Sometimes when you meet an artist you can physically see the passion they carry for their craft in the way they “glow.” Local musician, Deuces II, simply vibrates with that energy. As we met outside Timeless Recording Studio to talk about his upcoming NASHVILLE X CINCINNATI event I was graced with a genuine grin, and we instinctually hugged. By the time we really got settled into “interview mode” we’d already laughed over a mutual deep appreciation for our mamas’ cooking and a shared mild infatuation with the band Moon Hooch.
Joe Eid, local artist and manager at PRO Recordings, sat next to Deuces on the couch and enthusiastically chimed in as we discussed the influence of the music festival scene and learning things from other genres by not limiting yourself. Throughout our conversation a common thread manifested; these men were utterly grateful for their support systems. From managers to sponsors, friends and fellow performers, they raved about each and how this event was their way of giving back some of the prospects gifted to them.
After the interview Deuces gave me the option to photograph him as he practiced in studio. There isn’t much I find more inspiring to capture than a musician crafting new music, so I jumped at the chance. In seconds, Deuces had comfortably stepped behind the microphone with a smile on his face and even gave me a heads up to when he’d be rapping some fun verses to snag photos. Like I said before, some people just radiate joy for their art and it shows. Perhaps this is also what 2’Live Bre, a nationally recognized rap artist, saw when he found and contacted Deuces to team up.
In August of 2021, Deuces and his crew, including Joe, were invited to Nashville by 2’Live Bre for collaboration and introductions. He reverently spoke of the true “southern hospitality” they were shown during the visit and how Nashville is so much more than country music. As I’d already gathered, Deuces has a great respect for genres of music outside the rap and R&B worlds and he quickly found himself enamored with the city. From this experience he began birthing the idea for a musical “pipeline”, as he explained it, an exchange of talent and resources between the two hubs. 2’Live Bre opened a door for Deuces in Nashville, which he now describes as a “second home”, and he wanted to return the favor so this network of artists could collaborate and grow.
On January 28th, 2022, Urban Artifact will house a gathering of artists and sponsors from both cities. Deuces’ vision and intentions will be actualized as musicians perform, connections are established and friends are made. 2’Live Bre and Deuces will headline Friday’s concert, with performances by Khari BTB, Monty C Benjamin, Sound the Alarm, PRO, and others. Hosted by Radio Artifact, Donuts n Akahol Podcast, and Nashville’s YoCo 96.7, this experience will also be live streamed and broadcast with an “awards show” feel. The event is stacked with giveaways for attendees ranging from studio recording time courtesy of Timeless Studios, exclusive shoes from 2’Live Bre’s Blanx line, PRO hoodies, gift cards and much more.