How Does It Feel to Be Doechii?

Jaylah Hickmon is a bonafide entertainer who’s bolstering up the following generation of multidimensional women in rap. You almost certainly know her as Doechii. “The name Doechii got here to me in a very dark time,” the 23-year-old rapper and singer opens up over Zoom, days after her 2022 BET performance in L.A. “I used to be searching for Doechii to be any individual that I wasn’t able to be on the time, but I at all times knew Doechii and Jaylah were one person. God showed me and now I do know my destiny and purpose.”

As of late, the name Doechii appears to be showing up in additional places, whether it’s in your feed, friends’ playlists, or lineups of latest artists to observe. (She was even on the red carpet on the Grammys this 12 months.) That’s what happens whenever you change into a viral star, in spite of everything. Doechii’s profession, already years within the making, caught momentum after her 2020 single, “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” caught fire on the web. Now in 2022, she is the second female artist in Top Dawg Entertainment’s roster (following SZA) and is under a label partnership cope with Capitol Records. She followed up with releasing the ballroom dance club hit, “Persuasive,” which became inescapable on TikTok, and “Crazy,” a chanting rap bop that showcases her performative fury and flow.

With an explosive chopper rap style, airy vocals, glamorous-meets-sexy wardrobe, and a growing fanbase that she sometimes calls “the coven,” Doechii knows herself well. Nicknamed the “Swamp Princess,” the Tampa-born star acknowledges that her come-up was not straightforward; she had to drag herself from the mud. “I actually went through every corner of Tampa with my shows,” she says. “I performed on the clubs, I performed on the strip clubs. I did all the things you can imagine and worked with everybody there.”


Consequently of her hustle, Doechii has left an everlasting imprint on her hometown’s hip-hop scene and hopes to make the town higher known for its talent. “I used to be certainly one of the individuals who curated the music scene in Tampa around a very pivotal time,” Doechii says with a refreshing sense of assuredness. “The inspiration that lots of latest artists in Tampa are walking on without delay, me and my friends at the moment helped construct and curate what the Tampa music scene is today.”

A student of powerful rap stars and gospel singers of the ‘90s, young Doechii was no dilettante; she at all times had Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, or Jill Scott on rotation in her iPod and freestyled effortlessly. Inspired by musical Black storytelling and the theatrics of early rap, Doechii paints an identical American snapshot of her crude reality. In her poignant 2020 single, “Black Girl Memoir,” she faces the tumult of her adolescence and teenage years: “This head on my shoulder’s been weighed down with 100 beads/I’m combin’ out my trauma like my mama do bdbs/A hot comb’ll hit you with third-degree burns.” Meanwhile, the background chorus sings, “Make it go away… I can do anything”—now that she’s grown, Doechii reframes her perspective together with her morale-boosting uptempo music.

Doechii shows no sign of slowing down; after releasing one other pumped-up single, “Bitch I’m Nice,” the Florida rapper has dropped her EP, she / her / black bitch. The rapid-fire songs put her unparalleled lyrical rhythm on full display as she jumps between overlapping animated voices, talking herself up. As her profession continues to skyrocket, Doechii pauses for a moment to meet up with on her latest music, her experience growing up on the web in the course of the peak YouTube era, and her 2022 Grammys escapade to link with Doja Cat.

You will have really taken off for the reason that release of “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,” which was a viral sensation and led you to change into certainly one of the fastest-growing female rappers on the rise without delay. As a newly-signed artist within the music industry, how are you settling into all that you simply’ve experienced so far?

I’m really attempting to meet up with all the things that is happening. I knew this was at all times for me however it is nearly like I’m attempting to catch as much as myself. I understood my task when the name of Doechii randomly got here to me from God and that is how I’ve been moving ever since.

Doechii is a brand. It was once something much deeper until I spotted who I actually am. It is a movement and it’s powerful.

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Doechii – Yucky Blucky Fruitcake (Official Music Video)

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You’re from Florida and also you’re coined the “Swamp Princess.” What about coming up in Tampa has given you the boldness to search out your identity?

The Swamp Princess name got here up from me being from Florida, specifically in Tampa. I lived in Sulphur Springs, I lived in West Haven before and I lived in Latest Tampa. I’ve lived in all places in [the city] and I got here up underground there.

Which female rappers have welcomed you with open arms to the growing hip-hop community?

Monaleo, Baby Tate, Flo Milli, Doja Cat, and Nicki Minaj all have shown support to me, which was insane. Lots of rappers have shown respect and it really has been a blessing, to be honest. It is really the final word honor.

You went to your first Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas this 12 months and even live-updated your fans in your meet-up with Doja Cat. What was it like linking up together with her on one of the recognized nights in music?

It was a very fun experience. Doja Cat is amazingly talented and I have been watching her for a very long time and she or he has really come out of the mud together with her music. I’ve watched her grow and develop and undergo so many things. She is so deserving of all the things that she has and her talent and skill level only recover.

That is strictly how I hope to be as an artist. I would like to at all times recover, so for her to acknowledge me as any individual who is sweet enough and that she desires to work with me, it feels really good.

Do you have got a dream collaborator you need to hop on certainly one of your tracks?

I’d really prefer to work with Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Drake.

Your music takes on so many alternative styles. You will have produced the ballroom dance hit “Persuasive,” to the gritty hardcore rap song “Crazy.” Where does your mind go whenever you’re inventing your next project?

