Making a name for oneself as a rapper is no easy task when the production and distribution of music has been democratized to great lengths, but it’s a goal that New Orleans hip hop artist Doon has persistently taken on over the years. With the release of his debut album, The Wax Museum, Doon is moving one step closer.
Doon’s optimism and drive to keep working on his craft–writing and producing music, making videos and performing live–goes back to a striking episode in his teenage years.
On a visit to New York at age 14, this Big Easy young gun, who had already been rhyming on the down low, stumbled upon a classic New York-style rap battle. After a little shoving from his friends, Soon-to-be-Doon was thrown in to the action, with little to no preparation and a whole lot of adrenaline. The kid ended up surprising everyone with a couple of punchlines, triggering the New York crowd and turning him on to a lifetime purpose.
The rapper describes the rush of conquering a new crowd with his rhymes for the first time as a turning point for him as an artist. He even pays tribute to the coming of age episode, which took place in front of Times Square’s Madame Tussauds wax figures museum, with the title of his new album.
Released in February, The Wax Museum is a 14-track journey through the many facets of Doon’s identity that was produced in just over two weeks. Doon went to work with the help of producer/tuba player Javan Carter and producer Johnny Beatz, who helped him record the tracks.
“Free Fall” was recorded earlier, shortly before before Doon traveled with the Stooges Brass Band in 2014.
Other contributors on Doon’s project include a group of Atlanta producers under the name Godlike, local producers Josh Guidry, Jet Life’s EF Cuttin, New Breed Brass Band saxophonist Douane Waples and many others.
After meeting with record labels in Los Angeles, the Doon finally decided to release the album on his own independent label, 21 Gramz.
“Only when you asked did I realize the comparison, but it’s similar to how Jay-Z started Roc-a-fella to release Reasonable Doubt,” the rapper says of his project.
The Wax Museum takes you through a variety of phases, with a predilection for club-bangers and party themes, nonetheless leaving room for a few conscious hip-hop pieces and a couple vibey, mood-setting cuts.
Looking ahead, Doon is preparing with his band Moon Man Doon, that welcomes singer KeKe Mahree, Myron Thomas on keys, Thomas Glass on drums, Jay Skillz and DJ Mizzle, for important performances at the Hi-Ho Lounge and Gasa Gasa, where he will lead a flock of New Orleans artists.
“This will be my most important show of the summer. It’s my first time headlining,” Doon says of the Hi-Ho Lounge show. “I’ll perform some songs off The Wax Museum, my previous mixtape Forever Doon and some unreleased music. If you’ve ever came to one of my concerts and got turn’t, you know what’s up. Come vibe with me.”
At Gasa Gasa, Doon will participate in the Progression Music Series with CoolNasty featuring rapper Stefan. The Gasa didn’t know but Stefan is my family, my blood. We have a crazy history. I’m excited to see what both of us bringing the bands out is gonna be like.”
Other performances are planned as Doon prepares sets for the Blue Nile, The Willow, The Dragon’s Den as well as shows outside of New Orleans.