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Where Is Danny?
Studio album by Danny!
Released October 13, 2009 Japan
October 19, 2009 United Kingdom
November 17, 2009 United StatesCanada
Length 60:00
Label Definitive Jux
Producer Danny!, Alex Goose
Professional reviews
Danny! chronology
And I Love H.E.R.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2008)
Where Is Danny?
(2009)

Danny!'s sixth studio album, previously known to the press as Project X[1] and later changed to Where Is Danny?, is the follow-up to the rapper's heralded And I Love H.E.R.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from the previous year. The record—being marketed primarily as a lo-fi "anti-album"—is a milestone in Danny!'s career, as it is his twelfth release (amidst a vast catalog that also includes instrumental albums[2], compilations and an EP) yet only his first for Def Jux after being signed to the label for more than two years[3]. Danny! mockingly alludes to this on Where Is Danny?'s "The Dozen Album Club", naming himself the "sole inductee" to the fictitious organization.

Where Is Danny? holds the distinction of being the first album in Danny!'s discography to not feature an image of him, his likeness (à la Danny Is Dead) or even his name on the record's cover art, opting instead to use the iconic "Pistol" by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein in an effort to not only assert his status as an artist but to emphasize the album's brash, "in-your-face" content[4]. El-P will executive produce Where Is Danny?, which has been confirmed by the newly-revamped VIBE[5] as being a sharp deviation from the post-Charm output that has since become Danny!'s definitive sound. In early 2009 Spin echoed VIBE's sentiments, reiterating that the record would be less of a departure from Danny!'s musical direction but more of a return to original form, sounding "[as] over-the-top as The Slim Shady LP a decade ago[6]".

Contents

Overview

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Conception

According to the Village Voice, the title Where Is Danny? is intended to serve as an allusion to the mystique surrounding both the album's frequent delays and Danny! himself[7], whose documented reclusive nature has raised questions on his whereabouts from fans and friends alike. Danny! would go on to clarify that the name of the album should be interpreted not only as an inquiry on his physical location, but his mental and musical one as well, of which music critic Robert Christgau has quipped "could be anywhere"[8]. The primary objective of Where Is Danny?, according to the rapper in an interview with mtvU, is to "say the most fucked-up shit" to see how much he can get away with:

"It's borderline retaliation, knowwhatI'msayin'? [laughs] Like, people will praise my [music] production...[but] when it comes to my lyrics it's always 'well, Danny! may not be the most complex rapper, but...' or 'Danny!'s beats are amazing, but his lyrics...' blah blah blah, and I've grown quite sick of it actually. This album will change all of that. I'm well-aware that people love my conceptual, story-type albums but I wanted to show that, like, I wasn't overly-reliant on that. [I wanted to] remind people 'hey, I can rap too y'know!' I only hope that I don't alienate, like, the fans who became hip after "Café Surreàl" or "Fly", but true fans will definitely appreciate it."[9]

Danny! later reiterated the same to PopMatters, saying:

"I’m going to take everything about Danny! that is good in a different direction. A lot of the reviews don’t mention my rhyming schemes. They talk up my production but they say my lyrics aren’t as good. I put a lot of work into my rhymes. My next album is going to be similar to the minimalism of Madvillainy. I’d like to get more credit for my rhymes and talent as an emcee. Hopefully that’ll happen."[10]

Development

It is not known when production on Where Is Danny? first began, given that there has been minimal coverage on the album's release from both the media and Danny!. However, material from the album (namely, the first of a two-part song entitled "Sloppy Joe") was performed during an Atlanta concert with Canadian rapper Drake in May 2009[11]. The album is intended to have an unorthodox feel, lyrically and sonically, throughout its entirety; Danny! revealed that some tracks would be a minute long, some less than that, and others as long as seven minutes. Presumably this is an effort to further distance Danny! from his previous noteworthy albeit formulaic material, bordering on blatant over-exaggeration.

Though the record is slated for a Definitive Jux release, Danny! has jokingly threatened to self-release the album independently, just as he did with Danny Is Dead and And I Love H.E.R., should the label begin to pull its support[6].

Reception

"Just Friends" was the first official single released from Where Is Danny? and was offered as both a downloadable song on Definitive Jux's website in March 2009[12] and as a featured track on the label's 2009 compilation disc Time Travel, Vol. 1[13]. Though "Just Friends" suffered from mixed reviews from critics and a lack of promotion, the song managed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 charts at # 88[14]. In contrast, the energetic "Manic At The Disco" was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback once it leaked four months after the first single. Though the song has yet to chart, it has managed to receive a considerable amount of plays on HipHopDX. To date "Manic At The Disco" has been listened to over 11,000 times[15] on the site, making it one of the most played tracks during the month of July 2009. In response to "Manic At The Disco"'s unexpected popularity, Danny! has stated that the song is far more indicative of Where Is Danny?'s overall sound than "Just Friends", and that the latter single will likely not make the album. As the tentative release date loomed closer another song, the aforementioned "Sloppy Joe, Pt. 1", was leaked by Danny! through his personal Twitter page. "Sloppy Joe, Pt. 1", its sequel and the Von Pea-featured "Hoedown Showdown" have also garnered positive reviews, further restoring interest in the oft-delayed project.

