DC The Don has been cooking up a career as an artist before he was trusted to use an actual stove. At the tender age of 8, he would write songs and dance around the house in attempts to emulate the finesse of Michael Jackson. In those moments of mere adolescent fun, the 23-year-old Milwaukee native was simultaneously bracing himself to become the all-round entertainer that he is today. His come up has truly been special to witness, and he acknowledges that in his 2023 XXL Freshman freestyle.

Donning a likely expensive pair of shades, a black jacket and a homey red Prada vest that matches his locs, DC The Don opens up his performance by acknowledging how in-demand he is at the moment. However, the 2023 XXL Freshman also asserts that despite the heights he's reached, his loyalty is still to the gang. "Woke up to like 30-something texts and 10 missed calls/City after city, I'm cruising, I swear I miss y'all/I don't see my n***as no more and I'm having withdrawals/Like, f**k it, dawg, it's up if you need me, I'm sliding with y'all.”

While delivering those bars, he opts for a mellifluous delivery that can be heard through projects like 2020's Come As You Are and momentum-shifting tracks like "Worst Day :(." He commands the spotlight in a composed manner, and hits listeners with a drip check and lyrics that are symbolic of how he went from nothing to something. "This fit I threw on rare, you can't find this s**t at the strip mall/Went from shedding tears to a condo, I'm sipping Cristal/Went from punching walls to punching in the bitch with big jaws/I never fitted in, I'm standing up, girl I got too tall."

The more DC rhymes, the deeper he steps into his bag. The rapper speaks to both his romance and raging, going on to deliver an ending anecdote about a misunderstood kid who is starting to feel that the hefty weight of life is pushing them under. "My f**king mom in the room, she pushing all of my buttons/My friends switched up a while ago, they crack jokes out of subject/Like I ain't got a fully automatic ready to bust it."

DC The Don, this year's Freshman 10th spot winner has been establishing himself as a genre-fusing artist. Other projects in his catalog like 2022's My Own Worst Enemy and 2023’s Funeral are refined collections of a sonic formula that the rising rhymer has poured into since his debut EP, Halloween on 47th Street, in 2017. Over the five years, his dedicated fan base has rapidly increased thanks to DC's ability to organically grow and maintain a legitimate audience that's easy to connect to emotionally. From the underground to the mainstream, his spot in rap has so far been solidified. Check out his full Freshman freestyle below.

Watch DC The Don's 2023 XXL Freshman Freestyle

The Freshman issue of XXL magazine hits stands everywhere on July 18. See Finesse2tymesRob49FridayyGloRilla2RareSleazyWorld GoLola Brooke, Central CeeReal Boston RicheyLuh TylerTiaCorine and DC The Don's official Freshman pages. In addition to interviews with all 12 artists in the 2023 Class and Freshman cyphers producer Pi'erre Bourne, it includes interviews with Lil Baby, NLE Choppa, Boosie BadAzz, Toosii, DDG, Saba, producer Go Grizzly, engineer Jaycen Joshua, singer Coco Jones, SinceThe80s' President Barry "Hefner" Johnson and AEW wrestler Swerve Strickland, plus a look back at what the 2022 XXL Freshman Class is doing, hip-hop's love for golfing featuring Scarface, OMB Peezy and pro golfer Harold Varner III, conversations with 10 new artists making noise and a deep dive into A.I. hip-hop songs. You can also buy the 2023 XXL Freshman Class issue here.

2023 XXL Freshman
Travis Shinn for XXL

See the 2023 XXL Freshman Class

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