LET ME TRY THIS AGAIN WITH MORE CAFFEINE IN MY SYSTEM AND A LACK OF BRAIN FARTS. I’M AN IDIOT. I APOLOGIZE.
I was so honored to be given the chance to write this major feature story for Complex on the rising Chicago rapper, Dreezy. It’s the first major story written about her and it was so great getting a chance to learn about her childhood in the city. We met on an unseasonably cold May day and the interview spanned a good three hours and prompted this photo, one of my favorites from the year.
Compared to other rising Chicago rappers, Dreezy is outspoken in her frustrations with the violence in the city and adamant about her need to leave. Others might find it as an means of giving up on the city, but I see it as an important moment in the trajectory of a 20-year-old woman with a lot to say.
My then-editor stressed the importance of discussing the competition between local female rappers (Dreezy vs. Sasha Go Hard vs. Katie Got Bandz), but I didn’t think that trope spoke to her as a performer and neither did Dreezy. Here’s a passage from our discussion:
“Female rapper” is a weak and lazy term, a type of visual trope to reduce the output of women in a male-dominated genre of music. But it is not entirely wrong. It is because of that same male dominance that a distinction still occurs. The number of women who are able to achieve the same level of success, notoriety, and acclaim as their male peers is lower than it should be by now.
“I do get it to an extent because some females just suck as rappers,” she begins. However, she adds, “I’ll say it’s not a lot of female rappers that can represent that there are good female rappers.”
Numbers are not in women’s favor. And the severe lack of women means that each prominent woman is often given the burden of uplifting and representing for every nameless, aspiring woman trying to get heard.
Just don’t reduce Dreezy to her sex.
“Basically, if you’re saying you’re just a female rapper and a boy can outrap you, you’re basically saying he’s smarter than you,” she says. “That’s how I be thinking of it. And it’s like, just ’cause you can rap…I can rap good too. I know just as much knowledge as you do. We went to the same school. I can come up with something just as good.”
You can read the whole thing here.