Don Q talks 'Corner Stories' and chasing a legacy
The Big Apple upstart speaks on his new mixtape and being the “chosen one.”
Don Q is chasing a legacy.
Dishing out bars like the Easter Bunny does eggs, thanks to stellar showings on tracks with Fabolous, Dave East, and Juelz Santana to name a few, Bronx rapper Don Q is one of the hottest spitters that has captured the pulse of the Rotten Apple. In his last interview with REVOLT, the Highbridge The Label artist revealed aspirations of being mentioned in the top five talks. “When you mention ‘spitters,’ I want to be in the top five,” he said, adding, “I want to focus on making more songs with my ability to spit some of the best verses you might’ve heard.” Fast forward to a mere nine months later, Q, like a song he wrote, continues to make just about everything he touches “lit.”
On Tuesday (February 28), the rapper released his second mixtape in less than six months, titled Corner Stories. Within 24 hours, it racked up over 200,000 streams and a quarter of a million downloads. Upon its release, the project crashed servers on MyMixtapez and Spinirilla causing Q to upload it to SoundCloud.
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Featuring appearances from The Lox, Fabolous, Dave East and more, the project is something that Q has been patiently waiting to drop since last year. “I been wanted to drop Corner Stories,” he told REVOLT over the phone, just hours after dropping his latest tape. “[Friends] from my hood kept been asking me about Corner Stories since before Don Season.” As it turns out, Corner Stories was originally positioned as Don’s debut project, but instead the rapper went forward with the Don Cannon-hosted mixtape Don Season. According to Don, the reason behind the switch up was timing. “I wanted to come out with that before I even did Don Season. I just was in a different mood. I wasn’t in a Corner Stories mood, I was in a Don Season mood. I was just feeling different.”
As the buzz generated and Don Season standouts like “Everything Lit” and “Look At Me Now” gained the ears of the rap torchbearers like Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue and more, it didn’t take long for Q to get the Corner Stories inspiration. “It was time,” he said. By “on time,” the Highbridge star means being ready to tell his story. On Corner Stories, the spitter narrates his come up, a narrative that consists of his come up from spending nights on corners where lives were lost and taken to turning Honda Accord visions to now flossing gold pendants and shaking arenas. “Now we got the city talking,” he said.
If A Boogie wit da Hoodie is the man with the off-kilter, infectious pop melodies, Don Q is the sly ruffian with the perpetual oyster bars. Together, the Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh of Highbridge The Label, the BX natives’ homegrown label, have proven to be a “Lethal Weapon” pair, taking over the airwaves and much of the city’s soundtrack. Since the debut of their collaborative project, Highbridge the Label: The Takeover Vol. 1, last May, they’ve collectively and respectively seen their stock rise. Their label was signed to Atlantic Records via a joint venture and earned the ears of Drake, DJ Khaled, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue and more.
For Q, since the release of his breakthrough debut, he’s earned a reputation for being one of the coldest on the mic. Much of this has been proven on projects for Fabolous, Meek Mill, as well as remixes for rap upstarts like Casanova and Dave East to name a few. “That was a moment for me. I grew up listening to Fab mixtapes, so to be on his project for that record meant a lot,” he explained after his standout performance on “For the Family” alongside fellow sharp lyricists Dave East and Fab. These days, the rapper’s name is unarguably mentioned amongst hottest new emcees. “I wanna f—k with the ni—a Don Q,” Q-Tip praised last month on “Drink Champs.” “Yo Don, get at me young ni—a.” The co-signs have also been poured on Corner Stories, which features a proud collaboration with two of his favorite rappers Jadakiss and Styles P. “That was a big deal,” he said. “I look up to Styles and Kiss, so to have them on here is a blessing.”
With a hunger for more (“My stomach touching like it’s Ramadan”) and a set of eyes on the prize (“I played the bleachers but I knew that I would ball soon”), the man with the stone cold rhymes and languid flow is undoubtedly chasing a legacy. “You either chasing a legacy or you chasing the charts. I’m chasing a legacy.”
Don Q’s Corner Stories is available now.