Originally from Ghana, Danny Berno is a Hip Hop Artist/songwriter based in the United States. Notwithstanding a Bachelors in Management Information Systems and a Masters in Computer Science from Southern Arkansas University, music is a passion Danny has always pursued. He started writing rap songs at the age of 15 while in high school and his influences include the likes of Jadakiss, Biggie, Mobb Deeb, and Cassidy. 2017 marks the release of “Cold World”, Danny Berno’s debut 5 track EP.
As a rapper, Danny Berno clearly makes the cut. Taking a cue from one of his influences, his persona is the laid-back king of the hill that Jay-Z has perfected. He has an excellent sense of rhythm and flow, which is very evident here, and his rhymes can be akin to creative abstractions, as on “Picasso”, or they can delve into the introspective and personal, such as on “Stay With Me” ft. Antonia. The abstract is a move for the better, though; listening to the rhymes on “Picasso” is alternately entertaining and bewildering.
The quality of the beats and hooks is sublime throughout, while the featured female vocals is soulful and superb – as can be savored on “Stay With Me” ft. Antonia and “Cold World”. The most surprising thing is how much variety Danny presents via only 5 tracks.
Each song brings a very different style and mood. Listen to the smooth, almost ambient soundscape on “Like This”, then take in the electronically-induced and trap-styled “Bottles”.
You can almost feel the sense of power and entitlement that his voice seems to exude, and it’s a rather welcome change, when compared to glam and pop-rap albums. Put simply: Danny Berno asserts himself rather well through this recording, and certainly proves that he can back up any labels that might be slapped on him.
Being a skilled rapper is not a requirement to become successful in rap. As sad as that may sound, it’s true. All you really need is hype. But if you don’t have hype then you need to bring your skillset to the table. Which is what Danny set out to do with “Cold World”.
Another one of the more refreshing points about this EP is the production. You’ll hear everything from fantastically layered soundscapes, to straight-up samplings on “Cold World”. The music seems to cast the illusion of taking you everywhere from the inside of an exclusive club, to the intimacy of a bedroom, right down to the streets.
What is perhaps the greatest strength of the instrumentation on the whole, is the lack of annoying repetition. The music flows perfectly, with little to no redundancy. This is an excellent trait, and something more hip-hop recordings should feature.
This is an intelligent hip-hop album by an intelligent rapper who knows how to work his way around his strengths and flaws, and just where to place the focus on the moods and beats. “Cold World” is an EP that should be enjoyed by all fans of rap.