When you see New York City in music videos, it usually comes in a few stock forms: slick streets at midnight, ballcourts, some shitty bar or gross club. That’s not my New York, and it’s not rapper DonMonique’s, either. In her music videos, she lives in a New York that you might actually recognize if you live here. She hangs out in house parties at some random person’s apartment, shadowy stairwells full of orange emergency light, and an arcade.
On her debut EP, this year’s Thirst Trap, DonMoquie raps slowly over twinkly, hypnotic beats. Her voice is distorted, ecohy, slows down and reverses before moving forward again. It pretty accurately replicates the feeling of being fucked up out of your mind, which is maybe why it’s lately become the absolute hardest way to rap. As one YouTube commenter (Mars, avatar an alien eating pizza) said: “this shit dope af.”
Where do you live and how old are you?
I live in Brooklyn I’m 22
What made you first interested in your profession, and how old were you when that happened?
I was interested in making music all my life. I actually wanted to be a singer when I was younger, but I never thought to pursue it, never knew where to start. (On top of that I didn’t have the voice.) Luckily around 19 I found someone who believed in me with rapping and here we are.
Do you feel Brooklyn is still a viable place for a young person to build a career?Definitely. But not everyone can handle the NY pace and the lifestyle though.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Being a boss. Owning a few things.

Have you ever felt like leaving your career path?
Sometimes shit gets frustrating but I ain’t never been the type to quit, you feel me?
What’s felt like you’re biggest professional accomplishment?
Releasing a whole body of work and it actually being good. In my opinion it’s great. That’s when I felt most proud of myself. Can’t wait to finish the next project.
What’s some advice you’d give to people trying to get a foothold in your industry?
Everyone isn’t your friend; Network; Boss up.

Who are your role models in your industry?
Career-wise I look up to Foxy Brown. Inspiration for music I would have to say 50 cent, Lil Kim and Earl.

Who would be your pick for a 30 Under 30?
All my people that’s young and getting it.

Should we all move to LA?
Not at all.

To learn about more sub-30 Standouts, visit this year’s list of 30 Under 30. 

Image by Jane Bruce.