Fashionably Late, But We're Still Waiting on Donnis 

click to enlarge Fashionably Late EP by Donnis
Donnis
Fashionably Late EP
(Atlantic Records)

Rising Atlanta rapper Donnis has a clever, catchy and unpretentious style. He often writes brilliant boasts—on "Tonight,"his latest in a string of hit singles: "I go where these rappers never been before/Right out of Tokyo/I made a mountain y’all Dru Hills like Nokio”—but he’s not out to redefine hip-hop. That’s enough to set him apart from fellow next generation MCs who tend towards ghetto-futuristism (Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi), old school traditionalism (The Cool Kids, The Knux), or some combination thereof (Wale, B.o.B). Penning transcendent party jams and flowing over beaming electronic production with a Nelly-like twang, he’s a mainstream rap star in the making.

With three well-received mixtapes in two years and a tour with Matt and Kim this month, the timing seems perfect for a proper major label debut, so it’s frustrating finding only two new songs on this five-track EP. A dramatic beat full of rattling bass and flickering electronic notes saves cynical autobiography "Dream Chaser." The more genuine, triumphant opener "I Made It" makes this little label indulgence worthwhile. What resembles a vintage video game powerup sound effect boosts the chorus, making Donnis sound invincible. With still no album to speak of, though, this diluted EP may leave fans in withdrawal.

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