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Coi Leray

Coi Leray

East Coast emcee Coi Leray delivers melodic sung/rapped verses over skittering beats and heavy bass, balancing uncompromising toughness with her charismatic attitude. Early singles "G.A.N." and "Pac Girl" bubbled up in 2017, with both tracks landing on her first mixtape, 2018's Everythingcoz. Subsequent singles like "Huddy" (from 2019's EC2) continued to push her into the mainstream, and she added collaborations with Fetty Wap, Wifisfuneral, and Gunna to her catalog. The hit track with the latter appeared on her 2020 EP Now or Never. In 2021, Leray hit number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "No More Parties" before collaborating on songs like "Big Purr (Prrdd)" with Pooh Shiesty and "Blick Blick" with Nicki Minaj. Those tracks appeared on her official studio debut, Trendsetter, which arrived in 2022. In 2023, she ventured further into the pop mainstream (and up the charts) with her sample-heavy sophomore set, COI. She followed it with the brief Blue Moon EP.

Born in Boston and raised in New Jersey, a teenage Leray quit her day job to pursue music, issuing her first viral hit, "G.A.N.," in 2017. Follow-up "Pac Girl" fared just as well and both singles landed on her first mixtape, Everythingcoz, which arrived in 2018. She also joined the superstar roster for the soundtrack to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Later that year, she expanded her audience with the well-received track "Huddy" from her second effort, 2019's EC2 (Republic Records). That album also featured a collaboration with Trippie Redd ("Big Dawgs"); she returned the favor by appearing on his LP ! ("Everything BoZ").

Leray launched 2020 with a slew of singles, including "Better Days" with Fetty Wap and "Lost in Time" with Wifisfuneral. A third pairing, "Slide" with Gunna, was included on her EP Now or Never, which also featured Kiana Lede and Sevyn Streeter. She closed the year with the single "Merry Xmas." In 2021, she delivered the track "No More Parties," which went viral on TikTok and eventually reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. More tracks followed, including "Big Purr (Prrdd)" featuring Pooh Shiesty and "Twinnem" featuring DaBaby. She also paired with Nicki Minaj for 2022's "Blick Blick." That trio of songs were later featured on Leray's official studio debut, the Billboard 200-charting Trendsetter. The trap-heavy album also included guests Fivio Foreign, Young M.A, G Herbo, H.E.R., and many more.

Without rest, Leray released the stand-alone singles "Involved" and "Fly Shit" before hitting gold with her next album era. Going multi-platinum with the Top Ten-charting, Grandmaster Flash-sampling global smash "Players," she made further inroads into the pop mainstream with her sophomore LP, COI. A sample-heavy affair, the album balanced radio-friendly pop-rap bops with more aggressive fare and featured additional guests such as Saucy Santana, Giggs, Skillibeng, and David Guetta, whose Technotronic-sampling "Make My Day" joined two other album cuts and the non-album single "Baby Don't Hurt Me" with Anne-Marie. The EP Blue Moon, a more stripped-down rap effort, followed in August. "Baby Don't Hurt Me" was nominated for Best Pop Dance Recording at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, while "Players" received a nomination for Best Rap Performance. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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