“Bitches silly/Coming in my city/ When they knowing really/ They ain’t f*cking with me/ spittin’ like a semi/ Got it hidden with me/ I be rolling sticky/ That thing thick as Nicki.”
Ever witnessed someone else’s capacity and skill, and wished it was your own God-given talent?
If not, 20-year-old femcee Dreezy will definitely make you wish you could rhyme. Reigning from the Windy City, the “Ain’t For None” rapper has been catching the attention of many artists, influencers, and journalists in the music industry, myself included.
After seeing her fiery take on Nicki Minaj’s Lil Herb-assisted banger “Chi-Raq,” I immediately called around to my contacts in Chicago to get the petite firecracker on the phone. Thankfully, I was successful in doing so with the help of her manager John Monopoly, who’s a Chicago music business legend. Over the years, he’s groomed the careers of music icons like Kanye West, producer No I.D., Carl Thomas, and now Dreezy.
Once I got Dreezy – born Seandrea Sledge – on the phone, she sounded slightly shy. After gushing about how excited I was to see a young person with her talent, she quickly opened up.
We talked on the phone for about a half hour. She was charismatic, focused, and graciously humble for all the attention she’s been receiving over the past six months. But her candid honesty struck a chord with me. We discussed everything from being in a girl group at school, to writing poetry and grinding as a one woman show, to moving excessively with her mother as a child, her father teaching her how to become a woman, and dropping out of college.
Just like her mixtape Schizo, our conversation was all over the place. She joked about her mother’s support and at times, her overzealous promotion of Dreezy’s latest ventures, but through all the ups and downs, the “Dreamer” femcee is doing just that – living her dream.
Check out our exclusive interview with Dreezy below.
GlobalGrind: Tell me about the response you’ve been getting since you released the “Chi-Raq” video and your Schizo mixtape back in February.
Dreezy: It’s been good to me. A lot of celebrities have been reaching out. I’ve been getting a real good response.
Who are some of the artists who’ve been reaching out?
Fab, Teyana Taylor, and Trey Songz. I did a set with him [Trey Songz] in Chicago. It’s a lot of people. Lil Duval had tweeted something about me, and oh, Future reached out.
I was honestly very surprised how dynamic and feminine your Schizo mixtape was, because “Chi-Raq” and “Ain’t For None” with you and King Louie was so hard. What was your thought process when you started recording the tape?
Schizo came together naturally. If I was in a good mood and I was turned up, I would record a “Chi-Raq.” If I was feeling some type of way about a boy, I would record something softer. If I’m feeling motivated, I would record something like “Dreamer.” It was really just all of my emotions. The name fit because it was all over the place. I just tried to give a variety of music, because people go through a variety of emotions everyday.
I noticed you sing the hook on a few songs. Do you sing often?
I used to sing a long time ago, off some jazz. I tried to form a singing group with some girls at my school, but we didn’t take it seriously. We were young, and I kind of left it alone. I just started writing poetry. When I started getting more serious with the rapping, I realized if I was going to be recording some emotional songs, I would need some melodies. I’m still playing around with it and learning a lot. But the singing, I’m still playing around with the singing.
When did you start rapping?
About six years ago.
Do you remember the first song you actually recorded?
That I took seriously?
Damn. I think it was called “Feel Good.” Nah, it was called “Feeling You.”
What’s your relationship with King Louie?
Funny thing is we were just texting before this interview. That’s big bro, and he’s doing his thing. He was just with Drake last night. He’s doing real good. “Ain’t For None” was the first song we did together. I was Louie’s heels for a minute. We ain’t always known each other, but I was trying to get in contact with him like, ‘yeah, I spit.’ He tried to text me at first. Eventually, I started seeing him around people, and I started being around the right people. He started hearing me spit. One day we was in the studio and he was like ‘play me something.’ He had an open verse and was like ‘I’ma hop on that.’ From then on, we’ve just been recording more music. He’s been supporting me for a minute, so I support him.
Is he [King Louie] the closest Chicago artist to you?
Ummm, probably Sasha.
Sasha Go Hard?
Yeah, and KD Young Cocky.
What would you be doing if you weren’t rapping?
