Rapper DeJ Loaf, born Deja Trimble, grew up on the east side of Detroit, Michigan and started writing lyrics at a young age. She took music more seriously in high school, after she quit playing basketball at the junior varsity level. At some point she established her stage name, with DeJ pronounced similar to "beige" and Loaf a reference to her footwear preference. Through a period that included a few semesters of attending Saginaw Valley State and working as a janitor at a Chrysler factory, she continued to develop her talent but didn't gain much traction. In July 2014, two years after she released her first mixtape, she uploaded "Try Me," a low-key, melodic track produced by Ypsilanti native DDS, which caught the attention of Drake, who referenced it on Instagram. The platinum-selling star's acknowledgment increased DeJ's profile exponentially and set off a wave of unauthorized versions from fellow rappers. (DeJ did approve of a version that featured a verse from Wiz Khalifa.) She signed to Columbia, released a second mixtape, and appeared on the Aftermath release "Detroit vs. Everybody" beside fellow Detroiters Eminem, Royce da 5'9", Big Sean, Danny Brown, and Trick Trick. Columbia's official release of "Try Me" reached the Top Ten of Billboard's Hot Rap Songs chart. Second single "We Good," also produced by DDS, was released as her second major-label single. After a handful of headlining gigs, she closed out 2014 by opening for fan Erykah Badu at Detroit's Fox Theatre. In 2015 she issued the #AndSeeThatsTheThing EP along with the hit single "Back Up" featuring Big Sean.