Danny Brown Rejected Nas Record Deal: ‘Did I Make a Mistake?’

Danny Brown once rejected a record deal from U.Sthough he sometimes wonders if he made a mistake.

During a recent appearance at The Joe Rogan Experiencerevealed the Detroit native that Nas was trying to sign him Mass appeal records before joining Warp Records – the British label synonymous with experimental acts such as Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and Boards of Canada – in 2016.

Despite the Queensbridge MC being his “favorite rapper”, Danny ultimately turned down Nas’ offer in favor of a more lucrative deal from Warp, through which he has released two albums: 2016’s Cruelty exhibition and 2019 uknowhatimsayin¿ However, Brown admitted that he has sometimes regretted his decision.

“[Nas] wanted to sign me to his label,” he said. “I didn’t sign to him because… money. The second contract was more money, man, and it is what it is. But sometimes I think about it. Have I made a mistake? Just because the artist that I looked up to my whole life that made me a rapper tried to sign me and I didn’t sign him – all because of money.”

Danny Brown had high praise for Warp, which he said “has made me a better artist than what I actually am,” although he expressed frustration at the delay over his upcoming album Quarantinewhich he revealed has been completed for “like three years.”

Nas isn’t the only rap legend that Danny Brown almost signed. Prior to the release of his breakthrough project XXX in 2011, the Bruiser Brigade boss was briefly courted 50 cents G-Unit Records due to his relationship with Tony Yayo, with whom he released the mixtape Hawaiian snow in 2010.

While 50 was a fan of Danny’s music, his eccentric appearance was a big turn-off for him Get rich or die trying’ rapper.

“It was a real thing. 50 was in; he just didn’t sign me because of my jeans,” Brown said MTV in 2011. “He liked the music, but he didn’t like the way I looked. I understand where they were coming from with that, but you also have to understand where I’m coming from: I’m from Detroit.”

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Danny Brown eventually found a home at Fool’s Gold Recordsthrough which he released XXX along with his follow-up in 2014 Old. In his interview with Joe Rogan, the 41-year-old MC recalled how Q-Tip — which later executive produced uknowhatimsayin¿ – was instrumental in making the deal happen.

“I won’t say that [Fool’s Gold] was really into signing me at the time, but Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest was really close with A-Trak, who’s one of the owners of Fool’s Gold, and they hung out,” Brown explained. “A -Trak was like, “We’re thinking about buying Danny Brown.” Q-Tip was like, ‘N-gga, think? Are you retarded? This is one of the worst n-ggas!’ He broke it down to him, just like what makes me so sick.

“So then he said, ‘Fuck it. Yeah, I’m a sign cuz.’ So boom, I signed for $5,000. Literally, $5,000. And it was SXSW the next week and I had like two shows. I literally used up the entire signing bonus at SXSW the next week, so I had no money, super bad. I’m living off my girl; her money on me making it as a rapper.”

In addition to the long-awaited Quarantine, Danny Brown is also working on a joint project with fellow rap rebels JPEGMAFIA. The duo – who previously worked together on “Negro Spiritual” and “3 Tearz” – performed together at the Smokers Club Festival in May, where they debuted the “first song” from the project.

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