Who knows? Probably trying to start a business or do something with music. Either engineering, trying to produce, or even something in film or design. I’m creative, so…
What’s the thing you love the most about Chicago?
I love the realness of Chicago. Chicago is a funny city. Once you get to know these people, man…I love Chicago. I wish the violence would simmer down a little more, but…some of the stuff that goes on in Chicago that people look at crazy, besides the killing, the whole demeanor of Chicago and the struggle makes you a better person. I just love my whole city.
You were featured on Common’s Nobody’s Smiling album. How did you link up?
We met in L.A. last year. I guess this year after I dropped “Chi-Raq” people started hitting me like, ‘Common likes your joint.’ He had tweeted me. Him and No I.D. are really close. He didn’t remember who I was at first, but No I.D. reminded him who I was. Then he came to Chicago and he had an interview at WGCI. He invited me back to the hotel, and we just clicked. Then he was like ‘man, I want you on my album.’ He took me back to his room and he started rapping some bars and verses from “Hustle Harder” a cappella and I was like ‘yeah, I can get on that.’ We flew to L.A. and then I knocked it out in the studio.
Did you get a chance to share any of your poetry with Common?
Nah, I didn’t. I don’t write as much poetry as I used to. When I do write now, it’s more for the purpose of a song. A lot of music has poetry in it, but more in the form of a song. So in a way, yeah, he heard some of my poetry.
As a younger artist coming out of Chicago, how important is it to you to get the mentorship from older more seasoned Chicago artists who’ve been in the industry for decades?
I started rapping just because I love writing. I came up by myself so much, that it’s like when I get to these positions where I meet these people, they’ll give me a little advice like ‘keep doing your thing.’ I have people like John Monopoly and my A&R who keep me on the right path and let me know about certain people so I know how to approach them, but…. Common will give me a little insight, but most of the time they all just motivate me.
What about your family? How do they feel about your career?
They’re excited. They’re happy. Nobody was really comfortable when I first started rapping. They weren’t telling me I can’t rap, but at the same time they always wanted me to put school first. When I dropped out of college, they were a little disappointed in me. I had to prove myself. I had a feeling when I was in college like ‘man, I can do this.’ You get that feeling sometimes when you just know something. So I did what I had to do, they weren’t really proud of it at first, but now they’re so proud of me. They just want me to be safe when I’m out of town. I’m out here by myself right now in L.A., so that’s the only thing they’re worried about right now. My daddy bought the Common album, and my mom is always posting things on Facebook even when she’s not supposed to, all thirsty (laughs). I know they’re happy for me.
What was it like growing up for you?
I grew up mostly with my mama. I had a hard life. I didn’t notice it at the time, because I was a child. My mama was going through, but she tried her best to not let me know about it. My biggest motivation for me writing period was the problems we were having at home, like my mama and different men coming in the situation. It was a lot going on. The disrespect. Stuff that was just happening around my mama, but it molded around me. I was always talking about dreaming, and just doing something creative as an outlet. I tried to do as many activities at school. I was in poetry club, jazz band, and art club. I was doing a whole bunch of stuff to not be at home. The older I got, it became too much between me and my mama, and it got to a point where me and my mama used to get into it, because I started realizing how she was living, and I didn’t like it. I ended up moving out and moving in with my daddy. My mama lived in the city and my daddy lived in the ‘burbs. It was like a whole turn around for me. My dad was getting money, and he had a big house. He was teaching me structure and how to be a woman. I started learning stuff and taking school more serious, getting better grades, and taking AP classes. I think that helped with my grammar, and the stuff I talk about it in my music. I still have both sides of my life. I spend most of my life in the city, but I talk about everything.
Where did you grow up in the city?
Well, we were always moving, because my mama couldn’t afford to stay a lot of places. I grew up on the South Side, East Side, the Low End, we been in the 100s.
Are you in the studio recording your debut album?
Yeah, I’m in the studio working on my album right now.
Meanwhile, I’m going to be releasing the Schizo deluxe. It’ll be like a re-release of Schizo for my new fans with a couple new songs on there. Then I’ll take a few other tracks off. It’s going to be a refresher project before the album comes out.
PHOTO CREDIT: YouTube