Tell us about your upbringing, where you’re from, and most specifically your relationship with your parents (mother and father)?
I’m from Hopkins, SC. It is about 20 mins from the capital Columbia. Hopkins is a rural country place. I grew up around my mom her sisters and aunties and my grandmother. I wasn’t able to live in another place until about 2009. That experience helped change my life for the better.
How did your upbringing and relationship with your father impact the man you are today?
I didn’t really have a relationship with my father until I was about 18. I made me want to never leave my son’s side and to live him always. Never make him feel like he’s not wanted and to grow with him. Me not having a relationship with my father made me a strong man because growing up I started experiencing hard times early because I wanted to explore with out any knowledge of what I was exploring.
When it comes to your music, what inspired you to get started?
Life itself inspired me to start . I’ve always had a strong will to put out a message of growth. My first two projects have the same messages the sound has just grown because of life molding me the way it has.
Tell us about your latest project “Death to the Trap” and the meaning behind the title?
The meaning of the title is not to stop the hustle and grind. This title mean death to the mentality of a revolving mindset of poverty. I want to close the trap houses in our communities to push our men to be productive in society for their youth.
How do you feel like music, specifically “trap music” has an impact on kids and how they’re being raised?
I think it’s leading people down the wrong path. Even though we have to be accountable for our own actions the music is a big part of the programming we have endured as a community. It’s making it seem as though the trap is a life to live. When in real life the people that live this lifestyle are attempting to get out of it.
What are your top three words of advice for young black boys growing up in underserved communities?
Persevere , resilient, and fighter ( never give up on yourself, no matter how many times you fall)
Who are you as a Father?
As a father I’m a protector first and a motivator second.
How do you use the things you’ve overcome in your childhood to educate your kids and help them to become healthy adults?
Sometimes I feel like it’s a gift and a curse that I went through some of the stuff I did. It makes me very cautious in my fatherhood and a lot of the time I’m scared of what could happen. I try my best not to inflict these negative stigmas so I just try to be relatable and talk about my experiences. But I also give examples of ways I could have done things better.
How do you balance your career as an artist and entrepreneur while also trying to show up as the best dad you can be?
I do this by being resourceful. I’ve built my network through the years and have had ups and downs but keeping my face clean and doing good business allowed me to accomplish multiple things at the same time. This stuff has been built over the years.
If you could write a short letter to your dad starting with “Dear Father”, what would you say?
Dear Father, you not being there pushed me to be who I am today.
What’s next for you? How can people follow you?
Next is just continuing to forward the objective and work on influencing. Of course continuing to raise my son and be a positive role model that leads by example. I can be followed on my instagram @thereal_donb