Mar 8, 2023 - News

Downtown Deuce cranks out Pistons jams

Downtown Deuce makes music at the Star Factory in Oak Park. Photo: Joe Guillen/Axios

Local musician Keith John is tapping into his love for Pistons basketball to take his career to the next level.

Driving the news: John — known as Downtown Deuce — is working on a five-song EP of Pistons-themed songs building off the popularity of his first team-themed composition, "Destination: Restoration."

  • The team's in-house DJ — DJ Chachi — began playing the song at home games this season.

Context: Since returning to Detroit from Auburn Hills in 2017, the franchise has built bonds with local rappers like Big Sean, Babyface Ray and Kash Doll.

What they're saying: "You got to be able to connect with the identity of the city and that's what they've done," Deuce tells Axios. "It makes it more authentic to (fans) when they hear the music that has the Detroit flair."

Between the lines: Deuce, 36, is a Detroit native just old enough to remember the Bad Boys era. His songs bridge the team's past success with the hype and hope of Cade Cunningham and the current roster.

The intrigue: Music runs in Deuce's blood — his grandfather is soul legend Little Willie John, who influenced everyone from the Beatles to James Brown and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

What's next: With all the Lions buzz, Deuce plans to make some Detroit football music before next season starts in September.


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