Hailing out of Detroit, Michigan, DeJ Loaf released a mixtape titled Just do It in 2012 that encompasses the struggles she went through in college. Balancing school and music she dropped out of school to pursue the latter while working as a custodian at the Chrysler Factory. In a funk she quit her job and she was seriously contemplating if music was her calling, then one day while shopping in a mall these girls were giving her a dirty look and that’s when she decided to go home and record the song “Try Me”. Her only goal was to hit 5000 listens, if the song didn't she was going to upload another song until something caught on. After a few youtube and Instagram posts "Try Me" went viral. Artists like Wiz Khalifa wanted to do a remix, "6" God Drake posted a lyric from the song on Instagram and the rest as they say is history.
I caught up with DeJ Loaf to talk about what kept her going when she was struggling, what she learned from her hit single “Try Me”, what she would have done if it didn't succeed, why you should quit your day job, and so much more. Comment below on your favourite part of our interview with DeJ Loaf.
Peep the photography of the event after the jump.
When it comes to Canadian hip-hop -- and hip-hop in general, for that matter -- few artists are better than Classified and Shad. Look at the numbers: the two have combined for a whopping 13 Juno nominations (with one win each -- during the Drake era, no less), three Polaris Music Prize nominations (all Shad's), and three Platinum records (all Classified's -- one of them quadruple-Platinum). For what it's worth, the two were also voted as two of the top six greatest Canadian rappers ever, in a list compiled by CBC Music.
The truth is, the numbers only tell half of the story. Each artist has contributed his own unique perspective and flair to Canada's mosaic of music and related to hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of people through their lyrics. Songs like "All About U," "Brother (Watching)," "Things Are Looking Up," and "Keep Shining" have connected with people from all walks of life. "Oh...Canada" and "Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)" tell equally patriotic tales of what it means to be Canadian.
Beyond the accolades, and beyond the music itself, Classified and Shad are two down-to-earth emcees who -- plain and simple -- love hip-hop. We caught up with them to talk about how they discovered each other's music, their most embarrassing moments onstage, the best year in hip-hop history, and much more. Check out the video and podcast below.