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Standout Track: With “What We Gon Do About It,” Southeast rapper DB Bantino blends 808s and rap vocals to uplift his community. The track moves in a direction that separates itself from the recycled topics of money, cars, and clothes in order to inspire listeners to aspire. “I just wanted it to reach at least one person” Bantino says, “I know a lot of the biggest movements start with one person who can inspire another, so that’s all I wanted to do.” Although the song was released a little over a week ago, “What We Gon Do About It” has already touched listeners, he says.

Musical Motivation: It’s no secret that violence in the District has increased exponentially this year, and “What We Gon Do Bout It” is Bantino’s rallying cry against it all. Born and raised in Southeast, Bantino is aware of what goes on in the streets in of his neighborhood. In both 2014 and 2015, there’ve been more than 100 murders in the region alone. “I just felt that it was a good time for me to just write how I feel” he says. 

A Quest for Clarity: Bantino says he’s gained some new fans from “What We Gon Do,” but he’s laser-focused on the next step in his career. With writing and producing credits also under his belt, Bantino’s goal is to bring a new sound to D.C. But the message will always be there. He says he wants to keep a close representation of what goes on in the streets of his hometown. And beyond that, he hopes to recruit and mentor new talent in the area. “I want to bring other artists in this area to give them a platform so we can reach [an audience] internationally,” he says.