Bringin' da Fire: Donnis

Donnis is a southern MC whose J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League produced, 12-cut mixtape Diary of an ATL Brave is absolutely dope, gratitudes to a collaboration with NYC clothing company 10.Deep who helped spring Kid Cudi and Wale.  He recently signed to Atlantic Records, and he's got a lot of potential as a more-than-decent mainstream type of rapper, even if he does drift in and out of the underground hip-hop mentality.

On the mixtape, he is diverse in sound and in lyrical content, going from aggressively in-your-face to jazzily romantic.  He sticks to his southern roots, and the dirty south likeability surely shows through in his big beats.  He rolls with T.I.'s swagger and Cudi's ruminations, a brutal combination that emphasizes his underground and mainstream appeal.  He "goes hard cause [he's] playin' for the high score" on "Underdog" and shoots out the haters on "Beginnings"---"First of all, you can miss me with that hipster shit, say it again and you bound to see some n---a shit".  Girls will touch him sentimentally on "Song For Every Ex", and he will fire back with "Sexytime" and "The Way You Are" (which has a nicely placed female singer), what a gentleman.

He isn't your typical drum kit and synth rapper, he delves into dramatic grand piano rhythms and R&B vocal harmonies.  Better than Drake, hands down, cards up.
"Country Cool" - Bun B guest raps on this big track that is the posterboy for that southern sound on the mixtape.

"Underdog" - My favorite, and his most underground-tinged track, touching on his up-and-coming status.

"Ticket To The Moon" - This embodies the dramatic side he incorporates into his songs, starting with a Cudi-esque intro going into a solid pushing-along rhythm.

"Over Do It" - His most aggressive track.  Killer rhymes, big beats..."Don't make me do it to ya shorty cause I over do it."- to take a line from Jay Z and bring the fire.

Rep his mixtape here.

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