Drew The Duke
22 August 2011
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's good, Drew The Duke? Please introduce yourself to our readers.
[ Drew The Duke ] : Ya 4sho, I'm Drew The Duke, owner/artist of Palmtree Entertainment from Hayward, Ca, witch is out of The Bay Area.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Your debut rap album dropped in 2008. Was that your first material or did you have something else recorded before it, but never released?
[ Drew The Duke ] : No, that was my first. I only had 1 song out on Lil Evil's album "Turf Thick" called "Funk Season" with Mousie. They just didn't put Drew The Duke on the credits, just Drew.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us about the "Split Personality" album. What's the feel of the cd?
[ Drew The Duke ] : Well at first I started recording tracks for Rip (he is an artist on my label), he was working on some projects he was doing for his label Blockstyle in Texas and the streets loved it. Everyone was telling me I should do an album. Rip and Lil Evil kinda pushed me into it. So I started writing about my life. "Struggle & Striving" was my first track and I put some hood songs in there mixed with some hyphy beats. I had a good time with it and learned a lot as well. "Split Personality" is basically myself, there are two sides of me. A good and a bad one, always fighting and pulling.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How did you manage to found your own label? Tell us about the Palmtree Entertainment.
[ Drew The Duke ] :I've always been a leader and of course I push myself to do things on my own. Learning and developing one's self is a great attribute of being an artist. Start from the ground up and watch it grow. With the help of Lil Evil and Rip of course, I investigated and learned how to get started in the industry. But I learned mostly by soaking up game by being in the studio hands on, talking and listening to other rappers and by my mistakes. I made a lot of them on my first album. Palmtree Ent. is not a normal everyday kind of label, we are FAMILY. We love doing what we do. If we could we would never leave the studio. But we gotta make money so we can keep putting out projects. We work together and include our brother labels, Muddy Records and Blockstyle. We communicate every day about our projects and how we can make them better. We all have the passion, so we click.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Who's signed to your label?
[ Drew The Duke ] :We have Butter, my right hand, Lil Tone, Rip and two new artists we just signed, Studio Pete and Big Turo, all their albums will be dropping soon.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Except for your debut cd, what are the other albums that your company brought to life?
[ Drew The Duke ] :We just dropped a compilation "Blocksterz & Mobsterz Compilation Vol. 1" and a new single from Rip, called "I Been On". They are available on iTunes.com, Rapbay.com, Rhapsody and more.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Are you close with Lil Evil and Muddy Records? What is your relationship? Can we expect to hear some collabo work or joint projects from these two labels?
[ Drew The Duke ] :Lil Evil is like my lil brother, we're all family. Muddy is our brother label. Yes, we're working on a few albums now. We will release that info soon, it's still in the works. Lil Tone is signed to both labels, working on different projects, but we work together all the time.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Would you call yourself a homeboy rapper?
[ Drew The Duke ] :I am a homeboy, but my style of rapping as an artist is not. So that makes me best of both worlds.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us about the Hayward rap scene. Who's on top right now and who's going to blow up in the nearby future?
[ Drew The Duke ] :Man, Hayward is the new hot spot in the rap scene right now. All eyes are on us. It's finally our time. You'll see, in a few years Hayward rap is going to be everywhere. I'm already getting calls from artists and reps from all over. The match has been lit and the fuse is burning. In my opinion the top Hayward artists I would have to say are Lil Evil and not because he's my homie. Just look at what he has accomplished. Look who he networks with, Plain and Russell City are hot right now and me - Drew The Duke, of course - are one of the best rappers of all time... ha ha ha ha. In the future, I would have to say Rip - look out for him, he's about to take over, lyrically and his deliverance and passion for his music, you'll see. My new artist Big Turo, he's a youngster coming up, big fan base already. I've been listening to what he has so far and he's got it. His single is dropping soon and is going to be a big hit; I can already see it.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : "Blocksterz & Mobsterz" is a brand new compilation from Palmtree label that has just been released. Please elaborate on this project. Who's on it and what would fans hear?
[ Drew The Duke ] :The fans are going to love this one. Every song on the album is a slapper. It's one of them albums you can put on and just let it play. I personally picked every track so I know it's going to be a classic. I've been working on this project for 3 years, sitting on it, evaluating it. I'm a perfectionist, so I would send some tracks back to the artist to re-record them and I would go back two or three times myself. I didn't want to make the same mistakes I did with my 1st album. Don't get me wrong, I love my first album, but I feel like I rushed it. We have Lil Evil, J Stalin, K-Loc of the Gorrillapits, The Dragons, Drew The Duke, Rip, Lil Tone, Chino, Plain, Butter, The Young Hittaz (Bomb Squad) and many more.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : As far as I know it's a digital-only release, isn't it? Why did you decide to put it only online? Do you plan to press any hard copies if the mp3 version sells well?
[ Drew The Duke ] :Yeah, I plan on putting out the hard copy very soon and put it in stores. I've decided to put it out digitally first, because everyone buys off the Internet now, this is the future of music, people playing music on their iPods, smart phones, PC tablets and so on. When I release "Blocksterz & Mobsterz" hard copy I will be throwing a few extra bonus tracks, so you are going to have to buy the hard copy to get them.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What are your other plans for 2011? And overall plans for Palmtree?
[ Drew The Duke ] :To keep pushing forward. I have a few more projects dropping. More promoting and networking. My goal is to be the number one label in the Bay by the beginning of next year. I'm going to drop so much Palmtree music out there; you are going to have to hear us. Turn off your radios and your neighbors will be slapping us. The future... The world...
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Any last words?
[ Drew The Duke ] :My new releases coming soon. We have Lil Tone's single and music video for "I Pee Hennessy" dropping at the end of this month. Studio Pete's single and album "Get Your Move On" and music video/mini movie, Butter's album "Baysic Instinct", "Blocksterz & Mobsterz Vol. 2", my single "We Ryding" and music video, my solo album coming at the end of this year "Duke Of Earl" and many many many more...
Buy a digital version of "Blocksterz & Mobsterz" compilation on iTunes or RapBay.
Read BayUndaground.com review of Drew The Duke's "Split Personality".
Visit Drew The Duke on Facebook.