Detroit rapper, singer, and songwriter DeJ Loaf has been releasing music since 2011. Most known for her contribution to the Eminem lead posse cut “Detroit vs Everybody”, the 29-year-old rapper has been consistently putting out EPs and mixtapes, headlined by well-received songs like 2014s “Try Me”. Coming full circle, she has just put out a sequel to her first mixtape titled Sell Sole II. With features from the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Rick Ross, and Benny the Butcher, will her debut studio album live up to the cult classic mixtape?
The album begins with a solid opener, “Bird Call 2”. It creates a dark ambiance filled with standard trap production, so the result is nothing extraordinary. For an intro, the energy is surprisingly low which dampens the rest of the opening leg. The next track, “Queen”, is quite forgettable, as DeJ slurs her delivery to the point where I couldn’t pick up on any standout bars, and the beat wasn’t anything special either. Showing her ability to make a radio-ready hit with “Cross That Line”, Loaf shows her energetic side but, the cut still suffers from being nothing unique. “Bubbly” feels exactly like “Queen”, so my criticisms remain the same. At this point in the album, I started to notice some significant flaws. DeJ brings nothing new to the table, and things that make her stand out from other artists seem unnoticeable. The production is pretty stale, her delivery is quite boring at moments, and for the beginning of a major record, the stakes feel to low to draw in listeners.
As the LP progresses, a few standouts elevate the experience by a significant amount, yet it’s still not enough to make up for its lost footing. “IDK” features a standout Big Sean verse that also causes DeJ to elevate her performance. “Choose” is quite derivative of the styles found in someone like Polo G, but the track is still notable nonetheless. Gunna steps out of his comfort zone as he delivers a shockingly high-energy feature on “No Ceiling”. Building on this, most of the guests kill their verses, as the second half of the album contains show stopping verses from Rick Ross and Lil Uzi Vert among others. The homegrown track “Tap In” with 42 Dugg and Sada Baby is fantastic, and only topped by the trifecta of Griselda’s Benny, Conway the Machine, and Boldy James who come together on the powerful “Get Money”. Ending things rightfully, the somber “Up” with 6lack closes the project in a bittersweet manor.
Overall, Sell Sole II’s bland ideas and style make DeJ Loaf feel reserved as a solo artist. While the record has good moments, it’s messy and unfocused sound causes it to feel disposable. What makes this even more disappointing is knowing that it took a decade of establishing her name to even put out a studio release. Going forward, I don’t know what’s in store for DeJ Loaf, but the only thing keeping her relevant seems to be her features.
- Solid Bangers
- Great Features
- Somewhat Versatile
- Dej Loaf’s flow and delivery seems off
- A lot of forgettable tracks
- Not worth the wait
Written By: Holden Hughes aka wolfofhiphop
Scored and Edited by: Marc Dator, owner and founder of Fantastic Hip Hop