First Thoughts: Duckwrth "I'm Uugly"
His new album —funky, groovy, emotional — pushes the boundaries of what hip-hop can be, and it’s worth a listen to define for yourself.
Have you seen Duckwrth? He’s like a Tumblr post hashtagged #CarefreeBlackBoy in the flesh. From his partially blonde mohawked locs, to his safety pin earring, to kick-pushing down the street in his videos, Duckwrth isn’t here for your stereotypes of black masculinity, and his music is similarly defiant.
The Spotlight on REVOLT alum said his new album I’m Uugly was two years in the making, and you can hear it in the final result: a stew of disparate ingredients that simmered into a satisfying dish. Upon first listen, you’ll hear strands of predecessor Andre 3000 to be sure, but also Parliament, Hendrix, and more. It’s an organic blend of hip-hop, funk, R&B, and rock that ultimately just feels good.
At only nine tracks long, honestly, each track is a standout. But pay attention to the social commentary the South Central LA native delivers on “100 Days”: “Is it more chalk on the board or chalk on the ground? / Everybody dies on the South side of town.” There’s also the lush “Rare Panther + Beach House,” the video of which dropped a few days prior. Over echoing claps, plucky guitar strings, and staccato bass, a cunning hunter pursues his prey through the jungle, for both of their pleasure. And “Blakk Rager” is hip-hop–steeped narration from the inside of a mosh pit.
Also a noted graphic designer and artist, Duckwrth created single covers for each song, further illustrating their messages. “I MADE THIS ALBUM FOR U. BECAUSE IF YOU’RE NOT GUUD, I’M NOT GUUD. IT’S CALLED A U-N-I-VERSE 4 A REASON. I USE TO LOOK UP TO MY SUPER HEROES TO CHANGE THE WORLD. NOW, I’VE TIED THE CAPE AROUND MY BACK, AND MY MESSAGE: YOU CAN BE A SUPER HERO TOO,” Duckwrth wrote today on Instagram. Listen to I’m Uugly for yourself to see — and feel — what he means.