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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Donnis – Diary of an ATL Brave mixtape review

So when the mixtape originally came out in August and I found out 10 Deep (the hipster NY clothing brand that brought you hipster rap mixtape classics such as; Wale’s “100 Miles and Running” and “The Mixtape About Nothing” and Kid Cudi’s “A Kid Named Cudi”) presented the tape, I figured it would be like listening to T.I. talk about skinny jeans. So when I heard the opening “It’s 10 Deep shawty!” drop, I quickly deleted the tape. Fast forward to earlier this week. (Kanye’s DJ) A-trak, whom I like his remixes, blog and brother’s duo “Chromeo”, singed Donnis to Fold’s Goold Records, I was interested. A-trak is known for techno, so in an attempt to look for something to hold me over before Wale’s Attention: Deficit album on November 10th (no thanks necessary Daniel Wiesman), I decided to see what this mixtape was about; and honestly I am impressed.
The intro “Beginnings” properly introduces who he is, the challenges of being a “hipster rapper” and making it in the industry. Not to mention, he really is lyrically talented. When Donnis raps, it does sound like he is channeling some of his fellow hipster labeled contemporaries; “Beginnings” sounds like Drake with a southern accent, while other times he adds his southern twang to songs I wouldn’t be surprised if Wale made in a different world (using Go-Go, rather than southern influences, of course) like “Underdog” and “Country Cool”. Donnis even works with some of Wale’s frequent collaborators; Bun B (Country Cool) and Colin Monroe (I Am Me). However, Donnis really shines when it seems the hipster mentality and southern swagger form a unique identity; like the pump-upper anthem “Gone” and the smooth “Sexytime”. Also, it helps that the force behind Rick Ross’s longevity, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, provide their usual triumphant production for many of the songs. Honestly, none of the songs are flat out awful. Maybe “Song For Every Ex” may e the cliché “I did my lady wrong song” and “Here to Stay” isn’t Marsha Ambrosius’s best hook ever, while :Over Do It” is more or less just okay. In all the mixtape more than holds its weight and I look forward to more from Donnis.

7.5/10: Listen to: “Gone”, “Sexytime”, and “Pop Them Thangs”
Avoid; “Over Do It” and “Here to Stay”