Not Your Average Rapper
While his friends are debating sports, rap artist Danny B. is debating albums. Never wanting to be just another “black dude that raps,” he realized the power of his words during his beginnings as a spoken word artist. His craft evolved from rapping in the mirror into baring his thoughts, feelings, and experiences to the world. It wasn’t long before he realized that freeing his innermost self would encourage others to do the same- which meant Danny Burl II had to let go and make way for Danny B.
“I really wanted to make sure that the album could be felt by everyone…inclusivity through music is what I’m aiming for.”
His story is different from that of your typical entertainer – he’s a full time electrical engineer with a Master’s degree. However, his appreciation for math and science has never dampened his love for the arts. In fact, it is this balance that defines his musical approach.
“I’m a rapper because I’m an engineer,” Danny B says “There is always more than one path to greatness. That’s why I had to … ‘Put my soul in a tape in the hope that they would hear me. But, if they don’t hear me, then it’s back to engineering’.”
Born Danny Burl II, Danny B. grew up around music. His mother sang throughout his hometown, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and his father was a DJ. Growing up, he wasn’t allowed to watch TV on school nights, so he dove into books and music. His love for the spoken arts was sparked in high school when a classroom guest performed an inspiring spoken word piece. Danny was fascinated. Steadily, that fascination with artistic expression materialized into Danny B. being taught by that speaker and ultimately into his connecting and developing real relationships with other artists all over the country. Though he has moved away from what started him down this path, Danny B. continuously turns to his mentor’s lessons to strive for greater heights in his lyricism.
His debut album, “#AIJusWannaRhyme,” is about everyday life and experiences. You’ll hear lyrics about the disappointment felt in a best friend over bad decisions, conversations between Danny B. and the angels on his shoulders, and how he reckons with wrongdoings in past relationships – all over soulful, creative tracks. This intimacy, paired with the polyrhythmic musical style, commands listeners’ attention.
#AIJusWannaRhyme is a project that was years in the making. The first song on the album, “Intro,” is a summation of where Danny B. is now and a roadmap of the conundrums he faces as he carves his own path toward the future. Altogether, this album is the honest story of a millennial adult who has reached the milestones society deems necessary and important, yet still feels unfulfilled. #AIJusWannaRhyme speaks to heartbreak, love at first site, lust at first site, reaching your goals, or conversely, failure, and how to come back from it.
“I really wanted to make sure that the album could be felt by everyone,” says Danny B. “Inclusivity through music is what I’m aiming for.”
Having grown up on transcendent artists like Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire, Danny B. says that discography like theirs motivated him to create substantive music with a message and a story line anyone can follow.
“Stevie makes people dance with his songs, but the words are what make you love him. That’s the feeling I was looking to capture with #AIJusWannaRhyme. Initially, you may just bump it because it feels good but without even realizing it, you’re falling in love with the album because of the content. Love the music and love the words,” he says.
In 2010, with five fellow musicians, Danny B. started GoodGame Entertainment, a record label whose umbrella covers artists from Chicago to Atlanta and back home to Arkansas. Danny B.’s work with GoodGame Entertainment not only allows him the freedom to enhance his artistic ability, but to hone in on skills that will help him as an executive within the industry. Learning the ropes now, he wants not only to catapult himself into success, but also those who have undertaken this journey with him.