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Wednesday, February 4, 2015
HYPETRAK Exclusive: Dej Loaf Takes Jeremy Deputat on a Visual Journey Through Her Detroit
Dej Loaf, born Deja Trimble, has risen as one of the most promising newcomers of last year; her utilization of combining strong melodies with catchy lyricism has set her apart from many other up-and-comers. From listening to her smash anthem "Try Me," which speaks against those attempting to hinder her, one might imagine Loaf to be someone who is defensive and unforgiving. However, during our day with the Detroit rapper in her hometown, she appeared to be anything but. Soft-spoken and humble, the 23-year-old graciously guides Detroit-based photographer Jeremy Deputat -- renowned for his advertising and portrait work with major artists -- to six landmark locations which were vital to her development and growth as an artist, and as an individual.
"When I 1st heard Dej, there was something about her voice that sounded like she was so innocently about to murk you, and I was intrigued. I had just returned from Hong Kong and forgot to re-up my iPhone with music so I ended up playing Sade (my usual flight music) and 'Sell Sole' on repeat for the duration. I was only back in Detroit for a few days when Hypetrak reached out about photographing a feature with her. After listening to 'Sell Sole' like 823867 times in China, I wanted to link up and shoot something and immediately jumped on board. We wanted to keep it authentic, and not the typical “day-in-the-life” feature, and after a call with her management team, she decided to take me around the city, revisiting the exact locations that impacted who she is today." - Jeremy Deputat
Check out the stunning photographs and her audio description of each location below, and keep an eye out for this rising talent.
HOME - Southwest Detroit
The first of these is arguably the most important: her house in southwest Detroit. This area is profound because not only is it the place she was raised, it was also the place where she wrote "Try Me" as well as many other songs from her acclaimed Sell Sole mixtape. Additionally, it is also the setting where the rapper filmed the visual to her aforementioned track.
The second location is Southeastern High School, which, although not being the school she went to, was a place where she came up with her stage name. "Loaf" originates from her decision to permanently transition from Jordan and Nike shoes to loafers, an ideal that stuck so strongly that she had to proudly carry it in her moniker.
The third location is a Forever 21 store at Fairlane Shopping Mall in the town of Dearborn, a place where she came up with the hook of "Try Me" while muttering a confrontation during a stare-down by onlookers that she perceived as a threat.
The fourth of the landmark locations is at Collective Studios in Oak Park. There, DeJ transforms her ideas into reality with the help of her trustee engineer; most of her songs have been recorded there, for past mixtapes and also for her upcoming album.
Lastly and certainly the most frightening one, DeJ brings us to White House Nightclub, where she suffered a near-death experience from a severe asthma attack during her best friend's birthday party after somebody had slipped narcotics in her beverage. Miraculously, she had survived the incident, and the recurring asthma attacks have taught her to be more cautious and to make the most out of her life.