Luc Duc
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Luc Duc

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The best kept secret in music


"Luc Duc"

Luc Duc :: Smoke Affair Vol. 2 :: Hard White Entertainment
as reviewed by Tom Doggett

Upon first viewing the case for the most recent CD I was supposed to do, I was confronted with a common problem that faces critics. The case that stared back at me was from an artist called Luc Duc entitled "Smoke Affair Vol. 2." The artwork on the cover was a rather garish picture of two female lips with a piercing through the bottom one, holding a giant blunt between the teeth. According to the writing at the top, this disc was being brought to us by Hard White Ent./Street Hustler Mgmt. As most of us might, I have preconceptions about an album that features such attention-grabbing artwork, and those preconceptions are not necessarily positive.

Thankfully, my job calls for more than simply analyzing the artwork and guessing the content of the music. Records like these are quick reminders to take the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" literally. Because the music on Luc Duc's "Smoke Affair Vol. 2" is good. Really good. Luc Duc hails from the dirty South, specifically Miami, Florida, and he does stick to many of the conventions that this region offers. There is the occasional yelling patterned after Lil' Jon, and the subject matter rarely varies from the topics of marijuana and women, a trend adopted in part by nearly everyone. This record is purely southern, with the club-friendly vibe that accompanies so many others, but the music is executed with a funky flair that I have not heard from the region in a while.

This is essentially a mixtape, and therefore there are certain things that must be excused. For starters, there are thirty tracks, but twelve of them consist of Luc Duc's friends talking on wax, which doesn't include the "Teddy T Intro" and "Teddy T Outro" that bookend the disc. After the intro, though, the party is started just right. "Hay" is some of that old ‘Kast circa "Funky Ride," and the beat can only be described as thick and funky. There are twangy guitars in the background, but the soothing singing is the most visible element. The most surprising part of "Hay" is the execution of the vocals, which are completely coherent with just enough soul to run along with the beat. "Pass the Weed" follows, and the vocals are synthesized just the slightest bit to tinge the track with some P-Funk goodness. Up to this point, all of the lyrics have been about mary jane, but the crooning and the rapping are flawless. Thought-provoking? Certainly not, but this music is relaxing and almost inspirational.

Of the sixteen songs that remain after elimination of the skits, every single one has something to offer. Oddly enough, after the first two, the rest of the music Luc Duc has to offer is strictly hip-hop. Luckily it is pulled off with no less flair. "Irie" is only a minute and a half long, but features a sweet beat accentuated with hand-claps. The lead single, "Do Tha Damn Thang," sounds like standard fare with high-pitched blips and a fat horn section, but a spaced-out sci-fi noise is thrown in for variety. A surprisingly effective chanted hook nails it home, and a breathtakingly quick flow is the perfect addition.

A surprising amount of variety is shown throughout the disc, both in the words and the music. The most visible musical variation is the drums, which appear in nearly every mutated form possible. A gathering of guests chip in on the vocal side of things, and there is harmonizing, chanting, and several different styles of rapping throughout "Smoke Affair Vol. 2." The gem of the second half of the disc is "What Would You Do?," which is helped out by wickedly low bass drums and electric guitars reminiscent of "Superthug." The reality is, though, that every cut is worthy of inclusion in some way. Some are stronger than others, but if the acapella skits had been removed, this album would be pure heat from start to finish. "Miss You," coming at track twenty-seven, is a fitting conclusion because of its softer, melodic tone, and Luc Duc displays his versatility in addressing his dead father. The most noticeable difference is the production, which does a 180 from the rest of the material for a soulful, introspective beat that rivals anything being made in the same mold today. In the last two verses, Luc demonstrates some refreshing humility as well.

Musically, this record is coherent and intriguing, but thankfully never repetitive. Luc Duc favors the club sound a little, which I would normally struggle with, but each song is carefully crafted and the result is a disc of very high quality. This is an unexpectedly nice record that could have benefited from a trimming of the skits. Removal of the irritating downtime between songs would have made for a truly great, smooth-playing work, but "Smoke Affair, Vol. 2" is lovely regardless. This is simply a collection of energetic music from a voice that will hopefully gain support nation-wide. Judging from the popular trends of exploring lesser-kno - Rap Reviews

"In his Own World"

