B-Sides: 'an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape' by Duckwrth

A series highlighting up-and-coming artists that are worth checking out

Each week reporter Jessica Myers finds rising artists that students might want to tune in to.

Who he is:

South Central born LA rapper and singer Jared Lee aka Duckwrth released banger after banger on his latest album “an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape.”

Duckwrth’s music is heavy influenced from music legends like hip hop duo OutKast and hip hop/rock band N.E.R.D. He explores different genres, especially rap, while diving into funk sounds, with hints of electronica and even rock. 

Duckwrth paints scenes of euphoria in his music, while never sugarcoating the ugliness that life sometimes has. He creates strong messages throughout his music, in between sick beats and funky tunes.

The rapper even has his own clothing line called "BOY." This gender-bending line is inclusive to all, celebrating ambiguity through taking a flower such as a rose, typically associated with females, and joining it with the word, "boy," a symbol of duality.  

The Album:

His 2017 project, “an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape,” is full of smooth transitions and tracks that evoke that “feeling in your stomach that just makes you move,” according to the singer himself. This statement is proved completely accurate after one listen from Duckwrth’s most streamed track on Spotify at the moment, “MICHUUL.”

The song “MICHUUL.” is inspired by the legendary singer Michael Jackson. This song makes you want to get up and d a n c e. It’s so good. This tune would fit perfectly in a club setting, ensuring members to want to get up on their feet. Between buzzing synth sounds and heavy, blunt drums, he shares his ambitions through lines like, “I just want a sports car, manual stick / Candy paint, Tokyo drift, let's shift / I just wanna blow your mind /And lucky for you the hook’s right on time.” 

“BUMMER/2BUCKS” tackles the effortless, flowy transitions that two part songs can have. The first part of the song, “BUMMER,” is brief and funky, with summer-esque happy vibes, but the second part steals the show. “2BUCKS,” reminds me of a old, slow-jam Tyler, the Creator song, before he found his Flower Boy sound. This part sinks into flowing, lo-fi vocals after the alarm of an ice cream truck sounds. It’s a cheeky tune about having $2 and the ice cream is $3.50, and Duckwrth reminds the listener that he only has 2 bucks. This is a light song, sharing a story of a person coming over and handing the ice cream man the extra money, allowing Duckwrth to get the ice cream on the hot summer day and he “Can't wipe this grin” off of his face, because the person is someone he has never seen before, and it's so sweet to him. 

“TAMAGOTCHI” starts off with a strong beat, followed by hyped-up low, repetitive vocals. This song is a fun rap track. The chorus has classic hip-hop sounds and fun lyrics. He references Michael Jackson in this song — “I just wanna be on my Michael / On your face while I moonwalk.” This song has a lot of fun, sampled video game sounds, and the upbeat track ends with a funky guitar solo, bringing a little extra spice to the track. 

Favorite Song:

The song “BOY” begins with sounds of an upright bass, then quiet vocals hushing, and whispering the word “listen,” followed by gentle snoring sounds. This song is so dreamy and effortlessly beautiful. Duckwrth challenges gender societal roles in this song — it’s a track that says forget social constructs. He shares this throughout the song, and specifically in the reoccurring line, "Let's meet between the gender, now wouldn't that be awesome?" This love song paints a serene image, and breaks into harsher rap beats and spoken words, contrasting the velvety sounds the beginning the song has. The song quickly changes after Duckwrth shouts the word, “Wait!” 

Conclusion:

Passionate rapper Duckwrth makes music that embodies sounds that can be defined as "funk wave." His music jumps from different genres to create a specific, picturesque images in every diverse track on "an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape." 

Upcoming shows:

Duckwrth

Monday, November 5

Valley Bar, Phoenix



Reach the reporter at jlmyer10@asu.edu or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter. 

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