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Don Q, also known as Le’Quincy Anderson, is a hungry, up-and-coming rapper originally from the Bronx, NY. You all may know one of Don Q’s closest friends, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, as they grew up together in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. The two eventually created Highbridge The Label with their close friends, Quincy “QP” Acheampong, and Sambou “Bubba” Camara. In their early rapping careers, A Boogie has gotten more attention from the public eye than his buddy Don Q. Ultimately, this forced Don Q to slowly step away from A Boogie so he can demonstrate his high-level, lyrical talents to the world on his latest project and sequel to his second mixtape – Don Season 2.
The first thing that I appreciated was the message that he uses to set the tone of his mixtape in his opening track “Intro.” He realized, for the most part, his talent goes unappreciated and unrecognized outside of the greater area of New York. He solidifies his case with his stories of politics throughout his life. Secondly, the Bronx rapper does a great job of rhyming and putting his foot down lyrically, over two distinct instrumentals in “Intervention,” a trap beat over a synth piano, and “Long Night” which features Lil’ Durk over a spooky trap instrumental. Lastly, he nails “Yeah Yeah”, his first huge collaboration on the mixtape with long-time friend A Boogie, New York legend 50 Cent, and multi-platinum record producer Murda Beatz, who has worked a lot with Drake.
Don Q transitions into the body of his mixtape with the song “Don Season Pt. 2,” where he again talks about how he knows his music is underappreciated mainly. He does not follow the current styles of rapping like many of the up-and-coming artists and calls it out with lines like
“Guess they think they’ll succeed if they try to run with the formula,
I seen the low rating they gave me…y’all look the story up.
You can’t judge my music, ‘cause to the streets you a foreigner,
I guess you can’t relate if you wasn’t in the lobby loitering.”
Don Q has taken offense to people who judge his lyrics that have no idea what his lifestyle or living situation was before he was popular. Yet again, you do not have to be a lobby loiterer to realize this man has top-tier lyrical talent in the way he delivers his messages.
The true core and personally my favorite part of the mixtape is in the lyricism, hunger, and fun that Don Q is portraying with the other artists. Songs like “Pull Up” featuring G Herbo and Dave East and “Roll My Weed” featuring Jay Critch of Brooklyn. “Pull Up” was a reunion for Don Q, G Herbo, and Dave East, from the heavy bar and slickly-rhythmic unreleased song ironically named “No Hook,” that they put out in 2017. G Herbo and Dave East’s deliveries were exquisite, displaying their hungers for success after surviving their tough beginnings with lines like, “I was in trenches believe me, but I was blessed and finessed so I make it look easy, nah but this sh*t wasn’t easy” (G Herbo) and “I’m in a good mood, I ain’t wanna be rude just look at these rappers, you wanna see food. Listen, before the booth I was goin’ through it in the kitchen. Tyson on the roof, I was lookin’ for a pigeon” (Dave East).
“Roll My Weed” is opened with the strong presences of trumpets that eventually blended in with a clever hi-hat beat. In this song, Don Q and Jay Critch flaunt about their lifestyles with lines like, “Yo Don, there’s way too much cash in the room, call the Brinks truck and tell them to load it up” (Jay Critch). They both have fun delivering their lyrics, especially Jay Critch with his usual hippy flow on his verses.
Don Q ends his mixtape with two laid back records over spooky instrumentals. “It’s a Good Day” features Young Scooter and “I Can’t Lie” features A Boogie wit da Hoodie. The first is a joint with funky rhythmic patterns from both artists, that allows listeners to envision a successful day as a drug dealer, once again a story from Don Q’s past lifestyle. This is a reason why he may be having trouble grasping much of the American hip-hop audience. The drug dealing era of rap music faded away years ago, with successful rappers of his style such as Jadakiss, 50 Cent, Fabolous, Styles P, Cassidy, Lloyd Banks, and Jay-Z. “I Can’t Lie” sums up Don Q and A Boogie’s journey to where they are now with their successes and overcoming of obstacles, which sends a strong message of being unstoppable and “on fire,” as quoted in their song.
In my opinion, this is Don Q’s best mixtape from top to bottom surpassing the old favorite, Corner Stories: Reloaded. He disappointed his fans with his last mixtape Don Talk but definitely came back from that downfall with the strength of Don Season 2. I missed the old Don Q that rapidly grew his recognition in New York, and he shied away from himself for a little while. However, I am elated that he has returned to being a gritty New York rapper with his punchlines and strong lyrical abilities. For a hip-hop mixtape, I give Don Season 2 a:
I am proud of Don Q’s progress over his career and believe that he has the potential of becoming the Jadakiss of this era of hip-hop! He still has plenty of work to do, but if he keeps up with the dedication of his craft of strong lyrics and punchlines, he is on his way to becoming a New York legend!