By: Justin Cook
Hip-hop is a breathing experience, a way to live, and a way let go. This became all the more evident watching Danny Brown perform at the Pyramid Scheme, accompanied with his crew Bruiser Brigade. The night started like any other: people were slowly piling into the bar, the DJ was setting the mood for the remainder of the night and the audience was sinking into the hypnotism of revolving vinyls and melodies, sipping beer after beer, smoking blunt after blunt. We were feeling the vibe, ready to get turnt up.
The show started with the arrival of Chip$, fresh out of the pen, backed by the magician of mood, Skywlkr; every second the crowd was sinking deeper into the groove of back-beats and sub-bass Skywlkr bombarded us with. In the haze of smoke and dance, the other Bruisers covertly made their way on stage—TRPLBLK, Dopehead, and ZelooperZ—each one building on the hype of the previous entrance, culminating into an organic chant of the performers and audience yelling in unison “PUSSY! PUSSY! PUSSY!” It was at this moment when it struck me: this is not a concert, this is a fucking party.
Danny Brown strolled on stage and exploded into his first song, “The Purist” which is produced by Jealousy. The crowd was out of this fucking world turnt up and it made me think: I’ve been to my fair share of hip-hop shows, but the energy this night was on some other shit. Track after track, from “Molly Ringwald” to “Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)” to “Witit,” everyone continued to get turnt up, despite being sweaty, fatigued and out of breath. The momentum kept building and had no intention of peaking or plateauing; it was just exponentially climbing to the cosmos. And Danny felt it, repeating between songs: “I am not a performer. You are not an audience. Let’s just get that shit straight. You see, we all family, just hanging out and having a great ass time, bumping some tunes we all enjoy.”
It truly was a party between an extended Michigan family. Danny passed a liter of Jameson around the crowd, calling it the turnt-up juice, making sure everyone was on the proper level. And of course, blunts were being passed between the stage and floor, making the entire venue one big smoke circle. Everyone pushed themselves past their own limits, and we all felt alive. Even at the end of the show, after Danny admitted to being tired, drunk and high, and only having enough energy for one more song, we made an agreement as a family, to stay turnt up for three more songs, which ended with “Kush Coma.” And after that promise was fulfilled, everyone rushed the stage, dancing, partying and loving life. There was no distinction between artist and audience, for this moment was just pure hip-hop.