“I’m just here to find my lane and take off full steam ahead once in it.”
Straight out of Killeen, Texas is the talented Courtney ‘Duce’ Mitchell. An artist on the Breadwinner Music Group (BWMG) label, Duce has the heart and the team he needs to make major moves in the music industry. Duce’s career started off as a hobby with C. Stone and himself freestyling for fun, and quickly grew into something with enormous potential. Duce says, “We would do live freestyles imitating what DJ Screw originated and having fun rapping…we ended up putting all the songs on one CD for us to listen to, but once our peers heard it everyone wanted their own copy. That’s when I knew this was something I could do.” He knew that he wanted to pursue entertaining because he knew that it was something he could be successful at and make his friends and family proud. But of course this industry isn’t all good all of the time, it has its disadvantages. The loss of three of his close friends and mentors to lengthy penitentiary sentences struck a huge blow to Duce. It disbanded their rap group and left Duce by himself. Obstacles are nothing new to any underground artist these days though. It’s all about how you bounce back. “My way of overcoming this was just to keep pushing. I know that was all they would want from me—to represent and hold them down. And I did; I am.”
Duce’s brother, best friend, and CEO of BWMG, C. Stone is his biggest influence. “Not because he is my CEO or best friend, but because I know his story and being from the same city growing up together he showed me that anything can be accomplished as long as you put your mind to it and never stop pushing.” His musical influences include people he grew up listening to such as Slim Thug, Lil’ Keke, Fat Pat, Z-Ro, Big Pokey, Meek Millz, Young Jeezy, Yung Redd, and Rick Ross. He has many influences, yet does not consider himself similar to any of his favorite artists. “I try not to compare myself to other rappers, I stay in my lane and do me” says Duce. He finds inspiration for his music by simply living life.
Duce has a plethora of music in his repertoire, all which is available for download on cdbaby, iTunes, datpiff, and amazon. His first major project entitled G.R.I.T.S. was released along with C. Stone. You can find his latest mixtape, Jacking for Beats Vol. 1 on datpiff.com. His latest LP, entitled Big Duce 2nd to None is his best work so far. The inspiration for this project was derived from his need to “get back out there” and his peers constantly asking him to give them new music. Duce makes music for his fans to enjoy. When asked what he wanted listeners to take away from his latest project, he says “Just understand that the [project] is me having fun, at the same time giving you something to jam to.” The entire cd jams of course, but if you need somewhere to start, Duce says his favorite tracks are “Countdown”, “Ima Get It”, and “Meagan”.
Although Duce is enjoying success with all of his music currently in heavy rotation, he knows that he can’t stop grinding. “I am working day in and day out on original tracks, so when it’s time for another release I’m cocked and loaded. I was always told to stay ready to keep from having to get ready. ”Duce’s goals for the future are to continue to make quality music for his fans, and to do whatever is required of him to help make sure that BWMG is an established brand. That means continuing to interact with fans, performing at and hosting parties, and networking. Duce and BWMG are also making a huge philanthropic impact in their respective communities, from providing dinners to the shut in on Thanksgiving and Christmas, coaching little league teams, to the BWMG annual Christmas give away to a less fortunate family. The love that he gets from fans is what keeps him working hard, and hopefully the love will soon grow to a point that launches him to superstardom. Considering Duce’s super cool personality though, he’s not stressing the time it takes to get there. “I like being an underground artist. Of course I’m striving to become main stream, but with 5,000 independent sales at $10 a piece I wouldn’t complain either.” Duce and Breadwinner Music Group are FYI Houston certified, be on the lookout for the next big project coming out of this camp! In the meantime, go get the 2nd to None album now!!!
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