In conjunction with the release of his project, One Day It’ll All Make Cents, Brookfield Duece felt it was only right to release the visual for the first single, “Unwilling.” The track– produced by Kelly Portis and featuring JR Toots– is probably one of the most honest tracks that’ll be heard this year. Brookfield isn’t fearful to call those out that aren’t willing to fight for what they deserve. On top of that he makes sure to say it loud and clear: NOBODY is putting in that work as he is. As Brookfield says, “Blank resumes will never get the job done.”
RESPECT.: Tell me the backstory of your career: how you got your name? What made you get into music?
Well Duece is what my whole family calls me because I’m a junior. And brookfield is the neighborhood I’m from in east Oakland, CA
As a teen There where a couple dudes around the area that played basketball like myself also named “deuce” so people would ask “which deuce?” And people would say brookfield Duece or whatever hood they from Duece. The name made sense for me to keep, so I ran with it but changed the spelling to Duece instead of Deuce.
I was always around music from a child. Grew up in a baptist church. Lots of singing. Mom did a lot of singing in and out of church. Lots of soul and r&b music in the car rides with mom. And every so often she would change to the station that played rap… that was what made me want to get into music. It was about 96, Pac was free and All Eyez… dropped. Death Row was big, No Limit was big, Cash Money was rising, Bad Boy was big, then you had the underground things coming up. Rocafella, Common and Cube had they thing, Chicago as a whole was making their noise. I was kinda thrown in the deep end of the rap pool when my mom let me dig into the world. I played basketball, but also saved a spot for music if basketball didn’t work.
RESPECT.: Once you realized you wanted to get into music, what steps did you take to start making music and getting your voice heard?
I didn’t want to get into music without doing my history so for the first 7/8 years I was strictly a fan. Always wrote little rhymes here and there, but nothing serious. I met C-Major and Ducktape from Berkeley in the early 2000’s and they were doing music in their closet, my cousin Danny from Sobrante (also signed to Front Page Music) was in jail at the time and I would always tell him it’s gonna be hard to get a job when you get out with no high school diploma, you should rap with me… I’ll find us a situation and when you get out we’ll get to work.
So you can say my first steps were to help Danny. First day he got out, we went to the studio, first month we got his drivers license, and we just kept working. You could say my fandom for music pushed me more into the behind the scenes more than rapping. I did that for about 5 years and took a break for another 5/6 years to tend to family. I was involved in a drive by shooting where my car was hit with over 15 bullets as it was being chased by the shooting car. Surprisingly I wasn’t hit at all. I took that as god telling me I needed to tell my story and the story of those that can’t speak for themselves. Brookfield Duece the rapper was kinda born that night. Kind of a mix between common and cube. Talks about the issues, but been through a few things and may bust yo ass if the situation calls for it.
RESPECT.: What influences you to write music? Which artists do you look to for inspiration?
Current events influence me. Heavily. If I’m going through something, it’ll end up on a song. I try my hardest to not sound Uber personal, so I write in relatable concepts. It’s about me, but it’s about everybody.
Artists that inspire me, are everybody. I listen to everything. Pac, Jay-Z, Kanye, TDE as a whole, Common, Busta, Wu-Tang (mostly Rae, Meth, and Ghost though), Cole, Drake, Travis Scott, 50… I could go on, but those are the rappers, the list grows if we cross genres by a lot. If we go outside rap the list grows a lot….As for the other influences go, I’d have to say my manager/A&R Derrick “Lottery” Hardy, he helped title the EP, being for Chicago, when he learned how much I dug Chicago music that was all he needed! Lol. We talked about all the titles, the art, the order of the songs, everything. In fact, 3 songs are produced by The Shipmates, a production group from Chicago, so with that and common remake and title flip, Chicago is a heavy influence. I’d also say my upbringing in Oakland of course, but my new roots in Portland as well, there are multiple references to Portland in this EP, and 2 tracks are produced by Portland producers, BluMagic and Aviel and there was a lot of input from my DJ, Drae Slapz. The other 2 tracks are produced from California with Like from Pac Div and Kelly Portis. So California, Portland, Chicago, those regions helped shape the influence as well as those artists listed.
RESPECT.: Tell me about your most recent project and what you wanted fans to get from it?
First I’ll say what I want fans to get from it, my versatility. I don’t want to be one of those artists that are placed in box like “he makes this kind of music” I want to be expected to push boundaries and to be expected to grow and try new things. I expect the fans to be hard on me because I’m hard on myself but to also have as an open mind as I do in approaching the concepts, I feel like the music is onion like and can appreciated on the surface but with a little time, layers can be revealed for a deeper appreciation.
This project is my belief that im on the right track. And one day I’ll be doing this for money, which is why it’s free. The song titles all have meaning and the ep title is a nod to Common’s album, One Day It’ll All Make Sense. There are a lot key points in my musical life but I think the common/cube beef was big. Because it intro’d me to Chicago music and a deeper look into la gangsta rap but from a rapper who was moving on the east coast.That beef shaped my lyrical approach pretty much.
