By Ann Marie Trietley, Music Columnist:
While the atmosphere outside my apartment window is gray, murky, and with a smattering of sleet, I can feel the sunny aura seeping through my cell phone receiver from New Orleans. That’s because Mamudu Kargbo, aka Mad Dukez, a Buffalo-based hip-hop sensation, has called me from the road while his national tour is in full gear. Dukez’s latest album, The Open Affair EP, will drop this Tuesday, March 26 through Deep Thinka Records.
On March 29, Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar will host Dukez alongside Fresh Kils for the EP release soiree.
To date, Dukez has released four albums, not including a flurry of free mixtapes. He says The Open Affair is a step up from last year’s Monster EP and is a precurser to a full length album set to drop over the summer, titled Gettin’ Gatsby. The Open Affair EP will be available for pre order on Amazon, or direct from Maddukez.com. The music video for the single “Sexpionage” will also drop later this week.
“On this EP, a lot of it was drawn from life experiences, real situations,” Dukez said. “Every song has authenticity and was drawn from an experience that I’ve had. With this tour, I’m reaching out to new markets, with places I’ve never been before.”
He says the first song on the EP, “At The Top,” pertains to any he says/she says speculation and drama surrounding him.
“There’s been a lot of chatter about places I was going, and about being on tour with Blueprint and Fresh Kils,” Dukez said. “When you start reaching different heights, there’s always somebody saying something. When haters are talking, I’m not gonna listen.”
The song “Fascination” is about his own fascination, his unwavering obsession, with making music.
“No matter what, I’ve never wanted to stop,” he said. “”The fascination itself is when you want to leave something alone but you keep going back to it, issues that have been unresolved.”
This month, Dukez has already ventured to Tennessee, Philly, Maine, and after this week’s show at DBGB’s, he will take the tour to Brooklyn and Toronto, among other locales. This busy schedule shouldn’t stress out a man whose name literally translates to “Leader of the Crocodiles,” however…
“‘When I was young, I didn’t understand my name, ” Dukez said. “I was named after my father’s father and it means leader. My dad is from the same city they filmed Blood Diamond in. My last name is a symbol for the crocodile, and my family emblem is “Leader of the Crocodiles.”
Overall, The Open Affair EP contains lyrics people will be able to draw a variety of meanings from, with dynamically flowing beats which are easy to move to. Dukez undoubtedly carries with him a strong sense of self, which is made evident through his art.
Growing up, Dukez loved Aesop’s Fables, with moral enmeshed within each story. He also says there are morals within each of his records for avid listeners to unearth.
Dukez is excited to “introduce the crew he’s been rolling with on tour to Buffalo.”
“I want people to take away the honesty and sense of growth coming into this record.” Dukez declared. “I also want them to be more entertained – everything has a message on this EP. everything has a moral.”