One night of luck can go a long way. During an evening of ecstasy-fueled revelry last New Year’s Eve, rappers Matt Thornton and Matt Carter of Duenday (pronounced dwen-day) serendipitously ran into underground rap forerunner Big Zach of Kanser in the lobby of the downtown Radisson hotel.
Unsuccessful in trying to book a room, they instead found themselves invited into a penthouse filled with the tastemakers of underground rap. After performing an impromptu set for Big Zach later that night, Duenday secured a spot on the bill for Kanser’s upcoming show. Not bad for a couple of 20-year-olds still in their sophomore years.
“[Kanser] allowed us to skip all of the typical bull**** of the rap scene. 2010 has been the best year in the history of life,” Matt Carter said.
2010 started off on a bright note for the duo and it’s only gotten better with the release of their first full-length, self-titled record. It was released Nov. 13 by Minneapolis underground rap label No Static Records at Downtime Bar and Grill to a capacity crowd.
A band that has honed their craft at University of Minnesota keggers, Duenday is unashamed of their party mentality.
“Every time I go to a house party people want to hear me rap and [expletive]. Everyone’s always like doing ciphers and stuff. I’ve met a lot of cool people doing that [expletive],” Carter said. “It’s surprising how many people you meet rapping at parties.”
This is probably a consequence of their age. Duenday’s debut record describes the lives of drunk and stoned college students and it sounds young. The two, however, have enough lyrical talent to make this often-trite subject matter sound fresh.
“Fun’s funner than politics,” Carter said. “Our market is the fun market. I don’t think the people coming to our shows like hearing about politics.”
As they age and sharpen their wit into something more mature, it’s easy to imagine their sound doing the same.
The duo practices a form of music that has been described as “hippie-hop.” From playing shows at festivals like the Bella Vida and the Prairie Grass Music Festival, they have gained some non-traditional hip-hop fans.
“It was really weird to see how torn the crowd was at our CD release show. We had the festy hippie fans and also all these hip-hop kids and preppy bros all there together,” Carter said.
“Sometimes I want to be playing all these festivals, because that’s fun and happy. The other half of me is like, ‘Nah, [expletive] that; I need to stay here and battle dudes and prove myself,’” he said.
The band bucks the term hippie-hop, instead simply viewing themselves as a hip-hop band that practices and preaches free love. Their debut album pushes this message, but also maintains a hard hip-hop edge.
“We just want to make rap and get away from all bull**** that usually goes along with it,” Carter said. “Sometimes you have people going behind each other’s backs and talking [expletive] and we’re not down with that.”