Doechii talks being the first female rapper signed to Top Dawg Entertainment

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Todd Owyoung/NBC

Doechii has a big year ahead complete with a Coachella appearance, the first male feature on one of her songs, and possibly the release of a full-length project. But amid her rise, she keeps in mind that there’s a generation of young women and artists who are coming after her.

“From the women before me, I’m borrowing their energy so that one day I can give it back to the girl after me,” Doechii tells Billboard. “That’s what I’m here to do.”

Some of the artists she’s indirectly borrowed from were “powerful women” like TrinaNicki MinajLauryn HillBeyoncéRihanna and labelmate SZA, who she says has “always been supportive of who I am.”

Doechii and SZA are both signed to Top Dawg Entertainment. As the label’s first female rapper, Doechii admits that she feels pressure, but a “good pressure” in that role.

“I know with me being the first, the next female rapper on TDE is going to look to me, look at the things I did and didn’t accomplish, and hopefully be better than me. That’s the point,” Doechii says. “I’m a leader of a new era of TDE, which feels really good. A lot of my fans reach out all the time about the impact that I’m making for them just being an alternative Black girl. Doing it on TDE like this is cool.”

According to Doechii, she’s in year three of her five-year plan, and also in her pop era. By year five, she wants to “be in my Sasha Fierce era, the top of my game.” Her short term goal: to release her full length project. “My fans will kill me if I don’t,” she says.

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