On his previous release Hoop Dreams, Brookfield Duece positioned himself as an elder statesman in a young man’s game, an adult making complicated art in a world surrounded by immature simplicity and scene-chasing. On his new follow up September: Stacks 2, Duece continues down this path, but finds ample room to include more contemporary sounds than the last go round.
Perhaps inspired by the exhilaration of performing some of the more direct cuts from the back catalog, Duece is clearly writing for the studio less and the stage more. The effect this has on his already sing-song flow is either terrific or terrible, depending on your opinion of the triple-time ‘Migos’ flow, as its called these days. But there is a reason why everyone and their grandmother does the triple-time flow: it is fun as hell to sing along to even more exciting to perform. Say what you want, but you are going to want to be in the building when Duece breaks out #TsunamiStatus ft. Joyntz next time he hits your city (the same could be said for the Mistah FAB assisted Groupie, but for other, more ass-shaking-centric reasons than singing along.) On IDK, Duece brings the triple-time to the Yay, creating a classic Bay Area trunk rattler that would sound completely natural on any E-40 album of the last 15 years (the same applies to the John Blunt and Joyntz assisted 100 Million.)
Duece sing-flows like his membership in the Super-Unique Oakland Rappers Club is up for review and he wants to put on for the town. On nearly every song (excluding the hard hitting Priorities, with its old-school soul sample and rhymes that sound West coast by way of Queensbridge), he finds the melodies and harmonies inherent in each beat. Producer Ryan Watts plays the Noah “40” Shebib to Duece’s Drake on the collaborations Ignorant Shit and All My Life, the beats full of reverberation and soundtrack-like instrumentation. However, on the title track September, Duece mourns his lost friends and opportunities over Portland producer Jahosh’s 40-like track with the kind of authenticity and world weary knowledge that most rappers don’t have, let alone Drake. Duece continues this mood of weary cynicism on the standout Turf Song, letting the listener know any Adidas-outfitted moment of victory came from hours of hustle beforehand, a reoccuring theme in Duece’s music.
By the time we hit the end of the album, the I Wish I Could Tell You Remix featuring some cat named Dame DOLLA (I hear he has a day job, but dude raps like a vet) we feel like we have walked in Brookfield Duece’s Top Tens, from the grind to the shine. Even though it has been a short time since the last album, September feels more like a musician move than a strategic one. Yes, there are a few famous features and a couple overt nods to popular hip-hop trends, but these all come across as genuine steps in Duece’s artistic progression. It is a rare feat to satisfy old fans while gaining new ones, but September should achieve just that. #OutHere
September: Stacks 2 drops this Friday exclusively on WOHM and Thizzler.com. Check out Duece’s lead single Groupie featuring Mistah FAB below.