Duke Deuce Tells Us Why His ‘Crunk Ain’t Dead’ Movement Is Taking Over Hip-Hop

Just last year, Duke Deuce‘s Memphis Massacre cut “Yeh” hit a million YouTube views in just about 30 days with the encouragement of Cardi B, who called on her more than 60 million Instagram followers to check him out. Now, he’s gone viral for the remix of his song “Crunk Ain’t Dead” featuring hip-hop luminaries Project Pat and Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia, as well as Lil Jon.

Discovered by Migos’ Offset and signed to Quality Control in 2017, the 27-year-old hopes to re-ignite excitement into the city with music made to “jook” and “gangtsa walk” to.

“I don’t think the kids really care much for the flashiness,” he told Uproxx over the phone. “It’s cool and all, but they really want to have fun. So you got to give them that.”

In the edited conversation below, the up-and-coming artist speaks with Uproxx about connecting with his Three 6 Mafia idols Project Pat and Juicy J, and what it means to resurrect Crunk music with his latest release Memphis Massacre 2.

How does it feel to know Project Pat was down to get on your song and that Juicy J was down to hop on your song?

Well you know I wrote that tune, so I was honored for them to do the remix and it was really like a dream come true.

How did that conversation go whenever you asked them to get on it?

I mean Pat, he always been supportive. I talked to Pat to get to Juicy J, so he hit him up as well. They got a real close relationship. They like brothers, so he hit Juicy up and Juicy said he was with it, and that was that.

The video was dope, it was filmed in Memphis, right?

Yeah, was in Memphis, and it’s crunk. It’s crunk as hell. For real, for real. Like on a whole nother scale. We took it back to the late eighties and nineties. Real, real crunk. We the gangster walking and all that

So this video has a lot of Memphis culture?

Right. A lot.

Now that you have like the song out and people are re-familiarizing themselves with you, what’s coming up next? Are you going to put out another project soon?

Yes. Memphis Massacre 2 is out now.

Being from Memphis, where do you see yourself within the city’s rich history of musicianship?

Well, me I see myself as really the greatest. The greatest to come out within this period and at this moment. It’s going to be someone else to come after me, essentially, but I feel like I’m already making a legendary mark in the game.

In the viral ‘Crunk Ain’t Dead‘ video where you guys are in the studio and reviving you off the floor, whose idea was it to do that?

A lot of it was my idea. My partners know my ways, they always put they two cents in. As far as the gangster walking on top of the table. I was actually tired and I wasn’t even gonna do that and then my partner was like, “You should do this on top of the tables. Just go on ahead and go in cause they know people want to see it.” I was like, “You know what, you’re right.” So I got up there and that was like one of the main memes that people was reposting and it went viral on Twitter and all over the place.

Most people don’t really talk about or implement where they’re from in their music and the things that they do. It’s just like secondary to their brands and Memphis seems like it’s real tied to your brand.

My intention is I’m really putting history in people’s face. I was coming from Memphis, the roots, and merging two generations together, like from the older generation to the young generation. It’s crazy, I see how kids are really into it and what I’m doing is really old school with a new twist. I just feel like my intention is to really represent the city well, since the city influenced the game heavily. Three 6 Mafia and whoever else was represented. A lot of it is just going back to city.

Definitely, Memphis has influenced hip-hop as a culture, but a lot of people don’t really discuss it and talk about it. Or are even just aware of the of Three 6 Mafia in pop culture. It seems like you are making it less about how much money you got.

I don’t think the kids really care much for the flashiness. It’s cool and all, but they really want to have fun. So you got to give them that.

Memphis Massacre 2 is out now via Quality Control Music. Get it here.