Five On It: Meet the unbridled personality of Doechii on she / her / black bitch
Doechii's new EP captures both her edginess and softer side. Plus new music from FLOHIO, Connie Constance, ROSALÍA and Sampa the Great.
05 Aug 2022
Doechii’s breakout trajectory has been terrifically impressive, and there is no doubt that her years of graft have paved the way to the present day. It’s only been just over a year since the Tampa native released ‘Yucky Blucky Fruitcake’, the runaway single from her 2020 sophomore EP Oh The Places You Go. Flipping between a cutesy and goading vocal that harks to Nicki Minaj, the track captures Doechii’s punchy energy before abruptly switching both the narrative and the sonics and slipping into an old-skool hip-hop haze. “Doechii,” she intones, impersonating her mother, disembodied head spinning atop a roasted fowl. “You forgot to take the chicken out!”
From the aforementioned Nicki-esque delivery to colourful Tyler, the Creator-style aesthetics and inventive world-building, the inspired lyricism is all Doechii’s own – after all, referencing the dark web, Paramore and Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham in one song is impressive to say the least. It’s probably what first grabbed the attention of her new label Top Dawg Entertainment, home to SZA, Isaiah Rasad and previously, Kendrick Lamar.
And speaking of SZA, the ever-elusive artist made a rare outing to remix Doechii’s recent standout drop, ‘Persuasive’. A runaway hit – and easily Doechii’s most accessible track yet – ‘Persuasive’ pulls with its loose house touch and addictive melody, spurring the singer into the spotlight: cue a TV debut on Jimmy Fallon and a surprise BET Awards performance. Opting to combine those performances of ‘Persuasive’ with recent single ‘Crazy’ was a smart move that showcases the scale and variety of what Doechii has to offer; from slinky and seductive offerings with potent melodies, to scathing barbs and menacing shrieks, she changes from coiffed and collected to visceral and wild in an effortless manner –a reverse metamorphosis, if you will.
In her Genius interview for ‘Yucky Blucky Fruitcake’, Doechii – self-aware yet perhaps somewhat unintentionally — said: “I had a habit of dressing up and filtering who I was to make it more digestible for people which, in turn, was making my music not as honest or as vulnerable as it could be, and it wasn’t resonating.” Suffice to say that the Doechii of the present has elevated herself out of that problem, most recently with new EP she / her / black bitch.
Featuring new collabs with Rico Nasty and Jst Ray, the collection precedes her anticipated debut album and captures both Doechii’s abrasive edginess and her softer, gooey core. ‘Bitches Be’ and ‘This Bitch Matters’ carry a more mellow atmosphere, whilst ‘Swamp Bitches’ and ‘Bitch, I’m Nice’ imply she’s anything but. Self-professed bitch or not, none can deny that Doechii is one of the most unbridled and dynamic new talents around.
Doechii – ‘Swamp Bitches’ feat. Rico Nasty
Teaming up with self-proclaimed “pop-punk princess” Rico Nasty seems like an unusual twist but, as we’ve established above, no one should ever presume to have Doechii pinned down. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense; after all, both artists are unbound, inventive and unequivocally reckless when it comes to deploying their vision. As the opener to she / her / black bitch, ‘Swamp Bitches’ has to turn out – and it does with grimy aplomb. A dirty guitar-line paves the way before dropping into big bass notes, skittish beats and Rico’s brattish delivery.
FLOHIO – ‘SPF’
Through the sticky summer heat and uncharacteristically overbearing recent British heatwave (40 degrees – hello!), as a unit we have been seriously lacking a hot summer jam. Whilst FLOHIO may be slapping on the sunscreen, new single ‘SPF’ – from upcoming album Out of Heart – is as gleefully playful as one would hope a heatwave soundtrack to be. As its competitors for the title lean back on summer flings and one night stands, on ‘SPF’ the British-Nigerian rapper taps into 1980s funk while weaving in 1990s video game nostalgia. “I grew up around the time of games like Playstations and Nintendos,” FLOHIO shares. “I’m bringing back the nostalgia of me in my living room playing games with my friends at age 10. I wanted [the video] to represent my summer,” she adds. “Nothing but fun with my friends.”
Connie Constance – ‘Till the World’s Awake’
Having recently announced the imminent arrival of second album Miss Power – the follow-up to 2019’s English Rose – it’s safe to say that Connie Constance is on the up. One listen to new single ‘Till the World’s Awake’ proves it; striking a festival-heady Friendly Fires momentum with its driving rhythm whilst its frivolous drums conjure Bloc Party, the track’s plucky guitar work captures the potent best of mid-noughties indie – albeit, not from the landfill. Topped by dreamy melodies, Connie describes the song as “a love letter to the universe” adding, “Since writing it, it has taken on a whole other meaning… It feels like an empowering message that no matter how much the world we live in tries to distract us from our power, make us feel small or as if we don’t fit in… it cannot take away from us the work we have done and who we are.”
ROSALÍA – ‘DESPACHA’
Rosalía is one of the biggest popstars in the world right now, with third album MOTOMAMI transcending the Spaniard’s eclectic sound over to English-speaking shores. Having only dropped in March and with a world tour to fulfil, MOTOMAMI is definitely still fresh. But Rosalía has wasted no time in dropping new music with latest single, ‘Despacha’. First debuted in Almeria on the first date of her tour, ‘Despacha’ quickly sped through TikToks before it even had its name. While MOTOMAMI flipped between the reggaeton bounce of tracks like ‘Chicken Teriyaki’ and the sensual intimacy of ‘Hentai, ‘Despacha’ switches Rosaliá’s flamenco influence for mambo whilst documenting a frivolous night in the club in spite of a lover’s betrayal.
Sampa the Great – ‘Bona’
Sampa the Great, too, is gearing up for a new album drop with As Above, So Below set to land 9 September. Following on from recent outing ‘Never Forget’, Sampa’s latest single, ‘Bona’, takes influence from her roots in Botswana. Inspired by Kwaito and Amapiano – music Sampa heard as a child – and applying it to a moody yet striking blend of hip-hop, ‘Bona’ is a relentless, warping trip through Sampa’s braggadocious and rattle-stop flow. “I haven’t yet shown the influence Botswana has had on me musically; this is the style, language and swag of Batswana youth,” explains Sampa. “I want to bring a Southern African anthem to the mix and DJ desks, and show that not all music coming out of Africa is Afrobeats.”
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