Doechii continues to push boundaries in her music, showcasing her versatility and ability to ride any beat she’s given. The artist is tapping into a new medium as she explores the world of acting. Doechii even snagged a role in Earth Mama, which also stars “Living Single” alum Erika Alexander.
Per its official synopsis, the film follows Gia, a pregnant single mother who is pitted against the system and fights to reclaim her family. In her close-knit Bay Area community, Gia works to make a life for herself and her kids in the debut feature from filmmaker Savanah Leaf.
In this exclusive, the “What It Is” hitmaker chatted with REVOLT about her 2023 BET Awards performance, wanting Doja Cat on a record and her excitement for their upcoming tour, her love for Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, the state of hip hop as music lovers celebrate its 50th anniversary, and more.
Check out the fun and enlightening conversation with Doechii below.
You had an amazing 2023 BET Awards performance and even brought out Trillville. What were rehearsals like and how did you feel onstage?
Rehearsals were not as intense as they usually are – I had a lot more time to prepare for BET this year, so we rehearsed for seven days straight, which was more than enough time since usually, I have to learn things last minute (laughs). When [Trillville] came out during my performance and they hit the stage, it hit me more in person together because it was a full-circle moment filled with nostalgia. They are super nice and great guys. When I was onstage, I was in the moment — [to the extent that] I didn’t even see them, no shade (laughs). I was too focused on hitting my marks and doing what I had to do.
What was the inspiration behind your Y2K red carpet look?
The inspiration was how the old [BET Awards] carpets used to be – it’s Hip Hop fashion, so it’s supposed to be fun and lightweight. I don’t know when we started wearing neon green gowns for BET; it’s not “it” anymore (laughs). I wanted to take it back to its roots and do something more relaxed, fun, and comfortable. It was an homage to those eras in 2007, 2002, 2004 – the iconic years — so that’s what I wanted to give with my own spin of 2023.
How did the tour with Doja Cat and Ice Spice come about? What are you looking forward to most?
So, I have no idea how it came about. I got a call from my agent saying that Doja Cat requested me and it was amazing to get that call. I actually wanted to ask her for a feature; God had bigger plans with a tour, so it’s amazing. I’m looking forward to putting in the work and performing in an arena, expanding my fan base, and pushing my stamina more than before because this will be a longer tour than what I did on [SZA’s]. I’m ready to do back-to-back shows.
Since you wanted a feature, do you have a record ready for Doja to get on?
Absolutely – it’s on my album, but I can’t tell you the name. I do have a record for her, though.
Will you be performing new tracks on the tour?
I’ll do snippets here and there, but that’s it. I have some collabs for the album, but I’m not going to share it yet.
You landed your first major role in Earth Mama. Has acting always been another form of storytelling you wanted to explore?
Definitely – I always implemented acting in everything I do and I’m theatrical even in my performances. I used to make skits on YouTube when I was younger and make my own movies, so it’s not too far off. To get a serious role like this was great and I look forward to acting more in the future.
The theme is motherhood – is that something you’ve thought about or want in your life down the road?
Oh, yes, for sure – I want six to 10 churrin’ (laughs).
Six to 10? (laughs). You want a football team?
Mmmhm, I want a football team – a tribe, honey (laughs).
You’ve mentioned your mother kept you enrolled in sports and other activities, and you eventually discovered the arts. What was her reaction when you wanted to pursue a full-time career as an artist?
She was excited but worried. The way I did it, I said, “I’m gonna go to New York and become a star.” She was like, “But you don’t have any money” (laughs). It was a conflicting, challenging moment of wanting to protect your child to make sure they are okay, but also support their dreams. When it came to me being a full-time artist, we bumped heads a bit because I did some extreme things that didn’t make sense, but she had faith in me and now I’m here.
Who would you say is your musical mother and why?
Beyoncé – she’s an overall entertainer and I know every Beyoncé performance ever. I’m being so serious; if there was a gun to my head, I could tell you which performance it was. From her tenacity to branding, I really look up to her. She’s THE one.
Are you going to “The Renaissance Tour”?
Oh, I am – tickets are already bought, hello!
How do you make your own rules in a world that tries to limit and pigeonhole your artistry?
I continuously remain myself. In these situations, I’m going to let y’all do what y’all are going to do, and however you want to define me, make the comparisons, but I’m going to continue to push and challenge what “genre” means and what it is. I think my music challenges that.
You dropped a project called she / her / black b**ch. What inspired the name?
I was watching one of [Diahann Carroll’s] interviews, and she said she wanted to be the first Black b**ch on television, and she said this years ago. I was so amazed and it’s an interesting way – not to mute it down to take insults, but you have to be a Black b**ch and resonate with it to understand it, so that’s why I made it the project name.
What’s a collaboration you would love to do that you think would be great for the culture?
Hmm, that’s such a good question. If we’re talking about culture, I would say me and [Tyler, The Creator]. I think two darkskin, alternative rappers – yes, that’s one for the culture.
You and Azealia Banks would be dope, too.
I know – that would be so good. That would be great.
You also posted about being excited for Pink Friday 2 — were you manifesting possibly being on the album?
That wasn’t necessarily my intention, but if it happens, that would be great. For me, it just fuels my inner child to know that Pink Friday 2 is coming. Pink Friday is one of the greatest albums of all time, so the fact that we’re back full circle, and she’s coming in with a part two is exciting to me. So, I wanted to show my support and let people know to tune in.
What would you say are three Pink Friday standout records?
“Save Me,” “Did It On’em,” and “Blazin.”
Hip Hop is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Name three artists who you feel have made a long-lasting impact in the game.
JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West.
Is there a Hip Hop record that speaks to your soul? What is it and why?
“Blazin” by Nicki Minaj because it sounds like I’m moving very fast.
Name three essential Hip Hop albums.
Definitely My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West, Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj, and ATLiens by Outkast.
Bow Wow recently gave his take on the landscape of Hip Hop, saying artists are putting out “trash a** music” and that there will be a shift with a focus on talent soon. What are your thoughts on that?
I do believe a shift will happen soon, but I also feel that’s a subjective statement — that a lot of artists are putting out trash music — or either that person needs to dig a little bit deeper. There’s incredible artists, but maybe the ones that are super mainstream, they may not feel there’s no good music. But, there will be a shift in music, and I feel this summer will be a great one for music.
Using your song titles, describe your year thus far and how you hope the rest goes?
“Crazy” is how it’s going so far, and I hope my year goes “Persuasive.”
“What It Is” is a hit with summer anthem vibes. Do you have a “Block Boy” or “Block Girl” for the summer yet?
I do. I have a Block Girl (laughs).
What do you look for in your significant other?
I look for ambition, morals, a protector, a provider, and someone who has fun.
How do you keep your peace?
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