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Dej Loaf

Detroit rapper DeJ Loaf has brought powerful rhymes and R&B smoothness to multiple viral hits, beginning in the mid-2010s. Her bulletproof lyrical presence attracted the attention of stars, earning a co-sign from Drake for her breakthrough single "Try Me" in 2014 and a featured verse on the Eminem-led all-star Detroit anthem "Detroit vs. Everybody" in 2015. DeJ Loaf showed up on other artists' tracks often, and released her music mostly in the form of short EPs and mixtapes like 2020's Sell Sole II. DeJ Loaf was born Deja Trimble in 1991. She grew up on the east side of Detroit and started writing lyrics at a young age. In high school, after she quit playing basketball at the junior varsity level, she began to take music more seriously. At some point she established her stage name, with DeJ pronounced similar to "beige" and Loaf a reference to her footwear preference. Through a period that included a few semesters of attending Saginaw Valley State and working as a janitor at a Chrysler factory, she continued to develop her talent but didn't gain much traction. In July 2014, two years after she released her first mixtape, she uploaded "Try Me," a low-key, melodic track produced by Ypsilanti native DDS, which caught the attention of Drake, who referenced it on Instagram. The platinum-selling star's acknowledgment increased DeJ's profile exponentially and set off a wave of unauthorized versions from fellow rappers. (She did approve of a version that featured a verse from Wiz Khalifa.) DeJ Loaf signed to Columbia, issued a second mixtape, and appeared on the Aftermath release "Detroit vs. Everybody" beside fellow Detroiters Eminem, Royce da 5'9", Big Sean, Danny Brown, and Trick Trick. Columbia's official release of "Try Me" reached the Top Ten of Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart. "We Good," also produced by DDS, was issued as her second major-label single. After a handful of headlining gigs, she closed out 2014 by opening for fan Erykah Badu at Detroit's Fox Theater. In 2015, Loaf released the #AndSeeThatsTheThing EP along with the hit single "Back Up" featuring Big Sean. She issued the mixtape All Jokes Aside in 2016, followed by Fuck a Friend Zone, a mixtape created in collaboration with Jacquees, in 2017. Later that year, a pair of singles, "No Fear" and "Big Ole Boss," from her forthcoming debut album appeared. That record was slow to materialize, and in 2018 she released the six-song EP Go DeJ Go Vol. 1. The next new music from Loaf would be the low-lit R&B-dazzled single "Bubbly," which arrived in February 2020. Two four-song EPs, It's a Set Up! and No Saint, were released within weeks of each other in May of that year, all of which set the scene for the fall arrival of the Sell Sole II mixtape.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo


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