Who is Don Q? The Bronx rapper helping bring New York back
From battle rapping on Smack/URL to dropping bangers with Highbridge The Label, Don Q has been on the rise and making more noise than ever.
Born and raised in The Bronx, NY, he was inspired by lyricists like Cassidy and Fabolous. Don Q began rapping at 16-years-old when he decided he wanted to be one of the best to ever do it. Q wrote his first rap at 10-years-old and battle rapped all throughout his mid-teens. He told DJ Smallz in a 2018 interview,
“My first battle with people that I don’t know, like, was when I was like 16.”
He admits that he took an L in his very first battle but that loss gave him all the confidence he needed to go harder and stronger. His potential was always there, plus his late right-hand man “Pop” constantly encouraged him to take rap seriously.
In 2016, Q and fellow Highbridge member and childhood friend, A Boogie, took to Hot 97 with Funk Flex for a freestyle that would be remembered forever.
A Boogie definitely did his thing, but Q took over the internet with his verse, gaining the video millions of views in just a few months. It currently has 11 million views and there’s no doubt that Don Q’s flawless freestyle gave his career a major boost.
Don admitted recently that he’s decided to go more solo from A Boogie do his own thing. He doesn’t want to fall into brother’s shadow, instead, he wants the world to see them as two separate monsters. On his song “Don Season Pt. 2,” a song off Don Season 2, he raps:
Let’s give these niggas a rude awakening //
They said, “Boogie was the one, you’ll never be as great as him//
They tried to throw me in the shadow, had to move away from him //
Lookin’ over and degradin’ ’em but never breakin’ ’em
Before joining HBTL, Q perfected his craft over the course of 10 years. While in the studio, he says the three things he needs at all times: fire beats, weed, and positive energy. When he’s looking for this type of vibe, he likes to gain inspiration by traveling the country and seeing other places.
Atlanta is his go-to for nice vibes and beat shopping. He also mentions that on average it takes him about an hour to work on a song. He currently has four mixtapes out: Don Season (2016), Corner Stories (2017), Don Talk (2018) and Don Season 2 (2018).
Q is a competitive guy and when it comes to hopping on someone’s track or vice versa, he always attacks it by putting out his most fire verses. But when asked what his proudest accomplishment is in his music career so far, Q responded with, “Ain’t nobody killed me on a track, except Pusha T… but it’s all good.”
However, Q isn’t interested at all in the King of NY debate. He believes that all artists in the Big Apple are kings. Also, that there isn’t even a certain New York sound anymore.
He says that most NY rappers like Cardi, 69, Cassanova and A Boogie have their own style and wave. The only rapper Q sees similar to him is Dave East because of their raw delivery.
Don Q is known for having a nostalgic flow and delivery, often being compared to Styles P and Lloyd Banks — two artists he grew up listening to.
Even when he was younger, his friends used to call him “Styles Q,” because of the heavy similarities. On his 2017 mixtape Corner Stories, Q has a song with Styles P and Jadakiss as features called “Take Me Alive.”
His latest mixtape, Don Season 2, is out right now and making a lot of noise in the streets. Q has been working on the tape since early 2018 and he obviously wanted it to be perfect before the world heard it.
It contains features from G Herbo, Jay Critch, Moneybagg Yo, Young Scooter and Dave East and more. Q’s personal favorites off the tape are “Weakness.” “Pull Up” and “Back 2 Back.”