Coveted Contraband Artist: Donte Thomas

In any underground market, certain goods become hot commodities and The Blow Up’s Black Market is no exception to that economic rule. Each week we’ll bring you the ‘Coveted Contraband’ from The Black Market (based on your ratings).

Check out this week’s gem Donte Thomas and continue to light 1-5 stars for future submissions so they can separate themselves as highly coveted contraband!

Donte Thomas
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
I’m humble enough to know that I’m not where I want to be right now, but I’m also not where I was yesterday. Every day is a blessing and a lesson, we are our greatest teacher. Ignorance is the true enemy of wisdom.

Finish this sentence: “When people hear me, they’re probably going to think of…”
Kanye, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole or all of the above. I often hear comparisons to those three. Not necessarily sound wise, but story wise, flow wise, vibe and feel wise. But I don’t mind being compared to my idols I guess.

What sparked your inspiration for a music career?
At an early age, I always had a love for music. I used to sing and dance as a child, and I learned to freestyle at the age of 3. While I lived in Chicago (for a brief amount of time), I would listen to Kanye West & Jay-Z. I always saw those two on the television & after hearing The College Dropout, I decided I wanted to be a rapper. A few years later, I joined the Hip-Hop class at our middle school to learn how to write raps & to get more familiar with the culture as a whole. After 6th grade, I took a break for the next 2 years. I never really had another outlet to express myself. When I began my freshman year of high school, I didn’t play any sports. My mother wouldn’t let me because she was worried I would fall behind academically. So I began writing raps again, freestyling any chance I could. Eventually I got good enough to where my peers and other students started saying I should pursue a career in music. So I took it serious and 8 years later, here we are.

What crew do you roll with?
Success That’s Recognized At Youth. But we’re known as STRAY for short. STRAY’s artist roster consists of myself, Chief, Chris Lee, G6ix & Que. We also have Casso Dinero as our lead graphic designer.

Who are your go to producers?
There isn’t a particular order, but as far as producers who know how to identify my sound and comprehend my musical vision, I’m going with:

Stewart Villain (@StewartVillain)
Dupre’ (@NewDayDupre)
Corey G (@iamCoreyG)

What other special talents can you throw down?
I can sing, I’m starting to make my own beats as well. I’m very mean at Marvel vs Capcom 2 haha
I play the piano a little bit and I draw from time to time. I used to have an internship at Nike with Lebrons head shoe designer when I was 12.

What separates you from the rest?
What separates me from everyone is that I’m versatile musically. I’ve made quite a variety of sounds & none of my singles I have released sound the same at all. I don’t compare myself to anyone though. I believe everyone is great at what they do. I am the greatest at being myself because nobody can be a better Donte. They can be a better them, but not a better me if that makes sense. I really care about the cover & album art as well as visual art. I feel people don’t take everything as serious as I do. I’m crucial about my art work and very hard on myself about everything I do. I just want to be the best at everything I do.

Next moves:
1. First ever Headliner hosted by We Out Here Magazine is happening October 6th in Portland.
2. Releasing a fashion line this upcoming Winter
3. Releasing my follow up project entirely produced by Stewart Villain
4. Getting some visuals done

Where can we find you?

3 definitive tracks or favorites right now:
As far as my album:
Summer Nights
Fade 2 Gray

Outside of that:
Spread Love – Mick Jenkins
Down on My Luck – Vic Mensa
The Bird – Anderson .Paak

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