Student Spotlight with Talon Ducheneaux
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND: From the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, Ducheneaux, 20, is a hip-hop artist and future psychologist. As a freshman, he drove to Penn from South Dakota, a trip that took about six days.
MUSIC IS MY SAVIOR: Ducheneaux says hip-hop “probably saved me as a kid,” helping him overcome depression, which is all too common on many reservations. “If I didn’t have music, I don’t know where my depression would have taken me in some moments in my life,” he says.
PTSD: Ducheneaux says depression among natives, along with other prevalent problems such as suicide and alcoholism, partly stems from “a post-traumatic stress disorder that has passed on through generations from all the things that has happened to Native American people.”
PARENTAL ADVISORY: One of the first hip-hop albums Ducheneaux came across was Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” when he was in first or second grade. “My dad came in the room, heard me listening to it, he got mad at me, took the CD, and walked out,” he says. “I grabbed the next CD, which was Will Smith, which was acceptable for my age, I guess.”
THE N, THE A, TO THE S-I-R: Ducheneaux started writing in fourth grade after accidently downloading an instrumental of “Got Ur Self A...” by hip-hop legend Nas. As he got older and heard other Native American hip-hop artists, Ducheneaux began to make music himself.
REAL RAP: 2pac, The Notorious B.I.G., and Ninth Wonder are some of Ducheneaux’s musical influences, as well as underground hip-hop artists like MF Doom and Tech N9ne. He says he has a hard time listening to the mainstream hip-hop of today. “I think I was the only person in high school that didn’t like Soulja Boy when he came out,” he says.
HIP-HOP, YOU THE LOVE OF MY LIFE: Ducheneaux writes, performs, and produces his own beats, and puts out his albums for free. “It will probably be with me until I’m an old man in some house still rapping,” he says. “That’s a funny thing to think about.”
ALSO KNOWN AS: Ducheneaux raps under the name BazilleDx; Bazille is his middle name and DX is the abbreviation of his last name.
PUMP UP THE VOLUME: On Saturdays, from 10 p.m. to midnight, Ducheneaux hosts “The SlapBack!” on WQHS, Penn’s only student-run radio station. “It’s a hip-hop show with more of an underground feel to it, but I will play some mainstream stuff every once in a while,” he says.