Danny Brown has come to be known as one of hip-hop’s most eccentric figures. When I first heard him, I (like countless others upon first listening) was skeptical about his music—all because of his nasally, high-pitched voice. He looks the part, too. He knows that he’s outside the mainstream. Better yet, he takes pride in his originality.
His latest project, Atrocity Exhibition, features a genius combination of his tales of drug abuse, oddball aesthetic and dark sense of humor to form a project that entertains and haunts at the same time.
On Tuesday, Danny released the music video for “Ain’t It Funny,” the third track from Atrocity Exhibition to receive video treatment. It’s a song that perfectly displays the complexities of Danny Brown. On the surface, it seems like he’s just a zany guy, but when you listen to the message that comes along with his “amusing” personality, it becomes abundantly clear that Danny is dealing with some truly evil demons deep down.
The juxtaposition of silly and serious is taken to a new level with the ‘80s-sitcom-inspired music video directed by comedian and actor Jonah Hill. Akin to his actual life, the video features Danny struggling with drug addiction while a stand-in family makes jokes about it and an ignorant audience laughs at his pain.
Visually jarring, the music video for “Ain’t It Funny” adds a second layer of storytelling through subtitled dialogue that rolls across the screen as the song plays.
It’s a brilliant display of extremely dark humor used to cover up Danny’s most severe problems.
From start to finish, all Danny wants is for people to take his issues seriously. All he wants is help from the people closest to him but, as is often the case with countless others, he isn’t taken seriously, and the consequences are fatal. “Ain’t It Funny” makes you think about the severity of drug addiction in a new way.