Dennis Daughter

Dennis Daughter

Children embracing an identity as a chip off a particular parent’s block is a long-held tradition in Black American communities, one that rising Brooklyn MC Lola Brooke upholds gleefully on her heavily anticipated debut album. “The idea behind Dennis Daughter is as simple as remembering my childhood,” the MC tells Apple Music. “I used to hang out with my dad. He would pick me up from school. I had a dog named Frankie and we would walk him around and people would say, ‘Hey, Dennis’ Daughter,’ or ‘Hey, D-Daughter.’ So I named [the album] Dennis Daughter so that I could always relive that moment, because I know I probably won't ever get to feel that anymore because my father's no longer here.” The world lost the aforementioned Dennis in 2015, which means he’d know nothing of the impending stardom of young Lola (real name Shyniece Thomas), nor the way the MC would have New York City at large on tilt with her 2021 single “Don’t Play With It.” But Brooke places her father’s legacy front and center on Dennis Daughter, letting the world know that she wouldn’t be who she is without him. “Basically I'm still grieving from my father's passing and it's taking a little bit of time—but the music is helping,” Brooke says. “So I want people to, when they see me, they still see my dad.” Below, Brooke walks us through who—and what—Dennis Daughter is, track by track. “Intro (2023 Flow)” “Since 2017, I've been doing these freestyles for my fans. Flow is very important to me, and lyricism is important to me, and the delivery is important to me. So this was just a gift to my fans because it’s me giving them a different flow for a new year. I’m giving them more of my story as well, letting them know who I am.” “I AM LOLA” “‘I AM LOLA’ is ‘I am Lola the artist, I'm here for a reason.’ This did not happen as a mistake, I've worked hard to be here, and I’m taking the listener to certain places I come from and [explaining] who I am today. Poverty, struggling, discipline, family issues, miscommunication—I overcame a lot of those. It's basically like where I come from, Brooklyn, is really tough.” “Don't Get Me Started” (feat. Coi Leray & Nija) “I’m from New York, but once you get through the Holland Tunnel, you in New Jersey—it's just that quick. So I wanted to cross over to the state that was next to New York City and get involved with young female artists that was from there. And I knew it would look so good on camera with the three of us as a trio—[Lola, Coi Leray, and Nija], just so small and vibrant, a lot of energy. And it's Jersey club music—who don't love Jersey club music?” “Best Side” “My producer, Reefa Music, he know I love DMX, and I’m always nagging him about it. So he made the beat and I just went crazy. All I needed to know was that I had the DMX energy on the sample and I just went as hard as I could. But ‘Best Side’ is basically me explaining, like, I done grinded for this moment, so make sure when y'all put the light on me, it's my best side.” “Pit Stop” (feat. French Montana) “French is basically family. But it means a lot that the OGs is embracing me because it's like they see something that my fans see. As an artist coming up in New York City, you got big shoes to fill. Your responsibility is to make sure you can hold up the crown, and that's not easy because it's a lot of stars, a lot of legends and OGs. So you gotta stand out.” “It's Me Again” “So I always knew that me and Detroit beats was a vibe. ‘Don't Play With It’ it taps into a Detroit sound. I feel like 'Don't Play With It' is my first warning, telling people not to play with me, and 'It's Me Again,' it's the second warning. I linked up with Helluva to do 'It's Me Again' and I just was so motivated by working with a Detroit producer after being so much in love with Detroit beats. I'm like, I'm back and I'm going crazy again.” “You” (feat. Bryson Tiller) “I know I might come off aggressive, but I love affectionate people around me. I love to be around my family, I love to feel the energy of love. So I had to put it in the air because times is hard now and a lot of couples is struggling right now, so I just wanted to embrace the couples and tell them if the good outweigh the bad, then keep trying. And then the sample is Foxy Brown and Blackstreet. I'm always being compared to Foxy and Kim, so that was basically like a homage thing. But it had to be done right. So I got Bryson Tiller because he's so raw and authentic. Bryson don't miss.” “Vacant Heart” “Being vulnerable is one of the biggest reasons why I'm an artist today. It's not hard for me to go there because I started off being vulnerable before I was really rapping. I was in my journals, my diaries, writing about how I felt, expressing myself. I’m venting on 'Vacant Heart' because I’m showing people I'm still human. I might be going through the same thing you going through, I just wear my pain different.” “Dear Dennis” “I remember the project was almost completed, but it didn't feel complete. I felt like I was cheating myself out of some emotions. I had to put my father on this project because I'm still grieving; music is helping me grieve, and that's how I bond with him now. Sometimes I do feel embarrassed to tell my story, but I overcome that embarrassment and I still do it. So I had to talk to him in public because it might encourage other people to talk to their relatives that's gone and connect with them. Speaking out loud actually helps.” “Shelter Baby (Be That Bitch)” “I was a shelter baby and all I seen was negative vibes when I walked outside. My mom, she [worked] in the shelter, but she started leveling up and became security, recreations and residential aid, and a supervisor. And then she got me a job at the shelter. So now I'm working at the shelter, and I'm getting into music. I'm coming home late from the studio all the time and my mom's like, 'Shyniece, I see your passion…it’s not doing this 9-to-5 thing. I'm telling you to resign. It's okay, chase your dream.' And that's what I did. And if I wanted to go back to the shelter today, I could. But 'Shelter Baby' is like the celebration: 'We did it, Ma, we here.'” “God Bless All the Rappers” “This one is [a statement] for all artists in entertainment, because we do this for a living as well as it being our passion, and we've been judged for it so many times. [It’s like] our lives aren't as important as the music that we put out, so I had to speak on it because as an artist I feel it and I can't just ignore what's going on in my community.” “Don't Play With It” (feat. Latto & Yung Miami) “‘Don't Play With It’ set the stage for me. It changed my life: I have a different outlook on life, different look on business, different look on a lot of things now. I always say, 'Stay ready so you don't have to get ready'—I ain't got no choice now. I can't let my fans down, I can't let my team down. We worked so hard to get here today, so I got to give them a show. I got to be the one to tell them the story.”

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