Danny Brown and Bodega Bamz Bring Detroit and Spanish Harlem to LES

Danny Brown

By Chelsea Whitaker

Danny Brown made an impact on the rap world with his album Old, released late last year. The innovative, grime influenced beats mixed with a lyricism and an attitude true to his Detroit roots struck a chord with both hipsters and hip hop heads.

Bodega Bamz has similar blend of creative production and locally influenced lyrics, but instead of Detroit, Bamz showcases Spanish Harlem to the world. He found his own niche among fans of New York hip hop ever since his 2012 mixtape Strictly 4 My Papis blended trap with Latino culture. Cosigns from A$AP Mob and Peter Rosenberg helped cement him as part of the new New York.

Both Danny and Bamz have created their own branded cliques – Bruiser Brigade for Danny, and Tan Boys for Bamz. These reference specific lifestyles while allowing fans worldwide to connect to each artist on a deeper level. Both Brusiers and Tan Boys were in the building for the Bowery Ballroom show in NYC, creating a blend of cultures that is totally NYC. Zeelopers opened the show by spitting nerd-rap verses over trap beats. The crowd responded graciously to his nostalgic references and constant energy.

Bamz rapped over his  blend of horn-influenced trap and played songs from his mixtapes, including “Still Trappin”, and the NYC radio hit “Don Francisco.” His energy is infectious. Bamz dives headfirst into both dance inspired tracks and more classic New York sounds. He played several of his songs with A$AP Ferg.  Near the end of his set, Bamz was joined by fellow NYC underground rappers Flatbush Zombies for their song together “Thrilla”, which made the crowd – no doubt full of Zombies fans – go crazy.

Before Danny came out, his DJ Skywlkr played a mix of mainsteam and underground trap, punctuated by his trademark AIM sound drop. The internet sounds blended with drug references were the perfect intro to Danny taking the stage.

Danny comes out to “Break It (go)” and moved right into his most blunt-influenced hits: “Molly Ringwald”, “Monopoly” and “Dope Song”. His biggest crowd pleaser was the hyper-sexual “I Will”, where every girl in the crowd sang along to every word. Danny brings a unique and hyper-energetic presence to the stage, making it hard to believe he has been on tour nonstop for most of the past year. His final song “Dip”, turned the crowd into a turnt up moshpit – a perfect ending to the show.

Seeing Danny Brown and Bodega Bamz together is a sonic parade of some of the most cutting edge production in hip hop today. These two offer a lyrical snapshot of Detroit and Spanish Harlem – the places, the characters, the street sounds – that is both entertaining and compelling.