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Album Review

South Carolinian MC Danny Swain, also known as Danny!, received a relative amount of local notoriety after the release of his first record, The College Kicked-Out, which hit the scene ten months after the release of Kanye West's critically acclaimed debut, The College Dropout. Wanting to show the world that he was more than just a one-time act, Danny! issued his second album, F.O.O.D. (which stands for Finding Out Our Destination), in 2005. In F.O.O.D., the MC is eager to prove his own abilities, both as a rapper and as a producer, and so a large number of the songs address this, bragging about verbal superiority, sexual prowess, originality, and dedication to making music. Typical hip-hop themes, it's true, but because Danny! has the ability to also not take himself seriously, none of this comes across as overbearing or pompous. Rather, it's more like a young man's exaggerations of the facts when he's telling his friends what happened to him. That's what Danny! is, actually, a storyteller, and a pretty good one, too. His easy approach to his rhymes makes them seem conversational, almost effortless (though perhaps some of this comes from the fact that he spends an inordinate amount of time actually speaking in his songs), and for the most part his lyrics are pretty good ("Sometimes I get to wondering/Brainstorming and thundering, lightning and rain/Inside of the mind of D. Swain") and creative. Musically, Danny! follows the lead of 9th Wonder and other Carolinian producers, with sped-up, melodically strong soul-sample intros that turn into eight-bar loops, which keep things simple and generally nice. His pattern does get repetitive throughout the 18-song record, and he does have a few lines that try a little too hard and come up short ("It smelled worse than sweaty armpits," "I walked softly so the manager would not toss me"), but overall F.O.O.D. does a good job of showing off the talent and potential of the young MC.


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 her son's interests, buying him...
Full bio

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