- Interview and photo by JB

A lot of people know of the Iconz through the club banger, “Get Crunked Up.” But, many people don’t realize the Iconz are a group of solo artists, such as yourself. Where are you from, and how did you link up with the Iconz Music Group?
I’m born and raised in Miami. Iconz Music Group is actually the only label I’ve ever been with. They’ve been at it for 15 years, producing for local guys as well as artists like Trina and Field Mob. They’re the only people I’ve ever called family in hip-hop, because they basically discovered me about four years ago, showed me the ropes, and developed me as an artist. The Iconz isn’t really a group – it’s a clique of solo artists – there’s at least eight of us. We all stay in Miami, but we’ve got artists from all over, like Haiti, Jamaica, New York, and California.

Who do you think really helped put Miami on the map?
People like Luke, J.T. Money, Trick and Trina, they’re definitely the pioneers. There’s a lot of guys that we have to give thanks to in Miami. The Luke Skywalkers, the Uncle Als, people who put their neck on the line to get us where we are. Especially Uncle Luke.

Personally, were you close to Uncle Al?
Yeah, we recorded a song a week before he died, called “Rockin’ It.” It’s coming out on the Iconz new album, “You Looking At ‘Em.”

A lot of people never heard the whole story of what actually happened when Uncle Al was shot.
I still don’t know the whole story – I just know that he didn’t deserve to get done the way he did. I’ve never known Uncle Al to do anybody wrong. I actually heard a rumor that it was a case of mistaken identity.

What’s the underground radio scene like in Miami?
We have 6 or 7 pirate radio stations, and they’re like family to me. The thing with Miami is that almost all the artists and pirate radio guys know each other on a personal level before anybody blows up. The pirate stations help out the artists a lot. Even when the FCC shuts them down, they still do their thing. They make it happen. They’ll be right back on the air.

So you have a solo album that you’re working on now.
Yeah, “In My Own World,” comes out October 22nd. I call it the New Millennium “Chronic,” (laughs) cause you’re just gonna press play and never have to press fast-forward.

Have you picked the first single?
Yeah, “Sticky-Icky” is gonna be the first single, then “Professional” is the second, and the third single is called “Got What You Want,” featuring a new artist named Ashley and also PM.

“Professional” is the track you did with Camoflauge. On the intro, you say, “Down here in Dade County, we call ‘em animals. What y’all call ‘em in Savannah?” How did that track come together?
My manager basically hooked that up. They laid the track down, I did my vocals and they did theirs in Savannah, and we had a song in a week. We call them animals because they’re loose. They’re wild, untamed, and they do everything we like them to do (laughs). You can get an animal to do anything you want. But a “professional” is a nicer way of calling them hos. It’s just like the women making their own money in the strip clubs, taking care of their own kids. Women actually like the song, a lot. We’re not just talking about the “bend over and touch your toes” type thing. When we say “professional,” that means she knows what she’s doing when we’re in the bedroom. Because she’s a Pro. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing – it’s a good thing, for guys! (laughs)

So is that track with Camoflauge on your album too?
Yeah. I also have PM, Screwface, and all the Iconz. I wanted everybody to know what I was about, so I didn’t want any big features on the album. I’d rather come out on my own and not have anyone saying they made my career.

The critics might accuse you of being “one-hit wonders,” since you had that one hot track and then disappeared for a bit. What’s gonna give you longevity in this game?
First of all, any critic who calls us one-hit wonders has never even tried to do their homework. We have hits after hits after hits. The same guy that produced “Get Crunked Up” is the same guy producing my whole album. It’s weird to answer that question, you know? It was all politics that stopped us. We were ready, the album was ready, and the album is still in stores. A lot of people bought it. We got a lot of love. The Drum Majors produced the new Disturbing Tha Peace track, the Trick Daddy joint, and the “Pull Over” remix for Trina. We’re working. In fact, in 2003, all the Iconz are supposed to drop their solo albums before the year is over. Supastarr is doing her thing up in California, everybody’s doin’ it up.

