RESPECT. Interview: Don Flamingo Talks Joining Roc Nation, “Slanguage” + More

Photo Credit: @Rocnation

Representing for the next generation of Roc Nation is non-other than Don Flamingo. The New Orleans rapper shows us his southern hospitality not only on records but during his shows as well. Through the release of his record, “Slanguage,” — which is made up of 20 years worth of slang straight from New Orleans– Flamingo is showing listeners that they’re on the right path by becoming a fan.

We got the chance to link with Flamingo to discuss his ascension through the game and the music. Read it below and make sure to listen to “Slanguage.”

RESPECT.: Considering you’re on tour with The Lox & Uncle Murda, did you ever expect to be side by side with veterans?

I saw it eventually later on in my career but for it to happen this early is awesome. I didn’t see it this early, I thought I was going to have to work a little harder and little more but I guess hard work over the years actually pays off.

RESPECT.: Since making your debut at SXSW,  The BET Music Matters Showcase, The Legendary Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival, and even spitting on The BET Cypher in 2016, is it safe to say that you’re ascension is only just starting?

It’s still surreal because ultimately I’m still a fan of the music and I literally watch The Lox show every night. They basically raised me at one point in my life, so I mean it’s dope like I said it’s surreal because these people that I’m on tour with are giving me my props for being the MC that I am that’s even better because they’re actually understanding my craft. But ultimately I’m still a fan it’s still surreal.

RESPECT.: Coming from New Orleans, did you grow up looking up to artists such as Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Mystikal, Mannie Fresh and Birdman?

S*** yea. At one point I thought I was the fifth Hot Boy ya feel what I’m saying like everybody else you know dress like them and talk like them. They actually put the city on and actually captured the city through the music. I was actually signed to Mannie Fresh for about 3 years so it was a dope process in my life. Seeing as how I watch them growing up all my life and having the opportunity to work with the guys that I grew up listening too.

RESPECT.: You dropped a single called “Slanguage” featuring The Lox and Killa Kyleon. Can you just walk us through how you got the track to happen? And how you came up with the order of having Styles go first then Sheek then Jada on the track?

I didn’t actually come up with the order. I had the record years ago and when I was writing it I was going to make an anthem to New Orleans and at the same time I noticed that the culture of New Orleans is different we do things our own way. I was aware that people do things their own way too, so of course me being with Roc Nation and the Lox was one of the main groups I looked too as their signed also. I grabbed Killa Kyleon off the strength that he’s my brother because he is one of the people that really held me down after the storm like seriously held me down. On top of that dude really gets busy. The idea of it initially came into fruition from listening to Big L’s “Ebonics” but you know everyone has their own way of doing things and I put 20 years of slang in that record from New Orleans.

 

RESPECT.: With the release of your series of mixtapes, Neva Say Die Vol 1-3, what would you say the core message is that you want your listeners to understand about you and where you come from? Is this lifestyle something of a dream for you?

They all have different messages but I’m just giving people real life feel what I’m saying. The reason that I listen to artist who I can learn from and there aren’t many but the artist that I do learn stuff from that’s what attracted me to all of this. It’s all connected and I’m always telling people this analogy, Friday-Sunday you’re clubbing and s*** and it’s all cool you off work and you got paid. But Monday-Thursday you really going through some s*** so I speak from my heart for the people who go through shit everyday. Even with what I’m doing now I’m still going through shit if it’s not with my babies mother than its with my girl and whatever the case maybe I’m keeping my listeners updated with what I’m going through in my life with perception that we all go through similar problems. With the core message being Never Say Die.

RESPECT.: How was it that you became one of Roc Nation’s newest artists? Who’d you impress or catch the attention to give you an opportunity like this?

I mean apparently I caught the attention of Hov I don’t think he would sign me out of the woodwork and apparently they believe in what I do and that’s the whole label. I met him and he wasn’t like “n**** I don’t know you” he knew who I was and I was fine with that.

RESPECT.: Coming from New Orleans it’s more than known that you guys have been hit the most by hurricanes. How are you guys bouncing back from such a disaster?

It’ll never be the same, after the storm it was first come first serve so you have people who have never left their neighborhoods that are now just trying to get back to the city. If you’re left with nothing and all you’re going to do is go back home. A lot of people went home who were living in certain areas in the city and it’s all displaced. It’ll never be the same but it still carries the same essence and the soul of the people alongside the culture.

RESPECT.: What’s your perspective on these new artists and the material their coming out with?

I think they suck. Not naming any names and to each his own and I understand the culture we are in and everything comes in waves and at the moment it’s the time for this type of music. Its cool though n****s are getting money, dudes can be in your house robbing your ass but they’re getting money and you have to respect that. I respect them n****s getting money but you know the artistry is lacking.

RESPECT.: What is next on the agenda for you,? Will you be dropping any new material anytime soon or are you more focused on bookings and making appearances all over the U.S.?

I’m going to stay on the grind and the train started rolling and I have a project coming out with a dope dope dope producer that has been in the game for years he’s a legend. I don’t really want to say the name because I want it to be a surprise and at the same time I still have to confirm everything but if that goes I’m trying to name it Walking On Water. I have my album God Body coming and the “Slanguage” video with me, Lox ,and Killa Kyleon we recorded on tour we went to my city. Anything that I can do to showcase myself and keeping putting shit out and becoming the best artist that I can. We are editing the video as we speak so it can come out any day.

Photo Credit: @flamingo

RESPECT.: In your perspective, what do you bring to the game that separates you from other artists? And who are some new artists that you’d like to work with?

My brain doesn’t fire on the same piston as regular artist. I was telling kiss that recently because he gave me my props like “n**** you gone have a long career” and I was like “kiss my brain doesn’t fire on the same pistons as anyone.” I don’t sound like anyone and I don’t rap like anyone just completely nothing I’m just me. Everyone is their own individual or something whether you’re copying me the real you is somewhere in there. A lot of n****s followers and that makes my skin boil just be yourself, you were born alone you’re going to die alone.

RESPECT.: What does respect means to you?

Everything more than money more than anything. Respect is everything it should come first before any business deal any exchange any conversations or even when shaking hands. We’re men correct we need to live on that principle.

 

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