Donnie Raven - Livelihood (EP)
Denver-Based Upstart Emcee Finds His Voice and Speaks His Truth on Debut Effort
Despite being a freestyle champ in his high school years, Donnie admits to never really finding his voice until recently. Even when he was recording in 2011-12, he wasn't in love with what he was creating. "My sobriety is what made the difference between those raps and what you're hearing now," he explains. "The lyrics now are more in-depth and focused on a single story line."
His ability to get sober has provided a clarity to his artistic process while greatly changing his life for the better. "It was either get sober and be the person God intended me to be or die," Donnie adds. "There was really no other alternative."
You also get the impression there was no other alternative than being an artist, because there is something so natural and organic about his work. This is especially true when he goes verse for verse alongside underground king Elzhi, who appears on the Nottz-produced lead single "Rainin'." The two emcees deliver bars full of tack-sharp wordplay over the upbeat production, and the hits continue across Livelihood.
The two other Nottz-produced tracks, "Vapor Trail" and "Vibin'," further display Donnie's impressive lyrical strengths and range. Both also have their own music videos, and it's "Vapor Trail" that reveals the dark and morally corrupt sides of addiction. It's a stark look at the different ways we as humans can become users, and it further drives home the track's message.
It's not all doom and gloom, though, as Donnie points to the light at the end of the tunnel on another standout, "#100." This personal and motivational cut further demonstrates his talents as a lyricist while making it clear that there is hope for us all. It's a refreshing message, and one the world certainly needs right now.
Donnie's Livelihood EP becomes available through all digital retailers and streaming platforms on Thursday, Sept 27!
01. Vapor Trail (prod. by Nottz)
02. Rainin' (feat. Elzhi) [prod. by Nottz]
03. #100 (prod. by Eddy Mugre)
04. Mack Out Money (prod. by DLZMKSBTS)
05. Dirt (prod. by Eddy Mugre)
06. Vibin' (prod. by Nottz)
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