It’s obvious looking at a profile pic of 2019 Rapzilla Freshmen Don Ryvcko that he isn’t your typical white rapper. Scrolling through his Instagram, you’ll find him with a jacket with the Honduran flag stitched above his heart. Sometimes a bottle capped drink will rest in his right hand. Most of his captions are in Spanish. While he is an American by law, by heart he is Honduran.

Ethnic Roots

Ryvcko’s parents first stayed in Honduras as missionaries till they decided to stay permanently. Ryvcko spent the first ten years of his life in the Central American country. His family then moved to Mississippi where Ryvcko still lives now.

“We straight up thought we were Honduran, me and my brothers because that’s exactly how we were raised,” Don Ryvcko shared. “We spoke English inside the house with our parents, but everywhere outside – we went to a Spanish school, all of our friends, everything –  we spoke Spanish. All I knew was Honduras. What’s crazy is, we go from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras with over a million people, to Starkville, Mississippi, where there are 25,000 people.”

It’s in Mississippi Ryvcko got his first taste of Christian Rap.Don Ryvcko

“We moved to the U.S. when I was 10 years old, and the first album I heard here in the U.S. was Rehab by Lecrae. When I heard that, the very first song I heard was ‘Walking On Water’, which, I don’t care if this is rude, but I honestly hate that song now. [Nevertheless] it played such a big role in my life. When I heard that, I was like, ‘Wow, I want to try making that kind of music’. I wanted to sound like that.”

Don downloaded FL Studio, grabbed a piano, and started creating. Because he had to do everything alone, however, he doesn’t need to depend on anyone to create what he wants.

“That’s where my love of producing came from,” Ryvcko explained. “Thankfully, I’ve been able to be a little more self-sufficient and not depend on too many people when it comes to all the aspects of my music. I’ve been able to produce, mix, and master it up to this point.”

Latino Focus

Once he turned 16, Don Ryvcko focused more on honing his craft. Along with developing, Ryvcko felt God’s hand pushing him toward the Latino music industry.

“It’s been a process because I didn’t really know what God wanted me to do in that sense,” Ryvcko explained. “I was just making music at first, but then I felt God really calling me to focus on doing more of the Spanish music and being able to reach out to the Latino audience, which I’m very passionate about.”

So Ryvcko followed, and God blessed. Ryvcko is now a Rapzilla Freshmen with around 8,000 Spotify monthly listeners. He did a concert this year with Social Club Misfits and has gotten popular playlist placements such as 100% LatinX.

The choice to follow, however, didn’t come without its anxieties.

“I’ve always been hesitant about that because I have one fear that people will think I am like culture appropriating. I’ve actually had that conversation with a lot of people I respect. I had that conversation with Miguel at a radioUNT in Orlando, and then I had that conversation with Cardec Drums. They always brought up this one example: there’s this guy Evan Kraft. He does all Spanish worship music, but he’s straight-up white. The reason why he knows Spanish is that he took a lot of courses in Spanish, ended up doing school overseas and things like that. What they told me was that people love to see a straight-up white person represent their culture.”

Don RyvcjoRyvcko continued, “People are more accepting than you would expect, or at least what I was expecting. I was expecting some people to be like, ‘why is there a white person doing Latino music’, but they are very accepting of that. I mean, why not? You have someone representing you.”

Now, his music and marketing are completely geared for the Latino audience, fully embracing his origins. With a single releasing in August and opportunities springing up, Ryvcko is striving toward the goal God set for him.

“Now I’m at the point now where I’m like, ‘Ok, I’ve started doing that and I’m actually getting somewhere with it’. It’s kind of like conformation,” Ryvcko said. “That’s kind of what this year has served as; confirmation for what I am doing and what God has called me to do. I couldn’t be more happy with how my life has gone in the sense of how I’ve learned to embrace Honduran culture, Latino culture, and being able to express that.”

Check out a Q&A with another 2019 Rapzilla Freshmen, Torey D’Shaun, here. Look out for more 2019 Rapzilla Freshmen articles!