Following the critical success of her 2X Grammy-nominated album Laila’s Wisdom, Rapsody is back with a concept album discussing the plight of a black woman, drawing parallels with other successful women who had to fight to be accepted in a white man’s world.
Interestingly, the Roc Nation Artist named every track after a successful black woman, paying homage to influential ladies such as “Ibtihaj”, named after Ibtihaj Mohammed, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing at the Olympics, or “Sojourner”, the female African American abolitionist and activist who escaped slavery with her infant daughter.
With this album, Rapsody has managed to get a foot out of the conscious rapper box that she has been put in and desperately wanted to break out from, with tracks like Tyra, Whoopi, and Oprah that don’t take themselves too seriously.
A special mention has to go out to a JID verse on Iman that is amazingly captivating, and which fits perfectly with the whole theme of the album, showing love to his fellow sisters in a manner both endearing and amusing.
Who can forget the Queen Latifah feature – another worthy addition – with an extended verse on black royalty and sisterhood over a bouncy, happy, and uplifting beat by Nottz that is bound to put a smile on your face.
Production-wise, the album hardly disappoints, which is unsurprising when you’re under the wing of legendary producer 9th Wonder. Eve contains some samples that we have heard in hip-hop many times before, such as Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit” on “Nina”, Uncle Luke’s “I Wanna Rock” on “Serena”, or Phill Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” on “Cleo”. They are, however, spun in a fresh, interesting way, and on first listen, this album sounds like the real deal.
The conscious Rapsody is a breath of fresh air in a hip hop industry that still lacks female MCs whose looks have no bearing on their success. However, classifying her as a “female MC” is unfair as she once again proved that she is up there with the big dogs. The 9th Wonder protégé perfectly encapsulates the type of MC we like to call “a rapper’s rapper”. “Rapsody don’t spit bars. She spit hard metal gates”.
Listen to “Eve” by Rapsody: