Editor's note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.
Top Dawg Entertainment recently signed previously unknown rapper, Doechii. In the past week, she became the first woman rapper to be signed by Top Dawg Entertainment, the label famous for artists such as ScHoolboy Q and SZA. There's a lot that can be said about Doechii, even though she's relatively new to the HipHop scene, but in her own words, “Doechii with two i’s [is] a Black girl who beat the statistics,” especially in the rap game. She has not been in the public eye long, but after her song “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” blew up a year after it dropped — with millions of TikTok views — she became more notable. With her lyrical ability and songs touching on topics from God to the inner self, it makes sense why Top Dawg Entertainment would view Doechii and Kendrick Lamar as peers.
Iamdoechii, as she originally called herself and still does on social media, started off uploading her songs on SoundCloud and YouTube, like most rappers. Her beats are modern, mellow raps with old-school tendencies — a boom bap drum with a slow flow — and her energy and personality are everything but. Doechii is eccentric; she embodies the “weird Black girl” personality without it being her persona. She is clearly different from other rappers, especially other women rappers. On first listen, you would think she was a part of Tyler, the Creator’s alternative HipHop group, Odd Future, but delving deeper into her catalog, she shows a more developed sound that parts from the original assumption.
In 2020, she released an album titled “Oh The Places You’ll Go,” after Dr. Seuss’ book. Pulling inspiration from a catalog as diverse as “Paid in Full” by Eric B. & Rakim to “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande, Doechii successfully takes listeners on a rap/dance pop/R&B-riddled journey through her mind in only seven songs. You can hear elements of Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris” in her flow and Drake’s “Take Care” in her more notable songs on the album, “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” and “Black Girl Memoir.”
What sets her aside is her vulnerability when rapping. In her song, “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,” named after the Junie B. Jones book by Barbara Park, she introduces herself. It’s clear she took an honest inventory within and is able to proudly tell us her story with her lyrics. “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” familiarizes us with Doechii, who is smart, entrepreneurial and weird, but relatable (because who doesn’t forget to take the chicken out before their parent gets home?) in a format that parodies a back-to-school middle school icebreaker.
“Black Girl Memoir” is where Doechii stores all of her insecurities. The song talks about wishing her skin was lighter and wishing she was more talented so she could have more money. She feels like she is not enough and, like most people, wishes she could be away from it all. The second verse moves onto external stimuli for problems in her life: the bullies at school trying to fight her, the physical and emotional scars of the hot comb and the white kids’ microaggressions.
Being signed to TDE is a big step for Doechii. She has already released a single under Top Dawg called “Persuasive” and is inviting everyone to the partake in the “Doechii Dominance.” SZA made history in 2013 when she became Top Dawg Entertainment’s first female artists. She was signed as a contemporary R&B artist, whereas Doechii is being recognized by one of the most famous rap labels as a skilled rapper. In a male dominated industry, this is no small feat, and listening to Doechii’s tracks will help you understand why she deserves this recognition.
For fans of artists such as Flo Milli and Childish Gambino, Doechii is a perfect mixture of the two to add to your playlist.
Contact columnist Ben Queen at email@example.com.
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