Duke Deuce – “Soldiers Steppin”
In 2019, the second-generation Memphis rapper Duke Deuce came out with the ridiculously satisfying breakout hit “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” which aimed to revive the hard, chant-heavy fight music that his city basically invented. In the video for “Crunk Ain’t Dead” and its various remixes, Duke proved to be a wildly entertaining presence, and his dance steps entered viral gif infamy. Last year, Duke came out with Memphis Massacre 2, an extremely hard and underrated album. And today, Duke Deuce returns with “Soldiers Steppin,” an exemplary piece of ’90s-style face-stomping Southern rap music with a truly great video.
“Soldiers Steppin” instantly enters the pantheon of crunk tracks built around military-style cadences — a proud tradition that includes Drama’s “Left Right Left,” JT Money’s “Who Dat,” and Lil Wyte’s “US Soldier Boy.” Over simplistic 808 thunder, Duke Deuce screams about how he’ll fuck you up and joins in mass gang chants. It’s the best.
The video makes it even better. Duke Deuce co-directed the “Soldiers Steppin” clip with Carlos Williams, and it’s basically a Stripes riff, with Duke Deuce and his friends (including Offset) as hopelessly anti-authority recruits at boot camp. The comedy intro is a little long, but it’s genuinely funny. The dance scenes are so good. Watch it below.
“Soldiers Steppin” is out now on Quality Control Music.