If you have been on TikTok at all in the past year, you have probably heard of the song Escapism. that blew up on the app in 2022. This song became popular quickly and propelled the careers of the artists who created it, RAYE and 070 Shake. In the wake of this attention, 070 Shake formed a relationship with one of the media’s favorite products of nepotism, Lily-Rose Depp. When Depp’s show, The Idol, came out over the summer, Depp and 070 Shake were all over the media sites with paparazzi documenting their every date together.
When I saw these articles online, most had flashy headlines about the drama between “Lily-Rose Depp, star of The Idol, and Her Girlfriend.” Some of these articles did not even name Depp’s mysterious girlfriend. As a longtime fan of 070 Shake, or Danielle Balbuena, I think it is time the media did her some justice.
Balbuena is from New Jersey, but her mother was born in the Dominican Republic. Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to delve into the world of 070 Shake and her coolest projects. Balbuena started making music as an 18-year-old in her senior year of high school. She put out a few singles in 2015 and then an EP titled Glitter in 2018.
She has a very distinct voice and sound; her voice is strong and deep, and her sound is heavily psychedelic and dark. Her songs are experimental, and no two songs sound the same. Kanye West noticed the unique sound she brought to the contemporary rap world and signed her to his label G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam. Balbuena then became a crucial feature of Kanye West’s album, Ye. Her incomparable voice pulls listeners in on the tracks Ghost Town and Violent Crimes. In the making of this album, Balbuena shined amongst big names like Kid Cudi and John Legend.
Since then, she has released two more albums: Modus Vivendi (Instrumental Selections) in 2020 and You Can’t Kill Me Because I Don’t Exist in 2022. 070 Shake’s Glitter was featured on the Netflix show “On My Block” and her song The Pines made an appearance on “Inventing Anna”. Balbuena has collaborated with several eclectic artists beyond Kanye West, like Lil Yachty, Tame Impala, Pusha T, Nas, and NLE Choppa. She has even worked alongside Beyoncé on The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack. Then recently, of course, she worked with RAYE on the hit song Escapism. Balbuena has a diverse discography, and she is someone to expect bigger things from since she is not even 27 years old.
I am still going to eagerly click on every article about Lily-Rose Depp and “her girlfriend” but I am going to encourage anyone else who reads them to take a deep dive into who 070 Shake is and the beautiful ways she has shared her talents with us.