Donnis is an American rapper and singer from Atlanta, Georgia. He first gained recognition with the release of his mixtapes ‘Diary of an ATL Brave’ and ‘The Invitation’ in 2009. Donnis has collaborated with artists like G-Side, CeeLo Green, Clinton Sparks and Talib Kweli. He is known for his unique style that blends hip hop, pop and electronica.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Donnis was born Dennis Jamal Wilson on January 30, 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia. From an early age he was interested in music, especially hip hop. Donnis started rapping and producing beats as a teenager. He went to Georgia State University where he got a degree in marketing.
After graduating, Donnis started taking his music career more seriously. He adopted the stage name Donnis and began performing at local Atlanta venues. In 2007, he released his first mixtape ‘The Beginning Mixtape’. This helped him gain some buzz in the local hip hop scene.
Rise to Fame and Atlantic Records
In 2009, Donnis released his breakthrough mixtape ‘Diary of an ATL Brave’. It featured his hit single ‘Gone’. The mixtape was praised for its unique style and helped Donnis gain national attention.
Later that year, he was signed to Atlantic Records. In 2010, Donnis released his major label debut mixtape ‘Fashionably Late’. It featured guest appearances from Estelle, GLC and Clinton Sparks. The mixtape’s single ‘I’m Da Man’ charted on the Rhythmic Top 40.
After signing with Atlantic, Donnis toured with various major artists to promote his music. He opened for B.o.B, Drake, Kid Cudi and Ace Hood among others.
In 2011, Donnis released a free EP titled ‘Southern Lights’. He eventually parted ways with Atlantic Records after releasing just one studio album.
Donnis continued to release music independently. In 2013, he dropped the mixtape ‘Cash, Diamonds & 3 Ringz’. It had a trap influenced sound. The mixtape featured collaborations with Sy Ari Da Kid, Rome Fortune and MPA Duke.
Over the years, Donnis has done guest verses for other artists like G-Side, Cyhi Da Prynce, Jon Connor and Mistah FAB. His most recent release was the 2018 single ‘Like You Never’.
Style and Influences
Donnis is known for blending different music styles like Southern hip hop, electronica, indie rock and pop. He cites Outkast, T.I., Lil Wayne and UGK as his influences. Despite his crossover appeal, Donnis considers himself hip hop at the core.
His rhyme style is described as laidback and subtle. Donnis’ songs often deal with typical hip hop themes like bravado and swagger. But he also shows his vulnerable side at times.
Donnis has an estimated net worth of $500 thousand as of 2022. Much of his wealth has come from music sales, touring and partnerships with brands like Sprite, G-Shock and Urban Outfitters.
At the height of his fame with Atlantic Records, he was likely earning a comfortable six figure income. But after parting ways with the major label, Donnis continues to make music independently.
Not much is known about Donnis’ personal life as he keeps a low profile. Based on his social media posts, he appears to be single at the moment.
Donnis seems to enjoy traveling and has toured many countries in Europe and Asia. He is also a sneakerhead with an impressive collection of rare Air Jordans.
Outside of music, Donnis is passionate about marketing and brand partnerships. He still utilizes his marketing degree to promote his music career independently.
Donnis rose to prominence in the late 2000s Atlanta rap scene with his unique crossover sound. He had a taste of major label success with Atlantic Records.
Although no longer a mainstream star, Donnis continues to release quality independent music for his loyal fans. With an impressive catalog and diverse style, Donnis has cemented his place as one of Atlanta’s most talented rappers.