When I tell Danny Seth that one day, while driving through the heart of Brooklyn, windows down, a passerby walked up to my driver’s side window to ask me if I was listening to Eminem, I expect him to be slightly annoyed. To his credit, my mentioning of that September afternoon was part of a larger, not-so-innocuous series of questions, one that often prompts rappers to purse their lips and truncate their responses in disdain. It was a necessary probe, though. How does he plan on evading the stereotypes and predispositions that automatically exist because he’s a White rapper from the UK rocking fashion-forward jeans? Chances are, it starts with his delivery, which pulls fewer punches with every song on Perception, his closely guarded reintroduction.
“Some people will see a piece of trash, some people will find their own things in there,” starts Seth, as he gets in depth about his album cover, which features the rapper perched comfortably in the corner of a white room, with a painting—or trash, depending on your lens—hanging on a nearby wall. The album itself plays much like its tracklist suggests. It’s one long story, detailing the journey Seth makes not just from UK misfit to American underground standout, but also from confused introvert to his current state of indifference, which explains why he’s so comfortable with people not all the way understanding the artwork of his first real opus. From the dark, stormy and abstract intro, down to the project’s boisterous flagship record, “I Arise Because,” Danny Seth weaves a relatable tale of anguish, that eventually gives way to immense self-appreciation and a raised level of confidence, the kind of triumphant arc he hopes his career also follows.
“I was very paranoid, I was hearing voices, I was very worried that I was about to lose everything,” starts Seth, over the phone, before elaborating that he once collapsed before a Glastonbury performance. It’s truly a wonder how far he’s come over the years since, establishing a presence on either side of the pond carving out a true lane for himself, one that begins to be clearly defined on Perception, but unlike most soul-searching missions, Perception is as enjoyable as it is pervasive.
“Writing is my way of dealing with it all,” says Seth, wispily, as our conversation begins to die down. He’s on to something, and he knows it.