Her father was killed when she was four years old. A self-described "good kid and a decent student" who mostly kept to herself, she began writing her own original music as early as nine years old.
She graduated from Southeastern High School in Detroit, MI in 2009, played basketball up to the junior varsity level, and later attended Saginaw Valley State University to study nursing for three semesters before deciding to focus on a full-time music career.
She began her music career in 2011. Her stage name, Dej Loaf, is a portmanteau of a shortened version of her first name, "Deja", and "loafer", as she took a keen interest in Air Jordans growing up. Dej released her debut mixtape, Just Do It, in 2012, which attracted the attention of fellow Detroit rapper Sayitainttone. She was later signed to his label IBGM (an acronym for I Been Gettin' Money).
The track "Try Me", produced by DDS, was released as a single in July 2014 and rose to viral popularity after Canadian recording artist Drake quoted lyrics from the song in an Instagram post. "Try Me" has peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Three months later, she released her second mixtape, Sell Sole. She was signed to Sony Music-based Columbia Records that same month and shortly after the release of her second mixtape.
Her first nationwide attention became much larger as she was featured on "Detroit vs. Everybody", along with fellow Detroit natives Big Sean, Eminem, Danny Brown, Royce Da 5'9" and Trick Trick. The track appears on Disc X of the Shady Records 15th anniversary compilation, Shady XV, released in late 2014.
Since then, she was also featured on other songs including "Be Real" by Kid Ink, "Ryda" by The Game (2) and "I Just Wanna..." by Elijah Blake. Loaf also opened for her former rival Nicki Minaj during the North American leg of The Pinkprint Tour. The song, "Try Me", was certified gold on April 3, 2015 by the RIAA. This garnered Dej Loaf a spot as part of the XXL Magazine 2015 Freshman Class.
Afterwards, Dej Loaf released her debut EP, #AndSeeThatsTheThing, in July 2015 as a digital release and her first major project for Columbia Records. It didn't make the charts, however, but was positively reviewed by critics. The song, "Back Up" (featuring Big Sean), included on the EP, made such sleeper success when it peaked at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #13 on the Rap Songs chart. The follow-up, "Hey There" (featuring Future (4)), made #47 on the Hot Urban Songs chart.
Throughout the fall of 2015, rumors speculated that Dej Loaf and Chicago-bred rapper Lil Durk were dating. They both denied the rumors until resolved. In the end of that year, both rappers were seen on stage smooching after they performed their collaboration, "My Beyoncé", which happened to appear on Durk's eleventh mixtape, 300 Days, 300 Nights.
On February 7, 2016, Loaf announced her third mixtape. Originally titled The Death of Princess Latifah, it depicted on her feud with Queen Latifah. She also revealed a cover of herself burning Latifah (who is wearing a princess costume, hence the reference to the original title, Princess Latifah) to smithereens with a lit candlestick, while inside a castle, as a dinner meeting had just started. For which, the cover is referenced with the title as a concept. Unfortunately, both the title and cover received controversy via social media, calling Dej a "fraud" for going against "a hip-hop soul legend", with the original cover being criticized for "graphic violence". Therefore, Loaf changed the title to All Jokes Aside, along with a new, spare cover where we see Loaf posing shirtless in front of the camera, with her arms and elbows covering up her breasts and her fingers stuck to her ears. This was attempted to avoid more controversy, halfway to its release.
On April 8, 2016, her twenty-fifth birthday, All Jokes Aside was released. The third mixtape, itself, was either speculated, rumored, or believed by most sources or people to have included tracks that were aimed at her enemies, Tamar Braxton, Ciara (2), Iggy Azalea, Queen Latifah, and Adele (3). The one and only guest appearance on the mixtape was legendary bounce rapper Silkk The Shocker. Otherwise, All Jokes Aside received heavily negative critical reception, due to the tracks being about her respective rivals and her musical flow being changed.
Since December 2015, Dej Loaf was involved in the most controversial event in music rivalry history, The 7 Rivalries in 7 Days. Succeeding Chief Keef vs. Ja Rule, Dej Loaf has ignited her first highly-publicized feud with R&B songstress Tamar Braxton. The Dej Loaf—Tamar Braxton beef is the more universally-publicized music rivalry of the female music industry. Following up the two rivalries of this controversial event were: Azealia Banks vs. Ciara, Young Thug (2) vs. J. Cole, Jeremih vs. Tory Lanez, Alessia Cara vs. Nicki Minaj and Alicia Keys vs. Lil' Kim.
Dej Loaf's other feuds are/were with Nicki Minaj, Wale, T-Pain, B.O.B, Adele, Queen Latifah, Victoria Justice, Ciara, Iggy Azalea, G Herbo, Boldy James, Rasheeda (2), Tyler, The Creator, ASAP Mob members ASAP Ant, ASAP Ferg, ASAP Nast, and ASAP Twelvy.
Dej Loaf Discography Tracks
|none||Dej Loaf||Sell Sole (13xFile, MP3, 320)||IBGM||none||US||2014|
|none||Jacquees & Dej Loaf||Jacquees & Dej Loaf - Fuck A Friend Zone (13xFile, MP3, Mixtape, 320)||Not On Label||none||US||2017|
Singles & EPs
|Dej Loaf||#AndSeeThatsTheThing (EP)||Columbia||Sweden||2015||Sell This Version|
|none||Tinashe (2) Feat. Dej Loaf||Tinashe (2) Feat. Dej Loaf - All Hands On Deck [Remix] (File, AAC, Single, 256)||RCA||none||US||2015|
|Kid Ink Feat. Dej Loaf||Kid Ink Feat. Dej Loaf - Be Real (Single)||RCA||US||2015||Sell This Version|
|none||Dej Loaf Feat. Big Sean||Dej Loaf Feat. Big Sean - Back Up (File, AAC, Single, 256)||RCA||none||UK||2015|
|none||Dej Loaf||No Fear (File, AAC, Single)||Columbia Records||none||2017|
|none||Casey Veggies Ft. Dej Loaf||Casey Veggies Ft. Dej Loaf - Tied Up (CDr, Promo)||Sony Music||none||Sweden||2015||Sell This Version|
|none||Dej Loaf||All Jokes Aside (11xFile, MP3, Mixtape)||Not On Label||none||US||2016|