I was curious to hear what Duckwrth’s new project, entitled I’m Uugly, would sound like after reading our writer Anna Dorn compare it to a mix of Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Anderson .Paak, and Andre 3000 (all artists I admire deeply). And though I completely understand where she’s coming from—I can hear the influences—Duckwrth stands completely on his own in a whirlwind of musical, creative genius. He is something else.
The album cover for I’m Uugly
It’s a rarity for me to hear something and suddenly feel so moved, overwhelmed, and compelled to write in praise of it (honestly, I emailed our editor-in-chief saying, “I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS”). The craziest part is that I don’t even know what genre to categorize I’m Uugly into. It sounds like Duckwrth included a healthy dose of chillwave, funk, rock, soul—puzzle pieces that normally wouldn’t fit, but for this project, fold together into perfect harmony. Add that to stellar production by our friends Alexander Spit, LIKE of Pac Div, and more.
And it’s not just the sound, the rhythm, the beats, that are blowing me away; the project touches upon deeply personal and poignant issues—police brutality, injustices that black and brown people face in this world, gun violence. “Pain—pain is what I feel when I see someone of my skin tone laying lifeless due to gun violence,” he recites at the end of 100 Days. His voice doesn’t quiver or soften—its matter-of-fact tone presents the seriousness of the experiences that Duckwrth—and people of color in America—have faced.
Beyond his musical endeavors, Duckwrth also happens to be a graphic designer and illustrator, creating works of art in honor of each of the tracks on his album. Each piece is more unusual than the next—an explosion of turquoise, violet, and flowers; bodies sliced into pieces (see the rest of the illustrations at HipHopDX). These visuals, paired with his mesmerizing and enchanting music videos, portrays his innate, creative talent. He truly is a jack of all trades, someone I can’t seem to pin down. And maybe that’s the whole point—his aesthetic isn’t predictable. It isn’t meant to allude to anything but himself, but Duckwrth.
Duckwrth dedicated two years to this project, and all I can do thank him for sharing his talent with us. If you haven’t listened to I’m Uugly yet, stop reading, put it on, and thank me later.
Listen to I’m Uugly at duckwrth.com/im-uugly or on Soundcloud below: