We sat down with Inglewood's Ease the Don and spoke about his desire to make a difference in his community through sharing knowledge and positivity, connections with producer NikeBoy, Malcolm D. Kelley and new found inspiration with artists Big Sean, Blxst, and Hit-Boy.
by Selena Reyes
Editor In Chief
What part of the city did you grow up in?
"Inglewood, California on Imperial and Crenshaw."
How would you describe your style?
"I would describe my style as very melodic, energetic and full of vibes."
Do you feel your upbringing influenced your style?
"Yes, I grew up listening to oldies music with my parents, which resulted in my understanding and love of the melodies that music produces."
Would you say your music is diverse ... can it be felt universally?
"Yes, my music is very diverse. It’s always been important for me to provide vibes to as many people as possible while still remaining within the realm of my artistry."
What was your first track?
"My first track was titled “Up In This Thang”... stylistically, that song was very Los Angeles inspired."
-How does it differ from your latest track?
"My latest track, “Dancin’ In The Rain” produced by NikeBoy has more of a universal feel to it."
If you had to introduce someone to your music what song would you play for them and why?
“Dancin’ In The Rain”, because the song has a super dope new visual for it. I think that seeing the video allows listeners and viewers to connect with my artistry and feel my vibe.
Who was the first person you opened up to about your music?
"My mother was the first person I opened up to about my music."
—What was her reaction?
"She was super excited and couldn’t believe that she could actually play a song in her car that I made in my bedroom. She played my song to all of her friends. It was kind of embarrassing."
What inspired your track “Dancin’ in The Rain”?
"I came up with the idea for this song while I was stranded on the side of the I-15 N Interstate Highway leaving Las Vegas and trying to make it back to Los Angeles. It was raining heavy that day. I was listening to a pack of beats NikeBoy had sent me and the “Dancin’ In The Rain” instrumental just made everything make sense. That Vegas trip had been so lit, something bad had to happen. But I turned that experience into a dope song."
In the visual for the track, I noticed Malcolm Kelley is cameoed, what is the relationship between you too?
"Malcolm and I are building a great relationship. We tap in with each other on social media. Malcolm actually heard the song online and he loved it. I told him that it would be super dope if he could be in the music video for the single. When the time was right, I reached out to him to be in the video and he was down to be in it. When he showed up to the video set, it was nothing but good vibes! We’ve been locked in with each other ever since."
How do you feel about the current state of rap in L.A.?
"I’m proud of the current state of rap in LA. I feel like the new wave of rappers in L.A. are more open to collaborating with each other and aren’t scared to see the next artist succeed. I want to see us continue to excel and take our talents further across the states."
The actions from police being highlighted on social media are nothing new to many L.A. natives. How much power do you think social media holds in today's world?
"I believe that social media holds the key to the collective thought process of many people. Social media is now needed in order to spark an idea or bring awareness to an issue. There’s a lot of power in social media."
How might your actions as a rapper / prominent figure make a difference in your community or greater society?
"I can make a difference in my community by sharing the knowledge and positive energy that I have with my community. I continue to let the younger generation know that it’s OK to be smart, it's OK to seek knowledge, it's OK to search for answers, and its OK to reach out for help. I want to be able to inspire my community to be better and communicate our wants and needs to others."
Are there any rappers and or producers you would like to collaborate within the future?
"Yes, I want to collaborate with fellow L.A. artist Blxst in the near future because his music is full of vibes. I feel like we would make a dope collaboration. Outside of that, I would want to collaborate with Big Sean. I can get in my rapper’s bag with him if we ever collaborated. As far as producers, I would love to work with Hit-Boy because he has a true understanding of how to transform music into an experience that you can feel."
Are there any musicians who inspire you?
"Big Sean inspires me..."
"Because he speaks highly of the law of attraction and the fact that you can attract what you want in life if you give the right amount of energy to it."
What should fans look forward to in terms of your unreleased tracks?
"The fans should get ready for more melodies and more music that stirs up an emotion when you listen to it. I will be releasing up-tempo party records all the way to slow jams for the ladies."
What is your ultimate goal with the music?
"My ultimate goal is to give listeners music that can be memorable. I want to give my listeners a lasting feeling after they hear my music. I always view music as a sort of timestamp. I connect all of the memorable moments in my life to the music of its time. With that in mind, I feel like it’s important for me to make music that evokes emotions and feelings so that listeners can use the music as a soundtrack to their lives."