Danny Watts has been making waves for years now. For me, it was the collection of tracks released on Cosmic Compositions titled Messenger Series Vol.1 released back in 2013 that introduced be to the Houston rapper. With a smooth delivery, introspective lyrics and incredible production to back his vision, Danny Watts has showed a lot of promise and potential in recent years. On his debut Black Boy Meets World, his vision and potential becomes reality, in an extraordinary project full of heart, character, self-evaluation and introspection.
Jonwayne (who released his critically acclaimed and personal favourite album Rap Album 2), acted as engineer, arranger and producer for this album. Flying him over to Los Angeles, the album was recorded in the space of a week. It shows how creatively compatible the two artists are, with the album sounding cohesive and focused. Lyrically, Danny Watts tackles themes of the difficulties of fatherhood, especially on tracks like ‘A Lullaby for You’ where he raps:
“Nothing’s more important to a daughter than a father who climbs the highest peak to become the moon, that wasn’t meant for me/I know this can’t be it for me, bound to a space, while I live in my infamy/bounded by the judgement of others who don’t understand that I love you, it’s unfortunate but it all has a meaning to it.”
His heartbreaking honesty towards his own vices and imperfections results in a raw and authentic body of work. On my personal favourite ‘Pill’ Danny Watts raps about the sorrows and hollowness he feels seeing black men die in the streets. The confusion as to what kind of reaction you should have in that kind of situation- whether anger and often violent retaliation in the midst of all the sadness and injustice is the right way to tackle or not is the type of conflicting dilemma people have in the United States. The lead single ‘Young and Reckless’ tackles this issue by encompassing a ‘young and reckless’ attitude towards fighting injustices and imperfections.
With additional production and contributions from DIBIA$E, Danny Watts, Lester Green, Kiefer, Jeremiah Jae, Aaron Shaw, Paul Castelluzzo, Juan Alderete de la Pena, Zeroh and Aye Mitch, the tone of this album musically is dark, jazzy and draws you into a world of intrigue and uncertainty.
This autobiographical project is unequivocally one of the musical highlights this year and I’m excited to see Danny Watts’ growth throughout the years into an incredibly gifted artist and musician.
Listen to and buy Black Boy Meets World by Danny Watts below. Released on Authors Recording Co in La Habra, California.