Gawgon brings a world of perspective to the game. Born Wayne Willis
in Liverpool, England, Don is of Jamaican heritage. He came to
New York at the age of 4 and lived his formative years in the
Boogie Down Bronx. Surrounded by a large, tight-knit family,
The Don excelled academically while soaking up the historic movement
that was taking shape in the birthplace of Hip-Hop. Early influence
include the sounds and strength of the Zulu Nation, the style
and moves of Uptown aka Harlem, USA, and the love of music and
dance his West Indian heritage dictates.
"When I heard Planet Rock, it
was over. To this day, that joint get's me up. By that time,
Zulu Nation was making noise
in the BX.
When Planet Rock came out, that just locked it. Then I heard Beat
Box by the Art of Noise. It was on!"
At that point, the Don
was hooked on Hip-Hop. He formed a break dancing crew in the
Bronx that ate up competition on the east side. Continuing to
excel academically, he was accepted to the prestigious Bronx
High School Of Science. This is where he caught the Uptown flavor,
witnessed the uprising of KRS-ONE, and caught a glimpse of what
Queens has to offer....
Half-way through high school, Don moved to Queens,
near the border of Springfield Gardens and Rosedale. Shortly after,
he met a street
kid up the block who lived with his crazy uncles and aunt. Although
from different worlds, Don and Malik clicked. It started with
writing rhymes in the LORD's living room, hitting the last of the
at Springfield Gardens 231, to joining the group RIP and TEAR
and hitting a professional studio for the first time.
"I was the beat box of the crew. We were
presented with our first recording contract by Sleeping Bag Records
age of 16 or 17 but Ma Dukes wasn't having it. Shit was major. She
one in the fam to go to college and she was not having any of that
contract. Shit was major."
The Don went off to
college, always planning to get back to the music biz after he had
a degree in his pocket. He was accepted to the acclaimed Rochester
Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) where he earned a bachelors degree
in Computer Science with a minor in Computer Engineering and a concentration
in Computer Graphics. He has gone on to build an impressive resume
working for major players in the Fortune 500. He has earned millions
of dollar for his employers during his 14 years of global, high
technology experience across the disciplines of consulting, project
management, digital media, IT outsourcing, IT strategy, IT support,
and application development. Don’s expertise includes web
site implementation, client server computing, customer relationship
management, and distributed computing. This experience has been
focused across a number of diverse industries including high tech,
financial services, government, and entertainment.
Shortly after finishing college, Don Gawgon reconnected
with Malik and witnessed, first hand, the power of the Life Or Death
movement Malik and Puzzle created while he was away. As fate would
have it, the computer technology and entertainment industries began
to form synergies, and the time was right for Life Or Death to move
to the next level.
In 2001, Don founded Corte' Media, a services
company focused on providing unparalleled production, distribution,
creative, and professional services to the global media and entertainment
The formal relationship with Life Or Death Entertainment began as
a business consulting relationship that lasted for 6 years and has
evolved into a joint venture. Providing virtual COO, CTO, and digital
media services, including the design, development, and management
of www.life-or-death.com and entertainment product packaging.
Don's impressive resume includes:
- Breakaway Solutions, Inc. Director, holding positions that include
Delivery Director, Relationship Partner, and Professional Development
Manager of the company's New England Region.
- Cambridge Technology Partners, Inc. Associate Director, Senior
Project Manager and Resource Manager in the Custom Software/Interactive
Solutions Service Line
- Digital Equipment Corporation, Solutions Architect. Graduate
of DEC's Information Technology Development Program, a program
focused on grooming talented college graduates to be leaders in
Applied Information Technology.
- International Business Machines (IBM), PC Analyst and Programmer/Analyst.
- Manufacturers Hanover Trust, Programmer/Systems Analyst , Retail
Banking Systems Division
-by Anthony Sulefel - Staff Writer