Doja Cat is readying her next act.
In the wake of the unexpected news that she has had to drop out of her tour with The Weeknd due to tonsil surgery, Doja will have more time to work on new music, including her next album, which she says will be predominantly rap.
She made the revelation in the June/July 2022 issue of ELLE. “I haven’t started just because of all the rehearsal and touring. I’ve got a lot going on, but it’s coming up,” she told the magazine prior to canceling her tour dates.
The new project, which follows last summer’s Planet Her, is still in the early stages. “I have been getting songs and things sent to me…. Oh f**k, I wish I could tell people! There’s some really cool stuff that I got sent from friends. They’re all working on beats, and I’m giving them notes and they know what I want, so I’m excited.”
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While her genre-blending sound incorporates R&B, hip-hop, and pop, Doja is a rapper at heart and was raised on artists like Busta Rhymes and Lauryn Hill. “When I was little, that’s kind of all I listened to,” she says, adding that her “real fans” know that she raps. “I’ve rapped since the beginning, and I really couldn’t even sing that well to begin with–I got a lot better.”
Despite the debate over what qualifies as rap, she’s learned to live with critics who don’t see her as a rapper. “I use my voice as a tool to create these worlds, and it’s fine if people think that I can’t rap,” she says, adding, “The only person who should be rating hip-hop is an OG or somebody who is respected in hip-hop.”
One rapper who continues to inspire her is Nicki Minaj. “I think her as a businesswoman really inspired me,” Doja says of her “Say So” collaborator. “The way Nicki can carry herself felt almost alien to me, because I was kind of a little runty kid, trapped in her room, just watching YouTube videos. And back then I was like, ‘Damn, that’s dope.’”
She also celebrated her fellow female rappers, including City Girls, Rico Nasty, and Saweetie. “There’s an explosion of amazing female rap talent out there right now,” she says. “It’s so cool to see that, because we didn’t have that when we were younger.”
Her collaboration with Saweetie, “Best Friend,” was nominated for Best Rap Song at this year’s Grammys, but she ended up winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for her “Kiss Me More” collaboration with SZA. However, she says a future rap win would mean “everything” to her.
This is not the first time Doja has spoken about wanting to record a rap album. Back in December, she shared plans for a 12-song hip-hop album, produced by 9th Wonder and Jay Versace.