With the success of his song “Lookie Looky,” DC Don Juan has taken the Hip-Hop world by force. Many people may think that the DC in DC Don Juan stands for District of Columbia where he spent a lot of time as a youth growing up, but it also happens to be two of his initials. With a grandfather who sang with Frankie Lymon and an uncle who use to rap, Maurice Don Campbell or “DC” Don Juan has elevated the rap game for his peers to a higher plane.
He says that music is in his DNA. In order to fully understand the aspects of Don Juan, the rapper, you’ve got to meet Don Juan, the man first. I had the pleasure to catch up with him recently to chat about what the future may hold for him.
Parlé: Hey, DC, how long have you been rapping?
DC Don Juan: I’ve been rapping since I was about nine years old so it’s probably been about 13-14 years.
Parlé: With the success of your song “Lookie Looky,” can you tell us what inspired that?
Don Juan: Yeah, “Lookie Looky” is about two years old now. I made it during the recession. “Lookie Looky” may sound like I’m bragging or being conceited but what it’s really about is boosting people’s self-esteem and making them wanna say Lookey Lookey. You don’t have to be Halle Berry beautiful or even if you look like the girl from Precious, it’s all about being happy with yourself. I know a lot of people are frustrated with the gimmicky stuff going around right now, so I wanted to put out a song with a message. I want people to fall back in love with themselves and be proud of who they are.
Parlé: With the continuous success of Hip-Hop coming out of New York, L.A., down South and in the Mid-West, are you looking to put DC on the map?
Don Juan: I hope to put myself on first but if putting myself on puts DC on then I’m for it. When you talk about places like New York, L.A. and Down South, those places are so big that you can damn near go platinum in that state alone. It feels like because DC is so small that at times it feels like it’s hard to get a buzz going. I’m looking to make music for the fans all over the world, not just DC.
Parlé: Every place has its own style, DC is best known for Go-Go, are you looking to do what Wale did for Go-Go?
Don Juan: I commend Wale for trying to bring Go-Go to the mainstream but I won’t do what he did because what he did was steal it. Wale hasn’t put his own style of creativity on Go-Go. You can’t force Go-Go on the mainstream. I was born in New York but I moved to the DC when I was like 13 so I’m an outsider looking in. People who aren’t from DC and haven’t been there can’t really understand what Go-Go is truly about. You’ve gotta go to a Go-Go and be in that environment in order to truly understand it. For those who do know a little something about Go-Go, I’ve got a song with Backyard Band, CCB, and TCB because these bands have NEVER been on track together before this, so it’s a pretty big deal.
Parlé: Can you describe, how it felt when you started getting recognition as an artist.
Don Juan: I’m a big internet head. So I was aware that my music was generating a lot of hype on the internet. The first time I heard it on the radio; I was in New York in the radio studio with my brother and Big Tigger. I heard my song “Lookie Looky” coming from the speakers but it was the speakers from what they were playing on the radio. As far as being able to describe it, there are no words to describe the joy I felt as an artist to hear my song being played on the radio. Once I heard my song on the radio it gave me so much hope and pride as an artist.
Parlé: Anything new in the works for you?
Don Juan: Yeah, I got a lot of things coming up. “Lookie Looky” West Coast Remix with Kurupt, Roscoe, Nipsey Hustle and Snoop Dogg. The regular remix with Dawn from Dirty Money, Rick Ross, Red Café, Q from Day 26 and some others. I got a tour coming up on March 1st. I’m working on a lot of mixtapes: Politics as Usual by DJ Green Lantern and another with DJ Quicksilver and DJ Money. I’ve got so much in mind and planned. I’ve got a lot of friends in the music industry who I’ve never asked to put me on because I believe in standing on my own as a man but now that I’ve generate a buzz for myself I’m using those connects to patch me through.
Parlé: What do you think separates you from the other artist out there now?
Don Juan: I cannot tolerate ignorance so if you look at me now I try to limit myself to cursing on record, so if you listen to any of my songs you’ll notice it.
Parlé: So you don’t curse?
Don Juan: I know what a lot of people thinking, ‘Oh this Will Smith ass nigga here’ but if you listen to me talk like now on a day to day I may curse here or there but as far as on record, I don’t think it’s needed for me.
Parlé: That’s definitely different to here in today’s times, do you think that’ll help you or hurt with?
Don Juan: Don’t get me wrong, the beginning of that Wacka Flocka song gets me hyped up when I hear it but I don’t need to curse to get my point across. I respect myself and women love me, I’m not tryna portray something I’m not. I don’t need to fake it make it.
Parlé: Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
Don Juan: I don’t have a problem working with anyone but I’d say that when it comes to rappers, I’d prefer to work with R&B singers because being a rapper comes with a big ego because we as artists all feel like we’ve got to be the best and that’s where I think it comes from. I like to network so I’ll do music with anyone because who knows what we can create.
Parlé: Do you have any videos out?
Don Juan: Not on TV, if that’s what you mean. Lookie Looky will be my first video. Check out DC Don Juan channel on YouTube.
Parlé: Any last words?
Don Juan: I don’t think rappers really appreciate the hard work the fans actual contribute to them being successful. I’m aware that it’s the people that make me who I am and without them I wouldn’t be here. Please be sure to check me out on Twitter @IamDonJuan.