After a brief hiatus, Dreezy is back and ready for action. His last album, HITGIRL, was released on Friday, May 20 and features ten executive produced Hit-Boy titles. Before the official drop, the rap star sounded the alarm with “They are not readyin March, featuring one of hip-hop’s new dream teams.
“‘They Not Ready’ felt like a wake-up call,” Dreezy told VIBE in April, clarifying that the track wasn’t a single but an intro. “I wanted it to be strictly a warning. A declaration. Just let me clear the air real quick, let me cut you out real quick. I’m gonna come with those vibey bops you all want, but real quick, I want you to respect my name, especially since I’m working with someone like Hit-Boy. I knew some people would be careful. It’s a bigger scale when working with Hit-Boy. I didn’t want to go out without a twerk song with him or anything as a first song. I wanted to set the mood. »
She followed that introduction with “Balancing my stockings” featuring Coi Leray on May 10. Additionally, Future, Jeremih, and INK appear as guests throughout. HITGIRL.
On the album, Dreezy introduces a new persona, exploring new styles and sounds outside of his comfort zone. HITGIRL is the Chicago rapper’s first full-length project since releasing the album Grand Dréez in 2019. It’s also his first major offering as an independent artist, officially kicking off a new era for the four-time Grammy-nominated artist.
Ahead of the album’s release, VIBE spoke with Dreezy about his creative process, working with Hit-Boy, working with Future, and more.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
VIBE: Can you tell us where you are now compared to where you were in 2019 and the differences in sound, goals and creative process with the new project?
Dreezy: Well I feel like this HITGIRL project, because that’s his name, it’s called HITGIRL, I think it sounds super different from what my fans and everyone else are used to. It’s very influenced by Hit-Boy, because it’s entirely produced by him. For me, it was an experience where I was trying out different sounds and getting into the world of Hit-Boy and seeing what we could do together. It’s different than what you’ll usually hear from me because I’m usually like a live instrumental type person, or I’m like on this stuff that talks really heavy, cocky, club bangers, or it’s dumb R&B. My music is either heavy on R&B or heavy on trap, but this one is really heavy on the lyrics, the rapping, the production and it’s just different. I think that’s another side of Dreezy that you’re all going to hear. That’s why I wanted to call her HITGIRL so it could be a bit like my alter ego.
How collaborative was the process between you and Hit-Boy?
I’m so glad I brought my camera with me. I had a small camera that I installed in a lot of sessions. I’m going to create a studio vlog for everyone so you can all see the process, but Hit-Boy was completely involved in everything. Even when we started, I had just moved to Atlanta, but my management and Hit-Boy were in LA. So when he said he wanted to do it, I had just moved from LA, but I’m like, I’m going to fly out every two weeks or every month until it’s done.
The first week I flew, I think we did maybe four songs. It wasn’t a full week. I just came there for a few days, but we liked four, five songs. I came back two weeks later, we did four, five more songs. Then I ended up moving [back to] LA, and once I moved here, we really tweaked everything and started adding features. The process was really convenient. Literally, I wouldn’t be here if Hit-Boy wasn’t here and all of his beats are by him. I may have done a song or two without him being there but I still call him before the session. He chose the rhythms and sent them to me. So it was hand in hand. It’s really collaborative.
Did you feel like there were expectations for this collaborative project with Hit-Boy? Have you been bullied?
I’m not intimidated by anything. If anything, I’ll say expectations for myself because I’m so used to making my own music and knowing my sound, I feel like Hit-Boy kind of learned my sound over time. and as the process progresses. So that kind of scared me. I was just like, dang, I hope he knows who Dreezy really is so we can really leverage that for my fanbase. But in the end, I gave up and said to myself, I am a real artist. So whether it’s the typical Dreez or not, it’s still going to be a work of art. Do you know what I’m saying? Maybe I put [it] outside maybe I need to challenge myself and do something different, you never know what you might find. So I think this whole experience was something new for me and Hit-Boy, but I think my fans are going to like it because it’s still that core of Dreez, it’s just on a different sound.
How did the collaboration with Future come about?
