Wow. There’s a lot here, but I’m not sure I’m quite there.
This is going to be very stream-of-consciousness because there are a few different things I want to address and I’m not sure they’re all connected (but we know everything is, so maybe you can help me out).
First of all, the name of this track (upon further research) is Side B (Dope Song). Danny Brown is pointing here, I think, to the “other side of the coin” aspect of this song. He’s showing us the other side of the glorification of thug life/drug life. And it’s not pretty.
Like you said, he raps about drugs. But this song, in particular, strikes me as interesting because he says it’s his last one about drugs.
As you pointed out, he plays with chronology (which is sick) by flashing back to the times when he “hit the mall and ball/ hit the club and spend it all.” And of course, his use of different voices is great for that effect. But without his mention of time, the pitch changes would just be treated as another production trick. (“A long time ago/ I don’t do that shit no more.”)
Rap audiences aren’t as gullible about street cred as hip hop would have you believe. I mean, are we going to accept that 50 is as hard now with 20 mil in his pocket, than he was “with some squares to get off”? Or, that Jay-Z’s hustle to the masses gives him just as much street cred as he had hustling on street corners? Danny’s “sick of all these niggas with their ten year old stories.” He’s tired of them slanging those lies, like they happened yesterday.
Maybe this lends more credence to newer artists like K.Dot who, arguably, just came from the streets and, with new success, has not yet fallen into the soft lifestyle of the rich and famous.
The line that interests me most is the last: “not my last dope song/ but my last dope song.”
Danny Brown has a way of intoning this where he gets the point across that this isn’t the last song he’s made that’s hot/ill/sick/fantastic/take your pick. But it is the last time he raps about dope. Because he’s beyond that now.
In a way, it’s a combo diss-track-and-dap-track, giving props to those who don’t have ten year old stories so much as ten day old stories. Maybe that’s what he means when he says it’s a dope song–he knows who the real dope rappers are.