Shelley Massenburg Smith is an American hip-hop recording artist from Hampton, Virginia who records under the name of D.R.A.M. (abbreviation for Does. Real. Ass. Music.) This was first song to reach the Hot 100.
D.R.A.M. uses here Broccoli as a slang term for marijuana. He explained on Genius
: "Broccoli is a general term. I only smoke OG Kush, that's all I smoke, but broccoli is just trees. I didn't know that this wasn't a much-used term. We used vegetables [as words for] weed but broccoli went off for me.
Kodak Black was one of the first guys I heard refer to weed as broccoli and I just thought it was a thing. I didn't know it was that rare for broccoli to be considered a term for weed."
Bay Area rapper E-40 also released a weed song titled "Broccoli." His cut was a track from his 1998 album, The Element of Surprise.
The track features a verse from Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty. D.R.A.M. was introduced to Yachty through Rick Rubin. He explained: "I was in Shangri La and Rick asked me if he could bring Yachty through. We linked and played each other music. A good month later, one of my main camera guys was following Yachty around during his SXSW run and I came about during the conversation. We exchanged numbers and I saw he was in LA, so I called him and he answered on the first f---ng ring.
He came to the studio and we had the loop of this going. We weren't sure on what was going to make it carry over. At first, it was the piano with the drum loop, we had the flute and when that went in, everyone started vibing. Yachty started on his verse and I didn't have any bars at first so I told him to go in. When he left, I didn't even have my verse, I just had the bridge.
It was just good timing. It turned into something more than I expected, to be honest, I thought it'd be something dope for Soundcloud and just good for the culture. But the fact that it's bleeding into every facet of the musical charts, it's dope as hell."
D.R.A.M. recalls in the second verse a family reunion when he was a child. They had an Apollo Night where everyone put on a performance and young Shelley's apparently went down well.
I was five or six years old when I had told myself ok you're special
But I treat you like my equal never lesser
He recalled to Billboard magazine: "Family reunion, Apollo night. Everybody contributes, sings a song. Ever since I was singing, I remember always getting mad claps. It was fun. It's fun to move people musically. And I knew, like, damn, I can do this."
So is D.R.A.M. a fan of broccoli? He said: "I've always liked broccoli and s--t. So it's good. I remember my mama used to use that for the vegetable side for a lot of meals, with some butter and some salt and pepper. It's real good. Mix it with the rice, whatever the meat is. So I've always been a fan of broccoli -- intake has been the same, the record's just a coincidence."
While we on the subject of broccoli, here are some fun facts about the green vegetable from The Encyclopedia of Trivia
Broccoli was derived from cultivated leafy cole crops in the Northern Mediterranean in about the 6th century BC.
Drusus Caesar, son of the Roman emperor Tiberius, so loved broccoli that he ate little else for more than a month. He only stopped when his urine turned green.
Cubby Broccoli, the producer behind the successful James Bond films, was raised on the family vegetable farm and claims his uncle brought the first broccoli seeds to the US in 1870.
Broccoli contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange.
Broccoli and cauliflower are the only vegetables that are flowers.
D.R.A.M. made his national late-night television debut when he performed this song on the October 25, 2016 episode of Conan.
J Gramm supplied the song's beat. The producer has also provided the instrumentation for such acts such as Travis Scott, Wale and Kid Ink.
Gramm's production was a rushed job. He recalled to Genius:
"The day I made 'Broccoli,' I was at studio with DRAM. We were chilling. It was like 1 or 2 p.m. And DRAM was like, 'Yo! Lil Yachty's about to pull up.' When he said that, I got hype. I was like, 'Bet. How long till he gets here?' And he was like, 'Five minutes.' So I was like, 'F--k. I gotta make a beat quick.' So I told the session player to pull up the cheapest piano sound he could find, and play me the most simple, happy chord he could find. And he played it in F major. And then from there, we needed another chord. Once we had the two chords, I told him to play them both in this rhythm and he did and now we have this."
After he had the chords, Gramm added a distorted 808 pattern, the kicks, and the drums, completing it just before Yachty arrived at the studio to lay down his rhymes. "And then from there DRAM went in. Freestyled the hook. Did his verse, and the song was done in like 20 minutes," he remembered.