femdot.’s first love was a used blue 1994 Camry his parents passed down to him. It was his first car, so naturally, he drove it everywhere: to school, to hang out with his friends, to cop some new sneakers. But, more importantly, it was in this car where his love for hip-hop would start to develop. He would drive around for hours listening to artists like The Notorious B.I.G, JAY-Z, Nas, and A Tribe Called Quest.
Engaging with these artists would ignite something inside of him: femdot. would develop his own rap skills and launch his own rap career, crafting authentic tales based around his experiences growing up in Chicago. But, even as time went on, he would not forget about his first love.
Earlier this year femdot. released his breakout EP 94 Camry Music. The project is an ode to his 1994 Camry, how he grew up, and the artists and people who inspired him along the way.
It’s been some time since he traded in his 1994 Camry. femdot. now rides around in a new 2020 Camry TRD. A couple of weeks after his latest EP dropped, he took his white 2020 Camry TRD from his hometown of Chicago down to New York City. The goal: ride around the city and look for the landmarks of artists that inspired his creative growth. As he made his trip to New York City, the symbolism wasn’t lost on him. “With a 2020 Camry TRD I know we will be talking about a car like this 20 years from now,” femdot.. said. “That’s what I hope my career will be like.”
The first stop was JAY-Z’s old stomping ground, Marcy Projects. femdot. was introduced to JAY-Z’s music by his older brother, who was also a rapper. Jay’s debut, Reasonable Doubt, was the first album fem ever owned and “Dead Presidents II,” the standout single from that LP, was the first song he learned word-for-word. “You hear millions of stories about Marcy houses,” femot. said while looking at his surroundings. “So now to see where these stories come from…it’s kinda wild.”
At one point, while femdot. is looking at one of the Marcy signs, an older man came up and started talking about Jay. “I knew Jay since he was a kid,” he said. “I watched him grow up right over there.” He pointed back into the projects.
The next stop was The Notorious B.I.G. mural on Fulton St,. While standing on the corner, femdot. started thinking about his favorite Biggie song: “Sky’s the Limit,” featuring 112. The song, which is off of Life After Death, is a track about overcoming the odds and making the best of a situation.“Went from ashy to classy,” femdot. said while admiring the black and white Biggie mural that stands next to Respect for Life Barber, a shop where Biggie used to get his haircuts.
The final stop was 45 minutes away in the residential area Tribe Called Quest grew up at, St. Albans Queens. During this time it was raining but fem. was able to navigate his 2020 Camry TRD through adverse conditions.
femdot. finally pulled up to the Tribe mural, which is adjacent to Nu-Clear Dry Cleaners. The whole Tribe is represented on the mural, but femdot. is transfixed by Phife’s face.
“I can see Phife literally in myself,” femdot. said. “He rapped like he always had to prove himself. I’m kinda the same way. I feel like I have to prove myself.’
After getting all the inspiration he needed, femdot. hopped in his 2020 Camry TRD, picked up some Roti from a local Caribbean spot, and hit the road again. He put on some music. This time he was playing his own songs.
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