After their daily patrols in Iraq were over for the day, Frankie Davis and about six of his fellow U.S. Army combatants gathered to make music.
Back at the base in a university hospital – a caravan for two people reinforced with sandbags where soldiers slept – they rapped rhymes to electronic rhythms. They called their future rap group “Fall In”, a reference to military formations.
The jam sessions were just to kill time, Davis says. But they also sparked his passion for music. After leaving service in 2006, he moved to Huntsville, northern Alabama, where his wife’s family was from. Since then, Davis has honed his rap skills and built some regional success.
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Davis goes by the rap name Dukk, pronounced “duck” and a reference to his childhood nickname. His music, including the single “In Tha Hood”, has been broadcast on radio in Alabama (including 103.1 FM WEUP of Huntsville), Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. It was the opening act for concerts by well-known rappers, such as Gucci Mane. Dukk tells AL.com he loves making music because “You can get it all out of your head and on paper.”
Davis was fortunate enough to become Dukk, but it could have been otherwise. In 2005, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Davis was struck by shrapnel from an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol. He received a Purple Heart for his services. These days, he keeps his Purple Heart in a locked safe in his home, along with other valuables.
Dukk says his military background informs how he pursues a musical career. “It really is the attitude of never quitting that they instilled in us and to trust your better judgment. You meet deadlines and are always ready for anything in life. So yes, determination and preparation.
Dukk’s latest single is a well-crafted track called “Anti”. Inspired by MCs like Tupac, DMX and Lil Wayne, he spits nimbly on a textured but not overly stuffed track. The accompanying video clip shows Dukk digging “his old self” out of a grave. His lyrics for ‘Anti’ were inspired by ‘people who try to take advantage of the’ new you ‘when you try to do better,’ says Dukk, ‘so you have to go back to the old ways of showing them that you are not. the kind to play with.
“Anti” and Dukk recently received cover in the print version of the music industry magazine Billboard. But as the late AC / DC frontman Bon Scott sang, it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. To help pay the bills, Dukk works in a warehouse. Her music-writing process involves rapping in her head, silently, throughout the day. From there, he writes rhymes in notebooks or in the Notes app on his phone. He tends to write in bursts for a few months, take a break, and later revisit work to put together and edit songs. He has an upcoming recording session at an Atlanta studio and hopes to continue releasing singles, later recovering on an EP in 2022. “I think singles are the way to go,” he says. “Now the albums don’t really sell. I mean, the majors (the majors) don’t even do big numbers on albums.
In my phone interview with Dukk, you can practically hear him smile on the phone. He tells me that he hopes his music inspires people to “don’t let negativity get to you”.
Now retired from the military and residing in El Paso, Texas, Richard Wilson was Davis’s platoon sergeant in Iraq. Wilson remembers Davis being a good leader who took matters into his own hands and took initiative. “I never remember him being in a bad mood or depressed,” says Wilson, who has been studying graphic design / art since retiring from the military. “He was always happy, motivated to do things. He was a joker and he made everyone around him happy.
Davis joined the military in 2000 straight out of high school because in his (ironically named) hometown of Prosperity, South Carolina, “there just isn’t any opportunity out there. I graduated (from high school) on June 3 and was in bootcamp on June 11. I was ready to leave the house. During his six-year military career, Davis achieved the rank of sergeant.
Saying “thank you for your service” to a veteran can sometimes turn into platitude. Still, Davis says he enjoys hearing it from a civilian, especially on Veterans Day each year. “It just shows respect,” Davis says, “for the people who are willing to give their lives for you. A lot of people won’t make this sacrifice. Without the military, you wouldn’t have the freedom to do anything. it would be.
Although looking back he has mixed feelings about the motives for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Davis says he would do it again if he had too. “War, you don’t want to go, but it is necessary. You know how crazy the world is and if my family is here, I must meet the enemy the. Because once they get here, it’s too late.
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