As fans of both the looming hip-hop/EDM singularity and ludicrous Twitter beefs, The Spin couldn't help but be glued to the Interwebs for the fallout from this weekend's volley of subtweets hurled into the ether by Detroit rapper Danny Brown and EDM juggernaut Derek Smith, aka Pretty Lights. To recap: Brown was booked onto a couple of dates with Pretty Lights (including Saturday's Illumination event), the first show went sour, words were said, Danny Brown dropped off the Nashville date.
Then, as Illumination opened its doors and a steady flow of glowing neo-ravers streamed into Greer Stadium for the first time since their dads dragged them to an Albuquerque Isotopes game, Brown announced that he would be performing in Nashville ... at 1 a.m. at a nightclub on Second Avenue. It's not quite Greer Stadium, but hell, we'll take it.
By the time we made our way through the line at SEEN Nashville — dodging drunk SoBro dwellers who didn't know what was up along the way (“Who the fuck is Danny Brown? I ain't never heard of no Danny Brown,” bellowed one increasingly belligerent bro, who wasn't too stoked about the wait to get inside the club) — Purpl Monk was winding down his opening set with Bohemian Hype Cult affiliate Pradda. For a show that was thrown together literally hours before they went onstage, we have to give them props for winning over a crowd that had no clue who they were.
After dropping a couple of bangers on the crowd — Pusha T's “Numbers on the Boards,” among others — Kidsmeal evacuated the DJ booth and Danny Brown sauntered out onstage, tongue hanging out and fist in the air. Apparently unfazed by the dramarama that put him in this situation, Brown didn't hold back on the (much smaller than Greer) crowd. For maybe a couple hundred hip-hop nerds, he tore through cuts off XXX and Old, including rapping “Blunt After Blunt” while smoking a blunt that he later passed into the crowd.
And to his credit, Brown remained coolly diplomatic about the weekend's shenanigans. Even as the crowd erupted into a chant of “Fuck Pretty Lights,” he kept the focus on being happy to perform in Nashville — a city that he says always treats him well. And while the crowd would've been bigger at Illumination, it couldn't have been any more hyped than at SEEN. Danny Brown flirts with the electro world thanks to collaborations with artists like Purity Ring, but he doesn't drop dance songs. And inside SEEN, we were lucky to see him unleash his uncompromised weirdo rap style without getting bummed out by a sea of boos from the glow-stick fiends, who were probably only just then coming down from their EDM high.