If there is one artist to keep on your radar these days, it has to be Doechii. Born Jaylah Hickmon, the 23-year-old rapper has been gaining mainstream popularity ever since she dropped her single “Persuasive” in March 2022. Doechii has already garnered 48.2 million U.S. streams of her songs, as reported by Billboard.
Her talent in the recording booth and on stage has not gone unnoticed. She is being listened to by some of the most prominent figures. Barack Obama included “Persuasive” in his 2022 Summer Playlist roundup. The single has been making waves in the music industry as well. SZA recently jumped on a remix of the hit single. “I love the way she interacts with music, and you can just feel her in it, all the time,” Doechii told NME about SZA. “That’s something I strive for, and I think that’s what every artist wants: we really want to get the purest form of our emotions out.”
Get to know more about the rising artist below as we prepare for the release of Doechii’s she / her / black bitch EP drop on Friday.
She got her big break in 2020 with “Yucki Blucky Fruitcake”
Although Doechii has been releasing music for the past six years, her big break can be attributed to the release of “Yucki Blucky Fruitcake.” Released in 2020, the song blew up on TikTok.
“I made ‘Yucky Blucky Fruitcake’ for myself and I knew that with everything I put into that song – my heart and my soul – it was going to be a turning point,” Doechii told NME. “It reflected into my actual life, and my career; me personally and musically. Before, I just wanted to make a good song: something that I liked and my friends liked, and that people thought was cool. When I made this, I was like, I’m going to try and make a song for my inner child. If it wasn’t for that girl, I wouldn’t even be where the fuck I am now. When I wrote that song, it was all about her.”
She always had a passion for music
Growing up in Tampa, Florida, Doechii knew she was passionate about the arts from an early age. It led her to join Howard W. Blake School of the Arts in the ninth grade. “I didn’t know how to read music yet, but they accepted me because I had a strong voice,” she told Vulture. “I was never really in class. I would just be in the practice rooms playing piano, going over classical choir songs, dancing. I did everything but be in class.” Doechii planned to become a professional choral singer until one of her friends gave her the idea to start producing and releasing her own music online.
She is signed to TDE
In March 2022, Doechii got signed to Top Dawg Entertainment. She joined a roster of artists that includes Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Schoolboy Q. Receiving a call from TDE was unexpected for Doechii. “I always thought I would be independent my entire life, but if I was ever gonna sign to a label, it needed to be TDE,” she told NME. After being signed, she went on to release songs such as “Crazy” and “Persuasive.”
She is a talented stage performer
Doechii garnered attention from both fans and her peers after performing at some of the top award shows and events. This year, she performed on stage with Isaiah Rashad at Coachella. She blew the audience away when she appeared as the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in May 2022. She also took the stage at this year’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture to perform her smash hit “Persuasive.”
It is also impossible not to mention her performance at the 2022 BET Awards, where she made the crowd go wild as she snatched her own wig mid-performance. “I only had a few days to prepare for it,” she told Vulture about her set at the award show. “I learned the dance the day before – “I feel like I’m moving so fast.”
She was included in XXL’s “2022 Freshman Class”
Doechii joined the list of iconic hip-hop artists to be included in the magazine’s “Freshman Class” list. She was featured alongside KayCyy, Saucy Santana, and Babyface Ray, just to name a few. Past artists to have been included in the list are Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, 21 Savage, Denzel Curry, and Megan Thee Stallion.
She is inspired by some of the top current artists
Doechii shared who inspires her when it comes to music. Nicki Minaj was the first to inspire her to be a rapper. “I wrote my first song when I was in the 6th grade. I knew this girl who was a huge Nicki Minaj fan,” she told NME. “She put me onto Nicki Minaj and I was immediately hooked and wanted to start a group. I wanted to rap, so I wrote my first song and we did it at a talent show, and we won!”
She also credits Kanye West, Tyler, The Creator, Beyonce, Lauryn Hill, and Outkast as artists who have inspired her music. “These are artists who are the most honest, the most creative, and I’m really inspired by them. They gave me the courage to do what I’m doing right now”, she added.
Her fourth EP is expected to be released in August 2022
In May 2022, Doechii shared she was adding the finishing touches for her upcoming album. It is set to be released on Friday, August 5th according to a recent tweet by the artist. “The album is in an interesting place right now: I’m in this space where I have great songs, and I could put an album out right now, but in my heart, I don’t feel like it’s done yet,” she previously told NME. “I’m still writing new music simultaneously while tightening up the songs I already have.”
Photo Credit: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 26: Doechii poses in the press room during the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images For BET)