MUSIC AND STORIES: AN INTERVIEW WITH Hip-Hop artist N-DON
~ Dr. Honey Dawn Karima Pettigrew, Ph.D.
N-Don is a popular Hip-Hop artist who spreads the message of his Native culture and His Christian faith through his music. Featured on the “GiftShooters” mixtape by Pensmoke and on the NAMMY-winning cd “It’s Time” by Rezawrection, N-Don is working on a new cd. Recently, he shared his thoughts about
his beliefs and his songs.
Q: N-don? That's an interesting name? There's probably a good story behind it. Will you share it with us please?
A: The name all started many moons ago in high school. My first name is Don and since I am Native, they called me N-don and it stuck ever since.
Q: Describe your style of music for us. When we turn on and turn up your cd, what should we expect?
A: My style of music is a mixture of new school Hip-Hop and of course old school Hip-Hop - got to keep it real. When you turn up my cd, I hope the listener enjoys it from beginning to end and listens to the message in the music.
Q: How did you get started in music?
A: I always loved music since an early age.
Q: Was music always a part of your life?
A: I can remember listening to Run DMC and LL Cool J with my dad when I was six. Ever since then it was a love affair with music.
Q: How does your tribal culture influence your music?
A: I am blessed to be Native American and be a part of a beautiful culture. It’s hard to portray all my tribal influences in my music but I try.
Q: Who are the artists that impact your music?
A: Many artists influence my music-- from mainstream artist like Run DMC to underground artists like Pensmoke.
Q: What do you want your fans and listeners to learn or to receive from your music?
A: I want my fans to listen to the lyrics and message in my music more than anything.
Q: I know as artists, we're not supposed to have favorites, but between you and me...what's your favorite track? Why?
A: I don’t have a favorite song. I just love making music.
Q: As you look over your musical career, do you see ways in which you have grown as an artist? As a person?
A: As I have grown, my music has grown. I went from “reppin the hood” to fatherhood. It’s amazing how your perspective changes when you get older.
Q: Do you have beliefs that shape your music? Your life?
A: The Message of the Creator and His Son is very important to me.
Q: How do you share these beliefs with your audience?
A: The belief in the Creator and his Son is the reason I do this music. I want to spread the news to all who will listen.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish that you haven't yet?
A: The thing I hope to accomplish now-- and I know it’s a journey--is to be a good father to my son and juggle marriage, work, church and my music. If I can pull that off, I’ll be happy.
Q: How do you plan to achieve this?
A: I’ve just been rappin and performing where I’ve been led to. If the Creator wants this (musical career) to blow up, I’ll be ready.
Q: Are you satisfied with your music now? How do you hope to grow as an artist?
A: Currently, I am working on my second album.
Q: What steps are you taking to grow in that direction? What are you working on right now? What are you excited about? Do you collaborate with other artists? When you do, what do you learn about yourself? Your music?
A: I have been collaborating with Pensmoke on his album.
Q: If you could read the ideal review of your music, what would it say? If you wrote a review of your own music, what would it say?
A: If I wrote a review of my music or anyone wrote a review of my music, I would hope they say there is a person who loves his faith, his family and his music. MVTO…thank you.
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