Memphis icon and professional ‘CRUNKSTAR’ Duke Deuce returned last week (June 17) with his newest LP — a 20-track epic of infectious Southern hip-hop.
It’s been a minute since a new artist entered the pantheon of Crunk greats, but today Princess Loko, Koopsta Knicca, Tommy Wright III, Three 6 Mafia and Lil Jon are joined by another star rising through the ranks: Duke Deuce.
From Deuce’s high-octane hip-hop performances to his Roland cowbell-laden mixes, his new album CRUNKSTAR is exactly what fans have been waiting for since “Crunk Ain’t Dead” became a viral smash three years ago.
In the time that has passed, our Memphis king has seen multiple viral moments with culture-defining anthems like “WTF!” and “I AIN’T WORRIED BOUT IT,” as well as collaborations with artists like Mike Dimes and fellow Tennessee native Isaiah Rashad. Fans were finally treated to the newest project from the Tenneseee Titan, and to say it was worth the wait would be an understatement.
From the opening yells of Duke Deuce to the final moments of Southern percussion, CRUNKSTAR‘s borderline electric energy is perfectly polished and hard to ignore. The record’s structure mimics being front row at a Crunk show, with certain tracks serving as small interludes whose sole purpose is to hype the crowd up (“OPEN UP” with DJ Tootz and “RAGE”). Once the hype reaches a fever pitch, it explodes out of Duke Deuce like a sacred Memphis god blessing listeners with tracks that rival even the genre’s biggest hits.
Duke Deuce moves with an undying respect for Memphis Crunk’s past and present. One minute he’s trading bars with Glorilla on “JUST SAY THAT,” and the next he’s flexing his lyrical chops on the minimalistic “FLIP DA SWITCH” with Juicy J. He isn’t unafraid to take risks, however, as tracks like “FALLING OFF” showcase Crunk’s unlikely synthesis with industrial metal as Rico Nasty enters to share the spotlight. Duke Deuce leans into this refreshingly unique energy further on cuts like the minimalistic “MONEY BANDANA” with Doe Boy and Babyface Ray and “ANIMOSITY” with Lil Yachty spitting like rent is due.
Despite being packed with bangers, CRUNKSTAR isn’t just a project full of raging stadium anthems. Tracks like “I’M ALIVE AGAIN” and “RUNNING OUT OF LOVE” decorate the album’s back-end to show a rare glimpse into Duke’s tender side. Showcasing both an emotional and stylistic versatility that rivals many of his peers, Duke Deuce’s newest project is a strong entry into an already-impressive discography. Leveling his reverence for classic Crunk with a natural talent for writing catchy and forward-thinking hip-hop bangers, Duke Deuce’s rise to prominence seems anything but accidental.
In the wake of CRUNKSTAR‘s release, fans have been treated to new visuals from Duke Deuce and GloRilla — and more is likely in store this year for both Memphis artists. Bringing an often-neglected area of hip-hop into our culture’s spotlight, Duke Deuce’s CRUNKSTAR is sure to colonize your weekly rotation in no time.
Listen to Duke Deuce’s ‘CRUNKSTAR’ below!