DeJ Loaf continues her artistic growth on her latest release. DeJ Loaf is going through changes. The Detroit rapper’s new single is a left turn from the melancholic music that put her on.
Replacing the dreamy production and wailing melodies of her early material are Just Blaze-esque horns and basslines, ascendant hooks and defiant raps. The track follows DeJ’s single “No Fear,” which had a similarly uplifting sound, but was more 2017 Calvin Harris than 2003 HOT 97 — the era “Changes” nods towards.
DeJ recently spoke to HNHH about how her music and look has evolved. “It wasn’t like a point where I was like ‘yo, I gotta switch my style,’ she said. “My hair started growing…That caused me to try new hair styles, and you know, not being afraid to try new things.” She also touched on the concept of fear, and how overcoming it has influenced this era. “Fear held me back a lot, personally as a kid. Growing up, like I was very shy and to myself, and you know, that kind of holds you back.”
Earlier this year, DeJ Loaf released Fuck a Friend Zone, a collaborative mixtape with R&B singer Jacquees. She released All Jokes Aside in 2016, which included no features and a lot of production with DDS, who she has been working with since she broke through with “Try Me” in 2014.
In December 2016, DeJ suggested she was going for a “bigger” sound on her debut album Liberated, which was said to be 90% complete at the time. “I’m hoping people understand that this isn’t fake, or don’t think I’m just doing this because I’m being forced,” she told Fader, revealing that Detail, Leon Bridges, and Ricky Reed would be involved with the new material.
“I’ve always wanted to make bigger music. But I never could go all the way ’cause I didn’t have the resources, in terms of working with Grammy Award-winning producers, bigger studios, a bigger sound. I’ve always had it in me, but my voice is developed now.”