10 things you need to know about dej loaf

After the viral success of her track 'Try Me' and its endless high-profile remixes, 23-year-old Detroit native Dej Loaf may be small, but she's coming up large. Here's what you need to know.

by Hattie Collins
01 April 2015, 11:50am

Unless you've quite literally been blindfolded and under an extremely large boulder on a rock traveling through space for the last few months, you will have heard Try Me by Detroit rapper Dej Loaf. Leading the charge in woozy, eerie hip hop, the tiny 23 year-old might be new to the game, but she already packs a mighty punch. Drake instagrammed the lyrics to Try Me, while Eminem enlisted her as the lone female to join Detroit Vs. Everybody alongside Danny Brown, Big Sean, Trick Trick and Royce da 5'9. With a brand new video dropping online today, here are ten things you need to know about Deja Trimble also known as Dej Loaf…

1. DMX called her the other day
I've had people who I'd never expect reaching out to me recently. Like, DMX called me (laughs). He don't mess with many people so I was honored to have him call me. He was like 'I love what you do. You're different, don't go changing. I don't fuck with a lot of people, you're real, you got it'. He said he wanted to work with me. I was like 'That's crazy'. It was dope. Has Kanye called? 'No, he didn't call. He's, like, a genius. I don't want to be cliché cos everyone says they want to work with him, but I really do. I don't even want a verse from him; for him to just produce a track for me would be dope. I'd love a record off him.'

2. She's Team Kendrick
I only had a chance to listen [to Pimp A Butterfly] once so far, but I can see the direction he's going in though. Like 'Ok, Kendrick!'. People focus on 'hits' but this is an eye-opener to say that you don't have to make music for the radio or for the Billboard charts. You can just make music. It's good that he's getting the word out there about the culture, saying things that need to be heard. You need people like Kendrick. He's one of the best MCs we've seen in a long time and people are watching and listening to him. If you get that album you'll hear things you need to hear. Being an artist on a big platform you need to say things that people can learn from. I have my beliefs, my way of doing things. With artists on a platform, people are watching, so if you can say something positive, you could change the world or change a person's perspective on a lot of things. People watch and copy what we do, so why not use that platform in a positive way."

3. She just dropped a new video and has a new song coming called Young Girls

"On My Own is from my last mixtape, Sell Sole. I think it might be a big record. It's about, well, young girls! I'm speaking to them, talking to them like, 'Don't fall in love, live life, don't worry about a guy that treats you bad. Be a young girl and embrace life, enjoy it, don't get caught up being in love with a guy that doesn't care about you'. The song actually came from talking to a guy, not a woman. I was talking to him about how unhappy he was in a relationship. It's a nice motivational song for young girls. I've seen it. I've seen family members struggle; I've seen my mum struggle and not be happy."

4. Her father was killed when Dej was 4 years-old
We were staying in Freedom Place, they're these townhouses in Detroit. He was out one night and two guys, who were brothers, gunned him down. They shot him up real bad. That was '95. It was late June. My little brother was just born and I was four years old. It was crazy. I remember like it was yesterday. My mum running around screaming cos it happened right outside. I always wondered what it would be like to have a father, growing up. I think it's important to have both parents in the house. You can see the difference in some people. People that have both parents, they don't even acknowledge that it's just normal. Which it should be, I don't knock them for it, I can only imagine how things would be if my dad was here. It was definitely a struggle growing up. You could try and get used to it, but it's always in the back of your mind."

5. Someone once broke into her house and stole her shoes. And her dog.
I was raised on the Eastside of Detroit mostly, and when we got to the Westside… well, they do things differently in the Westside. They break in houses and they steal all your stuff. They stole our dog. What are you gonna do with a family dog? They stole my whole collection of shoes, kitchen stuff, my dog. We didn't have those problems on the Eastside, so that was new to me. We thought it was a better situation - a bigger house. I'd heard about the Westside, but I'd never been there. It's like a warzone. I just wanted to protect my family. I'm small, or whatever the case maybe, but that's how I feel. It won't change. Don't try us. It's like a warning."

6. Try Me was angry Loaf

"I mean, Try Me, was vulgar. Like, 'Try me and I'll kill your whole family'. I don't regret saying that, I meant it. But I feel different ways at different times so I have different music. I have music coming that's a different vibe. Different to Try Me. I write from experience and how I feel at that moment. Try Me is a song about protecting my family. Coming from Detroit, coming from the struggle, I was fed up with people trying us. We was a joke. So that's where it came from; people thinking we were a joke. I was just speaking my mind; I didn't know it would become such a big song."

7. She was an odd child
I always loved to write when I was little; I had a thing for it. I was one of those weird kids who would sit around the house and write stuff in my diary and listen to music. I was a loner, so all of that alone time I spent writing stuff. I used to write down other people's lyrics and I think that helped me. I was fascinated with rap, period."

8. She was nearly a nurse
I had nursing dreams. I thought it would be cool to be a nurse, like 'Oh, I'll look cute in a nurse's outfit'. I didn't think about actually helping people and saving people - just that'd I'd look cute in scrubs (laughs). Crazy, right? When I figured that wasn't what I wanted to do, that's when I got more serious about music. I had a lot of jobs. My first job I worked at Dairy Queen. It was inside the mall so it was a better Dairy Queen than normal. I parked cars at the baseball stadium, the Detroit Tigers stadium downtown, then I worked at Chrysler, where most people work in Detroit now. I left there like last year when my music started to really heat up."

9. She loves Empire
Cookie is my favorite. She's the boss of all bosses. She don't complain, she don't cry, she just gets the job done like a boss."

10. She's possesses a sense of equilibrium
A lot of people are waiting on 'what's next', and I'm like 'It's coming, I have it'. It's all on here (points to phone). I've been on the road so much I haven't sat down to figure out who I want to be on it yet. I'm still working with my favorite producers but I want my album to sound grand, I want it to sound like money. To sound good; better production, more time in the studio, really well mixed. Balance. I can speak to the man and the woman. You don't have many people who want to pop in a female rapper's CD. But people want to listen to my shit. Also, I think it's cool to wear Chuck Taylor's and still be sexy at the same time. That's what it's about to me; balance."



Text Hattie Collins

DeJ Loaf
music interviews
10 things you need to know about