It's a double dose of Rapsody today. After recently releasing the visuals to "Dark Knights," from her head-turning She Got Game mixtape, the Jamla emcee follows suit with "Betty Shabazz," off the upcoming compilation, Jamla Is The Squad (due out January 28th). On "Betty Shabazz," Rapsody sounds newly motivated, proving that she should be a strong contender on anybody's list of rappers to watch in 2014. Meanwhile, Wale doesn't make an appearance in the video version to "Dark Knights" (which, as you can probably tell, pays homage to the Christopher Nolan film series), but the track is every bit as solid in his absence - something that I think says a lot about Rapsody's talent. For more on the Snow Hill, North Carolina emcee, make sure to read our extensive interview with her. Check out the 9th Wonder-produced "Betty Shabazz" and the Kenneth Price-directed visuals to "Dark Knights" below.
At long last, Rapsody's She Got Game is here, and the title says it all. With 16 tracks and nearly as many features, Rapsody holds her own alongside the likes of Common ("Feel Like (Love Love)"), Raekwon ("Coconut Oil"), Phonte and Jay Electronica ("Jedi Code"), Mac Miller ("Generation"), Ab-Soul and Nipsey Hussle ("Never Know"), Wale ("Dark Knights"), Chance The Rapper ("Lonely Thoughts"), and everyone else she brings along for the ride. The production is handled largely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council - including Khrysis, Eric G, E. Jones, and Ka$h - but also features production from D12's Mr. Porter and the legendary DJ Premier. Overall, the mixtape showcases a continued increase in confidence from Rapsody on the mic - as seen on tracks like "Thank You Very Much", "Never Fail" and "Jedi Code", the sheer bravado we saw from Rapsody on The Idea of Beautiful's "NonFiction" is back in full effect, and she's got the lyrical skills to back it up. What's more surprising to me is the sheer amount of thematic depth on She Got Game. When I had interviewed Rapsody, she downplayed any notion of She Got Game being a serious project:
Rapsody: It’s nothing that we really overthought, we just wanted to put out some more music. And 9th said, “people, they just wanna hear you rap.” I’m doing another album that’s coming out in the fall, so this is just something like me getting in the booth and having fun, getting all different kinds of beats and rapping on them, and working with some artists that I’ve wanted to work with. So I just wanted to put out something else and contribute to the new [laughs].The unexpected depth to these songs - shown on tracks like "Lonely Thoughts", "Generation" and "Special Way" - is an absolute bonus on the mixtape. It also goes to show that although Rapsody may have all the confidence in the world on the mic, she remains humble throughout. Final observation: Rapsody's got game. Enough rambling, though. Stream and download She Got Game below.
Rapsody recently released "Kingship", produced by none other than the legendary DJ Premier. The track comes off the Jamla emcee's upcoming Gangsta Grillz mixtape, She Got Game, which is set to drop in two days. If you haven't been up to date on She Got Game, the project boasts one of the strongest rosters in recent memory: Raekwon, Common, Wale, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Chance The Rapper, and Nipsey Hussle all make appearances. For more on Rapsody, make sure to read our interview with her. Stream "Kingship" below.
"In the presence of kingship/ Washed all my demons in the dark where the fiends trip/ Looking at ravines/ dreams shallow as these is/ If we ain't talking about flying, then we wingless..." "I recollect in every word they regretting/ Trying to conjure every presence, became a king from a peasant/ But Nas to Jay had to slay the same in his presence/ Your gift like intelligence, use it just like a weapon..."
As we await the release of the upcoming She Got Game, Rapsody drops yet another single in "Never Know", featuring Nipsey Hussle, Ab-Soul and Terrace Martin. Once again, Rapsody's mentor and Jamla's founder 9th Wonder handles the production on "Never Know", providing a low-key, spacey backdrop as Rapsody and company get to spitting. As expected, it's another solid release off the upcoming EP, following in the ranks of "Generation", "Dark Knights", and "Everlasting". Hosted by DJ Drama, She Got Game is set for release on August 20th and features guest appearances from Common, Raekwon, Wale, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Chance The Rapper, and Nipsey Hussle, to name a few. I had the chance to interview Rapsody earlier this year, and I have to say, I'm really excited to see what her future holds. Stream "Never Know" below.
"Sacrifices that you'll never know/ Like love and friends and my kin stressing me about my ends/ To no end until I cop a Benz with rims/ But you'll never know." - Rapsody "Got some dollars on my fix, I ain't broke anymore/ And it seem like don't nobody know me no more/ Somebody said "Soul, did you sell your soul?"/ And I could say yes or no." - Ab-Soul
Rapsody just dropped "Generation", the latest track off her upcoming She Got Game release. After first bringing us "Dark Knights" with Wale, the Snow Hill emcee is back with the Mac Miller and Jared Evan-assisted single. Rapsody's Jamla mentor, 9th Wonder, handles the production on this one. I really think 2013 could be the year Rapsody makes a name for herself - that is, if she hasn't already with her stellar debut album The Idea of Beautiful. After cracking the nomination list for the XXL Freshmen 10 Spot, you have to think she'd be a deserving Freshman on next year's list. Her upcoming project, featuring the likes of Common, Raekwon, Wale, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, and Chance The Rapper definitely couldn't hurt her chances. For more on Rapsody, make sure to check out our interview with her. Stream and download "Generation" below.