Postponements

Official release dates for Where Is Danny? have been listed as early as June, but the record has yet to be shipped to retail. The record's frequent delays marks the second time in which an album title by Danny! became ironic, the first being 2006's Charm. A clean version of the album leaked to the internet in late August, but was swiftly removed. An unmastered final version would later leak in late November. Where Is Danny?'s frequent delays caused a minor chagrin among fans and writers; an exasperated Impose Magazine questioned whether or not Danny! was still relevant despite having released an album the year before and an instrumental record in mid-2009[16].

Track listing

# Title Music Sample(s) Length
1. "Man, Motherfuck An Intro" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   0:10
2. "Manic! At The Disco" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:45
3. "Where Is Danny?" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose   3:50
4. "Tattered Fedora Flow" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:57
5. "Hoedown Showdown" (featuring Von Pea) (Callender, Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:13
6. "I Ain't The Walrus" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   4:17
7. "Turn Me Up" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:44
8. "Many Reasons" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   1:57
9. "Still Got Love" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose. 3:01
10. "Sloppy Joe, Pt. 1" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose   1:16
11. "Commercial Break (interlude)" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   1:27
12. "Fa Fa Fa" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose   2:05
13. "This Is Your Life (In West Watch-A-Ka-Tella) (instrumental)" (Goose) Produced by Alex Goose.   1:49
14. "Off The Hook" (featuring Che Grand) (Anosike, Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:49
15. "George Wendt" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   3:00
16. "Nah, I Don't Like This Beat Yo" (Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   0:20
17. "Theme Music To A Killing Spree" (featuring Danny Brown) (Brown, Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:08
18. "Lost One" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   4:10
19. "Scrambled Eggs" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:23
20. "Sloppy Joe, Pt. 2" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:01
21. "Seven Seconds Of Static (interlude)" (Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   0:07
22. "Mama I Want To Fucking Sing" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:20
23. "Wake The Fuck Up Man (You're Trippin' Man)" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   1:13
24. "Crank Dat (Hey DJ)" (featuring Ladi Jade) (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:34
25. "Get Down" (Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:59
26. "Gone Danny Gone" (Clarke, Goose, Swain) Produced by Alex Goose.   2:10

References

  1. ^ Glazer, Joshua (2009-04-06). "Mystery Danny! Project Finally Sees Light Of Day". URB. http://www.urb.com/permalink/2326/Mystery-Danny-Project-Finally-Sees-Light-Of.html. Retrieved 2009-06-18.  
  2. ^ "Daniel Swain: Discography". Allmusic. 2007-10-31. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:3vftxqysldde~T2. Retrieved 2009-02-28.  
  3. ^ Welte, Jim (2007-01-26). "Danny Swain wins mtvU/Def Jux contest". MP3.com. http://www.mp3.com/news/stories/8375.html. Retrieved 2007-02-01.  
  4. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2009-07-13). "Poker Face: Danny! Continues To Transcend Hip-Hop". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/07/13/poker-face-danny-continues-to-transcend-hip-hop/. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  5. ^ Wete, Brad (2009-06-18). "Where Is Danny, Anyway?". VIBE. http://digital.vibe.com/news/news_headlines/2009/06/where_is_danny_anyway/. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  6. ^ a b Coscarelli, Joseph (2009-03-26). "Lone Star State (Of Mind)". Spin. http://www.spin.com/articles/danny-lone-star-state-of-mind. Retrieved 2009-03-28.  
  7. ^ Dodero, Camille (2009-01-03). "Interview: Danny!". Village Voice. http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/archives/2009/02/interview_danny.php. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  8. ^ "Danny!: News". MSN Music. 2008-10-31. http://music.msn.com/music/artist-news/danny!/. Retrieved 2009-02-28.  
  9. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2009-07-02). "B.o.B. on Name Changes, Collabos With Eminem". MTV.com. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1615252/20090702/danny__underground_hip_hop_.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-07-18.  
  10. ^ Chris, Catania (2009-04-15). "Flavor for Your Ear, Eventually: An Interview with Danny!". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/70881-flavor-for-your-ear-eventually-an-interview-with-danny/. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  11. ^ Contra (2009-05-05). "Event Recap: Drake's "So Far Gone" Tour In Atlanta". Smoking Section. http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/2009/05/event-recap-drake-so-far-gone-tour. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  12. ^ "Danny!: Just Friends 12"". Definitive Jux.net. 2009-03-17. http://www.definitivejux.net/store/catalog-product/US-V2X-08-057-00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  13. ^ Eustis, Katy (2009-04-08). "Out This Tuesday!: Definitive Jux Presents: Time Travel, Vol. 1". Definitive Jux.net. http://www.definitivejux.net/news/1213. Retrieved 2009-05-01.  
  14. ^ Howard, Jacinta (2009-04-28). "Don't Sleep On Danny!". Creative Loafing. http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/don_t_sleep_on_danny_/Content?oid=793782. Retrieved 2009-05-01.  
  15. ^ "Danny! - Manic At The Disco". HipHopDX. 2009-07-29. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/audio/id.8132/title.danny-manic-at-the-disco. Retrieved 2009-08-01.  
  16. ^ Gillepsie, Blake (2009-11-28). "Do We Care About Danny?". Impose Magazine. http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/do-we-care-about-danny. Retrieved 2009-11-23.  

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