Steelo Magazine interview with Big Duke of Psycho Realm.
Interview questions by: Fredy Garcia of Steelo Magazine
Thank you for taking the time for this interview. It is an honor to be interviewing a legend such as your self.
– Thanks for the opportunity.
Even though you are in a paralyzed physical state that hasn’t stopped your grind. Tell us what’s new with you as far as projects are concerned?
– Right now, I’m producing music for groups and working to build my Big Duke Brand up. I’m also trying to promote and drop records for my 2 new groups, Disciples of the Sick and Tha Dirty Gods of Chaos (with Block McCloud of AOTP and I Man of Tha Mexakinz). I also wrote some hooks for my brother Sick Jacken’s new ‘Psychodelic’ album, which should be dropping in the next couple of months. We’re always pushing to expand our brands.
Tell us about the Psycho Soul compilations that you are putting together. How did that come about and now that you are on volume 2 are there plans to continue with more?
– My homie Zodiak of Felony Fights/Sicfuc came to me one day and brought up the idea that we should try come out with the best soul odies compilation ever made. I have a huge collection of oldies and like bringing nothing but dope music to the younger generation so I agreed. When it came time to name it, I decided that a cd collection of that caliber could only be named Psycho Soul. We plan on putting out more volumes. I still bump those cds every day.
From back then till now Psycho Realm has always had a loyal support from the fans. Ones who are not only in it for the music but also are concerned for your well being since the 1999 incident. How are you doing physically/mentally?
– I’m doing good. I get up and work every day. I can’t move physically, but my mind is moving at 100mph. I have so many ideas and projects lined up, its crazy. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to rock a stage again, but I have a surprise coming for all you sickos at the end of the year.
How does it feel to have such a loyal fan base internationally?
– I’m grateful for our fans. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be who we are today. I think we have that fan base because we never come at them with any bullshit music. We always try to stay away from conforming to new styles of music that switch with the times and roll with the style we know and they see that. I guess they can relate to and have experienced what we talk about in our songs in one way or another. Personally, having our fans is one of the main things that drives me to do everything I do. We have to keep filling their music collection with dope shit.
You are considered to be the Mecca of the Underground Hip Hop Scene. How does that make you feel?
– I appreciate the respect and recognition. Sick Jacken and I have been working on music since about ’86. We started The Psycho Realm in ’90. We’ve worked hard at this, always striving to make the dopest music we can. I haven’t stopped working any less because of it.
In your opinion what about your music do you think appeals to people so much?
– I think people enjoy the raw feel of the music. They can relate to the topics we talk about. Our sick deliveries and rhyming styles also catch their attention and don’t let go. I think they enjoy that its some real shit.
Everyday we hear of something new that Big Duke is involved with. What is your motivation to keep persevering and pushing through the weather?
– My motivation for pushing every day has been my girls, family and our fans. My wife and daughter don’t treat me any different or expect any less of me because I can’t move. I still have to provide for them as the man of the house. They depend on me and need me. My mother and father are incredible people. They’re always there when I need them and make sure everything I do goes as smooth as possible. They expect me to do everything I have to do as if I was up and running. My family is supportive. Our fans are used to seeing me strong. Just because I’m down, doesn’t mean I’m out. I can’t let any of these people down. I’m not sick. I just can’t move right now.
Tell us about your group Disciples Of The Sick?
– I was selling beats with my homie God Kibyrum at the time and we had MCs come over sometimes to check them out. We had some crazy freestyle sessions over here. One day, I was sitting outside my studio looking in and saw Bet1, Test, Sp and Eggroll standing there freestyling. I liked the energy they were exerting trying to out do each other and the idea just hit me. This would be a sick ass group. I called them outside and after breaking the idea down to them, they were with it. Disciples of the Sick was born. Phileano came over a different day. When I heard him spit, I knew he had to be part of the group. I asked him if he was down and he was with it. They’re energy is incredible on stage. And who better to DJ for them than our first Psycho Realm DJ, my brother DJ ResyOne.
Now that you are producing again, can you let us in on some of your most recent projects and future projects?
– I produced beats for a few up and coming groups such as Brownlucci, Gino Sydal, and a few others. The last big track I produced was ‘Metal Rain’ by Sick Jacken featuring Cynic for the Stray Bullets cd. I have a few tracks recorded featuring Sadat X, El da Sensei, Medusa, Kurupt, Ras Kass, Ill Bill, Longevity and a few others. These will be released soon. I’m mostly just focusing on making tracks and recording albums with Disciples of the Sick and Tha Dirty Gods of Chaos. I have my brothers Test Loks and God Kibyrum producing beats with me sometimes.
Tell us about your collaboration with Zodiak?
– Zodiak and I throw shows and do the Psycho Soul compilation cds together. We have a few sick shows planned this year so don’t sleep on those.
Psycho Realm shirts, sweaters and apparel in general are of huge popularity are you still in charge of all merchandising? If so, are you guys working on new designs?
– My brother and I are in charge of the merchandising. We have meetings to discuss which new designs and products we want to put on in our catalogs each season. We appreciate that our fans/soldiers want to represent us by wearing our clothing.
How do you feel to have come this far independently without the backing of a label and establishing your name on a legendary status?
– We left the Ruffhouse/Columbia label we were signed to because they didn’t understand the type of music we were making. It feels good to have established our own label and brand. We’ve worked hard and stayed consistent with our music throughout the years. I’m glad people enjoy the music.
I recently had the honor of speaking to you at a show and your voice is getting stronger, and I recently read in a past interview that you had with LAtinaBeats that there is a possibility that you will regain mobility one day. What do you thing would be the biggest change for you if you regain mobility?
– I think the biggest change for me if I regained mobility would be to try and get back into the flow of things. Adjusting to daily life. I used to be out every day and every night networking with everybody everywhere. If I had the ability to be in my studio dropping vocals recording new tracks every day, I would.
What would be your advice to those that admirer you and aspire to be where you are one day?
– The best advice I could give anybody would be to always try to be different and original with your work. Don’t worry about being famous or on the radio. Worry about it always being dope. And work hard it. Make music your main thing. You can’t have a 9a to 5p job and expect to make it as an artist. You have to find a flexible job and put the music first. Be it, live it. Stay humble. Be grateful. If you always come with that formula you’ll be alright.
For future updates on any of your works, where can your fans find out about it?
Thank you very much Duke. It is an honor to be able to interview you especially since I grew up listening to Psycho Realm. We at Steelo Magazine have mad love and the utmost respect for you. Thank you!
– No problem brother. Thanks for the opportunity.