Spotlight: Deuce and Mil

All rappers are not street hustlers and high school dropouts. Meet Deuce and Mil, two rappers ready to redefine the face of rap. Hailing from the Bronx, juniors Jerome Abraham (Deuce) and Maxwell Ukegbu (Mil) comprise the dorm room rap duo. Despite sharing the same hometown, they didn’t actually meet until their UVM freshman orientation, in the bathroom.”It was kind of an awkward situation,” Abraham said. “I was like, ‘You look familiar. You from the Bronx?’ It turned out we went to middle school together. So we became roommates.”They instantly bonded; having left New York City for a completely different experience in Vt., their friendship formed out of necessity and common interests.”I had been in the Bronx for 15 or 16 years,” Ukegbu said, “and I wanted to get out of there and see something different.”Abraham had the same reasoning.”I just wanted a change of scenery,” he said. “I was born and raised in the Bronx, and I thought, if I’m going to do something for four years, I might as well see something different.”Abraham hopes to use his talent to make it “big” post-graduation. “I definitely want to keep it going and try to pursue it,” Abraham said. “I feel like everybody’s not made for this kind of thing, but I’ve been doing rap since the 11th grade,” he said. “We just see so many people who try to rap, and they come and go. They can’t maintain and stay consistent and get better – they just quit. [But] I see myself getting better and better and better,” Abraham said. Abraham believes there already exists an audience for his music. “I’ve been listening to a lot of music that’s out now, and so much stuff [rappers] say and think is so similar to the stuff that [Max and I] do,” he said. “If these guys are out, I don’t see why there’s a point not to give it a shot.”Ukegbu, however, sees music as just a hobby.”I don’t see myself doing it in the long term,” he said. “I just want to get into the business world when I can get out of here, you know, [and] work a 9-to-5 job.”His love for the world of business is apparent in the name of Deuce and Mil’s new album, “Supply and Demand.” Their past three releases were mix tapes, in which they used other artists’ beats and wrote over them with their own lyrics. “Supply and Demand” is their first album, and it?is truly all their own.”These are our own beats, ones you’ve never heard before,” Ukegbu said. “The beats are crazy. We actually put a lot of work into it. We pretty much made the whole album during winter break.””Supply and Demand” dropped Thursday at their album release party at Club Metronome. Big Lou, their production coordinator, also made a live appearance beside Bronx rapper Cause. Thursday night, the “Bronx took the club,” Big Lou rapped. A down and out Bronx reunion, those from the borough put their arms up in the shape of an “X” to represent their hometown pride.The boys are most excited about being able to call this album their own. “It was good to do something where you don’t have to worry about people being like, ‘Oh, he did that on so-and-so’s beat,’ because it’s like, it’s ours, it’s 100 percent ours. It’s just a different feeling, I like it a lot,” Abraham said.Deuce and Mil will gladly supply, as long as Burlington demands.