North Carolina representative Rapsody is poised to fill the almost perpetually vacant shoes of the quintessential female emcee who stands for the culture above everything else. Yes, there are other females pushing the art in their own way, shape and form but Rapsody-at this junction- is at the pinnacle. Stats wise, she has been dropping projects every year since 2008 (as part of Kooley High and a solo act) till date, well sans 2015 (when she garnered critical acclaim for her feature on Kendrick‘s TPAB).
For me, I can’t exactly recall the first time I heard Rapsody- pre 9th Wonder co sign- but I have been following her music trajectory albeit randomly for a long time now. I must say, she has always had that “Je ne sais quoi‘ about her, the way she flows over tracks is absolute butter. The best part is she’s able to simultaneously tap into personal timelines, mix them up with a high dose of braggadocio/swagged out vocal presence and still remain down to Earth and relatable to both man and woman on the street. Her persona is like that older sister that is both book smart, fun and still street. That sister who plays around with the young uns but still able to discipline them when they horse around.
Her latest effort “Crown” which is her 8th solo project and 3rd EP is a 10 track project that sees Rapsody taking her rap game to a higher level. This is actually her 1st project since she joined Sean Carter’s Roc Nation family so this is a whole new ball game from here on. At first listen, the most noticeable element on Crown is the cohesiveness, for an EP it’s seconds shy of being 40 minutes long but some songs (Take It slow, 2 A.M et al) take up like 5 minutes each while the rest fall short of the 3 minute mark. Subject matter wise, Rapsody touches on many- Black life, love, relationships, urban violence, police brutality, socio-political issues but for the most part she endeavors to flip the coin by delivering inspiring gems at every turn. She doesn’t waste too much time dwelling on things we already know but rather she ensures to engage the listener with her perspective on the subject at hand.
Music wise, Crown is insanely soulful, groovy and gritty all at once. From the introductory-esque Crown, the solemn Tina Turner, the mellow Mad to the gritty 2AM alongside Ab-soul. The listener is bound to find nothing but polished jams and no fillers. Yes I stand corrected if you find any filler on this project and I can bet my bottom dollar you won’t. Choice tracks: track 1 to 10.
Do yourself a favour and get Crown HERE