XXX (Danny Brown album)

XXX (pronounced "triple x" or "30") is the second studio album by American rapper Danny Brown. It was released on August 15, 2011, by Fool's Gold Records. The album's production was handled by Frank Dukes, Brandun DeShay, Skywlkr, Nick Speed, Quelle, Paul White, Squadda Bambino and DJ House Shoes. The album's only guest appearances come from Brown's Bruiser Brigade cohorts Chips and Dopehead.

XXX Danny Brown.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 15, 2011 (2011-08-15)
GenreAlternative hip hop
LabelFool's Gold
Danny Brown chronology
Hawaiian Snow
Black and Brown!

XXX received widespread acclaim from critics. On March 13, 2012, the album was re-released on iTunes with three new tracks and a digital booklet included.[1]


On XXX, Brown raps about the decline of Detroit and the dilemma caused by its abandoned houses and buildings.

XXX was released as a free download by Brooklyn, New York-based record label Fool's Gold Records. Brown cited XXX as his attempt at "experimenting and seeing how far [he] could push listeners" with his music. Brown explains that XXX is an effort at a serious concept album with a storyline, citing track 13 "DNA" as the start of Side B: "The cover looked like a vinyl to me, so I was going with that whole vibe". He explained that "the first side is all having fun" before the album takes a serious turn from "DNA" onward.[2]

While recording the album, Brown was listening to a lot of Joy Division.[3] He has also stated he recorded XXX with the intent of having it critically acclaimed: "I made XXX with the aim of getting great reviews."[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
Q     [9]
URB     [12]

XXX was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 83, based on nine reviews.[4]

Vincent Thomas of AllMusic wrote, "XXX — named for his gutter-filthy mouth and his 30th birthday — is an accomplishment."[5] Jack Law of Fact noted, "It's Brown's embracing of contradictions that makes him such a fascinating rapper, and XXX is given depth and longevity by a tension, or collision between hardcore rap's reality fix and the avant-garde's desire for creative and expressive freedom from reality."[6] Patrick Taylor of RapReviews said, "XXX is another excellent release from the man who is one of the best rappers out there, proving that you can be lyrical and street at the same time, and that hip-hop doesn't have to be one dimensional."[10]

David Amidon of PopMatters said, "Beyond its confrontational veneer lies a 19 track collection of a good number of 2011's hardest, freshest, most concrete bars imaginable."[8] Pitchfork wrote positively, "His gleeful love of words not only elevates some pretty heavy subject matter; it also helps distinguish XXX as one of the most compelling indie rap releases in an already strong year."[7] Will Robinson of Sputnikmusic also wrote "XXX is an absolutely essential hip-hop release in the age of Internet distribution and excess, and as the extreme of the lyrical tameness spectrum it's necessary for anyone who claims to be at all knowledgeable about hip-hop."[11]


Pitchfork placed the album at number 19 on its list of the "Top 50 albums of 2011",[14] while Spin named it the top hip-hop album of 2011.[15] In October 2013, Complex named XXX the eighth best hip hop album of the last five years.[16] In June 2016, Pitchfork placed the album at number three on its list of the "50 Best Rap Mixtapes of the Millennium"[17] and in 2019, they placed it at 63 on their list of "The Best 200 Albums of the 2010s".[18]

Track listingEdit

XXX track listing
1."XXX"Frank Dukes1:51
2."Die Like a Rockstar"Skywlkr2:26
3."Pac Blood"Brandun DeShay2:32
4."Radio Song"DeShay2:22
6."I Will"Squadda Bambino3:16
7."Bruiser Brigade" (featuring Dopehead)Skywlkr3:45
8."Detroit187" (featuring Chips)Nick Speed3:05
10."Blunt After Blunt"Skywlkr3:26
11."Outer Space"Skywlkr2:44
12."Adderall Admiral"Paul White1:43
13."DNA"Frank Dukes2:57
14."Nosebleeds"DJ House Shoes1:37
15."Party All the Time"DeShay3:28
18."Scrap or Die"White3:56
Total length:53:18
iTunes deluxe edition (bonus tracks)
22."Shouldn't of"Skywlkr2:29
Total length:61:10



  1. ^ "iTunes – Music – XXX (Deluxe Version) by Danny Brown". iTunes. Archived from the original on March 17, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  2. ^ "Step Inside The Mind That Revolves Around Rhyme: The Making of Danny Brown's XXX". January 11, 2012. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Larry Fitzmaurice (January 28, 2013). "Update: Danny Brown". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 3, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for XXX by Danny Brown". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Thomas, Vincent. "XXX – Danny Brown". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Law, Jack (April 30, 2012). "Danny Brown: XXX". Fact. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Greene, Jayson (August 26, 2011). "Danny Brown: XXX". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Amidon, David (September 22, 2011). "Danny Brown: XXX". PopMatters. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Danny Brown: XXX". Q (311): 108. June 2012.
  10. ^ a b Taylor, Patrick (August 23, 2011). "Danny Brown :: XXX :: Fool's Gold". RapReviews. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Robinson, Will. "Review: Danny Brown – XXX". Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  12. ^ Shahan, James (October 6, 2011). "Danny Brown – XXX (Review)". URB. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 10, 2017). "Danny Brown Times Three: Expert Witness with Robert Christgau". Vice. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 50 Albums of 2011". Pitchfork. December 15, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  15. ^ "SPIN's 40 Best Rap Albums of 2011". Spin. December 8, 2011. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "8. Danny Brown, XXX (2011) – The 10 Best Rap Albums of The Last 5 Years". Complex. October 7, 2013. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "The 50 Best Rap Mixtapes of the Millennium". Pitchfork. June 29, 2016. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  18. ^ Greene, Jayson (October 8, 2019). "The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 28, 2021.

External linksEdit