Los Angeles, CA – Memphis is overflowing with elite up-and-coming talent such as 2022 HipHopDX Rising Star Duke Deuce.
During his recent interview with DX, the Quality Control signee recalled what it was like to receive an early vote of confidence from Migos member Offset when he reached out to him ahead of their “Soldiers Steppin” collaboration, which appeared on his debut album Duke Nukem last year.
“He hit me on Instagram,” Duke Deuce said. “He was like, ‘Yo. G, you hard!’ like that. And I was like, ‘What? Hell yeah!’ And shit ain’t been the same since.”
Duke Deuce proceeded to describe the events following his connection with the Father Of Four MC, detailing how tense it was the first time he actually met Offset and his crew face-to-face.
“After that it was everything, everything was fast!” he said. “Like, bruh, time sped up. It was crazy, it’s like a flash — like I could think about it now,” he continued while demonstrating a spiraling motion. “Like when I first went around Offset and them, I was the n-gga that — a lot of n-ggas was side-eyeing me. Like I was just some peon-ass n-gga or sumn. But now, n-ggas give me the utmost respect when they see me.”
While 2021 was a banner year for Duke Deuce, he truly created a milestone moment in 2019 upon releasing his widely popular “Crunk Ain’t Dead” anthem, which served as the incendiary spark that ignited his fiery career.
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He went on to speak about both how and why he set out on a life-long journey to personally revive crunk music.
“Growing up, I always was a little upset that Memphis wasn’t on,” Duke Deuce started off. “It was like the early 2000s’ and shit like that, and shout out to Lil Jon and all them folks, I love them, I was inspired by them as well. But all we seen on the TV was Atlanta bruh. And I’m like, ‘Damn,’ cause all the OG’s like, ‘That’s our sound right there but Memphis don’t stick together,’ people used to say that a lot. Another city ran off with the sound.”
The “Duke Skywalker” rapper continued, explaining how his quest to put Memphis back on the map resulted in his natural migration into the niche, high-energy sonic pocket. “So I was like, ‘Shit why ain’t nobody, of the artists that are on, why ain’t nobody just representing that crunk shit then?’ the artists that’s from the city,” Duke Deuce said. “It was still a few artists from the city, but when I went back and looked, Three 6 [Mafia] was saying they was the King of crunk to. They was saying they the real kings of crunk. So I was just like, ‘bruh I gotta do this shit,’ And my music was already crunk. Like ‘Stamp Out,’ was crunk as fuck without me saying that it was crunk. So it was like I been doing this, making crunk music, so I was like, ‘I might as well stamp it.’”
Following the Top Ten Billboard debut for Duke Nukem, which reached No. 3 on the New Artists Chart, Duke Deuce delivered his sophomore album Crunkstar last month, intact with features from Lil Yachty, Juicy J, Doe Boy, Rico Nasty and more.
The 20-track project is also home to his fan-favorite “Just Say That,” collaboration with Yo Gotti’s newest CMG signee Glorilla.
Watch the full interview below.