The Rhyme Perspective: Don Streat
First and foremost, who is Don Streat?
Don Streat is a lyricist. Don Streat believes in artistry overall and trying to push the envelope as far as music in general goes. I want to be able to do whatever I want and not necessarily be locked into a certain sound. So guess you could say Don Streat is a collage of sounds.
Before you relocated to North Carolina you were a fixture in the Baltimore scene known as Lord Cyrus. How is Don Streat different from Lord Cyrus?
I guess you could say Don Streat is more polished then Cyrus was. He concentrates on trying to make the best song and just try to be a super emcee on every song. I'm so competitive that's really a problem for me when I hear something.
I have known you for a long time and you have always had the ability to promote versatility. You released an underrated project in 2002 called Hearts Of Diamonds EP. What was the concept of the project?
I'm glad that you mentioned that, the concept behind that project was actually just to get my feet wet as a soloist and try to establish and show my versatility because I can do it all. I was part of a group called Infinite Description and that was my first solo attempt. People want you to have a certain sound and I do not have a definitive sound, I just try to make good songs and my dudes tell me that's the gift and the curse lol!
A few years later you released Diamonds R 4ever which featured guest appearances from Braille, GM Grimm, Quite Nyce, Doujah Raze and more. What was the concept of the concept?
My daughter was born with a heart problem and the meds are expensive so it was just a project to raise money for the meds and the underground community definitely came through to show love I salute all those dudes!
How is Diamond doing by the way?
Diamond is great she is 8 now and full of life you would never even guess anything was wrong with her. It is a true blessing!
Let's fast forward to the present. In April 2011, you released Don Streat Theory Part 2. The EP serves as a free offering before your album Don Streat Theory Volume 2 Suicide Bars drops. What is the reaction that you have received from the EP? How far along is the actual album? Any featured guests on the album?
The EP has been well received thanks to great promotion, great production (Alkota, Dichter2production, M-Phazes and Vinyl Frontiers), and a great Ruste Juxx feature and it has opened up other doors for me. The reaction has been positive. It's dope hip-hop music, I haven't really received any negative feedback which is always good. The album is about 80 percent done and it has some dope features on it. Ruste Juxx as you know, Sean Price, Rasco, Chaudon, Dynasty, Soulstice, Royal Flush (B-more), and yourself (Praverb hehe) lol!
Don Streat - Don Streat Theory Pt. 2
I noticed that you have a video for two songs on the EP that was shoot and directed by Kenneth Price (IWWMG go to video guy). Describe the experience of working with Kenneth Price and do you plan to work with him again?
Oh Ken was great Alkota actually put me in touch with him after he did a Skyzoo video. It was my first video so he helped me through it and we actually came up with a dope concept. It was just suppose to be grimy to fit the mood of the songs. Actually I'm planning on doing a shoot for my next single. Ken is going to be my go to guy as well. He shoots great videos and he is local that always helps.
You reside in a hiphop hotbed that is immersed with talent (IWWMG, Phonte, Big Pooh, K-Hill, J. Gunn, J. Cole, King Mez etc). Have you found success reaching out to artists in the area?
Well honestly the only artist I ever reached out to was Supastition aka Kam Moye back in 02' he was supposed to produce something for me but it never came together. I worked with Nervous Reck, that's my man he was actually the first person I ever reached out to because he had a studio and of course that's where J. Cole used to record. I love the NC artists doing it though, they are dope reminds me of how things used to be at home.
Describe your song writing process. Do you have a ritual?
I don't really have a song writing ritual I have hundreds of songs literally. So when I say I got bars I really do lol! I usually hear a beat and I just let the beat take me where I want to go, nothing fancy or crazy and yes I still write my lyrics lol. Jay, Big, Lil Wayne and whoever else out said they don't write lyrics, nobody writes lyrics anymore.
Who would you like to collaborate with and why?
I would like to link with Rakim, Kool G Rap or KRS One! They are who I look up to and bar for bar they are the best as far as I'm concerned and as far as production wise I would like to hook up with 9th Wonder.
What motivates you to continue to record music?
What motivates me is just me having faith in myself and know that I can compete when I think I can't compete or the joints just sound wack to me I'll hang it up.
How can the masses get in contact with you?
Don Streat Twitter
Don Streat Bandcamp
Any Final thoughts?
Please support Don Streat Theory Vol.2 Suicide Bars when it drops. R.I.P to my little cousin Curtis Don Streat, I love you my dude I'm going to keep pushing until we get what we came for Donnie!