Tarantino Poetics: On Danny Brown


It’s something about you and for you to tuck into your pocket when you fall back asleep and it’s darker, too dark. It’s a piece of cake, a snow angel, a sigh in reverse–like you’re swallowing: gulp, gulp, gulp words and sleep.


I hear Danny Brown for the first time and hear about how that XXX mixtape has been downloaded a million times (and where am I? China, of course, out of touch, of course). I hear he’s from Detroit, Michigan [I’m dreaming woods]. I hear the name of his project, the name of Danny Brown, that name that is a name from Reservoir Dogs or so I hear. I listen to that mix and the second time through, well the second time through is enough for me to feel enormous, blissful, wired-open, and sad. The last track hits me like the blade of a petal.


We are at the movie theater for the next three hours. There are roughly seven people spread out among the red seats. It is opening night for Pulp Fiction in a small northern Michigan town. When the camera kisses the needle and how the needle’s drug mixes with Vince’s blood, when that happens, I hear footsteps of people leaving and then we are alone, but we’re not alone, because little do we know that what we are watching the mind being fed something that sticks. 


I compare to try to make sense, to reduce or sometimes my mind just makes connections I can’t control. I play Danny Brown and immediately think Sensational–that DJ Kloss mixtape I’ve played repeating in the dark like a vortex. I want to pull up Kool Keith, but Danny might even be stranger than Keith. It is difficult to tell and I don’t want to tell. I want the experience of a good album to be a question instead. There is a loop on that XXX mixtape that sounds like metal band, a grind loop and I’m back at the shed, back in Michigan again. 


We take the subway to the northeast exit. We buy tickets from an electronic vendor. We take the elevator to the top floor and find ourselves three more floors up and I’m in a small room and everything is in Japanese–everything except the film we are about to watch: Inglorious Basterds. Later that week, I find a Japanese academic journal, thick with pictures and essays, all academic essays on this film, Inglorious Basterds. I try to read it, but don’t and keep it with me as if to say, “this is where it’s at, this is possible somewhere in the world.”


The Possible: rhythm, album, Japan, sleep, nod off in a theater, keep calm, calmer, be calm, take a walk, just wander, be triples and slips, keep it wide open and click, click, click.


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