WKU student rapper Toon God aims to be Kentucky’s next “tune God”

WKU sophomore Darius Lightfoot is a graphic design major who enjoys rapping. His rap video Brandon Doughty Swag has over 5,000 views on YouTube. Jennifer King/HERALD

Brittiny Moore

YouTube can be a place where stars are born and where people post in hopes of achieving their dreams. This is true for WKU sophomore Darius Lightfoot.

The Bowling Green native, also known as the Toon God created the song “Brandon Doughty Swag.”  

Lightfoot uses his music to pay homage to his hometown and its natives, including WKU greats like former Hilltopper quarterback Brandon Doughty.  

“We have the greatest quarterback in the nation of football,” Lightfoot said. “It makes me want show respect to [him].”

The song was released on Sept. 26,  2015, an extremely relevant time for Topper football. WKU has just defeated Miami (Ohio) 56-14 behind six passing touchdowns from Doughty. Later on in the season, Doughty led the WKU football team to victory at both the Conference USA championship game as well as the Miami Beach Bowl.  

Doughty ended the 2015 season with 5,055 total yards and 48 touchdowns.

The song has become a hit on Lightfoot’s YouTube channel with over 5,000 views, something that Lightfoot did not expect.

“This song gave me a boost,” Lightfoot said. “Even the news is calling [Brandon Doughty] Swag, and I gave him that nickname.”

The hashtag #swagbrandondoughty gained quick traction on Twitter with the first instances of the hashtag being used three days after the song’s release on Sept. 29, by Twitter user William Puckett, @pucko9. 

One day later, WKU Redzone Radio, @WKURedzone, tweeted the hashtag. #swagbrandondoughty continues to be used on Twitter with the most recent instance, as of writing this story, being a tweet by @WKU_GreekHumor. 

The account tweeted “#SwagBrandonDoughty got robbed” in reference to American Pharaoh being named the 2015 Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year. 

Lightfoot, a graphic design and advertising major, began writing raps a few years ago on his iPhone 3 as a side hobby. 

He would even record his work to the device’s voice memo records.  It wasn’t until recently that Lightfoot decided to invest in his own recording studio equipment.  

“When I first heard him talking about [the song], it was just to have fun with it,” Bowling Green sophomore Dashiell Hamilton III said. “When it started getting popular, people started recognizing our faces.”

“It feels good to know that somebody’s actually listening,” Hamilton III added. 

Since investing in a studio, Lightfoot has begun rapping with childhood friend, Hamilton III.  

Lightfoot said that it took him about 10 minutes to write the rap which he then recorded in his basement.  

“Everything he does, I support,” Hamilton III said. “As a rapper I see him as talented and if he pursues [music] he will have big goals and dreams.”

Lightfoot said he got his motivation from similar artists who rap about the accomplishments of others. 

“I never listened to mainstream music and got inspiration from underground rap,” Lightfoot said. “I thought maybe I should make a song about Brandon Doughty since it is relevant.” 

More recently, Lightfoot paid homage to Lady Topper point guard Kendall Noble with another rap published last December which currently sits at around 130 views. 

“Lady sports on the Hill don’t get the recognition they deserve, so I’m sure you could see why he targeted a female player this time,” the description for the video reads. 

While Lightfoot hopes he will be giving us our next song to jam out to, saying “It will come to me some day,” he said that he will mostly be focusing on his clothing line, Toon Gang.  

Lightfoot hopes to set himself apart by creating a brand specializing in what he calls “cartoon swag.” 

“I used to wear a lot of cartoon shirts and it’s a different genre of fashion,” Lightfoot said. “I wanted to create a name for the type of swag for people who wear cartoon shirts.”

Clothing from Lightfoot’s line can be viewed on his Instagram account, @toongangkentucky, where links to his available music can also be found.  

Even though Lightfoot may not be looking to get directly into the music business, Hamilton III still has hopes for his partner’s musical career.   

“I hope he goes all the way. I hope he’s more successful than anyone who has done this in the state,” Hamilton III said. “He’s got a passion that if he’s not the best, he has a lot to improve on, that’s what I like about his attitude.”