DC The Don – 2023 XXL Freshman
- GOV'T NAME: Daijon Davis
- AGE: 23
- REPPIN': Milwaukee
- TWITTER: @DCTHEDON__
- INSTAGRAM: @dcthedon
- TIKTOK: @dcthedon
- NOTABLE RELEASES: Songs: “Worst Day :(,” “Hate Being Lonely,” “Rerout3”; Albums: Come As You Are, My Own Worst Enemy, Funeral; Mixtapes: DC Dahmer, DC Fridays, Sacred Heart (+); Guest Appearances: Yvngxchris’ “QuikkSkope,” Dro Kenji’s “So What,” YNW BSlime’s “Free Melly”
- LABEL: Rostrum Records
- CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Stop Being So Nice album due end of 2023.
- WHO ELSE SHOULD BE PART OF THIS YEAR'S CLASS: “Sad Frosty. My brother passed away, but that was my frequent collaborator and we the same class, so it only makes sense.”
- INFLUENCED BY: “Everybody. Lil Wayne because he was one of the first. He was one of the first hood n***as who could do whatever you wanted and get away with it. The Rebirth album, I thought was great. And Kanye West because he put the most effort in music that I’ve ever seen from somebody. That’s something I’m doing.”
- AS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL: “I was a goofy kid. I was an outcast trying not to be an outcast. People f**ked with me, but at the same time, they didn’t understand me just because I would dress a little different, talk a little differently.”
“I found out I won the 10th spot and I froze. I started thinking about [Sad] Frosty. I was like, Damn, bro, we did it. I wasn’t expecting it to be 10th spot. XXL always reflects what music is supposed to be and what it’s going to be.
The year Lil B was on it, I got put onto [XXL Freshman]. I was a Hopsin and Lil B fan. And I was kind of a Kendrick Lamar fan. Then, 2016 came around and I was already a Lil Yachty fan. I just found out who Lil Uzi Vert was before the class. I didn’t know who Kodak [Black] was. I didn’t know who Denzel Curry was. It put me on to a lot because I was a G Herbo fan.
I bring versatility and a level of vulnerability. I don’t want to s**t on nobody else, but like, authentic music, deeper music. That’s my fans’ favorite s**t. I’m also 6 foot, 7 inches, so, I literally, physically stand out. I got black-and-red hair. I would say the way I dress not going to be the same from anybody else.
I think right now is the perfect time because I’m ready. It’s my first year doing any festivals. My first year doing a nationwide tour. [When my fans see me on the cover] they’re going to freak out. They’re going to know they did it. They care a lot because they know I care a lot.
I think it’s like when you play any sport, you’re not going to turn down the MVP. You got to get all these notches in your belt. I don’t think any rapper should ever turn down XXL, in my opinion. I feel like we should stand up for the culture.”—Bianca Torres
Watch DC The Don's 2023 XXL Freshman Freestyle
DC The Don has been cooking up a career as an artist before he was trusted to use an actual stove. At the tender age of 8, he would write songs and dance around the house in attempts to emulate the finesse of Michael Jackson. In those moments of mere adolescent fun, the 23-year-old Milwaukee native was simultaneously bracing himself to become the all-round entertainer that he is today. His come up has truly been special to witness, and he acknowledges that in his 2023 XXL Freshman freestyle.
Donning a likely expensive pair of shades, a black jacket and a homey red Prada vest that matches his locs, DC The Don opens up his performance by acknowledging how in-demand he is at the moment. However, the 2023 XXL Freshman also asserts that despite the heights he's reached, his loyalty is still to the gang. "Woke up to like 30-something texts and 10 missed calls/City after city, I'm cruising, I swear I miss y'all/I don't see my n***as no more and I'm having withdrawals/Like, f**k it, dawg, it's up if you need me, I'm sliding with y'all.”
While delivering those bars, he opts for a mellifluous delivery that can be heard through projects like 2020's Come As You Are and momentum-shifting tracks like "Worst Day :(." He commands the spotlight in a composed manner, and hits listeners with a drip check and lyrics that are symbolic of how he went from nothing to something. "This fit I threw on rare, you can't find this s**t at the strip mall/Went from shedding tears to a condo, I'm sipping Cristal/Went from punching walls to punching in the bitch with big jaws/I never fitted in, I'm standing up, girl I got too tall."
The more DC rhymes, the deeper he steps into his bag. The rapper speaks to both his romance and raging, going on to deliver an ending anecdote about a misunderstood kid who is starting to feel that the hefty weight of life is pushing them under. "My f**king mom in the room, she pushing all of my buttons/My friends switched up a while ago, they crack jokes out of subject/Like I ain't got a fully automatic ready to bust it."
DC The Don, this year's Freshman 10th spot winner has been establishing himself as a genre-fusing artist. Other projects in his catalog like 2022's My Own Worst Enemy and 2023’s Funeral are refined collections of a sonic formula that the rising rhymer has poured into since his debut EP, Halloween on 47th Street, in 2017. Over the five years, his dedicated fan base has rapidly increased thanks to DC's ability to organically grow and maintain a legitimate audience that's easy to connect to emotionally. From the underground to the mainstream, his spot in rap has so far been solidified. Check out his full Freshman freestyle below.—Kemet High
Watch DC The Don's 2023 XXL Freshman ABCs
DC The Don’s ability to be unpredictable on wax translates to his personality as well. The newly minted 2023 XXL Freshman takes his ABCs in all types of directions, creating a short but congenial clip full of laughs.
Suited up in an oversized red sweater decorated with the letter F in celebration of his Funeral album, plus a white shirt and black tie underneath, the Milwaukee native begins the segment with his arms crossed, super focused on providing the best answer. He starts off with simple elections but things get interesting when the letter C comes up. DC The Don chooses the word crack and doubles his answer with a PSA that warns kids to stay away from drugs. In that same section, he shamelessly plugs himself into the convo, selecting his name for the letter D and shouting out his Funeral project for F.
Moving forward, DC gets candid about his love for animals. For the characters G, H and J, he punches in the answers of giraffe, hippo and then Jurassic Park. “Shout-out to all of the dinosaurs and all of the amphibians and s**t like that," he says jokingly yet in all seriousness at the same time. "Y'all did a lot for us." Toward the middle of the alphabet, he gives a nod to pop culture by picking Lindsey Lohan for the letter L and then Napoleon Dynamite for N. Shortly after, he stays in that pocket to highlight Timmy Turner for T.
The end of DC’s ABCs is pretty introspective. He pairs the letter U with the word understanding and urges anyone watching to give grace. He connects vasectomy to the letter V and rationalizes his choice by saying "your body, your choice." When he arrives at Y, he cements the terms yesterday and puts an emphasis on not living in the past. And pulling things full circle, he ends the game by bringing it back to his love for living creatures, merging Z with zoo.
DC’s comedic flair shines here, but when it comes to his music, versatility is his cheat code. His breakthrough songs "Red Light," "PSA" and "Worst Day :(" flex his ability to be a chameleon who excels in whatever genre he chooses to make that day. Fleshed out efforts like 2020's Come As You Are, last year's My Own Worst Enemy and Funeral, released in May, speak to that idea as well. DC is always racking up new fans who gravitate to the various vibes that he has to offer and run up millions of streams. Expect for the master of many to stick around in the rap game.
Get ready for the laughs watching DC The Don's ABCs below.—Kemet High