For someone who has been around the music industry for a while, it’s always special when you come across an original sound, or you run into a unique artist. Fast forward to 2021 and out of nowhere, Carlos Dukes, better known by his stage name, “Soulrac,” fits the bill. The Florida-based artist/producer brings a refreshing throwback feel to the industry while still managing to impact current styles and current culture. Right away, you see that Soulrac is about lyrics, or as the kids say, “his flow is lit.” Add fire production, mixed with messages promoting activism and liberation, I’m an instant fan. With so many questions, I made sure to link with brother Soulrac to conduct the following interview.
1up Atlanta Examiner: How long have you been in the music industry?
Soulrac: I’ve been in the music industry as an artist for about 2 years, however, I started rapping over 20 years ago.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Describe the hip-hop scene in Florida?
Soulrac: Florida is a unique state due to its metropolitan areas such as Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville. In this particular case, I can speak to Orlando which is a multicultural environment inhabited mostly by people from Northern states. Thus, the sounds of Orlando are infused with East Coast Hip Hop, Bass, and Trap Music. Overall, Orlandians can hear music from multiple arenas at any given time.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Who are some of the artists who most influenced your style when you first started rapping?
Soulrac: I would say there are a collection of artists who influenced me for the most part. When it comes to politically driven lyrics I would say Chuck D. As far as lyricism is concerned, Rakim had a major impact. 2 Pac played a role because he taught me the value of being authentic and diverse with your music.
1up Atlanta Examiner: You often describe your music as, “music for the soul,” please explain in more detail what that means.
Soulrac: Basically, ” Music for the Soul” means music that touches the soul whether it’s done subconsciously or emotionally. In either case, I want to make music that touches the listener in unimaginable ways.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Have you ever been called a “conscious rapper,” and is that a term you would feel comfortable being listed as?
Soulrac: I have been called a “Conscious rapper” or “Woke rapper.” I have never been a person who adheres to labels nor do I like the idea that I was asleep or unconscious at one point. Nevertheless, I’m honored to be considered a person who speaks truth to power.
1up Atlanta Examiner: What’s the difference between Soulrac, the artists, and Carlos Dukes, the man?
Soulrac: There is not much difference between the Soulrac or Carlos Dukes. It’s hard for me to differentiate one from the other. I think the biggest difference if there are any, would be Soulrac has a nonsense approach when it comes to people disrespecting the Hip Hop culture such as culture vultures, or people who feel a sense of entitlement because they listen to Hip Hop music. Nowadays, everybody thinks they can perform rap music without knowing the history of Hip Hop.
1up Atlanta Examiner: What have you done to remain active and relevant during a time when so many restrictions continue to hinder artists, due to covid-19?
Soulrac: I think one of the things you can do to stay relevant is to implement a strong social media presence, network with artists through video communication platforms, and stay connected to your fanbase.
1up Atlanta Examiner: What’s your favorite song to perform live?
Soulrac: I believe my favorite song to perform would be “Belly of The Beast.”
1up Atlanta Examiner: I’ve seen you linked to “Inlighten Music Group” on several of your projects. What’s the affiliation?
Soulrac: Inlighten Music Group is the record label I own and use as a platform to push my music.
1up Atlanta Examiner: What has been the reception from fans since releasing the new single, “Caught you Slippin,” and how did you come up with the concept of the song?
Soulrac: I think we are getting a good response from people in regards to “Caught U Slippin.” The song is based on how men and women dishonor themselves when they do not live up to their ideal self by using manipulation to disrespect the opposite sex by being a gold digger, exploiting others for sex, or refer to each other in derogatory terms.
1up Atlanta Examiner: As an artist, how do you define success?
Soulrac: I would say success at this juncture is to create music that will outlive you. As an independent artist, the music business does not create wealth unless you have the financial backing to make an impact on a larger scale. Therefore you have to be satisfied with the journey and the lives you touch as you travel to your destination.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Where should readers go to listen to your music and where should they go if they are interested in booking you?