Doechii showcases her versatility in new mini album

she / her / black b**** was released on Aug. 5. (Album cover courtesy of Apple Music)

“she / her / black b****” was released on Aug. 5. (Album cover courtesy of Apple Music)

Dionte Berry, Editor-in-Chief

Doechii’s “she / her / black B****” marks the beginning of her new record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment and experimentation with new sounds.

Jaylah Ji’mya Hickmon, professionally known as Doechii, broke through on the rap scene with her unconventional sound, noted in her song, “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,” where she combines threads of humor, sensuality and realism to describe her upbringing, anxiety and struggles with sexuality.

Doechii further gained popularity in 2022 being a member of the 2022 XXL Freshman Class. XXL is a hip-hop magazine that highlights up and coming and underground rappers, giving them a platform to show off their craft.

Both Doechii’s freestyle and cypher style were standouts compared to the rest of the class’ and stayed true to her style.

Despite being five tracks long, “she / er / black b****” shows off Doechii’s wide range, which is already apparent based on her discography, but it was amazing to see all of it melted down and injected into a mini album.

The title is meant to be a play on pronouns, while embracing an insult targeted toward Black women.

“This project is dedicated to those black b****es… the alternative, the sassy, the ambitious, the shy, the maiden, the huntress, the hero and the villain,” Doechii commented on Instagram. “We all matter. Promise you’ll never retire your power, you are infinite.”

I love the meaning behind the title and it shows how, Doechii, the  self-proclaimed Swamp Princess from Tampa, Florid has been carving her own path in music. Black women are criticized the harshest in the music world especially when they embrace their uniqueness and don’t do what is expected of them.

Released on Aug. 5, “she / her / black b****” starts with “Swamp B****es” featuring American rapper Rico Nasty.

Going through this song feels like a maze that grows with intensity. The track begins with Doechii rapping over an assertive beat. Despite having a run time of around three minutes, the track goes through five beat changes.

Following Doechii’s assertive intro, Rico Nasty flies through with her flow growing faster, tighter and more intense, giving the track a head-banging ending.

“B**** I’m Nice” flows with a more subtle assertiveness compared to “Swamp B****es.” Doechii slows her rapping down for the chorus and deepens her usually uptempo tone, and it does a good job contrasting with her rapping.

Despite the positive marks, “B**** I’m Nice” clocks in under two minutes, so the track could have been much more evolved. It feels like a snippet.

“B****es Be” featuring singer Jst Ray starts with a sensual laid-back feeling in comparison to the previous tracks. Starting with a strumming bass, this feels like a unique route for Doechii, while also showcasing her vocals.

“This B**** Matters” slides through with an early 2000s R&B essence with Doechii having a calm tone. She also tells a great story about how she matters and shouldn’t be victim to someone else’s errors.

But my gripe with “This B**** Matters” is similar to that of “B**** I’m Nice” with the track just being so short, yet having this infectious sound that I would love to dive deeper into.

Closing the mini album is a remix to Doechii”s song “Persuasive,” this time featuring SZA, a fellow Top Dawg Entertainment artist.

SZA’s feature to the song adds another layer of sensuality and groove to the song and partners well with Doechii’s rapping.

Overall “she / her / black b****” does a great job of being concise, yet highlighting Doechii’s talents, but one thing that it doesn’t fully capture is Doechii’s vibrance and subtle humor that people came to know her for. But at the end of the day this could just be a personal change in sound.

“she / her / black b****” shows another side to Doechii that we haven’t seen yet—for that it deserves a seven out of 10.

I am looking forward to seeing what Doechii will be able to do with her contract with Top Dawg Entertainment, and I hope it allows her the creative freedom she deserves.