Donnis is definitely a member of the class of Kid Cudi, Drake, and company, a performer who's neither commercial rapper nor obscure, lyricism-obsessed MC. And still, thanks to a shrewd, intelligent-pop sensibility, the Atlanta resident appeals equally to urban hipsters and girls who just wanna shake it at the club.

While his rhymes pick up on the staccato cadence and repetition of his native Dirty South, it's his selection of beats that launches the songs into outer space. Built on robotic, tinny synths and warp-speed samples, Donnis's sound has more in common with next-level club music than your typical boom-bap. So it makes sense that till now, he has released music through forward-thinking Brooklyn label Fool's Gold.

Still, his ambitions are more widespread, and an airwave takeover seems imminent. This past February, Donnis signed a major-label deal with Atlantic. The coronation continued when he was named one of XXL's annual 10 Freshmen, a who's who of the next big names in the rap game.


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