CREDIBILITY - DC Don Juan
interview by Ray C.
One thing that stands out about Don Juan is his grind. his work
ethic is impeccable. people in the DMV area know this about him. its
one of the main reasons why they support the Don Juan movement. His
on stage presence, overall persona, talent and song writing ability
give validity to the hype. Don Juan is the definition of
CRED: Can you tell me bout some of
your influences? Before you were Don Juan the entertainer you were
of the fan of the music so can you tell me who you listened to?
DJ: As a child I always wanted to be like my uncle. My uncle was a
rapper by the name of Wild Child. It was sort of like a family
thing, like they said in American Gangster if the dude would have
been a football player I would have been a football player.
Everything he wanted to do I wanted to do. I was not a big rapping
fan, I was an “uncle family fan”.
CRED: Can you tell me a little more about your family? You come from
a big family right?
DJ: I have no brothers, I have no sisters my mother and father are
my supporters. My mother is my heartbeat and my father is the blood
that goes to the heart. Family is first. Family is the reason that I
choose not to curse in my songs. My mother is the reason that I
treat women the way that I treat them. I treat them with respect I
treat them the way I would want a man to treat my mother. I talk
about positivity in my songs because in my household is not
negative. When I am at home it is always happy it is always fun I do
not see negativity. My parents are still together which is rare in
today’s society. I am a family oriented guy Ray.
CRED: Tell me about how you got into the DMV music scene?
DJ: It was a struggle and battle I was at Suitland High School in
1999. I was a freshman and I was a battling everybody and this is a
secret; little did they know I was rapping my uncle’s raps.
DJ: I am thankful to God that I had my uncle and that I was able to
develop my own skills. I was known as the rapping bamma and I was
just another loud mouth dude that was rapping. Then I developed my
own group that toured the backstreets of Capital Heights. We were
just some neighborhood dudes that was rapping as a hobby, like kids
do. Then, I ran into a group called the THURO-Breads and with them I
made the transition from a basement rapper into a performer, an
entertainer. Backstreets was my first rap group and then
THURO-Breads was my next; they took me to Miami, introduced me to
Dermarr Johnson and that is when I took music seriously, that is
when I realized that I had something and that I could make a life
with this. From there I just took it,... I think the reason the DMV
respects me is because I respect them. I never say I am better than
anybody even though the crowd may say it; I respect them.
CRED: You know the DMV claims as you as their own but you are from
the Bronx New York. How long have you been here now?
DJ: About ten years now.
CRED: Where else do they love Don Juan?
DJ: Well Don Juan gets love from New York,.... then I came out to
the DMV and from the DMV I went out to Denver, Colorado. I made a
home and I made an atmosphere. You know what Ray this goes on no
matter where I go. That is how I know that it is something about me
and not the state or the area that I am in... I mean from Denver I
went to Atlanta then I gained a fan base and trust system out there
from Atlanta I went to California and I gained a crazy fan base out
there then I was in Miami for a little bit. I currently reside in
D.C. making it happen.
CRED: I know that you have made some other moves as far as the label
situation. Were you with Capitol Records?
DJ: Oh yeah that, I was with Nu Entertainment. I was in Atlanta when
I got signed to Big Reg. Big Reg was with Death Row and he used to
be Krupt’s manager. I got signed to him in Atlanta he actually broke
the deal to Interscope. Nu Entertainment is signed to Interscope I
am signed to Nu Entertainment which makes me an Interscope project.
Before Interscope, I was in negotiations with Disney Records but
they didn’t quite know how to market me. I went and talked to
Capitol Records and they were interested in signing me because of
the buzz of another D.C. artist they had J. Holiday they thought
another D.C. artist would be a good look. I didn’t want to go there
also because they were folding they were financially unstable and if
I did that it wouldn’t be a good contract on my part.
I’m currently signed to JIVE/BATTERY/NU Entertainment. My label
mates are GS Boyz and V.I.C.
CRED: It seems like a lot of D.C. artists have to go out of the area
to go solidify a deal. How do you feel about that?
DJ: I feel like D.C. artists would have to go out of the area is
because D.C. has never had it before and labels are scared to take a
chance. When people think of D.C they think of go-go. I think the
best way to understand go-go is to go to a go-go. When you are
dealing with music you have to deal with what the people like and
what the streets are calling for. In D.C there has never been that
role model that has been successful music wide that can be a bench
mark so that people can stamp it, most artists feel like they have
to run outside to bring it back inside. So the” Wale’s, the Tabi’s
and the Don Juan’s” we have to go out of state and bring it here and
give the labels a reason to go look at D.C. As of yet we haven’t
given them a reason to look at D.C. You have Jermaine Dupri and
Ludacris that has been doing it for years in Atlanta. You have Bun B
and Scarface that have been doing it for years in Texas. I can’t
tell you who has been doing it for years in D.C.... I think that is
CRED: You have always been a credible artist. Your work ethic has
always been different so tell artists what they need to do to get
the exposure that they really want.
DJ: I am going to tell them. I say this after all of my speeches
when I talk to people there is a lot of talent in this world Ray but
there are few hard workers. If you have a talent and music is that
talent you have to go out and get that deal. It doesn’t matter if
you are the hottest dude on your block but the world is bigger than
your block. You need to be all the way dedicated to what you want to
do. If you are dedicated if your talent is music than out of 24
hours out of the day then 22 needs to be focused on music if that is
what you want to do. There is no reason for an artist to be outside
the studio if the artist doesn’t have anything else to do. Nobody
wants to deal with someone that is lazy. People would rather deal
with a hard worker that may not be as good; rather than lazy person.
CRED: True indeed.