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Danny Brown 

When: Tue., Dec. 31, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $45
Danny Brown’s third album, Old, is cropping up on many 2013 best-of lists — and for good reason. The Detroit native is an outstanding wordsmith who paints vivid, harrowing stories of life growing up in the ’hood. That’s not particularly unique in the rap game, but Brown equally details how deeply uneasy he feels about his growing fame. Best of all, he keeps things weird: Old is sonically fascinating, featuring elements of trap, electronica, psychedelia, and glitch instead of the J. Dilla samples he was previously known for. He also tosses in animalistic noises like groans and grunts and futuristic squiggly sounds. As a result, no two tracks on Old sound similar. But despite the album’s dark themes, Side B is party-friendly, as it bursts with drug and sex references and uptempo beats. Brown is notorious for bringing boundless energy to his performances and riling up crowds with his contagious aggression. That makes him an ideal performer with whom to ring in the New Year. Brooklyn hip-hop group Flatbush Zombies and local hip-hop producer Traxamillion will open the show.
— Madeleine Key

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