Idiosyncratic L.A. rapper Drakeo The Ruler will appear in court again on March 2 to face charges of criminal gang conspiracy and shooting from a motor vehicle — despite being acquitted on all charges of murder and attempted murder in relation to the death of 24-year-old Davion Gregory last year. The Los Angeles district attorney refiled those two charges late last summer, reopening a case against Drakeo that's already seen his friends and family convicted and, as Jeff Weiss reported for The FADER last year, was riddled with inconsistencies and injustices from the start.
To coincide with his new court date, Drakeo will release a new mixtape, Free Drakeo, comprising 10 remixed versions of songs from his 2017 album Cold Devil. The first of those, premiering below, is the Danny Brown version of "Out The Slums" featuring 03 Greedo. The track puts Brown's verses — inventive and anarchic as always — up top, with Greedo's verses intact.
Writing to The FADER in an email yesterday, Drakeo The Ruler remembered the friendly competition that inspired the song three years ago. "It was me, my brother [Ralfy the Plug], and Greedo at a studio in Torrance," he wrote. "That's where we recorded 'RichNPetty,' '100,' and 'Ion Rap Beef' too. Greedo was doing 20 songs that night, and I’m just in the studio drinking lean, and Greedo looks at me like, 'We gotta do this shit.' We finna do it right there. Ron-Ron was there making the beats and I looked at him and was like, 'Okay, now you gotta record me.' Greedo killed it with the second verse, and as soon as I heard it, I was like, 'Fuck, I gotta do another one.' He said I was cheating, but it would've been really short if it was just two verses, so I was like 'fuck that shit.' And then I did the 'Musty' right freestyle after it."
"I don’t know to how to explain Danny's verse," Drakeo wrote of the remix. "It's Danny Brown — how do you describe a Danny Brown verse in regular words? I just know he killed that shit and I appreciated him coming through."
Brown himself described Drakeo as one of the best rappers working right now. "As a huge fan of originality in music in general, I was blown away the first time that Drakeo's music really hit me," he said. "I literally became obsessed with it and listened to his music everyday for the past few years. He’s a wordsmith with a very elaborate imagination that he delivers in this monotone flow that's so easy to grasp in this current wave of hip hop. I'm praying for Drakeo to beat his case; he's one of my favorite rappers of this new generation and he has a timeless collection of music that I think everyone can dive into and realize he’s a very smart and talented artist."
Listen to Danny Brown on "Out The Slums" below. Free Drakeo is out March 2.