Hollow Da Don, also known as Don Dotti, Don Lennon, and The Di-ni-ni-non, discusses his L.O.M. (Loyalty Ova Money) clothing line, staying focus against all odds, and the biggest obstacle he had to overcome as a battle rapper.
ZT: Growing up, who were some of your influences?
HDD: Honesty, at first I didn’t have any influences. There weren’t too many battles that I could watch, except those that I was involved in. It was later on in my career that I started watching rap battles. Serious Jones vs. Jin, Loaded Lux vs. Murda Mook, and Murda Mook vs. Party Arty to name a few. Those legendary battles influenced me, but my earliest experiences came from battling anybody I could find in the streets.
ZT: What does the word loyalty mean to you?
HDD: Loyalty means everything to me. It means giving your word and keeping it. Loyalty is what enables others to trust and respect you, and also, loyalty is one of the best character traits that a person can have.
ZT: What is the greatest obstacle you had to overcome as a battle rapper, and how did you overcome it?
HDD: I would definitely say the Loaded Lux battle because the majority of people within the battle-rap community were counting me out. They didn’t believe that I would put a bullet in the preacher’s head. Lux was the favorite to win and I was the underdog. But against all odds, I overcame their doubts by staying focus and remaining confident in my ability to perform under the bright lights.
ZT: I saw you and Loaded Lux’s classic battle on Pay-Per-View. You did a great job. You had an excellent game plan and executed it well. Every time Lux swung at you verbally, with a career-defining round that would have destroyed the average battle rapper, you stood your ground, absorbed the blows, and countered with a career-defining round of your own. I respect that.
HDD: (laughs) Thanks. You already snow.
ZT: What's the worst advice anyone has ever given you?
HDD: Once upon a time, a hater told me not to pursue my dreams.
ZT: What is it that sets you apart from other top-tier battle rappers?
HDD: My originality. I’m just focus on doing my numbers, hoping that people accept it, nothing extra.
ZT: Battle rap is a tough business. What advice would you give to an aspiring emcee, a person who truly wants to make it big in battle rap?
HDD: Be original, and when preparing for a battle, expect many sleepless nights. You might be up all night, until 5 or 6 in the morning, working on one scheme, one bar, or one idea, over and over again. But during your preparation, it’s best to put an end to clubbing and going out; stay focus, and keep your eyes on the prize.
ZT: Years from now, when people say Hollow Da Don, what will they say?
HDD: Pound-for-pound best battle-rapper in the world. A loyal and stand-up dude that stuck to his word. He was always respectable and did his numbers in the ring.
ZT: How can people get in contact with you, and where can they purchase your merchandise?
ZT: Thank you for a great interview, and as an honored guest, the last words are yours.
HDD: Hollow Da Don, you already snow. The Don Dotti. Shout-out to all my peoples in Queens and H-town. Lean on me.
ZT: If you like this article, and appreciate good journalism, you can follow me on Twitter @zangbathomson, visit my website, and subscribe to receive email updates whenever I publish a new article. Always remember that (P) Positive, (E) Energy, (A) Always, (C) Creates, (E) Elevation (PEACE).