“I just won a Grammy for Marshall Mathers LP 2, but I’m really more hype off this dope smoothie I just made, ” isn’t the typical reaction you’d expect to hear from a producer who just landed one of music’s most sought-after awards, but Frank Dukes isn’t your typical anything. “I’m not one for the limelight I suppose,” he says shrugging unapologetically as he sits in his custom-built studio, situated in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. It’s from this studio that he supplies countless rappers with the production they need to create songs that their fans will hopefully love. Dukes’ sound is versatile and can quickly shift from a heavy boom-bap to a smooth video game gloss in seconds, something he picked up by studying every genre evenly. “I wanted to be a great producer so I studied great hip-hop producers, but also stuff beyond that: Phil Spector, David Axelrod, Gamble and Huff. They’re equally as influential to me as Dilla, Premier, and Pete Rock.” Dukes has now worked with everyone from Method Man to Macklemore, and was once jokingly told by 50 Cent to stay undiscovered so that Curtis could keep all of the music for himself.
His most recent endeavor is Sour Soul, a collaborative album between Ghostface Killah andBADBADNOTGOOD that Dukes made from scratch. “I brought the idea to the table. I thought it would be a good fit and that the live band/rapper record had never been fully done right. I felt like I could bring the grit that those old Ghostface songs have from sampling old records, but also have the dynamic of a live band with string and horn arrangements making it super lush.” The daunting—and at times gruelling—task of constructing his dream album took almost three years to complete, but it’s now set to be released on February 24th. Despite the long journey, Dukes is still giddy about the idea of it coming out, becoming uncharacteristically animated anytime it’s mentioned. “When I work with any of those guys it’s always a team effort. They’re good friends of mine and we have a really close working relationship. We’ve worked on tons of things together, it’s not like the traditional ‘I’m the producer! What I say goes!’ Everybody has input and those guys are amazing musicians and super talented.”
Since emerging from the underground battle rap scene in his early teens, the 26 year old Nova Scotia native has made a name for himself for his brand of breakneck beats and unadulterated rhymes. His signature raspy voice and raw emotion make for a captivating listening expirience that appeals to a wide audience. The award winning emcee has just released his 4th studio album entitled ‘Rap Music’ and is gearing up for his Canadian tour dates this spring.
Producer: Bruce Carson
Production House: WORKED Films
Director of Photography: Dave Stuart
First AD: Jordan Gross
First AC: Diego Alvarez
Hair & Makeup: Samantha Pickels
Casting: Olivia le Bihan
Editor: Ben Allen
Executive Producer: Bruce Carson
With a little help from our friends:
Elcee drops off a new one. If you’ve been sleeping on dude there’s a good amount of material to get caught up on at this point. Shouts to the grind.
Elcee The Artist & the JetPacks Collective presents #MANESTREAM hosted by DJ Nado. The Toronto native leaves listeners head bobbin’ from the club—to the whip—to the bedroom. Silky smooth vocals spread over double-time raps have become a trademark sound for Elcee and we get this full-fledged with his latest mixtape, #MANESTREAM. Check out Elcee on Instagram and Twitter @ElceeTheArtist and on web via www.elceetheartist.com for latest projects and events.