Asian Doll Has a Joint Mixtape With Gucci Mane in the Works
Asian Doll has found more than just a new label home at Gucci Mane's 1017 Eskimo Records—she's gained a father figure.
"[One night] we was at [Ace of Diamonds] and Gucci was introducing me to all his friends," Asian Doll recalls while seated in XXL’s Manhattan office, donning a translucent pink number with a rainbow Chanel purse. "He was like, 'Yo, this my daughter! She’s like me, yo! She rap like a nigga!' When he said that, I don’t think he knew how much that meant to me, but that meant everything to me... I’m really excited to learn from him."
It’s been quite a ride for the doe-eyed first lady of 1017. In the past two years, Asian Doll has released six projects, most recently dropping the infectious mixtape Doll SZN. The Dallas native is on a mission to prove doubters wrong, including her real-life dad.
“When I wanted to be a rapper and didn’t want a nine to five, my daddy didn’t understand that so he kicked me out," the 21-year-old rapper remembers. "He really shut the door on me for no reason—I was a good kid. So for my dad to put that type of damage on me, I had a different respect for dudes.”
Fortunately for her, Gucci is now filling the void. The lessons and studio sessions Asian has shared with Atlanta’s trap king have been some of the best moments of her life. Now, the two artists are preparing to go bar for bar on a joint project.
“We got like two, three songs so far," Asian Doll says of a collaborative project with her mentor. “I was in the studio with him, Playboi Carti, Offset, Southside and Metro [Boomin]. It was a crazy vibe. Me, Gucci, Southside and Metro going back and forth on the beat, and me and Gucci in there freestyling back and forth. I’m keeping up with the niggas!”
While Asian Doll has spent most of her career banging out records without features, she's indulging in cameos on her upcoming music. “Everybody is fuckin’ with me," she says, teasing a Swae Lee-guested track called "Austin Powers," "Running Man" with Smooky Margielaa and "Up" with Lil Yachty. "It’s dope because I'm an authentic rapper and I really go hard."
Read below to find out more about what the newest face of 1017 has in store.
XXL: Congrats on signing to 1017 Eskimo Records. How did that come together exactly?
Asian Doll: I was independent forever and it was a lot of labels interested in me—Roc Nation, Epic, Atlantic, Universal, Republic. But I was so used to being around mainstream artists, so I [saw] how they whole shit operated. I used to be like "Oh, nah." I knew I was independent for a while for a reason. I wasn’t trying to rush it.
Gucci has always been a role model and an idol to me. Just like when I had reached out and said some stuff to Nicki [Minaj] and she responded, and now she’s cosigning me. I just felt like if Gucci saw me, he’s gonna fuck with me. So I just tested my clout and my powers and reached out like, “Yo, you need a female.” When Gucci seen my stuff he just fucked with it from day one. His wife Keyshia loves it, too. They’re both 100 percent all in.
How does it feel being First Lady of 1017?
It feels good. I feel special. I feel like I’m finally in a position to do me and keep spreading the message that I’m trying to spread, which is [to] inspire the youth—I’m real heavy on that. It’s not a lot of realistic people that these girls can look up to. I’m hood, I’m petite, I’m dark-skinned and I’m a doll, so I really feel like I’m the closest thing that’s realistic to these girls. So I’m happy I’m in a position to be heard and respected.
You called Gucci "the father figure you never had." In what ways has he played that role for you?
Gucci’s been a father figure to me before I knew him. Just to see somebody transition into the person he is now, that’s beautiful. It’s really like me—I was this hothead savage just because of where I came from. I really wanna be taught the game and I really feel like he has the best intentions for me. He has nothing to lose; he just wanna see me make it and help me. The legacy lives on.
What’s some key advice he’s given you so far?
When we was in the studio—’cause we’re working on a project we’re about to get ready to drop—he was just like, “Just go in there and just experiment with your voice. Just go rap.” I was doing a song with him and his artist and we had 20 minutes until our session was over. I’m last on the verse, so I had to go in there, no pen, no pad, no phone.
With him, I feel like I have somebody that’s better than me. When I’m in the studio with Gucci, I just wanna learn. I don’t wanna act like I know everything; I don’t wanna act like I’m just this perfect rapper. I just wanna do me and I want him to really start criticizing me in a positive way. Everything I do he’s like, “Bro, that’s too hard.” He even got me saying “too hard.” It’s really a motivation.
Eventually I wanna’ sign a girl and have the same effect on her. It’s really some legendary shit going on.
How was the Bhanned in the USA tour with Bhad Bhabie?
