Raphael Fluker, famously known as Rafa Don, is an American musical artist and songwriter from Detroit, MI. Detroit native, Rafa Don spent the majority of his childhood and early teen years helping operate family owned businesses located in the heart of Downtown Detroit. At those businesses, Rafa Don would regularly work on his music from a store computer that he downloaded programs on. On days when store traffic was slow, Rafa Don focused on learning more about music production and the music industry. Rafa Don managed to establish his own record label, Make Way Entertainment LLC, at the lowest time in his life financially and mentally coming off of the loss of his mother, while beginning to compose his own music. The family businesses went under and were forced to close soon after. At the time, with himself as his only artist, producer, marketer, and so forth, one could imagine the company motto of “No way, Make Way” was derived through the countless hours of work and the resilience it took Rafa to have. His early work can be found under the name “Flu Smif”, a combination of his old street name and his late-grandfather’s last name. Notably, his name “Rafa Don” still appears on his early works and heard all throughout those mixtapes as somewhat of a hint that there are different things about Rafa and his methods that the audience is still not aware of yet. Rafa’s music is filled with brilliant-catchy flow deliveries and unique-insightful lyrics that hint towards many possibilities.
What makes you different as a person/artist?
“Truthfulness is the key to fruitfulness.” This quote by Native Detroit rapper Rafa Don sums up his approach to music and life.
I always find a solution to any obstacle I may encounter and never make excuses, hence my motto I live by “No Way, Make Way.” My music creating process extends from the recording booth, where I compose my own music and find time to make my own cover art for my songs, like “No Pacifist” and “General Population“. I had an enormous connection to music since a child, growing up playing the saxophone, I molded my ear to tune into pristine quality music. I had access to many different beat makers and producers, however taught myself how to produce music along side studio engineering in order to fill the void of not having the production style I always envisioned. I also almost never use the same rap flow twice which can only be heard to fully understand. I have always been a leader since grade school and continue to lead my team as CEO of Make Way Entertainment.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself adding an immense amount of value to the music industry as an Independent Record Label owner and artist while having multiple collaborations with the many musicians and artist that I have always admired and respected. I want to provide an experience for my team that empowers them to excel in all areas they are passionate about. I want to continue to give back to my community that helped mold me into the man I am today.
Rafa Don has released 4 songs currently available on all digital platforms with more to come this month.
God Sent — released 8/2019
Searchlights — released 5/2020
No Pacifist — release 5/2020
General Population — released 6/2020
2 mixtapes released in 2014 and available on Spinrilla and Datpiff