Danny Brown is sweating, paranoid and isolated inside the dark room he has locked himself inside of for three days. He's hearing things, and visualizing others, making blurry figures out of shadows, trapped somewhere within a downward spiral when we join him amongst minimal industrial production. It's alarming to find him here again - in a substance-induced pile of his own state. But it's been three years since Danny went ghost on us, where else were we supposed to look? Three years since the release of 2013's Old when our beloved berserker promised he'd try to do better and be better. But that's the thing about downward spirals, you have to hit rock bottom before there's nowhere to go but up.

The Detroit-based rapper, who we've come to admire for reckless abandon, isn't a drug-addicted freak show. As a disclaimer, it's just a construct. A cult classic character he entertains to keep him and us entertained. His toothless, sporadic high-pitched rapper persona is partially a reflection of our human indecencies and the celebration of self-destruction and lack of control we fear most in our own lives. And we devour it, praying for a more formative downfall. He's hip-hop Halloween and with his fourth studio album Atrocity Exhibition, the Detroit-based artist has offered up the trick and the treat. It's just up to us which one we're willing to decipher from it.

On 2011's XXX, the wildly ambiguous artist allowed his raunchy inhibitions to escape through ear-piercing hisses that soon became the anthems to our 4 AM sins, while Old was the wirey Warp rapper's attempt at securing a healthier shelf-life with more measured material. But Atrocity Exhibition, through assertive honesty, embraces Danny's self-assaulting cycle and this time, he's not looking for any personal help. That may be because he's making the most focused, textured music of his career instead and it's clear he's abandoned any afterthought of possible radio panhandling or herd-minded mainstream appeal. Brown has finally found a sonic backdoor into the A list rap career he's been destined for by huddling amongst the sharp genre-bending, sampled scraps of his own mental demise and the backing of his new eclectic label, who are the perfect enablers for such. The outcasts need their antihero and they have him back.

"I'm walking down this long road, will I come back? Homie, I don't even really know," Danny Brown raps on stormy Petite Noir-featuring album cut 'Rolling Stone.' He's off instead, focused on fifteen short but memorable manic musical blazings, assembled by producer-greats like Paul White, Black Milk and Evian Christ, who've managed to construct a sort of bass-driven chaos that only Danny Brown could function inside of. And despite the obliterated subject matter, Danny has all but secured a spot as a deranged lyrical threat, keeping up with established peers Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt and Ab Soul on the collaborative 'Really Doe,' with even a softer restraint alongside the ethereal Kelela on 'From The Ground' - which acts as a turning point for Brown's self-destructive narrative.

By the end of Danny's gritty internalized exposé however, he's shrieked, fused, mangled and worked, which allows for the most clarifying moment on the entire project. For a single song, Danny drops his act to deliver a succinct and forthright explanation of his industry efforts and the entire vision comes to light on 'Hell For It,' as he gripes about the rap game and his place in it - firing ample shots at those too proud to act outside of the box. "I'm gonna give em hell for it, until it's heaven on earth, my ni**a," he concludes. "Unless, death comes first." But Danny welcomes whatever outcome. He's already been through worse.