Don Q is an old-school Bronx rap headknocker, the type of guttural and granular New York street-rapper who might’ve found some measure of pop success in the late ’90s. That makes Don Q something of an anomaly in today’s rap climate, but he’s done a remarkable job showing that a rapper like that can find relevance today. Partly through his alliance with commercially friendly Bronx sing-rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Don Q has built up a name for himself, and he seems ready to make a real ascent.
Today, Don Q releases his new mixtape Don Season 2. On first listen, it’s a sharp and canny rap record, one that draws lines across the street-rap map. The tape includes collaborations with fellow New Yorkers like A Boogie, 50 Cent, Dave East, and Jay Critch, as well as out-of-towners like G Herbo, Lil Durk, Moneybagg Yo, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, and Young Scooter.
The tape’s production is clean and sharp and melodic, full of moody pianos and 808 thumps. It sounds New York just because Don Q is on it, but there’s some of that au courant Drake-style slickness to it, too. And Don Q gets plenty of chances to flex. His hooks are getting stronger, too. If anything, on an Eminem release date, it’s nice to hear a rap record that doesn’t make you feel like your brain is in a blender. Listen below.
Don Season 2 is out now on Atlantic.