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[courtesy] Duece Bug Interview
Author: Adam Bernard

When M.O.P. rapped "How About Some Hardcore" they meant hardcore hip-hop. Connecticut emcee Duece Bug, however, has found a way to mesh the genres of hardcore, the punk rock subgenre that thrives on aggression, and hip-hop. His rock past gives him a unique view of his hip-hop present and he recently released his second full length album, titled Love, Duece Bug. Love, Duece Bug is the follow up to his debut effort, Fuck Duece Bug. Duece Bug, who spells his name with a Due because of the dues he knows he has to pay to make it, and his team, the Full Blast Movement, have made huge strides in the past year, and this week RapReviews caught up with Duece Bug to find out more about his music, his crew, and his putting together of shows with the likes of Mr. Lif, Apathy, Jus Allah and KRS-One.

Adam Bernard: Before we get to anything else, let everyone know what Duece Bug is trying to say, and what Duece Bug is hoping to prove with his music.

Duece Bug: I come from a hardcore / heavy metal / punk rock background. I was in a band for eight years (named Blacklisted) and I try to bring a little bit of a live feel to the hip-hop (I make). I'm trying to kinda fuse a commercially viable sound while still staying true to real hip-hop and the underground. My main focus right now is my crew, the Full Blast Movement, and making a name for Connecticut, because there are a lot of talented artists out here and I feel it's a big untapped resource at this point. Over the past year I've had my arms elbow deep in the dirt building the scene, and the Full Blast Movement, and it's actually starting to pay some dividends and make some noise out here. Basically what I'm trying to do is put Connecticut on the map and do it with some of the best emcees in the state.

AB: The Full Blast Movement is a fairly large crew. How do you make sure you stand out in such a large group of artists?

DB: My friend Ant, Ant Bombjack, and I started the Full Blast Movement. The thing about the Full Blast Movement is it's a lot more than just rappers. We have graff writers, we have video directors, we have photographers, we have fans, we make it so everybody's Full Blast. The list of our main emcees and performers is pretty extensive, but it was put together by myself and Ant Bombjack, so that's basically why I'm able to be prominent in it, because it's basically my crew and I try to do my best to get everybody on shows and put everybody out there. We're deep with talent and we perform a lot together, but we also do our own thing. Political Animals is all over the place, I'm all over the place. MetaMusick and BC Connect are starting to do their thing, as well. Pruven is a veteran. White Cheddar is our battle rapper. We're pretty diverse. We all have our own styles, but we all come together in a very unique way and a way that really shows our unified love for hip-hop in Connecticut. We have great continuity and great camaraderie amongst us. When we do shows and everybody comes together and there's 150 people in the house, pretty much everybody in the building is Full Blast and that's how we want it.

AB: Is Pruven both Full Blast and AFA now? Is that allowed?

DB: As is Mo Niklz. Holla!

AB: Your two albums have two very different names: Fuck Duece Bug and Love, Duece Bug. Why the extreme shift in emotions?

DB: {*laughs*} The comma, you pointed it out, that's key. Obviously I chose to use Love, Duece Bug as the name of the new record because it's kind of a spin off of Fuck Duece Bug. It's also, like I said before, I've been dealing with being in the middle of this scene building the last year, and so many fans coming out all the time and all the moves that we've made has really inspired me and it's really choked me up at times to know that there are so many people that are spending their little money that they have to come out in their free time that they have to watch us perform. That means so much to me that it's like I sat down and went to work on a project that I could give as a gift to the fans. I really felt that's what they wanted at that time. That's why I called it Love, Duece Bug. It's like I'm signing a letter to them, like here, this is for you, love, me.

AB: What else is different this time around, with Love, Duece Bug?

DB: There's a lot more of a natural element to it. Fuck Duece Bug was very extreme and purposely rough around the edges and a lot of the beats were from rock songs. I sampled Marilyn Mason, Weezer, Rage Against the Machine, Earth Crisis. It stood out as a very unique project. This time around I kept it a lot more true to hip-hop. I was a lot more focused on the natural elements. It's still a unique project, it's still different, but it's not as crazy. I think the beats are a lot more strictly hip-hop, mostly produced by Kenny Cash, whereas the first time around with Fuck Duece Bug it was me and Kenny Cash, we were kinda making the beats together. This time I gave him free reign.

