He might have one of the oddest names in the business, but Polow Da Don has quickly built a career that guarantees his moniker won’t be easily forgotten.
Emerging as the next hot super-producer, Polow began racking up credits in 2004, working on tracks by Mya and Will Smith. In 2005 he produced “DJ Play a Love Song” by Jamie Foxx and that same year, Ludacris’ “Pimpin’ All Over the World.” But 2006 shaped up to be his breakout year: When Black Eyed Peas star Fergie shouted “Polow!” on her single “London Bridge,” Polow graduated from a “who?” to a “who’s who.” Polow’s beats are sometimes just as left-field as his nom de plume; innovative songs to his credit include Kelis’s loopy, alarm-based jam “Blindfold Me,” and Ciara’s ’80s-inspired smash ”Promise.”
Based in Atlanta, Polow attended Morehouse College for a spell but left in his freshman year to join the rap group Jim Crow, which inked a deal with Sony and released two albums under the label, 1999’s Crow’s Nest and Right Quick in 2001.
Polow actually found himself in a bit of music-geek controversy in late 2005, when Fergie’s song “Glamorous” lifted several elements from a remix of Gwen Stefani’s “Luxurious.” Polow produced both tracks, yet his remix was never officially released, and when Fergie’s track surfaced it seemed like she was really, really “borrowing” from Gwen. Polow nonetheless escaped the brouhaha unscathed and went on to create more hits, including “Throw Some D’s” by Rich Boy.
A bit of an enigma (his minimalist MySpace page reads, “Don’t need to meet anyone, everyone wants to meet me”), Polow has created his own label, Zone 4 Inc. While the behind-the-scenes track master might maintain anonymity for a little while longer, another year like this one will no doubt turn Polow into a household name.