Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from? How long have you been making Hip Hop?
I’m from Memphis, TN. I was born and raised there but I spent some time in the DMV area for college. I’ve been making music since I was a junior in high school. I started with playing guitar and producing for people, then transitioned into rapping by my senior year. I have a cousin that was rapping before me and pushed me to start, and I didn’t like giving my beats away to rappers that I thought I could do better than.
Name a few Hip Hop MCs who have influenced your style?
Artists like Kanye, Kid Cudi, Drake, Andre 3000, and Common, all had a big part in my style developing over the years. I listen to a lot of other genres so a lot of my musical and songwriting style comes from other places, but they really opened the door for me to do what I’m doing now. Hiphop albums like Late Registration, Man on the Moon, and The Love below had a huge effect on how I create and the emotions that drive my records.
Describe your music, and what particularly separates you from others?
All of my records are very emotion driven. Whenever I write a song I’m trying to bring the listener into that exact moment I’m rapping about. I’m very pure in my writing and my lyrics. Everything in my songs are 100 percent my reality no stretching the truth at all. I feel I have a responsibility to be honest and try and share my story in the hopes it helps someone else. I do a lot of genre blending in my music. I’m rapping but as far a production I’m sampling bands and indie/alternative artists. I grew up listening to so many things, and my music is like a mix of all those influences. From 2Pac to John Mayer it all is wrapped in together. I just approach music from a purely artistic point of view. I’m not selling an image or a lifestyle that is not my own. I don’t believe in gimmicks. I’m an artist, musically and visually and I stay true to that.
Who have you collaborated with? Who would like to collab with in the near future?
I’ve got to a point where I don’t really work with other rappers. My city is a very crab in the barrel place and it can be hard to develop relationships. I mean I’m cool with most rappers from my city but we are all on different artistic pages, with different goals. Nobody here is really creating music like mine so I keep to myself or work with singers. I have a bunch of singers that I use that share my vision and get what I’m trying to do. On my album all the features are singers, and I picked them based on my belief in their talents and their selflessness when it came to helping me through different tough times I’ve had. In the future id really love to work with Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and this band called Gem Club.
Tell us about the new project, and how the short film “Two Years of December” came about?
My new album “The December LP, Vol. I” was created over 2 years and through the loss of my grandmother which helped raise me and I was very close with. I had many struggles, depression, got kicked out of school cause I couldn’t afford it, and I was kind of at a crossroads in my life. The album was all of that pulled together. It’s really the mind of a 20, 21 year old trying to figure out his life and
reflecting over the past. Every song is a piece into that journey different moments different jobs, relationships, and growing as a man and deciding how I want to spend my life and what I believe my destiny is. It’s themed around my childhood and the winters over my life. It’s a really nostalgic album. The documentary “Two years of December” is another piece into that and me setting up for my art show/listening event where I built all of these contemporary art sculptures and used images/video from VHS footage of my life. Since I’m a visual artist also, I got a gallery space and turned it into a complete environment all influenced by the album. The film follows me that day and you get to hear the stories behind the art and music. I don’t think anyone has every done something like that in Memphis, at least not to the scale I did.
Where can we find the links to your music?
You can go to my site donliftedmusic.com it has the album and the film on the home page. I also have an art section with my paintings and work, along with an event section that has photos of all my music and gallery shows. Along with that you can go to donlifted.bandcamp.com and download the album free as well.
Any shout outs?
Thanks to this site for allowing me this opportunity to share what I create with the world and to everyone supporting, it all means the world and I’m forever grateful.
Lastly, your definition or meaning of “Underground Hip Hop”?
The Essence of the genre.