Dreezy | Big Dreez

by Charmaine Griffin

It’s safe to say when I first heard the new album Big Dreez by rapper Dreezy I felt like she was speaking to my soul. Something about an empowered female rapper who confidently speaks the same language as women while commanding a tone that rivals her male counterparts is enthralling. As the Chicago-native named Seandrea Sledge said she raps, “So we can talk our shit like the guys talk their shit.” She is the heroin to our feminist fairytales.

What makes Dreezy the next legendary female rapper is not simply her lyrics but her ability to effortlessly flow between rapping and singing as if she was destined for greatness in both lanes. She’s multi-talented — fearlessly speaking the words that many fans are afraid to say in a male-dominated society confronting toxic masculinity. Her sound is therapy.

Her latest LP Big Dreez is exactly what fans have been waiting for since her last album No Hard Feelings dropped in 2016. This time she’s coming out the gate swinging and refuses to take any prisoners. From her song “Chanel Slides” featuring rapper Kash Doll to collaborations with artists including Jeremih, Jacquees, and Offset, she’s proving that she’s here to stay.

With several upcoming projects under her belt, including acting on the new Lena Waithe directed series Boomerang. Big Dreez , which has only been out for a few weeks, is already creating buzz throughout the music scene. So what inspires her work and makes her a unique addition to the female rap world?

I was able to chat with the 24-year-old about the world she’s creating and why we are just living in it.

Photography by  Emilynn Rose

Photography by Emilynn Rose

Your new album Big Dreez features some pretty major artists like Jeremih, Jacquees, and Offset.  What was the creative process like in making the album?

I really was just going in the studio and feeling out different vibes. I was working on whatever was speaking to me — whatever beat made me feel some type of way. The record with Kash Doll, there was a controversy between me, YG and Cardi B because the “She Bad” song included all of us and we didn’t know. I feel like the internet and all the blogs were trying to make it a beef type of situation. That’s I hit up Kash Doll and put her on the song. That’s how most of the songs came about, it was real organic. Jacquees was in the studio when I was recording a lot of the songs so he went in and laid the hook for “Love Someone” — everyone who is on the project are people I actually rock with in real life.

You recently did a collab with rapper Kash Doll on your song "Chanel Slides." Do you believe it's important to have more collaborations between female rappers? 

Hell yea. Especially because all our sounds are different. You have people like Rico Nasty and so many different types of sounds. They pay more attention when you are working together. Me and Kash Doll got a million views our first week and then two million views in our second week. The numbers just kept going up. Everyone was excited to see women work together, especially brown skin women. Also, we are making good music out of it. I just performed “Chanel Slides” in Chicago and Kash Doll’s part came on and I was going to cut the part but I just let it continue and the crowd said her verse word for word. I think people love it — especially the females, so we can talk our shit like the guys talk their shit.

Did you get advice from any of the artists?   

Not necessarily advice but we talk about our problems. Me and Kash were both in bad contracts so we talked about the stuff we’ve been through, how we have made it out and how we live now. Jeremih always gives me advice, he’s always motivating me. Jacquees definitely, I’m always asking him for advice on how he makes it on the road or deals with management. He’s seen me on the road without management, he’s seen me at the airport by myself. We all help each other out, its real relationships.

Photography by  Emilynn Rose

Photography by Emilynn Rose

What keeps you in the game?

I think it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long and I remember when I didn’t have anything. I was almost at the peak of my career and I had nothing. I know with all the resources I have now and the fan base I have now all I have to do is put things in order the right way then it will take off. There are a million ways to get to one point, if I haven’t tried every way then I can’t give up. There are so many things I have not tried yet. I feel like every time I miss, I’ll do it next time. It’s a work in progress. I would give up if it was several years passed and I had not made progress. My life has changed, I’ve changed the lives of people around me so I would only give up if I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted.

With so many other female rappers emerging in the past couple years, what type of energy do you want to bring to the scene? 

My vibe is more singing and rapping, that’s my open lane. Every female rapper has their own open lane and I believe that is my open lane. I don’t see any major female artists out here that can sing just as good as they rap and it being a real vibe, not forced. One thing about my fan base that I feel they’ve always liked about my sound. They are always debating about “no she can sing, no she can rap” so I give them both.

I was watching one of your recent interviews and I heard you started off singing. When did your journey as a rapper start?

Girl, I thought I couldn’t sing anymore when I got to high school. So I just stopped. I still liked writing and making music because I did poetry before anything. My mom would tell you she still has all my old notebooks. Plus, when I got to my high school I was the new girl in the school. I did sports but no one really knew me, so rapping got everyone to really know me. That’s what made the guys want to know me and the girls come to my show. It made high school way more fun. Eventually once I started being good with rap I started playing around with my singing again and said why don’t I do both. That’s when I came out with Schizo, that was my first mixtape, and I called it schizo for that reason because it had so many different moods.

Photography by  Emilynn Rose

Photography by Emilynn Rose

You were recently pictured with Lil Kim. Is she one of your inspirations? 

Yea Lil Kim definitely inspired me — she’s invited all female rappers. She started one of the blueprints as far as fashion wise, confidence, talking shit, hanging around dudes and keeping her weight up with the guys. She was the first one to do it.

It’s been a few years since the release of your first album No Hard Feelings and you took a year off from music to refocus. What did you do during that time? How did it help you grow creatively?  

A lot of my time I was getting my business together. I was in a bad contract so that’s really why, because I couldn’t drop music. Some of the time I was recording, still trying to stay active in the studio and stay sharp, but a lot of the time I was learning myself, taking care of myself and my family. It went by kind of fast. I was focusing and trying to get my vibe back. Do I feel like it made me grow? I mean I’m always growing but if anything I feel no, it made it harder on me to be honest. If I didn’t have to go through that I wouldn’t have. It made me smarter on the business side and getting more hands on with my creatively and image, it helped on that end. Like I said I couldn’t work, I didn’t have a manager, I lost my team in that year so I can say it made me have to be more on point with myself. Did it help me musically? No.

Photography by  Emilynn Rose

Photography by Emilynn Rose

Despite this “setback” you returned gun blazing, you are even acting now. You're going to be on an upcoming episode of BET's new show Boomerang, directed by Lena Waithe and Halle Berry. Is an acting career also on the horizon? 

Yes, I definitely like acting. I’ve got to get real good at it, I did a tv show and a movie so far. The first one airs February 26 and the next one airs some time in summer. So if they keep calling I’m open, I’m down for whatever.

If you had a crystal ball to see the future, where would you be in the next five years? 

Hopefully I’ll be sitting on some Grammy’s and I’ll be performing at other big events. I’ll be performing at the Grammy’s, I’ll have big films on the big screens. I will be having lunch and music with the OG’s like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj. In five years I want to be a mogul and multi-millionaire. I’ll be ready to settle down, maybe not settle down (laughs) but if I wanted to I could. Five years is a long time.

Is there anything you want your fans to know?

The album is going no. 1 this year. Album number two is going to drop this summer — it’s going no. 1, awards, plaques, more collabs, good music and crazy visuals.

Everything is going to be next level.

Photography by Emilynn Rose