We sold out a lot of dates. It was amazing. Touring was really one of the most fun times of my life. It really made me love being an artist and doing music. I really got in touch with a side that I never knew I had. It was a lot of kids’ first concert they ever went to, ’cause it was all ages. So just to give these kids a show? They’re gonna’ remember that for the rest of their lives, and I’m just so ecstatic that I can be a part of that.
Where was the best show?
The best show [was in] Canada. I’m in love with Canada so much. I wanna move there. The fans were obsessive—like a Beyoncé type of obsessive. It’s like the ones that chase your car and be outside your hotel. They were deadass knocking on my hotel door. The security had to come get me, move me to a different tower… I come outside and it’s like paparazzi. I even went to the hood in Toronto and those girls were amazed and I loved it. They had diamonds on their face, looking like dolls.
Can we expect more songs from the two of you?
Me and Bhad Bhabie got a song called “Affiliated.” I’m gon’ be on her album. Me and Bhad Bhabie gon’ always continue to make music. That’s like my damn daughter. I love her, she’s crazy.
You’re also spotted constantly with YBN Nahmir and Dreezy.
I love Nahmir so much. He’s my favorite out of everybody that raps.
How did the two of you become so close?
Before Nahmir blew, he always fucked with me ’cause I was always rapping. We did a song and video but it never came out ’cause of management situations. It would’ve blown up. I’m that person in his ear letting him know [he’s] doing great. I love having those types of talks with Nahmir ’cause he’s so young and he genuinely fucks with me and I genuinely fuck with him. I really love him.
And how about Dreezy?
Dreezy’s really my close friend. We hang out not on rap shit. Dreezy’s one of the realest girls in the game. She’s older than me and I learn a lot from her. I love hanging with her.
Who are some of the other artists that you’ve been in contact with lately?
When I met Wiz [Khalifa], you could tell Wiz heard of me and he really fuck with me because he was so talkative. And I was like “Damn, I was gonna’ ask you for a Backwood.” He’s so intelligent. He was like, “I hope one day you can eventually grow into liking papers.” He’s so proper. I wouldn’t be surprised if me and Wiz did something.
I just met Maliibu Miitch; she’s so fuckin’ dope. She’s so bubbly. When I saw her before, I didn’t expect her to be this bubbly person. We’re gonna make music. I met DreamDoll, she’s a sweetheart. Princess Nokia is really dope. I really love her.
Tee Grizzley just hit me up; I was so fuckin’ happy. He was like, “Yo, we gotta’ do something.” Kehlani just commented on my stuff. Erykah Badu, she wants to meet me and everything.
Erykah loves the youth.
That’s crazy! We’re from the same place, the same hood. We was talkin’ about it in my DMs and stuff like that. I think she like me even more [now].
How about Cuban Doll? Are y’all good right now?
No. She been through a lot, too, and you can never take nobody’s blessing away, so however she getting her money, however she living I’m happy for her. Because at the end of the day we came from nothing. We both used to be hungry together, eating chocolate. Real shit.
Now aside from you signing to 1017, some of the biggest news these days has been the passing of XXXTentacion. What are your thoughts on the entire situation?
It was the same day Gucci gave me my chain. We were in the studio and I found out. Yo, my heart broke instantly. It really just made me so sad ’cause he was so talented and so young. He was gorgeous to me, too, so to see that person in a casket so early, it just broke my heart.
Gucci was like, “He died? Bro, what the fuck. I was just with him.” His eyes were so big. I felt like the world felt that.
It's even more unfortunate that he was killed in his home state. Do you feel those from your hometown or more helpful or hurtful?
They’re hurtful. Wanna know something about me? As pretty as I am and stuff like that, that don’t mean shit. I’ve always been popular as fuck in Dallas for rapping—nobody’s doing what I was doing. So a girl tried to come out and diss me and she’s in jail right now for murder. And then my homie who I was real tight with [was killed]. So I was gon’ be next. Cuban know, too. She was even in danger. Life in danger just because we was doing something. So it’s hurtful. The people who you really wanna make proud and encourage be the people who wanna kill you and see you fall.
And the system really set you up to die. Why are y’all putting this guy on fuckin’ house arrest in his city? Why do y’all got NBA YoungBoy in Louisiana? This boy don’t even stay there, he been blew up and moved. They want you to get killed.
How has Dallas responded to your success?
At first everybody was hatin’, but now I’m the queen of that shit. I’m like the biggest thing since Erykah Badu.
So what’s next for 1017’s First Lady?
I’m about to drop a tape with Gucci, how him and Uzi did. I’m excited about that. I’m about to be a real visual artist and I wanna make a lot of money on the road. I wanna be a fashion icon. Everything that I’m doing right now and everything that Asian stands for, I really wanna’ take it to the next level.
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