Danny Brown Explains How Mac Miller’s Death Impacted His Sobriety

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Danny Brown’s triumphant run with sobriety is still in its early stages, though it traces back to a wake-up call from five years ago that he part attributes to the untimely passing of Mac Miller.

On Friday (December 8), the Detroit MC passed through Los Angeles for a performance at the Masonic Lodge. In an interview with HipHopDX prior to the show, he discussed the recent changes in his lifestyle and outlook that serve as the basis of his latest offering, Quaranta.

During the chat, he reflected on mending his relationship with Mac Miller, who he once referred to as “the worst guy around” in a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone. A few years later, the two seemed to have set their differences aside when the Pittsburg native wrote in a since-deleted tweet to Brown: “I miss the you that said I was the worst thing to happen to Hip Hop,” to which the latter replied: “<<<<<<<Old Danny Brown.”

“I was close with Schoolboy Q and then [Mac] and Q had got real close, so Q was kinda the one that brought us together,” he told DX. “We would always try to hang out and just something would go wrong, and then I think he thought it was just me being like standoff-ish on him.

“So he had called me and I was in Detroit, and he was like, ‘Man, you should just come out, hang out. Y’know, we ain’t never really got a chance to kick it; every time we kicked it, it’s always been around other people … y’know, just me and you.’”

It was around that time, however, that Brown was starting to rethink his self-destructive habits. For that reason, he was a little skeptical about spending one-on-one time with Mac, who himself was struggling with substance abuse but wasn’t taking the same measures to keep them at bay.

“At that time, I was trying to fix myself up, and I was thinking to myself, ‘Man, I know Mac — every time I hang out with him, we kinda do get a little fucked up and shit,’” he explained. “And I wasn’t trying to be like that, so I didn’t wanna go … and the day I was supposed to leave to go hang out with him, on the radio, they announced [that he had died].

“And it was just like, I don’t know … it just kinda hit me kinda hard, ’cause it was like damn, y’know? It just let you know how easy or how quick some shit could just happen like that, y’know? So yeah, obviously I didn’t get clean at that time, but that just really scared me and shit.”

Last month, the Detroit MC opened up about hitting “rock bottom” in an interview with The Guardian. Despite the ongoing fentanyl crisis that claimed Mac Miller’s life, he remembered binging on drugs despite the risk of them being contaminated with the synthetic opioid.

“I got to the point where I was pretty much suicidal,” he said. “I’m in this nice-ass apartment, it was like four bedrooms, but I’m lonely as fuck. It got to the point I was just getting fucked up, every day, by myself.”

He also admitted that he would “get through a bottle of spirits a day, topped up with a smörgåsbord of cocaine, pills, mushrooms, weed or whatever else was on offer. It was seven days a week.

“I was in pain all the time. Throwing up and shit, you know? It was my rock bottom, that’s how it was.”

Danny Brown Really Wants To ‘Help People’ After Years Of Burning Bridges

Danny Brown Really Wants To ‘Help People’ After Years Of Burning Bridges

Fortunately, he was able to shake his vision clear and check himself into rehab earlier this year. Brown is currently over eight months sober.

“At the end of the day, I’m 42 years old; sitting around smoking blunts all day, and getting drunk is getting old,” he said during a performance at SXSW in March. “Y’all have y’all fun but shit could get dark. I’m going to get help.”

He also apologized for making “so many songs about doing drugs” and for potentially influencing his fans to try them.


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