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REVIEW: Don Q says it’s time for ‘Don Talk’

Hip-Hop’s birthplace continues to produce hitmakers

Don Q is back with his third commercial mixtape in the last three years, Don Talk, available now from Highbridge the Label and Atlantic Records.

don-q-don-talkThe 27-year-old rapper from the Highbridge community in the Bronx, New York, first made waves on Hot 97’s freestyle series hosted by Funkmaster Flex, alongside labelmate A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, after which they collaborated on the label’s debut mixtape, Highbridge: The Takeover Vol. I (2016).

His debut mixtape, Don Season, was released in August 2016 and features host DJ Don Cannon, who co-founded the label Generation Now with DJ Drama, and had just signed Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert. He followed this in 2017 with his second mixtape, Corner Stories which featured guest appearances by A Boogie wit da Hoodie, as well as rappers Dave East, Jadakiss, Styles P, Zoey Dollaz, PnB Rock, Fabolous, and Loso Loaded.

“It’s time for the talk,” Don Q said in a statement about his latest mixtape. “I’m letting it be known it’s going to be hard for anybody to try to come for me, step in my lane, and do what I’m doing. I’m throwing a jab really fast. This is boss talk. This is money talk. This is Don Talk.”

The eight-song mixtape opens strong with “Rap Memorial” from producer Ness on the beat. The track is bold, declaring that the streets need a spokesman in these modern times. He follows with the lead single, “Trap Phone” featuring the first guest appearance by rapper Desiigner in almost a year since his multi-Platinum hit single, “Panda.” Produced by Nick Papz, the beat was something that motivated him to seek out the 2016 XXL Magazine freshman for the album.

“Once I laid down the first verse, I kept hearing Desiigner ad-libs in my head,” he said. “I kept saying ‘I’ve got to get him on this record.’ Once I played it, he got so hyped that he did something crazy. He just f***ing went in on it. I did the last verse and solidified it. The goal was to make a hard street song right there.”

The mixtape also features guest appearances by Pusha T, on the track “Words of Wisdom,” produced by Rell Ruger, who previously worked on the track, “Made it Worse” for Dave East’s Karma mixtape, and Tee Grizzley, another up-and-coming young rapper from Detroit who links up with Don Q on the track, “Head Tap,” from producer Murda Beatz.

Another noteworthy track, “Puddle of Water,” is a stylistically complex rhyme comprised of a pre-chorus and call-and-response style verses that reveal the greater depth of his lyrical abilities. Things begin to draw to a close with songs such as, “True or Not,” which he follows with the title track, “Don Talk,” produced by frequent Migos collaborator Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E. 

But, perhaps the true beauty of this particular mixtape is how it merely marks a new beginning… one which he is already working towards with plans already in the works for his follow-up, Don Turn Me Up, which is said to tap into an entirely new summertime club vibe.

“It’s going to show my versatility of how I can go from one tape to a way different tape like it’s nothing,” he added. “I’m just going to show everyone how to really keep up.” While we eagerly await that project, we equally appreciate his impressive new mixtape.

RATING: 5 / 5

LISTEN: DON Q – ‘DON TALK’

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