weird. It's like a horror-movie soundtrack filled with dub gamelan that morphs into a marching band in an echo chamber.
Earlier this year, Brown announced that he had signed to the Warp label, which has been a home to a lot of hip-hop experimentalists. It's probably a good fit. Brown's other earlier 2016 single "When It Rains" had a much more rapid-fire rap, set to a percussion-heavy backing track. The Detroit rapper has said that he's been working on a Dr. Seuss-style children's book, inspired by one of the literary forms that taught him to rhyme as a kid.
The Motor City, where Brown still lives (in the woodsy suburbs), has faced some problems, but the rapper is invested in promoting and improving the city. Brown also contributed the theme song to the TV show "Fresh Off the Boat." Brown's full-length debut on Warp is due later this year.
But don't expect Brown to go family-friendly. He still insists that rap is supposed to be abrasive and shocking, not the kind of stuff you listen to around your mom.
Danny Brown plays Toad's Place, 300 York St., New Haven, Friday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $25. toadsplace.com and 203-624-8623.