I think you get that from this project. A little bit of everything:
“Mowgli’s Song” – About an orphan boy raised by wolves as a metaphor to the youth in Oakland as a city and brookfield (the jungle) as a neighborhood and how it can make an animal out of you.
“Rap Doe” – Because although animals are raised in this area, I just wanna rap.
“Unwilling” – I’m also willing to do what it takes to be in this world of rap, but most people aren’t willing to do the things they need to reach their goals. The people who do should be applauded, it’s not easy completing things in this time. Life gets in the way often.
“Wedding Ring” – Knowing that I had to marry the rap game in order for me to see the successes from it. This song is my remake to Common’s “I used to love HER” which started the cube beef imo. He already had her and lost her to gangsta rap and was in his feelings about it. Sn: it’s funny that’s still the argument but with “mumble rap” but another convo. My version is saying I coulda had her a long time ago if I took her serious. I spent a long time playing around. Wasn’t until I gave everything else up in my life and devoted my life to music that I seen a return.
“Silver Screens” – After making that push into music, you deal with two types of people, the people who think you went Hollywood (silver screen, movies, Hollywood) and the people who only around for them and have secret motives. They are the grey area artists people in general don’t need around them (silver screens) because they aren’t black and white with why they are around.
“Pressure Makes Diamonds” – Going thru all that can make or break an artist. The ones who can’t survive it, just coal. The ones who can use that pressure for good, diamonds. But this song is also a connection to mowglis song because they are the same person. The person who recognizes he is in the jungle and to a degree embraces is and is not concerned with right or wrong but only who he does what he has to do with and prays they don’t get him caught it. Because he isn’t really doing anything wrong. It’s a necessary evil.
“Until it’s Over” – And throughout all that pressure and finding who your real friends are and having those options to be an animal or not and just wanting to rap, I wouldn’t change that journey and will continue to press on until it’s over in this time. My favorite line of the project starts this song, “only Donald we acknowledge is Glover!”
There are real issues being talked about on this project, I want fans to catch them all. If they do get the messages but don’t love the music I’d still consider this a success.
RESPECT.: You worked on Damian Lilliard’s album. How was that process and working with Damian?
That was the best experience I’ve had musically. It was a smooth process. No different than our family dynamic.
Dame: I’m doing an album and I need your help…
Me: I’m there, lemme know and I’m there!
Dame: I need them bars though, if it’s trash you ain’t on it!
Me: if you trash, you ain’t on it! Lol
Just replace that topic to basketball or cracking jokes on each other and you have our family dynamic. Competition. Healthy competition of course. But we all expect greatness.
Just being in the studio like the one we used, meeting the producers that have done countless records that inspire me, meeting the artists and watching them work. And creating relationships with those guys is something I could never pay back. That experience doesn’t have a price tag
I wrote on “Baggage,” “Roll Call,” “Plans,” and “Thank You.”
And I have to tell you about working on “Thank You.” We all did our verses, waited a week for Marsha, she was very busy as you could imagine. And she walks in on the last day with a Chicken sandwich in one hand and candy crush in the other. At the time she was feeding for two with the baby coming. And it looked like fuckin doves followed her in the studio. She listened to the song for 5 minutes, didn’t write anything and went to the booth and perfect one taked 24 tracks of hook leads and harmonies in 40 minutes. Took pictures and disappeared back into mythology! I’ve never seen that shit in life bruh! I just had to say that. I love her. She’s an angel for real!
RESPECT.: What does the near future hold for you?
Exposure. The money will come. But exposure will happen now. Enlightenment for fans that thought I was one type of artist, they will learn a lot more about me.
RESPECT.: What do you want fans to get from this new video you’re releasing?
I want them to see how much respect and love I have for the people who came before me, how I had a few obstacles but didn’t let that stop me from getting that demo to the radio station. And we didn’t show radio station because we wanted to make it relatable to whatever the viewer does in life. Just keep going and finding your way to your goals no matter what. We had so many references we wanted to use. Busta rhymes. Hype Williams, Pharcyde, Pac, Meth, Kriss Kross, Dre, NWA, Biggie, Common, UGK, Too Short…. we just couldn’t get them all in, we shot enough for three videos. Shoutout to Jay Pusha, we sat down and came up with a good mix of references. He’s a dope shooter.
RESPECT.: Lastly what does RESPECT mean to you?
Respect is love. Respect is appreciation. Respect is understanding. I think the world needs more respect. America is especially, this is a tough country to live in when you do what you’re asked and it’s not good enough because people don’t respect you. People can feel painted into a corner… you ever backed a cat into a corner, taken all its options away? Good luck.
You ever seen a kid put his blood sweat and tears into his art for a critic to not respect the work? That’s why I listen to EVERYTHING and find the good in it and in people. That’s why I give everyone the utmost from the start, I let them mess it up. Because where I’m from, respect is the difference between living and dying. Respect is at the top of my list.