Rapsody is a female MC from Snow Hill, North Carolina. She first began her career as part of Hip Hop group Kooley High and is now signed as a solo artist to 9th Wonder’s Its a Wonderful World Music Group.
I first became aware of Rapsody last year when I heard her featuring on 9th Wonder’s “The Wonder Years” and Statik Selektah’s “Population Control”.
Rapsody is known for her intricate rhyme patterns, word play and metaphors, and with her debut album “The Idea Of Beautiful”, the mantra she abides by “culture over everything” is definitely maintained.
The intro sets the scene with a spoken word poem by Big Rube with a gentle piano composition in the background, speaking on the actual idea of beautiful and what constitutes real beauty. Rapsody then starts off her first verse with some bars encouraging the audience to “wake their ass up”.
The album continues on this vein of realness with tracks like “How Does It Feel”, “Precious Wings” and “Believe Me” (a song whose hook pays homage to Lauryn Hill).
The thing I appreciate most about Rapsody is her ability to reference pop culture, drop bars and metaphors while still managing to stick to the message being put accross in each song.
The fourth track on the album, “Non Fiction” features TDE’s Ab-Soul and singer Raheem DeVaughn. A triumphant track proclaiming “this is not bubble gum rap”. Rapsody and Ab-Soul go super hard but the TDE rapper bodies it in a major way.
Having said that, Rapsody shows her lyrical prowess on the next few tracks “The Drums”, “Kind Of Love” and “Celebrate”, speaking on issues like old school hip hop, home town hate and success as seen through her eyes.
The high level of lyricism and focus continues in the second half of the album, my standout tracks being “Good Good Love” featuring BJ The Chicago kid and “Roundtable Discussion” featuring Mac Miller and The Cool Kids.
Overall, the album is a very solid effort and strong debut from Rapsody, and I think the fact that she has few rapper features and has a recurring roster of vocalists gives it a very organic feel. Sonically, the beats from 9th Wonder and the soul council give a great backdrop to a truly talented female MC. The only criticism I have for the album is that some of the songs are quite lengthy and have choruses opening and closing them, which may discourage some of today’s attention deficited hip hop fans.
If you are a fan of socially conscious, relatable hip hop this is definitely an album that you need to listen to.
Buy the album on iTunes
Rating: Very strong 3.5/5