Coming hard with bars: Student rapper Marc Mighty rhymes from the heart
Marc Mighty channels his emotions through rap music
At the age of six, Marc Duqueney moved from Haiti to America with his family.
He soon struggled with making friends, because of the language barrier.
He became a self-described “bad kid.”
Duqueney remembers getting into verbal confrontations during his school years and being put in the corner for bad behavior during church services.
Now, Duqueney, better known by his stage name Marc Mighty, channels his emotions through rap music. The student rapper, a senior communication and sociology major, creates his own tracks and posts them on SoundCloud and YouTube for his new audience, with songs soon to be on Spotify and Apple Music. Mighty used music as a way to process his struggles growing up.
“I was like, ‘Okay, I need to do something,’” Mighty said, “I found myself writing music and drawing. It was a way for me to feel as though I’m not completely alone in a sea of faces of random different people I do not know, speaking a language I do not know.”
Mighty became more involved in his school’s band club, playing the tuba and becoming interested in jazz music. He even took up dancing.
“Originally, I wanted to be like a Miles Davis kind of thing.” Mighty said, “I was extremely into jazz and blues music and I used to be in musicals. I used to do a lot.”
Through his jazz education, Mighty found himself becoming connected to music and the emotions behind it. He found rap through his brother, when the two would listen to music together in their basement. His brother introduced him to rappers like Nas and Stack Bundles.
“Some of the rappers like Nas had a lot of jazz in the background,” Mighty said, “So I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s some jazz here,’ and that sort of meshed it together.”
Mighty became inspired by these artists and tried to emulate their sounds. He began to write raps that introduced himself and where he was from, like the rappers he looked up to. Mighty still tries to emulate the performers he looks up to.
He even based his majors, communication and sociology, off of J. Cole.
“One of my favorite rappers is J. Cole. What he did was communication and business as his backup thing.” Mighty said, “So I was like ‘Oh, let me just follow the model of J. Cole!’”
Mighty has his own process when it comes to writing music. He starts by listening to an instrumental track. Depending on how the track makes him feel, he connects the piece to a memory or story. Many of his songs relate to his family, like his song “Mother’s Interlude.”
“My mom is extremely caring and she understood me, unlike how other people may have. So, when people saw a bad kid, she would see someone who was lost, somebody who wanted some avenue to express themselves.” Mighty said. “Where people just saw an angry kid, who would amount to nothing, she would always be there and be like, ‘No, you’re gonna be somebody.’ She always supported any dream I had.”
Since coming to Buffalo for school, Mighty has collaborated with Long Island-based rapper Clinton Bailey. The pair has worked on two songs, “4 Da Homiez” and “24K.”
Bailey said he enjoys working with Mighty because of his dedication to music.
“Working with him is always fun and mesmerizing because you can see the hard work he puts into the craft.” Bailey said, “He is on his way to master his flow and find his sound.”
Bailey was impressed with Mighty’s abilities and said he always brings his best in his collaboration tracks with Mighty.
“I always find myself trying to come hard on the track whenever I work with him. He’s definitely gifted. Like on “4 Da Homiez,” I had to stay on my toes ‘cause he was coming hard with bars.”
Mighty wants to find places in Buffalo to perform and eventually tour his music. The student rapper is also working on his first official mixtape.
“[Buffalo] in a way influenced my range of topics.” Mighty said, “There’s some Buffalo rappers that I like what they’re doing, how they’re delivering their punchlines and their model of how they are as a person.”
Mighty hopes that listeners can relate to the truth behind his music.
“I’m not big on like bling or all that money, because I don’t have it. That wasn’t my life.” Mighty said, “When people hear me, I want them to be able to relate to me and sort of be like ‘Okay. I understand where you’re coming from because I’ve gone through that myself.’ We can sort of foster community, where we can be all going through the same thing, but we got each other’s backs.”
Julianna Tracey is the senior arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JTraceySpec