Interview: DJ Don Cannon on working with Lecrae
An anthem is defined as “a song of devotion or loyalty, a song of praise, and a symbol for a distinct group of people.” As a celebrity DJ and producer, Don Cannon is responsible for a new sound of major hip hop anthems storming the mainstream airwaves over the past couple of years. Cannon is an internationally known DJ who can be heard spinning to elite entertainment industry crowds from Atlanta to Tokyo. His production credits list a who’s who of hip hop’s Top 10 mainstream rappers including Outkast “The Art of Storytelling Part 2” featuring Marsha Ambrosius, Young Jeezy “Go Crazy” featuring Jay-Z, 50 Cent’s “Man Down,” Ludacris’ “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Undisputed” featuring Floyd Mayweather, and Fabolous’ “Jokes on you.”
Donald Cannon is a native of Philadelphia, PA and at the age of five he began his foray into a musical career with his first set of turntables, a mixer and a karaoke machine. Upon high school graduation, Cannon left his Philly hometown to attend popular HBCU Clark Atlanta University. Cannon used those 4 years to sharpen his talent, and develop an understanding of his audience, while rapidly solidifying his position as one of Atlanta’s top tier DJs. As a former member of the Aphilliates, a group of DJs who are Philly natives and CAU alumni, Cannon forayed into the unofficial title as Music Director for Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Shade 45” on “The Aphilliates; The Streets Is Watchin,”co-hosted a show on Atlanta’s WHTA HOT 107.9 FM, and most notably helped to popularize the Gangsta Grillz mixtape series.
Although not a part of the Christian Hip Hop community, Don Cannon is hosting Lecrae’s upcoming yet to be titled mixtape. Knowing of Don Cannon and his work, as well as Lecrae’s I reached out to Cannon to get a little light shed on the relationship and help get a few questions answered that have been asked by Lecrae fans following our brief interview with Lecrae last month.
CH: How did you connect with Lecrae initially?
DC: I connected with Lecrae through one of my homies in Atlanta and I just felt his vibe!
CH: Who connected you in Atlanta?
DC: Street Symphony
CH: What interested you about working with Lecrae?
DC: What interested me was that he feels so strongly about his beliefs and I am the same way, I grew up in the church and a continue to serve God, and its something special in music to be able to stand up in this industry and bring the people something different.
CH: You mentioned you are serving God. In what ways are you doing that?
DC: Philanthropist works and care giving.
CH: Are you strictly hosting Lecrae’s mixtape or are you more involved?
DC: Right now I’m just helping him get heard in all angles and I’m just gonna continue to rock out if he needs me.
CH: Did you know about devout Christian’s doing Hip Hop prior to Lecrae? If so, who?
DC: I did and also salute Christians for doing so.
CH: Did you know any specific artists?
DC: No, I’m just familiar with Lecrae.
CH: In the past Christian Hip Hop or Christian Rap if you will, has gotten a bad wrap. Do you think that the general audience and fellow Hip Hop peers don’t care if the music is overtly Christian in content as long as the music is good and the rapper has skills?
DC: I think music is music and if its good it doesn’t matter where it came from.
CH: Thanks for the time bro. I’m looking forward to hearing the mixtape!
DC: No doubt, thank you.