GET TO KNOW RISING ARTIST DON YC
Born Tevon Hennesy, independent artist DON YC grew up across Oklahoma City with his mother and siblings, now residing in the suburbs of Norman, Oklahoma, staying loyal to his home state. After running the streets with friends from his neighborhood, he was given the name Lil Comp, comp for competition. As he got older, it developed into Young Comp, leading to his artist name now, DON YC.
His genre is mainly Hip-hop, but he also enjoys pop and R&B. The “Im Wrong” rapper describes his style as being free-spirited and in terms of musical structure, he focuses on the overall message rather than lyrical metaphors. “I’d rather tell you a story than to give you riddles.” As for potential collaborations, he says Chris Brown, Yo Gotti, and NBA Youngboy are his top three choices; These three artists would mesh perfectly with DON YC’s style.
YC says his music speaks to people’s souls, putting all of his energy into each track. When it comes to his favorite aspect of being an artist, he enjoys that the most as well as the writing process. He writes, records, and engineers his own music, often accompanied by DillyGotItBumpin and Kontrabandz. As for his overall writing process, he likes it old school, on paper while sipping on a bottle of MD 20/20 to loosen up a bit.
DON YC has been working with producers as far back as 2012 but was not seriously in the game until around 2017. However, he had to take a five-year pause from music in order to focus on his son. So, he has jumped back into the rap game head-on just last year.
As for his career currently, DON YC says to be in the building stage, gradually curating an organic fanbase, which is important to him, even if it means bringing in smaller numbers. It proves his growth as an artist that his streams include real fans and people when looking at his analytics. Being an independent artist, he emphasizes having an established plan and being responsible with his money. To summarize this, he stated, “Just because I can spend $100 on marketing does not mean [I should be] spending $100 on marketing.”
Hennesy is currently pushing his track “Flexin On You” which he describes as having a raunchy sound with the ability to be played at clubs, bars, and public urban areas. Additionally, he specifies that the track is not suitable for persons under the age of 17. He is also working on a 12-track album set to release at the end of this coming June. Until then, he plans on releasing a series of mixtapes, a cover song for Mr. Telephone Man by New Edition, and behind the scenes with how he creates music.
When asked where he wants to be in the future, he ambitiously answered “I want to be on the moon with those who built this legacy with me.” Moving forward into 2023, he hopes to put his music in front of millions of fans as well as release a horror book or produce a small film, delving into his love for the horror genre. As for the further future, he said he would love to tour and have multiple collaborations.
So far, the Oklahoma native describes the highlights of his career to be performing at local bars, a club in Texas called Petron, but says “…there is no better feeling than when the hoods you grew up in are playing your music at the house party that all the beautiful women are at.”
Of course, with highs, there have also been lows. Regarding struggles within the industry, YC passionately said, “It’s not about the money for me…it’s about the long nights working on a project, and none of your friends or family support your dream. It’s “The” girlfriend constantly saying, “why won’t you try another hobby.” As if music is a hobby? I risked my bills and car loan to invest in ads on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with my peers.” He also disclosed more about his home life growing up, “I tear up sometimes, looking back at my life. I grew up with four other siblings but only a two-bedroom house…Having to share clothes with my other brothers. Watching my friends die and losing my cousin Rodney to gang violence. I couldn’t wait to eat at school because we were surviving off noodles at home.”
All of these circumstances are what truly inspired YC to create music, facing his demons and trauma that developed over his life. He also feels as though the music itself is his inspiration being motivated by the fear of failing. Not only does he have a passion for music, but DON YC also enjoys giving back to the community. He is currently serving in the National Guard Army and has been on missions such as Hurricane Harvey and assisting with state emergencies. Additionally, he recommends people donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Tunnel For Towers.
As for advice to fans and general newbies in the industry, he says to have the basics down first. This includes investing in a studio, leasing beats that grant unlimited streaming, only putting out and announcing finished work, and building a solid team that can help with production and social media. He also discusses paperwork stating, “…get your publishing and writers’ IPI numbers before releasing music. Understand the difference between a lease and an exclusive…Only work with about three producers at a time. Understanding the power of Distrokid, CD Baby, and United Masters.”
Finally, as a message to his fans, DON YC says, “Please be patient; I don’t just make hip hop; I make pop and R&B. I don’t want any of my fans to think I’m in this box. I want my fans to have an experience when listening to my projects.”
Keep an eye out for DON YC’s future work and be sure to check out his socials below!
WRITTEN BY: BRIANNA RIZZI