By Jack Barnes
A veteran in the rap game at only 22, J.R. Donato is a flow architect with an engaging personality. Premiered today by Dirty Glove Bastard, “Trap Never Closed” is the first single from the Chicago artist’s upcoming Why So Serious? mixtape. Riding a percussive cadence over dramatic strings and drill synths, the Taylor Gang emcee celebrates his unbeatable work ethic and flexes his prized possessions, adding a memorable, stuttering hook for good measure. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
Releasing later this fall, Why So Serious is a proper follow-up to last year’s Fast Money & Freedom, his Taylor Gang debut, produced entirely by Sledgren. “Trap Never Closed” follows the release of “All That I Need,” a Fake Shore Drive–premiered loose video single filmed at Chicago’s Fat Tiger Workshop, and the HipHopDX-debuted “Not For None, which dropped in May and featured the rapper dancing around Inception-horns and spiraling sine waves, finding colorful new ways to boast about his lifestyle.
Born and raised on North Chicago, Illinois, J.R. Donato started rapping in his early teens, earning a local hit at age 13 under the name Young JR. During his junior year of high school, Donato supportedTwista on a regional tour and eventually caught the ear of Wiz Khalifa, who featured J.R. on his Cabin Fever 2 mixtape and later signed him to Taylor Gang Entertainment. Donato also contributed a standout verse to Wiz Khalifa‘s “Make a Play,” featured on the Billboard Top 10 peaking Khalifa album. Carefully planning his next move, J.R. Donato is honing his flow and perfecting his craft for his next breakthrough project. “I sound like myself. These days that’s not easy,” J.R. Donato explained in an interview with AllHipHop. “The line for originality is thin, but I think I can walk that line fine. Also all my music has a message in it so it’s always relatable, and that’s what the game needs.”
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Props to JRDonatoVEVO