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Doechii Just Wants To Have Fun

Before Doechii could fully step into her craft, she had to learn more about the power of being present. “The only moment that exists is literally right now. I mean quantum physics, tomorrow literally does not exist,” says the Florida rapper, 24. “Only right now, me and you talking on the phone. Nothing else exists. Not even yesterday or the word I just said before I said ‘yesterday.’” This led to a pivotal change in her art: “I realized, ‘OK, in this moment, if now is all that exists, do I really want to be scared right now?’ No. Bitch, I want to make a great song and I want to have fun. “ 

Without that realization, she says, she wouldn’t have had the guts to scream over tracks like “Crazy,” the breakout single which she paired with an ambitious visual of her and other nude women in a warehouse. The track came shortly after her March 2022 signing to TDE, which made her the first female rapper on the revered label that introduced the world to Kendrick Lamar and SZA. “I want to make sure that I do everything so that the next girl feels comfortable doing everything,” she said at the time.

When asked about that “next girl” mindset, she credits the inspiration she got from watching Nicki Minaj. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is what she was talking about,’” Doechii recalls. “This is that experience that she was standing up for and started a whole movement for.”  

Doechii is a vibrant, unflinching presence on her 2022 EP she/her/black bitch, where she explored the rage rap of “Bitch I’m Nice” and “Swamp Bitches” with Rico Nasty but then mellowed out the vibes with SZA on “Persuasive.” She took another swerve on her recent “Block Boy” single, swapping out her fervid mic presence to sing about hood love over a TLC “No Scrubs” sample on a song that originally (and controversially) featured Kodak Black.

It can be a lot to keep up with, but she’s not fixated on what her fans seek from her. “I’m thinking about what people need, not always what they want,” she says. “I think, especially with a lot of music that’s coming out right now, people just want to have a good time.” 

She adds, “I think it gets weird when you keep trying to hold people to a specific genre. It’s okay to surf through different genres. I don’t have a problem with the genres — just don’t tell me that this is a hip-hop song just because I’m known for rapping, when it’s actually urban R&B. Or if I make a rock song, don’t classify it as hip-hop just because I’m Black.” 

Doechii grew up in Tampa and started releasing music in 2015 as an 11th-grader at Howard W. Blake High School, where she was educated in multiple art disciplines. She says her first creative endeavor was a poem that she and a friend performed at a talent show there. Later on, she helped organize an all-women’s rap show called the Coven Music Showcase that took place in several U-Haul storage units. 

“I had drinks [in one room], the performance room, and then I had them doing tarot card readings,” she remembers. “It was really some underground ghetto shit, but it was an amazing turnout and a lot of people came.” She says she put the show together because male rappers in the city “threw shows and would all collab with each other, but I didn’t know a lot of female rappers besides me and my friend. We wanted to do our own thing because none of the guys would put us on their sets. They didn’t want to include the girls because it’s a guy thing.”

The name of the event was a reference to Coven Music Session, Vol. 1, a project which she dropped in 2019. Things happened fast after that. The following year, she uploaded her debut EP, Oh the Places You’ll Go, to SoundCloud. One highlight was “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,” a coming-of-age single inspired by reading The Artist’s Way. The track begins with a refrain of “speak up” and peaks with the career-defining bar, “I never really went with the flow or the trends.” Her 2020 sophomore EP Bra-Less intensified her buzz further. She submitted three verses to Isaiah Rashad for use on his 2021 comeback, The House Is Burning, and Rashad ended up choosing one for “What U Sed,” which put her on even more people’s radar before her TDE signing. 


Now, the world awaits her full-length debut. Doechii doesn’t tip her hand too much about what to expect, but she says the project is “going to take over this summer” and is a “summer album” where “I’m doing things a little bit differently” and “it’s going to be conceptual.” She’ll also appear this summer as part of the cast of the A24 film Earth Mama.

Beyond that, she says that her search to give people what they need could take her anywhere. “I want to do everything,” she says. “I want to just try everything in music until I get sick of it and I want to move on to something else. So I’ll do everything. It could go from classical to Afrobeats to whatever the hell. Maybe I’ll make a genre, I don’t know.”

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