Dej Loaf – “In a Minute”

Evan Nabavian explores the Detroit artist's latest single.
By    May 22, 2019

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Evan Nabavian‘s accountant just hit him, said, “Calm it down.”

Dej Loaf prowls around the beat while others try to smother it. No adlibs; she leaves the spaces between bars empty for you to contemplate the kickdrum. She’s silky and withdrawn; spare but not insubstantial. Dej’s taciturn performance on “In a Minute” bears little resemblance to the rudimentary couplets on her breakout “Try Me,” a change she acknowledges in a hurried whisper (“Yeah, I don’t really be rapping like that no more.”). She kind of sounds like Jeremih at his sparsest. Vocally, she’s closer to Rihanna than Cardi B. Her currency isn’t loudness.

And bluster would ill-suit “In a Minute” which deals with the malaise that seems to catch up to artists after they’ve been famous for a few years. She doesn’t have so many people around anymore. It’s not all good with her friends back home who don’t get to visit Buckingham Palace. She doesn’t feel like making jail visits. All of that and more unsettles her. Style is a respite. She doesn’t feign familiarity underneath high fashion labels and she likes the cachet that comes with an outfit that everyone wants to copy. So she has a lot to say and a lot to feel excited about, including an album she has on deck. But anxiety and deep discomfort are still there, like leeches.

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