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Doechii on Feeling Safe in the Queer Community, Being Inspired in Collaboration, and Her New Single

Doechii is feeling the love from the Swamp, the fandom name that resonated with her the most as she checked in with Rolling Stone backstage at Governors Ball 2024. The rapper joined Delisa Shannon in The Green Room for a warm, reflective conversation about the quick-moving trajectory of her career as she prepared to perform at the New York festival for the first time on Saturday afternoon.

“I’ve been experimenting with music for so long, it was just a really cool time to look back and see how I’ve evolved, ultimately, like how my sound has evolved and all the different things that I’ve tried, it was just like a trip down memory lane,” Doechii shared about her recent nostalgia trip reflecting on her debut EP Bra-Less, which arrived in 2021. Her set included “Shit” from the project but spanned releases from “Swamp Bitches” and “Spookie Coochie” to “Persuasive” and “Alter Ego.”

“I do think a whole mixtape of that style of rap could be really, really cool and just nostalgic, but also fresh. It’s like this constant back and forth of honoring myself, but at the same time feeling uncomfortable because I feel like the second I get cozy in something, I’m ready to branch out and do something new,” Doechii explained.

And when she’s branching out, it’s usually to bigger, better, and more astronomical levels of stardom. The crowd that she drew at Gov Ball was extensively larger than the one she recalled performing for in Ybor City, back home in Florida. “It was like 20 people in the audience, and they were all my friends — or my peers that I rapped with — and nobody knew me. Nobody knew the songs, nobody was singing along, but I was just vibing,” she remembered.

Doechii’s friendships have, in many ways, come with a built-in support system and comfort for her, a queer, Black woman, as well. “No community has uplifted me and made me feel as safe as the gay community, and ballroom culture, of course, is a part of that community,” she said. “I just feel understood in that space, and not all the time in this hip-hop genre do I feel fully embraced, like I do in this bag. I just feel safe.”

Doechii kicked off 2024 on a high note with an epic team-up with JT on “Alter Ego,” which she paired with an alternative version music video. “Both of us are hardworking women; we both have been working hard to push this record,” the rapper shared, adding that the visual component was “the weirdest video I’ve ever made, like, the most fantasy world I’ve ever made.”

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And just before Gov Ball, she treated her fans to the one-off freestyle “MPH,” something for the girls and something for the summertime. “It’s about momentum and just feeding the girls. That’s it, it’s a simple freestyle. It’s nothing crazy. It is not an official single,” Doechii clarified. The official single is coming, though. “We’re amping it up,” she teased. “It’s gonna be heavily rap, no singing, it’s gonna be very fun.”

Doechii doesn’t share too many spoilers but does leave behind an easter egg for fans to come back to once the single is out: “It’s hot, and it’s heat.”

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