AB: Speaking of people you work with, your live shows always have you working with Itz Urboi Chuck Nickels. How did you two first come together, and why do you work so well together?

DB: Me and Chuck have been doing this for a long time, since I was like 18 years old. When I was going to school in the city, at the Institute of Audio Research, I met Chuck. He wasn't going there, I met him through a mutual friend, and he was in Bridgeport. We actually had a group back then called The Dirty Henchmen. A few bad things happened along the way, not between us personally, but with me and a couple different crews and record labels I was trying to mess with and I actually ended up getting out of hip-hop for a while. I kinda quit, and had a kid, and came back and started doing it again like two years ago. Chuck actually came out to one of my shows one night at Acoustic Cafe (in Bridgeport, CT), randomly. I hadn't seen him in a few years. We just kept in touch since then and he expressed that he really wanted to work with me and I believe the first show he did with me was opening up for Mr. Lif at Toad's Place and he absolutely killed it and he's been rockin with me ever since. And you asked why we work so well together; I think we're both very passionate people and we're both very emotional and it's hard to find two people like that in hip-hop, in such an egomaniacal genre of music where there's a lot of self-representation and a lot of tough stuff going on, and that's part of the culture, so I respect it, but Chuck and myself are both very emotional and we really really love this and we love the fans and we see eye to eye on basically everything that we do. As artists our styles differ, we're basically polar opposites when it comes to our ways that we write rhymes, and the beats that we use on our solo projects, but when we come together live it's like we're definitely meant to be.

AB: Digging into your history a little further, you're from CT born and raised. What have been some of the distinct advantages, musically, to being from that area?

DB: Well, up until this point there haven't really been many {*laughs*}. It's been tough to rep Connecticut and get respect outside of Connecticut. We have done a lot of out of state shows and as the name, both me and Chuck Nickels and the Full Blast Movement, has grown it's been easier to get out of state love, but Connecticut is tough, it's always been tough. I remember when the hardcore scene was so great out here and then that totally died and hip-hop is starting to grow a little bit and it reminds me of the hardcore scene back in the day. There's definitely a lot of potential and I see huge things in the future, but it's definitely been an uphill climb for Connecticut. I think all Connecticut artists hear me on that.

AB: You've recently brought a number of high profile artists to CT, setting up shows with hometown hero Apathy and the legendary KRS-One. How did this start? Where do these connections come from?

DB: These shows, and all the shows we're working on for the future - we have Jus Allah from Jedi Mind Tricks coming for Full Blast 4, August 27th - none of these shows would happen if it wasn't for Maria Manes and Mindz-I Entertainment. She's my manager and she also has an entertainment company that puts on events. I have a lot of contacts and I've always wanted to book a lot of people, but didn't necessarily have the resources to do it. Now that I do it's just a matter of professionally booking these guys. All underground hip-hop artists want to work, and even upper scale underground guys like KRS-One or Wu-Tang, anybody like that, they want to work, it's just a matter of can you put the right promotion behind it to get enough people to come out where you can cover your costs and continue to do it. I think a lot of shows have bombed out here and Maria and the whole Mindz-I family know what it is to put on a successful event. She was responsible for my CD release party and that was hands down the best show I've ever played. We had over 150 people there. It was a magical night. There were free gift bags, everybody got a CD. Maria definitely puts a lot of passion into what she does and when she puts on shows she does it right and that's what continues us to be able to do it.

AB: Finally, and you slightly addressed this earlier, Connecticut is a state where there really hasn't been a rapper to hit it big on a mainstream, on the radio every hour, type of level. Are you going to be that rapper?

DB: I hope so, man. I'm working on it, and when it happens and I'm on the radio every ten minutes I'm gonna be convincing everybody to turn the radio off. {*laughs*}

AB: That's your final goal, to make it to a mainstream level so you can convince people not to listen.

DB: {*laughs*} Or I could bring it back to the way the radio was in the 90s, when it was actually worth listening to. That would be more my speed. That would be more of a success.

Be sure to check out Duece Bug on the web at and follow Adam on Twitter @AdamsWorldBlog.

Originally posted: July 19th, 2011

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