Danny Brown crashed journalist Hattie Collins' couch in Glasgow last month as part of the Red Bull Music Academy's UK tour. Brown and Collins conversation lasted for nearly an hour and a half, and touched on all sorts of things, including but not limited to: Brown's adolescent love of Wu Tang and Street Fighter action figures, his desire to work with Trent Reznor, and his life on the Internet. The whole thing is a delight—equal parts insightful and funny. But there was one anecdote about Nicki Minaj that particularly struck us.
Brown and Minaj frequented the same Queens recording studio when they were both getting their start in music, and as Brown tells it, his dazzling talent once left her in tears:
"Nicki was just coming up with me. That's why I give her a lot of props—because as hungry as I was, she was probably ten times as hungry. I was a little older, and I was still in the streets, I was still hustling...she was always in competition with all the dudes that was there, so that's why I don't doubt for a bit that that's where she's at because she wasn't playing no games. With me, I was probably playing games!
Like she cried in the studio one day, I remember we was doing a song together and I wrote my verse in like thirty seconds and went and recorded and and she was stuck. Everybody in the studio was baiting her, like, 'You can't come up? Danny killed you, you can't write a verse?' And she cried and left the studio. Now she's fucking number one fucking female artist in the world. That's what it takes if you want to be the best, you got to cry when Danny Brown write a verse!"
But also, can you imagine—are there long lost Nicki/Danny collabs out there?