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The College Kicked-Out

Danny!

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Album Review

Shortly after Kanye West's 2004 record, The College Dropout, was released, Danny!'s own debut, The College Kicked-Out, came out. Besides the similarities in titles (Danny!'s came from his own personal experience, too), the styles of the two MCs resemble each other. Both employ a slower delivery that emphasizes their inventive, sometimes quirky rhymes, and both as producers use a similar sample set upon which to base their beats. Though West does take the upper hand in these areas, especially production (Danny! has nothing that comes even close to "Jesus Walks" or "Spaceship"), Danny! doesn't do a bad job, especially considering that he had considerably less money and experience than West did. There are a few questionable overlaps between the two records (both have rhymes that reference the SARS virus, and both use Irene Reid's take on "My Way" as a sample in songs of the same name, though West's version appeared on 2005's Freshman Adjustment, a collection of pre-The College Dropout demos), but for the most part The College Kicked-Out does its own thing, and does it pretty well. Danny! covers a lot of topics, from the dangers of Columbia, SC (where he's from), to thanking both Jesus and his mother (in separate songs), to struggles in his own life, to going to a club, though the flow from track to track is unfortunately broken up by how much actual talking Danny! does. Most songs end with spoken commentaries that distract from their actual content, which can really be quite good ("I'm Movin' Out," for example, sampled from the Billy Joel song, is about leaving a woman who's been no good to him, while promising to stay in his daughter's life). Danny!'s a very honest MC, aware of his own shortcomings, both personally and as an artist (in "I Wish" he hopes to become "more advanced lyrically" and throughout the whole album calls himself out when his rhymes fall short, which does happen occasionally), a rare and refreshing thing in hip-hop. Yes, The College Kicked-Out could use some improvement, but overall it's a pretty solid debut.

Biography

Born: 18 August 1983 in Killeen, TX

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

While South Carolina producer/MC Danny! declares himself "A Tribe Called Quest on acid, or EPMD on LSD," he's much more complex than that. Born to military parents in the summer of 1983, Danny Swain never had enough time to grow roots in any particular area. With his family crisscrossing the country, the scenery was always changing and so were Swain's friends. The only long-term relationship he was able to maintain was the one he had with music. His mother supported...
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The College Kicked-Out, Danny!
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