Hip-Hop is a culture that reaches out and affects people from different cities, states, countries, races as well as ages. No matter how it may affect an individual, if you’re a fan you know where the Mecca of hip-hop is, New York City. As the alpha and originators, New York hip-hop has always been held to a higher standard in the culture in every category except dancing tracks, maybe. Being almost synonymous with the “boom-bap” connotation, the Big Apple’s legends and fans have a arrogance about them that is well deserved. Most of the absolute best MC’s/emcee’s/rapper’s hail from somewhere within city (as well as Yonkers). The same cliché debate of younger artists not making hip-hop the way it was in the “Golden Era” is still alive and prevalent especially among the city. Over recent years we have seen a select few rise from the ashes and deliver bars as if they were direct descendants of the greats on Mt. Rap Rushmore. Artists like Joey Bada$$, and Mack Wilds have been heralded in New York; but what about the grimy sound we know & love? Most recently, that has been spear-headed by Nas’ handpicked artist, Dave East.
Now Dave has to make room for another equally talented street rapper that goes by the name of Don Q. Representing the infamous Bronx, Don Q definitely brings aggression and flow with his bars. Recently releasing his mixtape “Corner Stories,” Don is looking to make an impact while he’s on his rise in the game. With an immediate and genuine connection to the streets, Don taps into vintage New York imagery of the gritty concrete jungle. Coming from the projects, he makes it clear that his daughter is his motivation to grind and that he can’t go back to the hood. The mixtape has small interludes themed around Don being interviewed. His interviewer hints at writing with intent and purpose attempting to set Don’s subject matter aside from normal rappers. This is the first Don project I’ve ever listened to and he seems focused on being remembered for his legacy in the game and he acknowledges that he can not be just another rapper that won’t be respected through time.
The into to “Corner Stories” is simply beautiful. Don Q came forth with an aggressive flow laced with coke stories and coming through the block in a drop-top blue benz. Even only equating up to just past one minute and some change of actually rapping, this track contains some of my favorite bars on the tape. With that being said, there is a track that has even better bars and gems laced within the lyrics which is probably already a fan-favorite. “Take Me Alive” featuring Styles P and Jadakiss is absolutely the best track on the tape but unfortunately it takes away from Don’s presence on the song. Regardless, like any other LOX track their are so many quotable s that hip-hop fans just won’t stop grinning. Also with this track being produced by Scott Storch, one could understand why it meshes so well.
As one of his major releases since acquiring so much attention, I think Corner Stories is a solid project for Don Q. I believe Don’s beat selection could’ve been more vast and creative. Outside of the Jadakiss and Styles P feature, the instrumentals sound too similar as opposed to having real distinguishing factors among them. Aside from that I believe Don Q is one of the front runners of brining that genuine New York sound back to the game. In a time where hip-hop has diversified itself throughout time and the evolution of the culture it’s fitting to have an MC show knowledge and connection to the roots/earlier lineage. If you are in the mood to hear some of the hip-hop offspring of the Lox, Don Q is a good place to start.