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KOKOnista Of The Day: Amala ‘Doja Cat’ Dlamini Is The Controversial SA Rapper That Should Definitely Be On Your Radar

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Doja Cat is the rapper that has created a consistent career for herself that goes beyond her viral “Moo” bop and that should be on your radar.

Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini into an artistic family in Los Angeles, California in the neighborhood of Tarzana. Her mother, Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer, is a Jewish-American painter. Her father, Dumisani Dlamini, is a South African actor, composer and film producer of Zulu ethnicity best known for starring in the 1992 musical film Sarafina!.
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According to Doja Cat, she never met her father growing up. Her father has denied this claim, stating that he has a “healthy” relationship with his daughter.

Soon after her birth, Dlamini and her mother moved to New York City, where they lived for five years. Her family later moved back to California in Oak Park, where her mother enrolled her in ballet, tap and jazz lessons as a child. Her family then moved to the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles when she was 11 years old, where they lived in an ashram and practiced Hinduism for four years. She claims that she lacked interest in school from then on, instead taking a liking for dance. After having taken breakdancing classes, she joined a professional poplocking troupe with whom she competed in dance battles throughout Los Angeles while still attending high school. She also frequently skipped school to participate in online chatrooms. She eventually dropped out of high school at age 16 while in her junior year.

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She first started to get her buzz through a cult-worthy SoundCloud fanbase in 2013 that later transitioned into a record deal with RCA a year later. Songs like “So High”, “Tia Tamera”, and her most recent hit “Juicy” have become fan favorites.

Her song “So High” caught the attention of Kemosabe and RCA Records where she signed a joint record deal at the age of 17, subsequently releasing her debut EP Purrr! in 2014.

She began making and releasing music on SoundCloud as a teenager. After a commercial hiatus, Doja Cat released her debut studio album, Amala (2018), to commercial failure, but later earned viral success as an internet meme with the single “Mooo!”, which appeared on the deluxe version of her debut album along with singles “Juicy” and “Tia Tamera” in 2019. Doja Cat’s second studio album, Hot Pink (2019), reached the top 10 of the US Billboard 200 and spawned the single “Say So”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart following the release of two remixes featuring Nicki Minaj.

Doja Cat is known for creating music videos and songs that achieve popularity on social media applications such as TikTok and YouTube. Doja Cat has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and has won two American Music Awards in addition to the MTV Video Music Award.

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Besides her catchy songs, Doja Cat has also created an eclectic aesthetic that includes her corky fashion finds and eye-catching videos.

Deja Cat

Photo Credit: Getty

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