DJ Don Cannon has been putting in work for the past 10 years as one of hip-hopâ€™s most successful producers and mixtape DJs. Recently his work was rewarded when he became the VP of A&R at Def Jam. He has worked with the biggest names in Hip Hop. The list includes Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and OutKast.
Working with his partner DJ Drama, Cannon has been instrumental in the success of the famousÂ Gangsta GrillzÂ mixtape series, co-hosting numerous tapes that have helped to solidify the rep of many of hip-hopâ€™s biggest rappers. Meanwhile, he has become a successful club DJ maintaining regular spots at venues in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Tokyo and Los Angelesâ€™ Playhouse Nightclub.
He recently spoke with XXL and some advice for new artists.Â
â€œWith a new artist, itâ€™s all about working, and putting in your 10,000 hours. You know, I want them to get in, find out who they are and polish their skills. And then once you get through that part, you can start making records and see what fits them and what would be their identity. Sometimes it might come out they want to be a political rapper. So you go in and figure out what they stand for, what people would believe in, whatâ€™s your campaign status going to be. Are you going to stand by this for a couple of albums or are you going to stand by this for one album? Are you going to be that guy? A lot of people pick something that they want to be, and then they change it down the road and they disconnect somewhere because, you let your nation campaign for something else. So itâ€™s very very important that with a new artist you kind of go in there and build up a story, and then off of that you get those songs ready for them and ready to go.
â€œA lot of these kids get pressured. You know they get bills, and they need a hit record to come out or youâ€™re not coming out and you need a look, you need to go to radio, you know. That approach is getting a little old school to me. I feel like with the new age and the new wave, itâ€™s like, you know, pick whatâ€™s true, i.e. Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar was able to come out, and he made his own lane in a world of two lanes of rap. So itâ€™s easier for these kids to come out now and have their own lane. Youâ€™ve just got to stay true and do something different, what you feel and what you stand for. If you donâ€™t have that then I donâ€™t think youâ€™re going to make it.â€
This good advice for young artist who think they need to look and sound like the hottest artists in Hip Hop…Stay True To Who You Are!