Originality – 4
Lyrics – 5
Public Service Announcement: It is the year 2017 more than three decades into the heritage that is Hip-Hop. “Good for a female rapper” is not fair play. Nowadays rappers are just wack regardless of gender. But Hip-Hop is still a statistically male dominated field and lyrical artistry is still under-marketed and undervalued in today’s mainstream outlets. So when legendary producer 9th Wonder discovered the lyrical phenomenon that is Rapsody he knew that he had found a gem among hard rocks and signed her to his Its A Wonderful World Music Group back in 2008. Rapsody kept up her work at rhyming words and was signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label in 2016 but still continues to work closely with 9th Wonder under his Jamla Records, LLC. The rappin’ ass Rapsody has been a very busy woman lately with Laila’s Wisdom being her seventh release in 5 years. Rapsody’s rhythm is only on the incline with no signs of slowing so what’s really good with the bars yung?!
Rapsody has got bars dun-son! They are definitely here and in attendance. The woman has got witticisms, wordplay, raps, and rhythms galore. If you haven’t caught an earful of Rapsody’s molasses-smooth delivery then you’re late. She’s been doing features with everyone in Hip-Hop from Raekwon, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Freeway, Black Thought, and Kendrick Lamar. Her music wears the soulful Hip-Hop vibes one would expect from her 9th Wonder and North Carolina heritage and Laila’s Wisdom even features two features appearances by both R&B/Soul artists Anderson Paak and BJ The Chicago Kid. Rapsody provides knowledge like that of a female Talib Kweli but keeps it spicy with more swag and bravado likely learned from Jay-Z who she mentions as an influence. She is definitely rapping about the gully street life, but it is refreshing that her tone of voice is more than the at times bass imitating stylings of that of Nicki Minaj. Rapsody isn’t one for singing and leaves the serenades to her artistic counterparts and stays dropping lyrical knowledge on us ill raps and storytelling.
Laila’s Wisdom does give more a teacherly perspective than some of Rapsody’s previous releases such as Crown or Beauty and The Beast. The newest release feels more like Rapsody is imparting lessons learned from the intense life of these previous incarnations. This is Rapsody’s latest in a series of releases, but these are not a teachings of a battle-tired comrade reminiscing on the good old days. Laila is a lyrical queen and definitely has to bear bars bravely when sharing tracks with rap heavyweight artists like Kendrick Lamar, Black Thought, and Busta Rhymes. Rapsody clearly has got raps for days. With more female rappers on the rise as of late we hope that we can hear Rapsody claiming her space on the radio waves in the near future.