Well, actually with me and Future, I was out of the country and he had hit me in my DMs and he was like, “Yo Dreez, stop by the studio”, and I’m like, “What what the fuck is this k?” I’m like, “Okay.” I don’t know where it came from, but hey. I’m going to get back from this country as soon as possible. As soon as I get back , I hit him like, “What’s up bro? Let me know when you’re free, I’ll come to the studio. He was like, “Stop today at this time.” And I just stopped and I won’t put too much of what he [was] was working there, but he had an artist he wanted me to do a song with and that was the only reason he told me to stop.
When I pulled over, I killed the shit on the spot. I made sure that, I didn’t want to take him home and write to him because I’m like, whatever happens, before I leave this session, I’m going to make sure that me and Future work [together] and he’s always been a fan of my music and always supported me since I was in Chicago. It was my first time meeting Future. I knew I was working on this Hit-Boy project so I called Hit-Boy. I’m like, “Yeah, Future is telling me to come to the studio. I don’t know what he’s going to tell me to do, but I need a beat,” and he sent me the beats.
Next thing you know, we vibrated for a minute. He was like, “Dude, nobody got any beats here? I can’t prepare. I was like, “Yeah, I got beats.” I got them Hit-Boy beats out. He immediately got on the mic and just rapped, literally from the dome, he just rapped over it and I was so happy because I’m like, I’m gonna be okay on my project. Then the next thing you know, DJ Esco stopped and he recorded another beat. Future also rapped over that beat, then when we were done he said, “You can have both.” I’m like, brother-in-law. So, I have another Future song in the stash, but we’re not going to talk about that now.
What are your favorite songs on HITGIRL and what is the overall message you want listeners to receive?
I think I had the most fun doing my song with Coi Leray. It was super fun and spur of the moment and I think we really bonded with each other just on a personal level. We had a lot of fun and I really like this song. It’s energetic. Another song that I like is quite the opposite, it’s called “Phases”. It’s a personal song to me and I like it because I feel like I’m venting and I’ve said a lot of real bullshit that I could relate to so I feel like [fans] will really like this one.
As far as the message goes, it’s not a deep project or nothing. I don’t want anybody to think like, oh he’s got one [deeper] sense. I was just thinking of me and Hit-Boy having a moment in music and when I thought of HITGIRL, I began to think of an assassin. I started thinking about a character and really marketing it as bada**b**h. Really, my alter ego because I also have a soft side. But my confident side is just a go-getter, a hustler, and I don’t hold my tongue, bad bitch. I could stand next to the guys, that’s what HITGIRL is. She’s just that person and I say she was aiming for what she wanted and she was going to get it. So that’s really it. A kick a**, a bad woman who represents what I represent and I feel like there are a lot of scam artists and girls out there who represent the same thing.
What are some of your inspirations for going so strong in your music and how do you think you’ve progressed from your previous releases to today?
I just think of the people I studied. I studied some of the most arrogant people in rap, like [Lil] Wayne, as Kanye [West]. I’m from Chicago, so I grew up watching Kanye tell people you can’t tell me anything. I grew up seeing him with the pink polo shirt and the turned-up collar, just exuding confidence. I think I always use my music as a way to… Because as ordinary human beings we have our insecurities and everything, but I’ve always had good feedback on my music. So I always used it as a shield, as my shield of trust. No liquid courage, but my raps just give me the courage to walk in the room and be that girl, because I know nobody’s laughing at me when it comes to that, but it’s something something that I had to develop over time.
Even though I was one of the coldest female rappers I didn’t know I was that cold. I think the difference between me then and now is that I know who I am. I know I can rap these niggas and these female dogs. So now when I walk into the room, it’s like this when I start rapping. My energy, everything. It changes my words a bit. I used to guess and rewrite my verses and stuff, and I might still rewrite my verses sometimes, but I feel like I’m much better now because I’m going in, I’m so confident.
What else is coming this year?
Just know that I’m dropping the music for the rest… I’ll never stop again. I think that was my biggest downfall. Like my last album did really well, but I think if I had stayed consistent, stayed consistent, we would be a lot further than where we are now. So that’s what they can expect from me.