The Break Presents: DonMonique
Straight out of Brooklyn, DonMonique is a 20-year-old MC that's arrived on the scene after dropping her breakout single "Pilates (Kendall, Kylie, Miley)." With her aggressive monotone flow and sporty fashion sense, the former model quickly began to turn heads. The scary thing about this young upstart is that she's only been seriously rapping for about a year. After releasing her first project, Thirst Trap, on Tuesday (July 21), the new artist is ready to take over 2015 and beyond. "Right now I’m just taking it day-by-day. You never know who’s going to hit you up," she said on the phone with XXL. "I would've never even imagine having Danny Brown on my first project and it hasn’t even been a year. I think this tape is going to explain who I am and what I’m about." Get to know DonMonique more on The Break.—Emmanuel C.M.
I grew up listening to: Biggie, Kim, 50 Cent... My mother has been in New York for a minute so I always grew up listening to the classic. I felt like just being around people in the industry it made me [want to rap]. When I was growing up I always wanted to be a singer. When my teacher asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, I always said singer. Then I grew up and I couldn’t really sing. I didn’t have a voice. So I joined band in the fifth grade and I did that for a minute. It was cool. Then when I got older, I said I wanted to rap. My parents didn’t really approve of me rapping. They listened to rap music, but as for me doing it, they weren’t really with it. So I kinda had to wait till I got a little older to do what I wanted to do.
I first started rapping officially on some this is what I’m going to do ish when I met my first manager, JB. He was already in the industry. We met on some modeling shit. That’s what I was doing at the time. He saw my pictures and he wanted me to do something for Karma Loop. That never ended up happening, but he was in the industry. So I told him I want to rap. Can you manage me and he was like sure. I wanted to get in the studio, I had a song idea and he was like I can't just put you in the studio, you have to build relationships with people and people got to know who you are. I can't just put you in the studio with no songs. So we mobbed out for a year. Then I got in the studio and made “We Don’t.” I put that out on my birthday last year when I turned 20.
Most people don’t know: I’m real chill. My music is just a form of expression for me. I feel like when people meet me they think I’m bitchy. But I’m a real chill person. I feel like people don’t really get that about me until they meet me.
My style has been compared to: My style is just me. Since I live in New York and moving and walking everywhere, I just like to stay comfortable. At the same time I want to stay stylish. I shop at Models all the time, any sporting goods store. I can make an outfit out of anything in there. I like baggy pants and sports bras; it’s like a girly tomboy.
My sound is what the name of my EP is, Thirst Trap. I feel like when you listen to my music you want to hear more of my music. I feel like the term right now is real popular too. So it’s good for the moment. It’s just a little bit of the right amount of everything. Thirst Trap is kinda like my new genre of music, you just want to hear more.
Standout records and/or moments to date: I have this record on Thirst Trap called “Fifty Kay.” I have my homie Noah Caine and I feel like I really channel my inner female 50 Cent on it. I did a little bit of rap-singing on it and it’s really different. It’s a sound that you haven’t heard out of a female before. You know how 50 rap-sings on the hooks of his songs? I tried that out and I feel like it came out really good. I’m excited about it and I think that’s one of the best songs on the EP. People are going to fuck with that one.
My goal in hip-hop is: I would say bring New York back because I didn’t have that motivation in music until people said, “You’re bringing new York back.” I feel like unintentionally that’s what I’m doing but now more and more people are bringing it up and it’s my goal right now. And bring females back in hip-hop. I’m accepting the pressure. I feel like I can take on the job and won’t disappoint.
I’m going to be the next: I feel like I’m going to be the next best ones to do it in a minute. I wouldn’t say I’m the best overall but I feel like I kind of got it right now when it comes to what people want to listen to and what people want to hear. I feel like I provide the sound people been missing for a minute.
Standout: "Pilates (Kendall, Kylie, Miley)"
Thirst Trap EP