Right now, a lot of the music that’s coming out at the top of the charts is Southern music. Why do you think the South is getting so much recognition now?
In the South, everybody’s coming with emotion in their music and bounce to their tracks. It’s just good music. The North usually focuses more on their lyr - Ozone Magazine

"Luc Duc Smoke Affair I: The Mixtape"

Luc Duc
Smoke Affair I: The Mixtape Hard White Entertainment
By Mosi Reeves
Article Published Jan 27, 2005

Music DetailsFor all the acrimony and backbiting The Iconz's demise caused, the once-ascendant conglomerate continues to yield prospects. Luc Duc was the first, debuting with In My Own World back in 2002. That album didn't perform up to expectations, though, so he's back on the grind, issuing mixtapes and building up anticipation for a new full-length, Smoke Affair, set to hit stores sometime this spring.

By the time this review of Smoke Affair I: The Mixtape hits the streets, its sequel, Vol. 2, may have already supplanted it. Such is the fast-moving nature of the mixtape game. Those looking for a rock-crit assessment of its contents, a blend of legitimate bangers, freestyles, skits, and guest appearances, won't find comfort here. After all, Smoke Affair I: The Mixtape is pure thug entertainment to ride to, rough-hewn and hopped up with bass, bounce, and ice-grill impressions. It is what it is. "It's the city for everything," raps Screw Face on "Drama." "You either love it or hate it."

There are a few tracks worth checking for, though. "Pass da Dutch" is a nice smoker's track, while "Problems" is a strong collabo between Cognac Slim and Screw Face that issues the ubiquitous "problem" everybody wants to deliver his friends/enemies nowadays. "Where I Been" is the highlight on which Luc Duc raps about his rise to the self-proclaimed mayor of Opa-locka: "Rent bills backed up/Child support backed up/Migraine pain hitting me like a Mack truck/Get get crunked/Streets got crushed up/Fresh out of Dade had the whole world jumpin'."

Offer your feedback to this story
- Miami New Times


Get F*cked Up w/ THE ICONZ
In My Own World (First solo album)
3 Smoke Affair Mixtapes(Vol 1,2 and R.N.R. version)
PG-21 streaming on radio (prod. by Scott Storch)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Bio of Luc Duc-Your Highness’

Let’s face it, we’re all a little skeptical of purchasing a Hip Hop album these days. One reason is because we spend $10.00 or more on an album just to find out that the one single worth listening to you could’ve heard on the radio.
Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the fact that Luc Duc’s Smoke Affair Album is one that you don’t have to be skeptical of, but don’t just take my word for it, at the end of a long day put in the Smoke Affair album and let Luc Duc take you on the ultimate high. Just be cautious though, because the Smoke Affair is one habit that’s hard to break.

With tracks from top producers such as Scott Storch, Cool N Dre, and Jim Johnson on this album, it won’t be the beats alone that will captivate you and put your mind at ease. It’ll be this artist’s melodic way of expressing his lyrics that will take your vibes to the next level. Luc Duc is very passionate about his music, in which you can hear in his quality commercial sound, but don’t be mislead there’s nothing commercial about his lyrical content. His vocals are humble to the microphone but his versatile flow attacks musical tracks viciously, one by one.

Although the album is titled “Smoke Affair” this album isn’t just about smoking, it’s about an artist that has truly learned what being high is all about. “Me being high is about me being happy with the hand I’m dealt and still winning the game, I named this album Smoke Affair because when people get together and smoke, that’s the one time you never hear arguments, that’s the one time you see happy faces ” he says.

Luc Duc first reached stardom with The Iconz with their hit single “Get F*cked Up” in 2001, he performed at venues such as Soul Train, Rap City, and at the BET Spring Bling, along with a host of other shows. But the group soon parted and he was the only member of the Iconz that their record label produced a solo album for which was titled, “ In My Own World”. After the album Luc Duc received offers from record labels but nothing came of them. He faced complete independence without a label but he still pursued his musical career. It was fate that led him to Society, a Kindred Miami artist who believed in Luc Duc and directed him to a deal with Hard White Entertainment. Even after that deal minor setbacks would keep his album on hold but Luc Duc kept his music on the streets determined that his album would reach his fans one day. Now, after 3 mixtapes all titled “Smoke Affair” Vol 1, Vol 2, and Smoke Affair R.N.R, Luc Duc proudly presents to you the street demanded album “Smoke Affair”.

The Smoke Affair album will be available at Digital Retailers everywhere October 24,2006. This album is much more than an album, it’s the Smoke Affair. Light it, Burn it and Pass it on. Now earlier Luc Duc explained to us what being high was about to him, but when asked “Luc Duc, Your Highness, what exactly gets you high?” he laughs and replies “ this album!