Coi Leray was announced as YouTube’s latest Artist on the Rise in February ahead of her debut album, Trendsetter. The platform released a short film on Tuesday (May 24) detailing the come-up of the New Jersey rapper, starting from her mother’s taste in music and being inspired by her attitude toward life.
“All my family loves music,” she said. “My mom’s just like me. My mom liked trap music from the day I was born, but my mom also loved Caribbean music and Jamaican music. One of the New York stations played Caribbean music on, I think, Sundays. My mom used to go in the car just to listen. What I admire is she’s strong, she’s confident, she don’t let nobody tell her nothing. She’s dominant, she’s an alpha female, so that’s why I’m an alpha female. I’m dominant, I’m confident.”
She also talked about the moment she decided to make music full-time when she was 19 years old and how much A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie played a role in it.
Now years into her career, Coi Leray opened up about her experience of being a Black woman in a music industry dominated by men.
“As a young female, a Black female artist in this industry, it’s tough,” she said. “You know, it’s a male-dominant industry and a lot of guys will make you feel like, ‘Uh, girl, you gon’ listen to me.’ No, you gon’ listen to me. When I get up in the morning, I put my phone up. I do what I do. So you not gonna tell me who I am.
“But sometimes, your enthusiasm and your pushiness will be mistaken as, ‘Uh, she’s got an attitude’ or ‘She’s hard to handle.’ At the end of the day, I know what I’m capable of. Making this album, it’s my No. 1, it’s my baby, it’s my debut, so to be able to be here still standing here throughout the trials and tribulations, throughout the stuff that I go through, takes a lot.”
A teary-eyed Coi Leray ended the film with confidence about her artistry and inspiring others to be themselves and live out their dreams.
“I’m still here, and I’m gonna have the biggest album, gonna be one of the biggest female artists, and there’ll never be another person like me,” she said. “That’s what I came in here to do: make people understand that regardless of the pressure, who’s there, whatever you go through, be who you are and continue to do it. It’s not gonna always be easy, but the best part is overcoming everything.”
Her Trendsetter album dropped in April with features from Polo G, Pooh Shiesty, Lil Durk, H.E.R., Lil Tecca, Mustard, NAV, Fivio Foreign and more. It peaked at No. 89 on the Billboard 200.