Danny Brown and El-P on Band Class and Musical Guilty Pleasures | DANNY’S HOUSE
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Danny Brown and El-P on Band Class and Musical Guilty Pleasures | DANNY’S HOUSE

What, for real?
Oh, snap! It’s lactose-intolerant
rapper El-P. That’s crazy. Oh.
Oh, man. We just been kicking it
about music all day, man. So did you…Do you play
any instruments and stuff? Yeah, I mean, I grew up playing
a little bit of piano. I grew up playing
a little bit of saxophone. I grew up…
Saxophone? God damn it, man.
…playing a little bit
of trumpet. You got to play some sax
on the record, what?
I know, I know, I know. Here’s the problem though.
Although I’m kind… Maybe I’m softening on it now,
but at a certain point, I looked in the mirror
as a kid with a saxophone, and I just looked at myself. You thought it was lame?
I was just like…Yeah. [ Laughs ]
And I was like… And I was, like, playing
RUN DMC or something. “This is what my jams album
is going to look like?” Right.
“I can’t go out like this.” And I just looked at myself,
and I was just…I just… Like, fucking Kenny G.
I just put it down.
It was over. [ Laughs ]
There was…It’s just
really hard to look cool and be a sax player. I played trumpet.
You can’t tell?
I can tell. That’s the way I rap.
I rap like a trumpet solo.
[ Imitates trumpet ] Yeah, I got that literally
from trumpet playing. I swear to god.
That’s amazing. But yo, you got any,
like, albums or, like, artists that you’re, like,
almost like a guilty pleasure that, you know, like,
it’s dope to you, but you don’t really
tell people about it? [ Laughs ]
[ Laughs ] Yeah, and I’m not one
of those people that really feels guilt
about music, you know?
Yeah. I don’t really care what you
think, you know, but… And I don’t feel guilty
about this, but I fuck with Lil Pump. No, Lil Pump is dope.
Right. It’s dope, and that’s just me. That’s a stretch for me to say
that that’s guilty because I don’t actually
feel guilt. Well, for me,
I guess I got caught up in the whole new metal phase
at a point in time of my life. See, I could understand a little bit of embarrassment
about that. Like, Korn…
So Korn? …and System of a Down and…
Whoo, I mean, you know? I was known to bump some
Incubus on a Sunday. I swear to god.
I can’t make this up.
I mean, I’m not mad. Look, everybody that you
just mentioned had some jams.
Yeah, yeah. Everybody
that you just mentioned. I mean, System of a Down
is, like, probably one of my favorite
bands ever. Yeah, they’re hard.
Mm-hmm. Like, so what’s some
of your favorite bands? Some of my favorite bands?
Yeah. Talking Heads.
Yeah, of course, you know me? You know?
If we’re talking about bands… My last album was
super influenced by David. You know what I’m saying? David Byrne is, you know, yeah,
a huge influence.
Mm-hmm. I met him years ago. I was…
I don’t fan out much…
Yeah. …but I was at some dinner
and I met him.
[ Laughs ] My version of fanning out
is that I just don’t talk. Yeah.
That’s me fanning out. No, I talk like a motherfucker. I’d end up saying too much shit
and embarrass myself for real.
[ Laughs ] I met Nas and told him
my coke story at Coachella, and he looked at me
like a crackhead.
Right, right, yeah. You got to…
That’s the one thing… You can’t tell a coke story
to everybody, you know? I know, right?
Not everybody looks… Especially not people that
was raised in the ’80s. Like, they was really,
like, doing they… Teenagers in the ’80s, they don’t want to hear
nothing about that.
Yeah. It’s always…
It’s, like, “Yeah, that’s cool. Coke destroyed my family,”
you know?
[ Laughs ] Nice story, though.
That’s right. That’s right. But yo, I tell people
all the time, like, you’re like one
of my biggest influences. If it wasn’t for you, man, I don’t think
I’d be here right now. How did all of this start, man? I got kicked
out of high school. That’s how it starts
for most of us.
That’s how it started. Yeah. Yeah. So you was already
writing rhymes in high school? Yeah, I was writing rhymes
when I was 10. Damn, man.
Yeah. “I’m Jam J,
the impossible child. When I tell my tale,
all the girls will go wild.” See?
Yeah. That’s how you know a real emcee when a motherfucker know
they first rap.
Yeah. Because mines was, “My name is D
and the place to be —
Uh-huh. …and I rock the mic
so freshesly.” You see what I’m saying?
[ Laughs ] Yes, yes. [ Laughs ] So what is something different,
like, far as, like, your process of,
like, making songs and stuff that you doing now
that you didn’t do back then and you wish you could’ve
told yourself back then? You know what I’m saying?
I don’t know. I don’t know.
It’s a really good question. I would maybe, you know,
that’s a really good question. I know, right? It is a really…
[ Laughs ] You should have a show. That’s how you know
I make music.
Yeah. One day you’re going to get
out of this basement, Dan.

One day.


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