Angry Blackmen talk influence of Danny Brown, Nine Inch Nails, Philip K. Dick & more on new LP

Chicago experimental rap duo Angry Blackmen have just released their new album The Legend of ABM, on Deathbomb Arc. The entire album was produced by Formants, and if you’re into noisy, out-there rap music like Death Grips, Injury Reserve, or Shabazz Palaces, it’s very worth giving this album a listen too. Fatboi Sharif, Nordra, Skech185, and Abbie from Mars all appear on it.

For a better idea of what was inspiring the duo to make these dark, abstract rap songs, members Quentin Branch and Brian Warren made us a list of the music, movies, and books that influenced The Legend of ABM, including Danny Brown, Nine Inch Nails, Earl Sweatshirt, Public Enemy, clipping., Philip K. Dick, and more. Read on for their full list and what they had to say about each one.

Pick up the record here.


10 Influences on Angry Blackmen’s The Legend of ABM

Quentin Branch:

Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick’s work has been a huge inspiration for a lot my lyrical content and many reference points that are made throughout the album. I wanted to make my verses feel like science fiction with a pinch of paranoia.

Public Enemy

Heavily inspired by the bold, in-your-face approach of Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet when it comes to the messages and political social issues.

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

A 2016 album by experimental rapper Danny Brown. The album touches on heavy subject matter like depression, suicide and anxiety. It’s one of the first albums that showed me that it was ok be comfortable with Black male vulnerability. 

Richard Matheson – I Am Legend  

I Am Legend is a 1954 post-apocalyptic horror novel. The book has influenced some of the album’s content with themes of grief, loneliness and capitalism. 

Nine Inch Nails – “The Day the World Went Away

This song heavily influenced our third single, “Dead Men Tell No Lies” ft. Fatboi Sharif and produced by Formants. I originally sent our producer Derek the track one night and he was already a huge NIN fan and wanted to make something directly inspired by them. The goal was to create something dark, noisy, industrial, with minimal drums.

Brian Warren:

Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt has had a profound Influence on my lyrical content and his ability to step out of the box while pushing his artistic integrity to new levels. 

Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City has heavily influenced my flows, substance, and storytelling direction. This album is a master class in how he’s able combine personal narratives with a cinematic approach. 

XXXTentacion – 17

17 has had a huge impact on my writing. I admire how sincere and authentic this project presents itself.

clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

This album in particular influenced my abstract approach without using traditional hip-hop 808’s or drums. Daveed Diggs’ ability to flow on some of the most complex industrial instrumentals has been an eye-opening experience. 

No Country for Old Men

A huge theme that stuck out to me was the passing of time and generational change. I wanted to make lyrics that made the listener feel as uncomfortable as Anton Chigurh’s cold but calculated nihilism.