Donnis - Diary of an ATL Brave

Posted 7 years ago
Tags: LaDonnis,

I can’t lie, Atlanta is crazy right now. Chicago’s pumping out lyricists like Octomom pumps...

Diary of an ATL Brave Album Review

I can’t lie, Atlanta is crazy right now. Chicago’s pumping out lyricists like Octomom pumps out babies, and New York will always be home to the hardest rappers, but Atlanta is currently the undisputed champion of freshness. I don’t know if it’s something they put in the water - or in the chicken and waffles - but at this point if I hear something I can’t easily categorize, there’s a 90 percent chance they’re from Atlanta.

Case in point. The other day DJ Z and I had the following exchange:

Z: “You should take a listen to this Donnis.”
Me: “Word, what’s he sound like?”
Z: “Um, it’s kind of hard to describe...”
Me: “Let me guess, he’s from Atlanta, right?”
Z: “Of course.”

We can add Donnis to the list of A-Town rappers with a reputation for originality. Fresh off his Snack Pack mixtape series, Donnis’ reputation as an emerging contender in the “next big deal” sweepstakes continues to grow with the release of his new mixalbum, Diary of an ATL Brave, an expansive project whose only serious deficit is its complete lack of Atlanta Brave’s references. (Seriously Donnis. You blew your chance to be the first rapper in history to drop a Chipper Jones reference. Try not to let it keep you up at night.) Diary of an ATL Brave does exactly what a mixalbum is supposed to do: make us imagine the dopeness that could be if the artist had the opportunity and resources to do a full album. I’m imagining Donnis, I’m imagining.

If you didn’t like my introduction to Donnis, please give his version a listen. The autobiographical Over Do It is a fittingly aggressive entrance for a man the labels have unjustly overlooked. Honestly, Over Do It is one of my least favorite tracks on the album. Donnis’ creativity, sense of humor and off-kilter metaphors, all the traits that I like best in his flows, are submerged by Donnis’ anger on the track, but I won’t begrudge a man for his catharsis, and at the very least Over Do It showcases his versatility. Speaking of which, if you want evidence of Donnis’ multi-dimensionality ponder the fact that Country Cool and Here to Stay are on the same album. Country Cool is an absolutely southern fried cut, a banger featuring swaggering verses from Donnis and the always trill Bun B, while I Am Me floats on some atmospheric production, a hook from Colin Munroe and some more introspective subject matter. More importantly, despite their obvious difference, Donnis’ voice and personality is strong to make Country and I Am sound cohesive. True to his genre-bending hometown, Donnis makes it difficult to label him. He’s tough, but no gangster. He’s experimental, but definitely no hipster. In other words, he’s Atlanta-ish.

Almost no rapper likes to be compared to other MCs, it diminishes their individuality, but it’s the price an up-and-coming rapper like Donnis has to pay (along with being called “up-and coming”), so let the comparisons begin. While many will undoubtedly go the Andre 3K route, if I had to pick one rapper to compare him to, it’d have to be Kanye. Much like Mr. West, he isn’t afraid to have a sense of humor, is fiercely intelligent, and spends much of that intelligence thinking about girls. Just take Sexytime, a track whose soul-based production could have come off College Dropout, along with lines like “all over your face, how victory taste?” The same goes for Underdog, a triumphant song flooded with pop culture references that Donnis delivers with a serious lyrical chip on his shoulder (remind you of anyone?). Let’s not get carried away. Donnis isn’t close to Kanye’s level – at least not yet – but ultimately that’s a good thing. Donnis is very much his own man, and in an industry full of followers, lord knows we could use all the leaders we can get.


DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

Comments
Written by
Posted 7 years ago
Get The PLUG app by DJBooth and get the best hip-hop writing and news delivered daily.

Sample Text - Sample Link
0:00
3:00
Shrink
Hide

More from LaDonnis

Featured Video

Hip Hop News

André 3000 to Deliver Huge Co-Sign to $ilk Money on “DECEMBA” Remix

The Richmond rapper's profile is going to reach a new level on Thursday. Read More
Posted about 9 minutes ago by DJ Z

From a Symbol of Wealth to a Symbol of Disgust: Donald Trump In Rap Music

Donald Trump running for President has changed his relationship with hip-hop and rap artist. Read More
Posted one hour ago by Yoh

The Weeknd We Knew is Dead & Gone In Evolutionary “Starboy” Video

The Daft Punk-assisted lead single gets a sleek, powerful visual to match. Read More
Posted 3 hours ago by Brent Bradley

Meet Paul White, Danny Brown’s Secret Weapon

The British producer has been quietly killing the game with his unique sound and extensive range. Read More
Posted 4 hours ago by Brent Bradley

Vince Staples Took Smaller Def Jam Budget in Exchange For Creative Control

Signing to a major label can work in 2016 if you sign a smart deal. Read More
Posted 5 hours ago by DJ Z

Tubes & Torrents - Why Music Piracy Isn’t Going Away

Piracy is a problem, but it’s a symptom of a much bigger illness in the industry. Read More
Posted about 6 hours ago by Brent Bradley

TRENDING NOW



Flame

TOP 20 MUSIC CHARTS


Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.