Photo courtesy of Katy Ferris / Audible Treats
Milwaukee-raised, Cali based melodic sensation divulges on his brand new project.
Recently, DC The Don has either donned all-red, all-black or split red and black dreadlocks — likely symbolizing the two personalities that occupy his mind: “Donny” and “Rag3 Kidd.” While DC is fighting his own worst enemy inside himself, he strives to channel and balance both alter-egos on his upcoming sophomore effort.
On his second studio album My Own Worst Enemy (Feb. 18), DC gives each of these characters the floor, unleashing the two-sided project his fans had been craving for over a year. His August 2020 debut Come As You Are, and subsequent November 2020 deluxe, delivered what he referred to as “a mixed bag,” containing an elite combination of hip-hop, rock and pop-punk sounds under an infectious emo umbrella. Although this was a major milestone in his young career, DC feels he has grown tremendously since then, channeling all the “ENEMIES” he’s faced both internally and on the surface.
“I feel like I understand my sound a lot more,” he said. “In the beginning I was more free-for-all. That’s why Come As You Are is kind of like a mixed bag of songs, and (on My Own Worst Enemy) I kind of narrowed it down and tried to split it up into the two characters. That’s why it’s really important to me to have two different sides of the album, I want my sh*t to be more fluid and cohesive. So, I came up with this concept to explain it.”
Between his debut and his brand new LP, Donny used 2021 to give his fans several singles, including fan favorites like June’s “Ghost Rider” and September’s “What Now?” However, with this surplus of promotional singles, DC had to make a concerted effort to decide which ones he would place on the final track list, which was bittersweet for him.
“A lot of songs I released as singles, I wanted to be on the album,” he said. “Whenever I did my first album, a lot of the songs I put out ended up being on the album and a lot of the fans had a negative response to that. A lot of fans say I’m their favorite artist, so they play it over and over. You don’t want to put any songs on there that they feel like they already heard like a thousand times. I kind of just save those spots for the newer songs. It was hard bro. I never wanted to do a 20+ song album, but I feel like they waited long enough.”
My Own Worst Enemy contains 22 songs and three pre-released singles in “REROUT3” produced by jetsonmade, “Arrest Me” and “Psa,” which DC says is “in the middle and is a bridge to lead into the ‘Rag3 Kidd’ side of the album.”
The album does not contain any features, just like his debut (aside from bonus track “Red Light” with DDG and Almighty Jay). In an industry that emphasizes collaboration now more than ever, DC still prefers to fly solo.
“A lot of artists will make songs and have them open specifically ready for people,” he said. “I’ve never been that type of artist. I feel like (if there were) somebody else that I would want to get on my song and make a second verse, I could do that sh*t probably 10 times better. So I’d rather finish this song and make it exactly how I want it, rather than sending it out to somebody else who’s gonna half-ass it… I don’t feel like I need anybody else on my song to make it good.”DC The Don
While he likes to be the only artist providing vocals, Donny appreciated linking up with a multitude of different producers to create My Own Worst Enemy, and explained that the album’s sound was curated by some of the youngest instrumentalists the rap game has to offer.
“I like working with new people, especially with Maajins (who produced “Psa”), the n***a is 12 years old,” he said. “We got a bunch of producers that are like 14, 15 years old on the album. 40% of the producers on this album are under 18. 20% of the producers on this record are like under 16. So it’s definitely a very youthful record.”
One of the most notable producers on DC’s first album was Supah Mario, famed for his beats on Lil Uzi Vert‘s “Myron,” Young Thug‘s “Wyclef Jean,” Drake‘s “What’s Next” and many more high-profile hits. Donny reunited with Mario as he provided the beat for MOW3’s sixth song “Makaveli.”
Much like the singles that came in preparation for the album, fans received a strong visual component to the entire album as well. Along with the official visualizers that each of the songs received on Donny’s official YouTube channel, DC dropped a frenetic music video for album’s intro “Live From The Gutta!” DC cherishes the ability to have his music videos enhance his songs.
“I think that sh*t is hella important,” he said. “It’s damn near hand-in-hand. I feel like when anybody listens to music, even if they aren’t consciously thinking about it, they think of a certain feeling, or certain scenery, or color or whatever. They think of something visually. I think it helps a lot, and sometimes it ruins it when you don’t put out a good visual. I’ve watched some music videos where I love the song and I’ll be like, ‘Damn this (music video) ruined the song for me.’ I think it’s damn near as important as the music. I just like the visual side of sh*t, I want to be a director in the future. I always wanted to work on movies, so I use that in my music.”
Along with My Own Worst Enemy, which is primarily rap focused, DC The Don plans on releasing two other projects later this year. He wants to hold onto the same “mixed bag” arsenal he presented in his debut album, but give each genre he tackles its own project, which is what he has in store for the rest of 2022.
“I’m never gonna stop branching out and making the type of sh*t I like to make. “I’m just gonna be more selective with the projects that I put them on. I’m doing an alternative project already. I’m working on a pop-punk type project. I’ve already kind of been working on that, and I want to put that out later this year. I want to put out some more projects this year. I told the fans I want to put out three projects this year, just because you know, I didn’t get to put out a project last year. Moving forward, I want (projects) to be more cohesive than anything, if I’m gonna do a rap project, it’s gonna be rap the whole time. If I’m gonna do pop, it’s going to be pop the whole time, or rock or whatever. Going forward I’m going to section sh*t off a lot better.”DC The Don
However, before we get ahead of ourselves, My Own Worst Enemy is a pinnacle moment for DC The Don. Over a year in the making, the album is a testament to all of the hard work, self-deliberation and forward-thinking Donny has immersed himself in since Come As You Are. He emphasized how fulfilling this project will be for not only him, but his supporters as well.
“Damn near every song they wanted is on there,” he said. “If they don’t see it on the tracklist they’ll hear it because they call songs different names than I call them. They’re going to get everything they want. I’m just excited for everybody to listen to it. It’s finally here, it’s been a long time coming. It’s going to be very exciting and the rest of the year is going to be even more exciting.”
Check out DC The Don’s long-awaited second studio album ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ below!