Hot on the heels of her 1M followers on Instagram, DEETRANADA is a young, powerful rapper to look out for. In a male-dominated industry, DEETRANADA is showing that she can join the ranks of female emcees such as Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, Mulatto, Saweetie and other millennial and Generation Z rappers taking over the game. At only eighteen years young, DEETRANADA is making a name for herself in the music industry with her dope cadence, unique style and a flow that fallen legends would be proud of.
When it comes to women empowerment, especially in the music industry, there is no concrete definition; we all have different ways of supporting one another and showing our love and appreciation for sisterhood across all fields, races and circumstances. When asked what she defines as women empowerment, she replied with, "A woman trying to live, however she may get her money, I support." And that's on period, pooh.
From “The Rap Game” To Beyond
DEETRANADA may be a familiar face from the Lifetime Television Network's hit show, The Rap Game, a show testing the young talents and efforts of up-and-coming teen rappers from across the country to battle for the win of a contract on SoSoDef's record label. After her season on Jermaine Dupri's The Rap Game in 2017, she followed the appearance with the release of a mixtape and an EP, Adolescence Swim (2017) and A Bunch Of Nada (2018). As she reflects on the early stages of her career, DEETRANADA speaks to xoNecole on her evolution as an artist.
"I don't even think I existed before 2018. That's how I look at everything," DEETRANADA shares. "They're chapters of my life that I went through and that book is now closed. Evolving into the young woman I am now, it's all about learning and moving on with life. Certain things don't define me nor will I let it, it was just a lesson. Moving forward, I just have to make sure I protect my energy, especially in an industry like this."
As she's grown into her artistry and as a young woman, DEETRANADA has been able to step into her own and become Miss Independent due to her hard work and dedication to her craft. For her, the most rewarding experiences of her career are those when she has the opportunity to give back to her loved ones. "I just want to give my people everything they couldn't get for themselves," she says.
"I don't even think I existed before 2018. Evolving into the young woman I am now, it's all about learning and moving on with life. Certain things don't define me nor will I let it, it was just a lesson. Moving forward, I just have to make sure I protect my energy, especially in an industry like this."
B-More: Born & Bred
Born and raised in Baltimore, she proudly wears the city on her back and pays homage to the city as a key factor of who she is since the beginning of her career. "The things I went through in my life pushed me to make music. [Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia] and Baltimore prefer to stand by themselves, so I would say Baltimore as a whole pushed me to live," DEETRANADA tells me as she explains that she was never particularly influenced by any one person, place or thing during her upbringing. "Our culture is so beautiful. From how we carry ourselves to how we dress, down to how we live. It just bred me different, and you can hear it in my voice. You can see it in my style. You can peep it in how I walk. I can say that for anybody from Baltimore. We [are] just different!"
To only be eighteen years of age, DEETRANADA has made a name for herself in ways that artists in their 30s and 40s can only dream of. Her age has played a factor into her success, and for that she's grateful that her youth gives her space and opportunity to shape her craft and work towards her goals. "I could take a three-year hiatus and come back when I'm 21, I'm still young," she says. "Time is everything and the fact that I got that over people twice my age is an advantage. Plenty of room to grow and improve! I don't even think I've reached my prime yet and that excites me."
Social Media & Generation-Z Power
DEETRANADA has created such a buzz for herself and her music through social media platforms, especially with the recent release of her album, DeeVsEverybody!. The young raptress admitted to feeling pressured to prioritize quantity over quality when approaching her work, but ultimately the latter prevailed. "Honestly at first, I always felt like I had to keep pushing out material because nowadays fans are unappreciative of quality and only care for quantity, and I found myself not performing to the best of my ability," she admits.
This album, now available everywhere, includes a personal favorite of mine, "ATTITUDE". When asked how social media has played a role in the leverage of her music, DEETRANADA is not too shy to admit that there are social media trolls and people trying to put a halt to her bag collection process. "For anybody that thinks they're bold enough to 'troll' me, it's just a pretty little button that makes them go away," as she refers to our good friend, Block Button. "I don't have time to argue anymore because people are stupid, miserable and bored. As for people trying to stop my bag? They get handled accordingly, but it's all mind over matter. They don't exist in my head." Two snaps for you, sis.
Women Empowerment In The Music Industry
As we all know, female rappers weren't always given the respect they deserve when it comes to their craft in the music industry. From OGs Trina, Queen Latifah and MC Lyte to today's starts Cardi B, Doja Cat and Tokyo Jetz, women are often hypersexualized or deemed as "doing the most", and we're never just allowed to be women. DEETRANADA confessed that her own defiance of straying away from sexual topics in her music has impacted her growth and visibility as an up-and-coming artist. "I'm not the type of rapper that talks about promiscuous topics because I'm not and never will be comfortable doing so, so labels and fans don't care to look at me," she reveals. "In this game whether you want to believe it or not, people don't care how hard you rap unless you're easy on the eyes. That's been one of my main challenges because a lot of times I feel like all of this is pointless."
Unfortunately, one of the most difficult challenges as an up-and-coming female rapper is not being able to sell your talent, but having a talent to sell your bodies and amplify your sexuality. In what James Brown referred to as "a man's world", women are oftentimes compared to the opposite sex or chastised for being a member of their own gender or gender identification. When asked how she felt about phrases like, "like a girl" or "like a man", or even "she can hang with the dudes", when clearly young women like her can hold their own next to any rapper no matter the gender identification, sex, or race, DEETRANADA is not a fan. "It's annoying," she says. "I get very annoyed when, mostly older, fans tell me things like that because they never throw around comparisons like that when addressing a male. I'm just as strong as a man mentally and musically so the fact I would even be compared as someone who can 'stand with dudes' is insulting. It just makes me think they don't believe women are their own entity."
"In this game whether you want to believe it or not, people don't care how hard you rap unless you're easy on the eyes. That's been one of my main challenges because a lot of times I feel like all of this is pointless."
With her debut album, DeeVsEverybody, DEETRANADA shows zero signs of slowing down when it comes to her music and telling her story through it. "I want to try and shoot a visual for as many songs as I can off of my album because it really does tell a story about my mental health that I want everyone as a fan to see, hear and understand". As far as pushing new music anytime soon, she says, "As for new music, I'm in the lab trying to build up my material. When I come with a formula, I'll let y'all know!"
Only three years shy of 21 years old, DEETRANADA is growing into womanhood before our eyes from her debut mixtape to her widely respected and distributed album. When asked to leave a final message for those young women looking at her for encouragement and empowerment, she encourages our ladies to "find your own pocket". DEETRANADA's word to the wise concludes with:
"It may not be what's popular but if you keep at that long enough, you're going to be undeniable. If you're like me and you don't like conforming to the norm for what a female in the industry should be, stay true to yourself. The main thing I always say though, do whatever you want to do. As long as you're your true self, I support it! No matter what or who you are."
For more of DEETRANADA, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image by DEETRANADA/Instagram