Dreezy: I Depend On Me

📸 by Theo Cottle

📸 by Theo Cottle

While in some respects this is one of hip-hop’s more liberal eras, it’s hard to deny that the rap industry is still embarrassingly male-dominated. And after my first question to the Chicago-born artist Dreezy, she brings the subject to the table.

“I think I was the only female rapper to drop an album this year,” the 22-year-old tells me during our phone call at the tail end of 2016. It sounds like an exaggeration, but while there were outstanding independent releases from female rappers last year, support from major labels was shockingly scarce.

Dreezy relocated to LA two years ago, and last year she released her debut retail albumNo Hard Feelings, which included high profile collaborations with the likes of Gucci Mane, Jeremih and T-Pain, via Interscope. Dreezy’s sense of determination brings to mind a quote from poet and activist Maya Angelou, who said that: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”No Hard Feelings followed a string of well-received mixtapes and co-signs from Chicago heroes Common, Chief Keef and Sasha Go Hard. “The success of the singles is what I’m most proud of,” Dreezy reveals. “Being able to go home and I turn on the radio, and there’s four different songs that they’re playing.”

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