Donno raps for the brokenhearted on 'Kid on Firee'
For the last year or two, Donno has been doing double duty. In addition to recording with MT Twins, the Milwaukee-born duo that released a fantastic comeback album "Survivor's Guilt" last year after a hiatus, Donno and his twin brother Dexxx (now 3xSimpson) have both continued recording their own solo material.
This week Donno released his latest solo album "Kid on Firee," and while it retains his usual hallmarks -- namely the melodic hooks and extremely autobiographical writing -- its subject matter separates it from both his output with MT Twins and his 2020 solo debut " Greater Life." Especially on their recent material, MT Twins have made trauma their driving muse (it's hard to name a Milwaukee act that's been as prescient at predicting national trends as MT Twins have been; they were making Polo G-style pain rap since before Polo G popped). "Greater Life," on the other hand, was a decidedly sweeter listen, more indebted to crossover radio sounds and filled with snapshots of young love and ambition.
Some of that sweetness has soured on "Kid on Firee." As the cover illustration of a flaming heart promises, this is Donno's version of a breakup album. Surprisingly, though, these songs dispense with most of the ugliness that pervades too many breakup albums -- there's no blaming or demonizing his ex, no recriminations. Donno doesn't even litigate the specifics of their decoupling.
Instead, he raps about coming to terms with living separate lives, and the continued responsibility he still feels toward his ex. "Try to keep the relationship private / That's why the breakup was quiet," he raps on the closer "Keep U Waitin," where he flaunts some earned wisdom on the chorus: "Ain't nothing more important than how you feel / To shut up and just listen, that takes skill." Like every project Donno's recorded, this is rap music at its most personal.
You can stream "Kid on Firee" below.