In an industry where artists trade identity for dollars and mediocrity is a mainstay on Top 10 playlists, it's refreshing to see an artist stay true to his or her craft. As tempting as it is to change one's style, most musicians could care less about acceptance, concerning themselves more with musical integrity than record sales.

South Carolina-raised Atlanta resident rapper/producer Danny is one out of a handful of artists that still lives by this ethos; appealing to many crowds without ever conforming to one, many consider Danny to be a breath of fresh air in a genre cluttered with uninspiring and often unintelligent music. His breakthrough album "Charm" earned him a nod from the Recording Academy in late 2006, and his full-length follow-up, "And I Love H.E.R.: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack", was praised by Pitchfork, All Music Guide, and was named by ABC News as one of the 50 best albums of 2008. Now, on the verge of releasing his Definitive Jux debut album, Danny is poised to show not only his fickle hometown but the entire globe what his purpose is: making good music.

Born in the early '80s to a mother and father both enlisted in the U.S. Army, Danny began to develop a deep love for music as a child; years passed and by the age of 15 he was adept in creating keyboard-driven beats on his Yamaha with ease. Following his initial reluctance to rap, Danny began to pen his own lyrics and eventually recorded makeshift songs first on his boombox (via cassette tape), then later on his personal computer. While enrolled at Claflin University Danny continued to experiment with music production, developing a cult following around his school in the process. Drawing warranted though unwanted comparisons to established producers of the era, he learned a variety of techniques in a short amount of time, and in 2002 felt compelled to work on a solo debut, tentatively titled "The Danny Swain LP".

As the oft-told story goes, however, the album never came to pass. During production on his self-titled project Danny was accused of changing grades for over 300+ students at his college, a charge that he vehemently denies to this day. The ambitious MC was expelled from Claflin University and forced to retreat to his hometown in November of 2003. His credibility harshly damaged and his dreams forcefully snatched from him, Danny woefully put away the pen, pad and equipment and vowed to quit music for good.

Danny quickly bounced back and spent much of 2004 juggling jobs, rebuilding his reputation and vigorously trying to re-launch his music career. A year after the grade controversy Danny resurfaced in the Columbia hip-hop circuit and released his first official album, "The College Kicked-Out". Though a decent project in its own right, the success of "The College Kicked-Out" was marred by unconvinced critics. Danny would self-release (and self-produce) another LP, "F.O.O.D.", before finally hitting big with his 2006 album "Charm". Months after its release tracks from "Charm" made their way into the offices of Definitive Jux, who offered him an exclusive album/video deal in conjunction with MTVu. His breakout success came at a most inappropriate time as Danny had long maintained in interviews that "Charm" would indeed be his farewell album.

Five independent studio albums, three instrumental albums, an EP and a greatest hits collection later, and Danny was finally able to reach a massive audience and escape obscurity and anonymity. Now on Def Jux and forced out of "retirement", Danny has fans around the globe looking forward to what the young MC/producer will cook up next.


Single: The Groove

8 Response to "Danny!"

  1. kludge says:

    cool song

    good, very good

    That guitar solo was intense.

    Anonymous says:

    cool shiz

    Daemon says:

    That was pretty awesome I dont like alot of rap but its stuff like this I like <3

    Vyper says:

    This is actually refreshing. It is upbeat and different musically than most rap. It has real instruments lol

    Check out Blueprint. Another rapper that stays true to his roots.

    Chris says:

    Got a nice beat to it!

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