It takes a strong individual to lead and dare to be different. Donald 'D.O.N' Payne aka Doe or Nothin is one of these rarities - a charismatic individual and a perceptive team player. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the rugged backwoods of Hamlet, North Carolina, D.O.N can be described as one of Hip Hop's best-kept secrets. He's very humble when asked about his affiliation with the members of his team and some of Hip Hop's best-known artists. Stating 'Everybody needs somebody'. Yet this rapper/producer also loves basking in the solo spotlight, as proven by his acclaimed breakout single 'Put It In The Middle'. It was only a few years ago that D.O.N was a maintenance crewmember working hard on Andrews Air Force Base. 'I remember hearing fighter jets all day, I enjoyed helping the troops but I always wondered why am I not doing what I love - music' he recalls. D.O.N's dream started early by listening to some of music's best known artist from LL Cool J and the late Notorious Big to Stevie Wonder and a host of others. Growing up D.O.N had a lot of support and was urged by his entire family to follow his dreams. D.O.N completed his studies at the University of North Carolina and picked up on producing in high school. It was during these formative years that D.O.N joined a creative alliance with Street Soldiers Productions. It was here that D.O.N developed his own unique sound in music. 'I've always loved being different, the late Street Soldiers Productions gave me the boost and edge I needed to venture off on my own,' D.O.N says. 'Since we've all grown up together, we know each other's capabilities and continually push each other to do better, whether it's music or becoming better in life.' Lyrically, D.O.N is a dynamic storyteller. He excels at observation and grounds his verses in the reality around him. Ferociously writing his narratives on paper, napkin, skin, and sometimes even leaving ideas on his answering machine, he spins these words into concepts such as a love story ('Coming Home') or examining the same situation from two perspectives ('Second Time Around'). D.O.N also leaves a positive vibe with the many audiences he touches. Whether it's rocking an intimate club or commanding an arena of thousands, D.O.N loves feeding off the energy of a hype crowd. He's performed in front of numerous crowds. Some of his most noted performances include: Opening for Floetry at Ashanti Land, Maryland Brown Eyes Productions Showcase, Delaware Opening for 50 Cent at the Stop The Violence Tour, Washington, D.C. Black Men/Black Women Magazine with Dame Dash, New Jersey Opening for C-Lo of Goody Mobb at the DC Tunnel, Washington, D.C. Support Our Troops, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland and a host of other local and national talent showcases, which has enabled his talent to shine on it's own and also amongst his peers. Because of his passion for music, D.O.N knew he didn't simply want to rhyme over music, he wanted to create it. In '02 D.O.N teamed up with Eugene 'Excalibur' Morris a fellow producer and singer and began learning Pro Tools and other production equipment in a professional. This all culminates into a solid track record that has earned D.O.N respect from the industry and his fellow musicians. As D.O.N prepares for his anticipated solo release, he's realized it's not just his peers who want to shower him with encouraging words. Since the release of the single 'Put It In The Middle', a party song that's guaranteed to make you dance, D.O.N has been working around the clock to provide audiences around the globe with new and creative songs, raising the bar and pushing the envelope of creativity in today's music industry.
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