Machiavelli was my tutor, Donald Goines, my father figure/Mama sent me to go play with the drug dealers..” - Tupac

Before I get started here’s a quick history lesson for the youngn’s who read my sh*t. Donald Goines is to the thugs and gangstas what Shakespeare is to teachers and scholars. A novelist born and raised in the 313 (Detroit, jackasses) his novels are commended as works of art by the hood and even some of your favorite hip-hop MC’s. From Nas to Tupac, they’ve all praised this man in their rhymes for his work.

Now I don’t know if that’s why this man chose this particular alias, but Donny Goines’ has been going hard with videos on the internet showcasing his ability to write bars on the spot and freestyling with your favorite underground rapper just to prove he can hold his own. For someone who just in 2006 decided to up and start rapping, he’s quite nice with the pen and pad. And like Donald, Donny uses his art to bring his view on urban living and thinking to the masses. Not to mention his flow is capable of bringing in that currency. That’s what makes Minute After Midnight necessary to a hip-hop game flooded with one-dimensional music.

One can appreciate how his aggressive style really grabs you and makes you pay attention to what he’s saying on a record. Joints like “Triumph” and “Ghetto” will prove my point. And while he doesn’t have the most ridiculous word play, he doesn’t need it to speak genuine shit like on that DJ Snips produced “Can’t Fit In My Shoes” where he said: “Most niggas lay up in prison or even face an eviction, and many case an addiction, the government makes me sick’n/feel like the walls is closin’ in/and even if I wanna get a job there’s no openings/I should drown my sorrows but I’ve been to AA and they say that alcohol and drugs won’t take the pain away/but it’s still here even though I’m sober/so why not sit at the bar until it close up?” That was so real it should’ve came with 3-D glasses.

Other times he’d just say cool lines like, “Let’s bring it back to backspins, when rap was rappin’ and that’s what’s happening (y’all remember that?)/like with Dwayne and Rerun/when the game was begun/you came where we from!” on that Dub Z produced “What Happened.” (Again, quick history lesson, What’s Happening was to the hood back in the day what American Idol is to America today. And the show’s main characters were named Dwayne & Rerun).

What stood out to me was how DG (Not to be confused with Dolce & Gabbana) didn’t waste anytime or sounds on trying to crossover. There wasn’t one song on this album that could be categorized as a “following the winning formula” joint. The closest thing to being commercial was the hook on “I Am Moving” where he used a singer. But the verses on that joint were laced with jewels like Kimora Lee after she became a Simmons. Whether it was a laid back melody or something to go hard on, DG knew how to flow to it and turn it into a song and not battle records or ringtone joints. While it might be too rhymes and beats for some of today’s generation, most of Minute After Midnight’s sound was just how I like it: soulful and hard (pause? Let me know, C).

Hottest Joint: "As The World Turns"

Weakest Joint: "MLK"