California rapper Duckwrth has been gaining major traction in the last year. On projects like I’M UUGLY and the just-released an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape, Duckwrth reveals a sharp energy and a whole lot of personality that will carry him a long way. Currently on tour with Rich Chigga, the 405 talked with Duckwrth via email about becoming a rapper after being raised religiously, his love for skateboarding, and the importance of allowing men to express themselves emotionally.

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Where does the name Duckwrth come from?

It’s my mom’s maiden name. People started calling me that in college, I just kept it.

How has your tour with Rich Chigga been?

It’s been awesome, tiring. It’s been exhilarating and it’s been just fun overall.

Your mixtape opens with the song ‘XTRA’ where you say “I’m so xtra” in the chorus. What does ‘Xtra’ mean to you?

It means being more than just like, the normal, going above and beyond. You can be pink or you can be hot pink.

You do some singing. How did you get into that?

I was in a choir when I was eight, and my whole family does music. So, it’s like literally in my blood.

Growing up, you said your dad was into reggae and jazz, while your mom was into gospel and classical. Which records did you hear the most in your house?

When I was young, I used to hear a lot of Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond, and then on the flip side, I would also hear Phantom of the Opera and Steel Pulse.

Has your family been supportive of your career?

My mom has grown to be supportive of me. At first, she was a little bit indifferent because of our religious background, but now she fully supports me. And my dad is a dweeb. He kinda left when I was eight, now he just claims my musical genius because of him. So, he gets no credit.

Your songs ‘BUMMER / 2BUCKS’ and ‘SUMMER’S EXIT’ deal with love of summer. Do you have fond summer memories?

Just skating, a lot of skating. I would come home from college, or even when I was in high school, and I would just look forward to just thrashing around the neighborhood. Other than that, just like sun, water.

On the song “BOY” you refer to yourself as both a “BOY” and a “GIRL” is there a significance to this?

Yeah, just pretty much saying every human has both male and female energy, and with that song I wanted to create a safe space for both sides but even more so specifically men, because men aren’t allowed to be sensitive or emotional. So, I’m just creating a safe space for a bro to be like “Yo, I got emotions, man.”

What have you learned since the release of the I’M UUGLY mixtape?

I learned that there is a new level of musicianship and where to place your music. So, like, placing it in commercials, films, movies, games, stuff like that. So with this new project I aim to make bigger music so it can find its way into TV.

You spent some time in New York. How was that compared to Cali?

They’re both awesome, but New York is just faster-paced, as everyone says. It’s more industrial. It’s more cement, more metal. But it definitely pushes you to go harder in whatever you do. And the fashion’s also very lit. All the homeless people wear Balenciaga.

Do you intend to keep the ‘UUGLY’ theme for titling your releases?

I might not keep the ‘UUGLY’ theme, but I will as much as I can, keep the double-U.

I read you were into skateboarding growing up. Is that still a hobby of yours?

Yeah, it’s my therapy. It’s my therapist. That’s what I do when, like, everything goes to shit, just go skate.

What’s something you want to do for your career that you haven’t yet tried or been able to do?

Really like, take over the international market, and dive in, like face first, yo. And get more into the tech side of it, like apps and big print ads too, like billboards, wheatpasting, stuff like that.

Influences aside, who would you most want to emulate for your career?

I wouldn’t want to emulate anyone particularly, because I appreciate different people’s stories, but it’s like there’s only like one of me. I just want to be able to show success throughout my career, but I like it to be Duckwrth’s story, man, no one else’s.

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Duckwrth's latest release is the an EXTRA UUGLY Mixtape; stream it below.