Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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DeJ Loaf

  • Just Do It [self-released, 2012] B+
  • Sell Sole [self-released, 2014] A-
  • #AndSeeThatsTheThing [IBGM/Columbia EP, 2015] B+
  • All Jokes Aside [self-released, 2016] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Just Do It [self-released, 2012]
Skip the annoying skit. Then play and preserve in whatever passes for your permanent collection five consecutive autobiographical songs so detailed and painful and loving and classic I have to name them all: "My Life," "Meant for Me," "Mommy I'm a Princess," "Mrs. Williams," and the amazing "College," beat just a drum with three different DeJs rapping over and behind and in between each other. After a much better skitit's DeJ ordinaire, with the advisory "Go for What You Know" and the skeptical "More Money, More Problems" worth active attention. But the shit's still free and out there, and don't kid yourself--it won't always be. B+

Sell Sole [self-released, 2014]
DeJ rhymes with "beige" and is short for Deja; Loaf signals style and is short for her shoes. Although the girlish Detroit rapper's second mixtape was sparked by her fuck-you earworm "Try Me," which used to cap it off but isn't on the one I bought two years late, I found her hammer-to-your-head manifesto for her "unborn creations" so irresistible that I never much missed it. It's the voice only that's girlish, clear and fluting although also calm and composed. The persona is more "I'm gonna shit on all these bitches and their daughters," in that particular case echoed by a crew I bet she enlisted at a middle-school playground. What's irresistible is the form-content disparity--a rapper who brags so un-macho, a rapper whose greed is so explicitly for her family, a rapper who's "Grindin'" at music. Plus her flow is a brook, her producer respects her space, and her two sex rhymes are into it and into it more. A-

#AndSeeThatsTheThing [IBGM/Columbia EP, 2015]
Her "debut" EP, meaning her major-label shot, begins with three rather joyful tracks--electric-celeste grindin' pledge "Desire" to burbling-synth grindin' saga "Been on My Grind" to--finally, some fun--Big Sean transactional-sex deal "Back Up." Then that killjoy Future starts nosing around, and I mean literally, in her pussy, which is as joyful as that one gets. And then comes two pieces of theoretical product I hope earn her a full-length. She's worked hard for it. B+

All Jokes Aside [self-released, 2016]
Takes on some grit as she takes on "Them niggaz they want us to fail," but don't worry--you'll still be there to root for her. ("Bitch Please," "How") **