Crunk music was never dead, but Memphis rapper Duke Deuce has taken it upon himself to inspire a new generation to tear the club up. With inexhaustible energy and a booming voice, the 28-year-old has been reclaiming the ecstatic subgenre for his hometown, making music as grim as it is gleeful, and turning up all the while.
Duke’s released his first projects on Quality Control Music (QC): Memphis Massacre (2018) and Memphis Massacre 2 (2020). Those records split the difference between the dark crunk of Three 6 Mafia and the gleaming hits of Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz, offering vivid glimpses into Duke’s life before and after rap, full of both salvos aimed at local enemies and bottle-popping celebrations.
While the pandemic has put some plans on hold, Duke has focused on expanding his business beyond music to support his family and community. He founded Duke Deuce Enterprises LLC, and partnered with “Freeway” Rick Ross to develop his own cannabis strain: “Duke Skywalker.”