Duke Deuce - MEMPHIS MASSACRE III Music Album Reviews

Duke Deuce - MEMPHIS MASSACRE III Music Album Reviews
The rapper’s hard-knocking horrorcore is classic Memphis trunk music, and only other artists from the 901 are invited along for the ride.

Ever since his 2019 breakout “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” Memphis rapper Duke Deuce has been leading seminars in Southern rap history, laying claim to the mystic styles developed in his city and bringing its history into the present. He’s not resentful that so many people have dipped into his hometown’s creative well, but he wants credit where it’s due: “Shout out to Migos for bringing it back, but the triplet flow comes from Memphis,” as he puts it bluntly on the opening track of his new tape, MEMPHIS MASSACRE III, a return to the mixtape series that started his career.

There’s a constant raucous momentum to Duke’s albums, but with every project, he unveils a new variation of his core persona. On this summer’s CRUNKSTAR, he embraced his inner scene kid, mixing guitar-laden ballads with the stiff, martial beat that’s become his signature. MEMPHIS MASSACRE III, released for Halloween, returns more explicitly to the sound of the city that made Duke: the hard-knocking horrorcore is classic Memphis trunk music, and only other artists from the 901 are invited along for the ride. Duke casts himself as a gleefully anarchic troublemaker nicknamed “Deucifer,” who’s as concerned with tearing up the club as tearing down the system.

Duke loops his hooks like a chant, recalling the rhythmic minimalism of Three 6 Mafia’s early underground tapes, which turned the human voice into its own drum pattern. Though he often looks to Memphis tradition, Duke has a keen talent for lyrical worldbuilding, inducting the listener into a kind of secret society with its own passwords and handshakes. “Anna” isn’t a name, but the word “animosity” sawed in half—“Who got anna? Who got animosity?”—distilling his haters’ bitterness into two syllables. Duke’s become known for his gangsta-walking dances as much as his rapping, and he spits like he moves, combining boisterous enthusiasm with deceptive dexterity. His voice contorts with ease, snarling on the cutthroat “Black Ops” and meditatively crooning on closing track “Nobody Needs Nobody.”

Several years into his career, Duke has assembled a tight-knit stable of producers, including Hitkidd and Ayoza, as well as his father Duke Nitty—keeping it in the family and in Memphis. The musical palette of MEMPHIS MASSACRE III is straight out of a horror movie, all creepy keyboards and funeral dirge organs, and Duke’s sharp ear for sequencing means it flows as naturally as a film score. A decaying tape loop provides the foundation for “Mr Memphis Massacre,” which is practically a seance to summon the spirit of Lord Infamous, as Duke uses the imagery of witchcraft and demonic possession to describe the paranoia and the naysayers who plague his life. But Memphis rap is more than just nightmares, and tracks like “Buck the System” and “What’s My Name” channel the city’s smooth-pimping style. For all the buckness, Duke’s choices are often baroque and ornate, like when he enlists Opera Memphis to provide choral accompaniment on “Deucifer.”

Horrorcore godfather DJ Paul lends his menacing touch to “What You Rep,” but even at this relatively early stage of his career, Duke is already opening up the platform he’s built to emerging Memphis rappers like ATM RichBaby and Paper Route Empire’s Big Moochie Grape. Women rappers like Gangsta Boo and La Chat are a vital part of the city’s musical legacy, and Duke nods to their influence by inviting up-and-coming female talent to steal the show. “Gwak Gwak” is a raunchy duet with fellow Quality Control signee Gloss Up, but it’s Glockianna who comes in hottest, chewing up and spitting out her verses on “Riverside” and “Respect” with the hunger of a newcomer and the confidence of a veteran.

The influence of Three 6 Mafia-style horrorcore haunts contemporary artists from 21 Savage to $uicideboy$, but Memphis rap itself has largely pivoted away from the demonic since the 1990s. Drawing on the city’s underground laboratory of twisting flows and unexpected styles, MEMPHIS MASSACRE III returns the spooky crown to Duke’s hometown. While his music might recall the ghosts of Memphis past, Duke himself never appears stuck in time or overcome by nostalgia. With one ear turned to tradition and another to the future, he’s become a new standard bearer.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Duke Deuce - MEMPHIS MASSACRE III Music Album Reviews Duke Deuce - MEMPHIS MASSACRE III Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 15, 2022 Rating: 5


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