Femdot is Focused on More Than Music with Continued Growth of Delacreme Scholars
Evan Dale // Feb 6, 2021
Delineated by an irreplicable flow and a knack for weaving intricate storylines in and out of each of his tracks and his larger collective works, Chicago’s Femdot (stylized femdot.) is an artistic enigma. If you’ve ever heard his music – and if you haven’t, do so now – it’s unmistakable. Owning his own slice of the ever-expanding hip-hop pie, Femdot crafts everything from 6-minte rap-heavy narratives worthy of his woke Windy City roots to bass-heavy party anthems still shining with his signature meandering flow, squeezing a lexicon barrage of creative wordplay into the same space that he can expand a long-winded, addicting hook. His style breathes of elasticity, authenticity, while his thematic discourse breathes of truth – his truth.
Femdot is a master of storytelling whose deep dives into the detail of his life bring an immersive sense of relatability into everything he raps. Take for instance, Snuck to Matty’s – a track pulled from his 2019 EP, 94 Camry Music. A long yet linear coming-of-age tale dissecting a weekend night pulled from his upbringing – one that is probably relatable for many listeners, and certainly not for many others – its onslaught of lyrical genius and storytelling mastery is unparalleled by few if any from any great lyrical era in hip-hop history. From white-lying to his mother so he can attend a party, to reconnecting with an ex, to a deadly shooting, a drive home, and a stop along the way for some midnight eats, Femdot captures with immersive detail the unpredictable moments that find their way into the day-to-day normality of a tumultuous upbringing in the underrepresented communities of Chicago.
It’s within the layered genius of Snuck to Matty’s and the straightforward demeanor with which he conveys it, that the power of Femdot’s voice really comes into focus. With an ability to connect to the lives of the kids coming from places like the one he so fluidly describes, and also with an ability to immerse those that cannot relate into the brutal honesty of his own truth, Femdot’s music is both a bridge, and the light at the end of that bridge in two directions for so many ears listening. It should be unsurprising then, that his role extends well beyond his voice; that his contribution to the communities he represents is more than music.
In 2018, the Chicago rapper was searching for another way to make a difference. He had been telling his story, and bringing relatability and hope to anyone listening, since his debut project, King Dilla – a nod to his oft-referenced nickname – in 2014. And with each release, and each’s release’s subsequent success, came a larger and sturdier platform for him to speak his peace. So, as with music, he again looked towards his own life – specifically towards his education and the challenges he saw so often in the mirror and in the trials of others when it came to affording that education – for his next passionate venture.
“College was a struggle for me to afford; becoming an artist was even more challenging. I’ve lost so many friends to violence or jail. With friends who sell drugs, friends who go to school, and friends who are forced to sell drugs to afford to go to school, I am motivated to drive another path to well-being and education through Delacreme Scholars,” he told Cision when explaining the motives for starting the foundation.
It should be noted that Femdot is not a mainstream hip-pop name. His is a familiar face in Chicago and a known name across the soundscape of those that are really hip to modern rap, but few artists of his still rising caliber have donated so much time and resources to the communities they come from. Usually, it’s the established pop stars of the modern rap scene that start the foundations, or at least the ones who get the notoriety for it. But seemingly, since day one, Femdot has wanted more than to make waves and make statements with music, and that passion in and of itself made it all possible.
It’s also possible because Femdot understands the problem at hand. At first a scholarship dedicated to granting moneys to applicants seeking funding help not before a term, but during it, either for tuition or for cost of living expenses, Delacreme Scholars struck a unique and oft-overlooked cord, especially for the oft-over looked communities it aims to represent – particularly students of color from Chicago or attending university in Chicago. With the money from Delacreme, those students are able to focus on studies rather than on how to afford those studies, and thus are more likely to succeed in school. Simple enough, and subsequently wave-making.
And even yet, since its inception only three years ago, and continuing to roll forward as a unique and necessary scholarship program, Delacreme Scholars is now doing even more. As a part of his A-side / B-side release last November, Buy One, Get One Free, Femdot collaborated with Chicago muralist, Liz Flores and non-profit organizers, Play Together who pull akin multi-disciplined artistic collaborations for good causes in Chicago, to raise money for Delacreme. With a series of Liz Flores murals, fine art prints, and merchandise inspired by and in accompaniment of Femdot’s two-track cut, the entire collection went above and beyond the music, the visual art, and even the initial expectations of Femdot’s philanthropic outings to help Chicago grow and heal socially and culturally in one fell swoop.
‘All the communities that I’m a part of, I want to make sure that I’m also a part of making change in these places.’
And given his position as an important social and creative name in the artistic community of Chicago, what better way to use the funds raised than to donate to an even more specific cause, especially relevant to the names involved in the collaboration? What about artists?
‘With this collaboration that we’re doing with Play Together, we’re really focusing on investing both our time and our funds and giving scholarships to the next up-and-coming artists and art studios in the city.’
Like so many from Chicago’s hip-hop history, and its intersection with socially motivated movements, Femdot doesn’t see two different lanes, but one. He is a rapper, an artist, a creative, and a social magnate using his creativity, his talent, his collaborative connections, and his roots to make a difference worthy of the art and the city; worthy of the cause at large.