Photo: Getty
  /  08.18.2022

It’s another Memphis-style episode this week on the “Big Facts” podcast with hosts Big Bank, DJ Scream, and Baby Jade alongside special guest Duke Deuce. The 30-year-old rising star stopped by to discuss his decision to create crunk music, why he doesn’t partake in rap feuds, and much more.

Born Patavious Lashun Isom, Deuce rose to fame thanks to the single “Yeh” from his 2019 album Control the Streets, Volume 2. His fan base grew only more significant following the release of “Crunk Ain’t Dead” from his album Memphis Massacre 2.

The rapper has taken on a sound not used by many artists in the music industry currently. While sub-genres in rap such as drill continue to grow in popularity, Deuce shared why he chose to create crunk music. The uptempo sub-genre emerged in the early 1990s, but gained mainstream success during the mid-2000s thanks to artists such as Three 6 Mafia and Lil Jon who propelled the sound.

“Honestly, I feel like I just do the music I like,” the rapper explained. Deuce admitted that he felt music “was starting to feel the same. I felt like somebody had to switch it up.” His efforts garnered him the attention of Offset, who made the introduction that led to a recording deal with Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas’ Quality Control Music label. The rapper joins a label filled with some of hip hop’s most prominent artists, including Lil Baby and City Girls.

Despite not coming from a place where crunk music is heavily made, Deuce received a lot of support from local artists, noting that more acts have been experimenting with the sound than it appears. “It’s a lot of artists in the city that’s behind me right now; they’re making crunk music as well,” he said. “People just haven’t heard of them yet, but they will,” he added.

Among his supporters is Canadian rap star Drake, who crowned him as one of the best up-and-coming acts currently. Deuce opened up about the experience, noting, “It feels like when Offset reached out to me for the first time all over again, but it’s Drake, though.” He added, “I can’t really explain it with words. The s**t just feels unreal. It feels good, though, for real.”

Last December, the “Step Back” rapper sparked a considerable debate online after expressing in a Twitter post that feuding with other rappers holds you back.

“I ain’t make it out the hood just to beef with other artists,” the rapper wrote at the time. “That’s hustling backwards to me. I’m about growth and development.” He continued, “I’m on a journey of becoming a billionaire, f**** the dumb s**t.”

Deuce opened up about that moment, and his feelings on the matter don’t appear to have changed. “I feel like that s**t is tired; I ain’t going to lie to you,” he told DJ Scream. “I don’t really agree with all the yelling at the phone. I just get tired of seeing the  s**t.”

“Everybody mad. F**k y’all mad for? All the time? All this godd**n money and p**sy, y’all n**gas tripping. It’s too much going on,” he continued. The rising star suggested that the best way to avoid rap feuds is to “mind my f**king business,” noting that he could only speak for himself. He added, “I’m just chasing something. I’m focused — got tunnel vision type s**t. You don’t even gotta worry about that type of s**t. You don’t see it.”

Elsewhere, the emcee discussed some of his musical inspirations and his love for the rock music genre, having grown up listening to it with his father. He noted that one of his favorite bands is Lincoln Park.

His affinity for the genre could be heard on his latest album, CRUNKSTAR. Deuce explained the inspiration behind the album title and the crunk star movement, stating, “A crunk star is a person that’s unafraid to be themselves. With this album, I’m being myself in all different types of [dimensions] and s**t like that. That’s the reason why some of the songs are a little different than what people would expect from me.” Still, he admitted, “I feel like I honestly kind of let people put me in a box a little bit, like, sticking to one sound. Everybody just knowing me for the crunk s**t, crunk s**t, crunk s**t, but I’m really a rockstar, for real. So, that’s why I switched it up.”

As much as he appreciates the success he’s garnered so far in his career, Deuce shared that he also enjoys seeing his hometown peers progress. While discussing some artists back home, he opened up about collaborating with recent “Big Facts” guest and “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” rapper GloRilla.

The emcee appears on the Allen Ritter and Metro Boomin-produced track “Just Say That,” which samples Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto,” famously used in DMX’s “What’s My Name?” However, during their discussion, Deuce revealed that the song almost didn’t make it on the album.

“I was putting her on my album before ‘F.N.F.’ even dropped,” he said of working with the raptress. “I just wanted to reach out to the city and put some people on my album that people just really don’t know about yet.” He continued: “The song almost didn’t make the album because somebody in the UK, some lady, she was giving us a hard time with the motherf**ker,” but ultimately, “She cleared that motherf**ker the day before it was too late.”

Duke Deuce’s CRUNKSTAR is available now and it features 20 tracks and a slew of guests appearances, including rap legend Juicy J, Lil Yachty, Rico Nasty, and fellow Memphis emcee GloRilla. If you liked what you heard, be sure to stay tuned every week for new episodes of “Big Facts.” Also, don’t forget to watch the latest show here.

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