Iamdoechii’s “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” is named for an entry in the Junie B. Jones series of children’s books first published in 1992. The titular kindergartener was odd and disruptive, which resonated with Iamdoechii — Doechii for short, Jaylah Hickmon for long — as she reflected on her own childhood. On “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,” Doechii’s nostalgic raps tell her origin story. As a young girl, she was bold (“In my black Taylor Chucks, the ones that laced up to my thighs/Lisa Frank lipstick on my eyes”), rambunctious (“I get a little violent when I play the game of tag”), sexual (“My thumb is over the screen/the other is in my jeans”), and broke (“My momma used stamps ’cause she need a little help”). The song toggles from a buzzy modern beat to a classic boom-bap one, highlighting the versatility she’s shown across her brief discography.
“Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” was released last September, two months ahead of her project Oh The Places You’ll Go, an autobiographical melange of pop, dance, and hip-hop. Last month, just as “Yucky Blucky” began to gain real traction, she dropped BRA-LESS, a five-song EP. Still, “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” is by far Doechii’s most popular track. It earned her a spot on Rolling Stone’s Breakthrough 25 chart in April. With the hashtag “yuckybluckyfruitcake” deployed over three million times on TikTok, people use the song to soundtrack dramatic physical transformations. The track has been streamed more than 10 million times on Spotify alone, after being added to over 70 of the platform’s editorial playlists including its flagship hip-hop series, RapCaviar. She’s currently the cover of Feelin’ Myself, a popular Spotify playlist of women in hip-hop, earning the fourth spot after Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Saweetie.
“I had submitted so many times to Spotify to get playlisted,” Doechii says from a sunny patio in Norwalk, Los Angeles County. Tiny gems fixed to her teeth peek through her lips when she smiles. When she finally made it to Spotify’s Internet People playlist in March, she felt more motivation than celebration. “I was like, ‘Okay, how do we get more? Let’s get merch! What’s the next step?’” The vast majority of the streams “Yucky Blucky” has earned so far rolled in over the past month. Doechii started the independent-artist grind from Tampa, Florida in 2016.
Carl Chery, Spotify’s Creative Director and Head of Urban Music, championed Doechii to his peers the moment he encountered her music on social media. “I think because of the volume of music that we have to deal with, sometimes the job can feel like a little bit of a chore,” says Chery. “When [I] hear something like ‘Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,’ it just energizes me. I get excited about the possibility. I get excited about being able to watch someone go from zero to 60.” Chery and his team added “Yucky Blucky” to Internet People the same day they heard it.
Earning a playlist placement as a new artist doesn’t often translate to the rapid success Doechii is experiencing. “I don’t know if I’ve seen eight million [streams] in a month from an emerging artist,” says Chery, comparing her trajectory on Spotify to that of DaBaby and Roddy Ricch. Doechii’s brash confessions chronicling her development as a weird black girl have propelled her forward, and she’s working to keep up the momentum. “I understand that this success is really cool, but it’s one song,” she says. “What I’ve been trying to master now is making really intimate, honest music, but also resonating on a global level. I’m really focused on writing hits.”
Get to know Doechii and her breakout hit below.
What inspired “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake?”
You want the long answer or the short answer?
I had a turning point in my music. Just before I made “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake,” I was in a place where I was really afraid. I just felt creatively blocked, like, I just wasn’t able to produce great work. I invested in a creative recovery in New York. I read this book called The Artist’s Way. It really inspired me to get extremely honest in my music. I was never very personal. I made songs that I thought other people would enjoy and I avoided talking about myself or my experiences growing up because I didn’t really think it mattered. I didn’t think anybody would really care or relate, but after reading that book, I just felt extremely inspired to be really, really honest in my music. That’s kind of become the whole core of my artistry. I have a belief that I am a mirror to people. I want to be able to be brave enough and trust God enough to say what it is that most people are afraid to say.
How do you feel about the song blowing up?
It’s really cool. Um, it’s just really cool. I don’t feel hella like, “Oh my god, like, I’m jumping out of my fucking skin!” But I’m also not, like, mad about anything. I’m just very focused on keeping it going. I’m taking it in, but I’m ready to go. I’ve already started thinking about my second album and albums to come.
How have you built a fan base?
I started off on YouTube. I love interacting on the internet. I’m really young. I’m a digital age baby. I just turned 22. I’ve been on the internet since I was in seventh grade. I’ve been on YouTube for years, and I’ve built a fan base there. My content on YouTube was just vlogs and me being me. I would tell exaggerated, outrageous stories, like how I broke my arm or the time I almost got kidnapped — hella dramatized real life stories. Most of my fan base comes from YouTube and they just follow my journey. They are the reason why this happened.
What’s your perspective on some of the important milestones you’ve hit with “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake?”
I really want to highlight this TikToker. They’re non-binary. Their name is @theesudani. They’re the starter for the sound for “Yucky Blucky Fruitcake” [on TikTok]. Sudani is like always going up for me and my music on their social media. I would say that what really triggered “Yucky Blucky” going crazy was how hard Sudani and their fans went for me, including my fans, the Coven. My OG fans really ride hard for me.
It’s been really cool to see how the world is interacting with the song. I didn’t predict that there would be people showing their weight transformations, or trans women and trans men showing their transitions, people showing their glow-ups. It’s really interesting to see that and it just makes me feel really good that that’s how it resonates with people.