Top Dawg Entertainment’s latest signee Doechii is arguably the breakout rap star of 2022. The Tampa rapper and singer’s animated eclecticism has made its way into the hearts of quirky rap fans internationally, with her breakthrough club track ‘Persuasive’ (her first TDE release) going viral on TikTok following its March release. Add in the subsequent remix collaboration with her labelmate SZA, a high-profile late-night US TV debut on Fallon and a spot in XXL‘s coveted ‘Freshman Class’ for 2022, and it’s clear to see that the stars are aligning for Doechii this year.
Doechii’s fourth EP ‘she / her / black bitch’ is a punchy and rebellious release from the off. The recruitment of self-proclaimed “pop-punk princess” Rico Nasty as one of three guest features on the five-track EP is a particularly enticing prospect, promising an explosive collaboration of gruff, high-octane energy and twisted, cocksure lyrics.
They don’t disappoint: ‘Swamp Bitches’ opens the EP with a growling guitar line as a defiant Doechii raps weird-yet-witty lyrics through her teeth (“The Doechii, the don diva / Walking over n****s and bitches, then kick my feet up”). This comes ahead of the two beat changes that are squeezed into this eccentric three-minute opener, where, during the latter beat, we finally hear the synergy between these two rap queens truly unfold.
Dialling down the grit in her tone while still maintaining her signature bravado, the EP’s next two tracks, ‘Bitch I’m Nice’ and ‘Bitches Be’ (which features newcomer Jst Ray), are more upbeat and, as such, will be more palatable to commercial rap fans. Rapping about excessive expenditure (“I’ma pull up in the rocket and take it to go shopping”) and being “drunk in love”, Doechii trades in guitars for bassy 808s and laid-back melodies to help establish a middle ground between her hard-hitting rager persona and her softer mellow side. When the 23-year-old eventually perfects this sound, she’ll truly be a force to be reckoned with.
Topped off with the aforementioned SZA remix of ‘Persuasive’, ‘she / her / black bitch’ is a brilliant re-introduction to Doechii. A clever vocal performer who can utilise both masculine gruff and feminine whimsicality in her flow, this presence behind the mic makes for a tantalising record that signals a bright future ahead.
Release date: August 5
Record label: TDE