June 21, 2024

The World Of Rapsody: Five Career-Defining Songs

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On the eve of Rapsody’s fourth album and her first in five years, Please Don’t Cry, it’s the right time to look at the standout songs that have brought her to this moment. The last few years of this North Carolina MC’s career have led to increased visibility, coinciding with her artistic growth. Signed to both 9th Wonder’s JAMLA (where she developed) and Roc Nation (since 2016), Rapsody’s new album is a glimpse into who she is as a person, while her previous work was more about seeing the world through her eyes. Five songs that best illustrate her journey thus far will be celebrated, creating a clear picture of the talented rapper that she is.

“Kind Of Love” featuring Nomsa Mazwai

Landing on Rapsody’s 2012 debut album, The Idea of Beautiful, “Kind Of Love” finds the North Carolina MC seeing the parallels between love for self and Black people and having a deep connection to hip-hop. In the first verse, she speaks to how Soweto, South Africa made her feel replenished as opposed to how home (North Carolina, and really America) felt at the time. She follows it up with a direct nod to Common’s “I Used To Love H.E.R.,” where she shares her desire to protect hip-hop, while also wanting it to continue its relevance. The song’s hook samples South African singer, Nomsa Mazwai.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Complexion (A Zulu Love)”

One of the standout tracks from Kendrick Lamar’s classic 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly, “Complexion” put Rapsody on a huge stage and introduced her to a new audience. While Kendrick and Rapsody have collaborated before, TPAB was a highly-anticipated album, where every guest feature would enjoy a wave of attention. Rapsody’s performance was strong, as she speaks on her issues with colorism in her youth, and building up her self-esteem over the years. “Complexion” addresses colorism in a straight-up way, and Rapsody’s honest approach truly added to the song.

“OooWee” featuring Anderson.Paak

A track from her 2016 EP, Crown, “OooWee” is an aspirational ride through Rapsody’s visions for her career. Here, she desires luxury cars and the trappings of success, while also paying homage to her upbringing, The overarching message is the importance of desiring more, while also remembering who you truly are. A memorable hook by Anderson .Paak is the bow on top.

“Hatshepsut”

Near the end of Rapsody’s 2019 album Eve is “Hatshepsut,” an excellent song named after Egypt’s first woman pharaoh, featuring living legend Queen Latifah. In Rapsody’s verse, she shares her loyalty, pride, and support of women, while name-checking powerful women (both real and fictional) along the way. The end of her verse leads right into Queen Latifah’s, where she shares her beautiful journey to becoming an icon.

“3:AM” featuring Erykah Badu

“3:AM” will appear on Rapsody’s upcoming album “Please Don’t Cry,” a beautiful song about a former love of hers. As someone who doesn’t always get this vulnerable about her personal life, the song shows Rapsody in a different light, rapping about how this love interest makes her reveal her true self while satisfying everything she needs in a partner. Erykah Badu is perfect for this, as her lovelorn vocals pull it all together; the song ends with Rapsody revealing that she and this person eventually broke up.

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