Release Date: Jul 24, 2015
Record label: Columbia
Last year, the Detroit rapper Dej Loaf came to national attention with "Try Me", an icy song dedicated to keeping one's personal circle small. The sentiment isn't too dissimilar from plenty of "us against the world" street rap songs, but Dej's sweet hook and relatively unknown status gave the song an extra push. She arrived aloof, an emotion that gains currency as social networks proliferate and push themselves into every corner of our lives.
This EP from Dej Loaf follows "Try Me" -- the Motor City-based rapper/singer's debut single that reached number eight on Billboard's rap chart -- a batch of significantly less successful singles, and a few featured appearances, including hooks on the posse cut "Detroit vs. Everybody" (off the Shady XV compilation) and another on Kid Ink's "Be Real." #AndSeeThatsTheThing is a prelude to her debut album for the Columbia label, led by the casually aggressive "Back Up" (featuring fellow Detroiter Big Sean), the syrupy "Hey There" (featuring Future), and the dazed "Desire." Although nothing achieves the same height as "Try Me," the EP is promising at the least. .
Every year since 2010 at the BET Awards, Nicki Minaj has been named best female hip-hop artist because, well, let’s just say hip-hop has long been inhospitable to female talent in all its varieties. Simply to be heard, it can take exceptional gifts, like those possessed by Ms. Minaj. She is indisputably great, and in this particular arena, indisputably alone.
DeJ Loaf is far from the woman she was a year ago. Last summer, budding fans were riding out to her slow but steady smash hit, “Try Me,” and just discovering the corresponding catalog of this pint-sized Detroit MC. Flip a few pages on the calendar and the 24-year-old has definitely morphed into something greater, not just for her city, but for all emerging female MCs in the game.