Charm La’Donna has finally dropped her debut EP with La’Donna, a seven-song collection clocking just under twenty minutes with every second charged with the rapper, artist, dancer, creative director, songwriter, VMA Award-winning choreographer, and proud Compton native’s ferocious bars. Opening with “Hallelujah,” which features a heartfelt message from La’Donna’s brother given from jail in which he calls attention to La’Donna’s “spirit of discernment.” That discernment comes straight from La’Donna’s upbringing, which she rips through on the track, shouting out her grandma as she unfurls the laundry list of reasons and ways in which she’s not just persevered but thrived. Raising her voice a little louder, “See It” sees La’Donna taking down the hate that comes with being “seen,” turning that visibility into a self-actualizing power that gives strength to the kind of voices woefully lacking in hip-hop: Black female artists just like her.
While on the laid-back, cruising beats of “Westside” La’Donna keeps herself grounded via an undying love for her hometown, the track bleeding gorgeously into “Palm Trees,” the video for which sees La’Donna dancing in the very streets of her neighborhood alongside classic cars and atop graffitied trucks. A veritable ode to the people and the city that helped shape her (La’Donna stays a proud figure in her community, recently surprising the @divasofcomptom at one of their rehearsals), the first half of La’Donna is a punctuated introduction to the powerhouse that is Charm La’Donna.
The second half of the EP dives deeper into the pieces of La’Donna’s music that deal with self-love and the resilience of Black girls that come from the same places she has. “Queen” is a potent anthem that minces no words in establishing the self-realized autonomy that La’Donna has created for herself, not just financially but spiritually, and also has the added benefit of being a hook-filled sprint through some of her hottest bars. “Respect” continues that sentiment, with La’Donna taking aim at men who try to throw their money at her as a means of imposing some sort of superiority or claim, she makes it clear she neither needs nor wants them — “I don’t wanna be like you,” she bites spectacularly. The EP’s finale comes in the form of “La Don/Outro,” a heady, beat-laden slow burner in which La’Donna flips the script one more time transforming an inherently masculine title of authority into her own title and name.
Listen to Charm La’Donna’s new EP La’Donna below!