Before I get right into a place of making a body of labor, I’m often fascinated about the life lessons that I actually have learned and what things I want to learn. As I’m making any project, I’m genuinely growing because that is what it’s about, right?

I’m mainly acknowledging my experience. I’m making music about where I’m and where I’ll be. I’m continuously in an area of present and future living. I put my mind in a gift and future mindset continuously. That’s where I at all times am once I create.

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Doechii – Crazy (Official Video)

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You care a lot about visual storytelling. You’ve shown that within the low-budget video you made for “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” whenever you were first starting out, to the high-flying energy of larger-scale productions just like the “Crazy” music video. Why do you have got such a passion for a way your music is released and viewed?

I’m a theater kid and I’m really captivated with how people sell things and the way we package things and your complete experience. It’s not only rap, singing, or making music for me. It’s about your complete experience.

Individuals are being entertained and spoken to and moved by every aspect of how you set music out. So the images, how I roll a song out, the merch, all the things matters. I intend to make all the things connect with the story and be sure that I’m putting a message or some variety of symbolism in every a part of the rollout in order that it continues to stimulate and touch people and alter lives.

I do know you have got a really online presence and have even rapped about what growing up within the digital age is like as a Black woman. You even have your personal Youtube channel. What’s an old social media post of yours that makes you cringe now?

Oh my God. Probably my really old vlogs where I used to do storytimes and tell these really exaggerated stories. I look back and laugh at how obnoxious and dramatic I used to be.

doechii she her black bitch ep

Courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment / Capitol Records

Because the only other female signee of Top Dawg Entertainment outside of SZA so far and having a joint cope with Capitol Records, how have the record labels given you the reins to change into the star you have got dreamt of being?

TDE has a number of the biggest artists within the hip-hop game without delay including SZA. They permit us to be ourselves and grow and take our time. There never really is any rush to place out music, which I actually appreciate, they usually trust my creativity. We’re at all times in agreement with my imagination they usually don’t attempt to get in the best way of that or change that. Due to this fact, they assist bring all of my crazy ideas to life.

I feel they were scared at first once I brought up the concept of the visual for “Crazy” to them, but they still trust me.

Your song “Bitch I’m Nice” was released in July. How is that this different from the opposite energetic bops you have got created?

“Bitch I’m Nice” solidifies more of the hip-hop house sound. It’s a fun summer single. It’s not extremely different from anything that I’ve put out, but you actually have not heard this from me. It’s as if my singles, “Crazy” and “Persuasive” had a baby.

Once you first listened to the “Persuasive” remix with SZA, you posted your response on Instagram and the face you had was priceless. You looked so completely happy and in shock. Getting support out of your TDE sister on the “Persuasive” track must’ve been vital to you. What were your texts like when putting the remix together?

My team actually put the remix together and surprised me with the song. I had conversations before with SZA briefly about wanting to collaborate when the time is true. Once I first signed to TDE, my music was still underdeveloped. So, with “Persuasive” I used to be pondering, girl, let me bring you on the precise song, and this was it.

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Doechii, SZA – Persuasive (Lyric Video)

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“Persuasive” really proves that house, ballroom, and dance music won’t ever exit of fashion and there is a big resurgence of this liberating variety of music. What about house music makes you’re feeling a part of a welcoming community?

People who find themselves into house music are very much like me. Once I say that, I mean there may be a heavy gay impact and gay culture in house, dance, and disco music. This stems back to the early days of those genres that return to a very, really very long time. That community, which I’m an element of, curated house music and that’s why the song, “Persuasive” feels so near me and I feel so an element of the community.

The rageful song “Swamp Bitches” featuring Rico Nasty is stuffed with heated passion and confidence with each of your heavy rap flows. When could be the very best time to placed on this song?

I told Rico Nasty that I wanted us to make a song where the villain wins. Where there may be theme music and the villain wins at the top of the story. Once you’re feeling like a nasty bitch and you are feeling extremely egotistical in the future and it is advisable to be validated in your ego and your narcissism, “Swamp Bitches” is totally the song for you.

she / her / black bitch is such a strong title for an EP. What does it signify for you?

I take advantage of she/her/Black bitch as my pronouns. Let’s take into consideration what pronouns are. I feel the identical way about how I’m attached to the statement “Black bitch,” where it seems like an actual pronoun to me. That’s the easy explanation. That is absolutely it. I just desired to take my power back.


John Jay

You will have an appreciation for fashion and have made that known through the loads of serves you have got in your music videos. You mention custom-made drip in your music too. What fashion houses would you should work with in the longer term?

Definitely Mugler, they’ve my attention. I actually have to thank Megan Thee Stallion for that because she really opened my eyes as much as Mugler they usually are fucking hot.

I like Balenciaga and Gucci. I buy lots of Gucci in my spare time and I would like to collab more with up-and-coming designers too.

Lastly, in case you were to look back on the progress you have got made now, what would you tell yourself five years ago about who you might be today?

I needed to know five years ago that I could love myself for where I used to be. I was once so obsessive about who I used to be going to be. I didn’t concentrate to who I used to be at that moment. I didn’t think it was vital to who I used to be then because that was not who I used to be going to change into. I’d tell myself to embrace and love who I used to be at the moment, although I knew who I used to be at all times destined to be.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Malik Peay is a seasoned Black journalist that uplifts the cultural backgrounds of worldly figures and Black artists. His work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, Essence, W Magazine, Complex, Allure, ELLE, Them, Teen Vogue, and more.

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