It wasn’t too long ago that after the ‘Hip Hop is Dead’ debates came another that followed: What has happened to female Mcs? In the late 2000s, Missy Elliott went a bit quiet, so did Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown had hearing problems. Y’all know the story with Lauyrn Hill. The only female MCs that were carrying the flag were Tiye Pheonix, Rah Digga and Jean Grae. All three putting out quality albums yet the mainstream would allow a so-called ‘sister’ who is in denial of herself and her people pass through, spout disrespectful lyrics and wear wigs on some Barbie nonsense yet acts like she is the best female MC out there today. We already got a hero this year: Nasir Jones, but now we need a heroine, Lauryn Hill is on the comeback trail but RePPiN 4U thinks that heroine has already come.
Enter Rapsody. One of 9th Wonder’s latest protegé. According to the press release, her début album ‘The Idea Of Beautiful’ “takes a deeper look at the many connotations that the word ‘beautiful’ evokes in our society and the lengths we go to embody those traits.” In lament terms, this isn’t your typical female album where degrading themselves is the selling factor and the idea of sex is the main subject, we are looking at a conceptual album here, and one that dares challenge for the Album Of the Year title. I told you the race wasn’t over. The word ‘Beautiful’ is about to be dissected over 15 tracks, or 18 if you want to know about the Deluxe Edition.
With that said, “you need to wake your @$$ up…” the album’s intro, ‘Motivation’, urges you to get up, get out and get yours, instead of trying to live a deluded life, surround yourself around positive people and put your plans in motion and not sit on your @$$ and watch life pass you by.
So ‘How Does It Feel’ to be listening to quality music? This track is that adult lullaby music, rather than put you to sleep, it zones you out and makes you think of the simple times when you hang out with your Peoples, then years later they are fighting in the war, then she speaks on that someone we all know that reminds us of Trayvon Martin. Afterwards the track is blessed with applause and ovation.
While in that zoned out state, time to spread your ‘Precious Wings’. The metaphors in this song are absolutely amazing….”A lot girls in my age all lead wit their two thighs/How can I expect um’ to be different if in they eye/They see themselves as what they all holla they despise/Pea size inside, when we P’ size outside/Two inches from 6’5”, if we won’t too high/We would be too high, to be touched, M. Blige/The breakthrough, shouts to Hip Hop dedicated to you…” It doesn’t hit you until the end of the song that Rapsody was talking about Hip Hop all along.
Rapsody’s first single from the album ‘Believe Me’ has a hook where Lauryn Hill made it a hot line, then Rapsody made it a hot song. So hot that when it was initially leaked, heads got a ‘unfinished version’ of the track. 9th Wonder went back and amplified the beat, giving it more haunting sonics, as well as let the beat ride out at the end. Not only did he do that, but he also made a remix which wasn’t needed, but well received by the masses. The remix appears on the Deluxe Version of the album.
Consider R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn the ‘King Midas’ of hip hop collaborations. Every track he features on turns to gold. Everything Rapsody deals with is ‘Non-Fiction’. and Ab-Soul co-signs with her. After that Rapsody takes to ‘The Drums’ where she actually acknowledges that she may be too lyrical for all audiences, and agrees with RePPiN 4U that Hip Hop never died, it was the radio that failed. Amen Rapsody. In Hip Hop, lyrics comes first. You can have a dope beat, but if the lyrics have no substance, eventually heads won’t respect you. Then she bigs up all the producers that makes the drum boom bap.
What ‘Kind of Love’ is your love for hip hop? Rapsody opens up her rap bible and her love spreads over the children with this track featuring Nomsa Mozwai. Here we find out her true purpose in the game: To help destroy the propaganda out there today and dismisses the illuminati that has plagued certain artists. The video sees Rapsody visiting the motherland and appreciating what is truly beautiful, and sneers at the stars of today wasting their money on materialistic things.
Every day you wake up, you must ‘Celebrate’ your life. Celebrate everything around you, all your achievements, your people in your cipher, all your blessings, your very existence. This is that feel good music that Rapsody embodies, that graduation, raise your glasses music. If this was in cassette tape format, this would have ended the first side so well, Buckshot appears in the intermission and gets you excited as you turn over the tape to play side 2 and continue The Idea of Beautiful.
Rapsody hails from the Marcy projects of Brooklyn, and in this track, she reveals her ‘Destiny’ that hasn’t been fulfilled yet: She wants to meet Jay-Z and play a rhyme for him… she is inspired by him and his work ethic and 9th has respect for him so it is only right that it all ties in together.
As I said earlier, you will not find any degrading sexual subject matter in this album. ‘Good Good Love’ shows Rapsody and BJ The Chicago Kid tells an intelligent relationship story of a couple going through turbulent times and no matter how many times the girl packs her bags she leaves her heart behind. It is an unwritten rule in relationships, you are gonna fight over petty trivial things and can’t let go because she can’t help but look on her man’s twitter or facebook just to see what he’s up to, eventually she will go back because what they had been beautiful. As you can imagine, a lot of young couples can relate to this.
Nomsa Mozwai returns ‘In The Town’, Rapsody tells a story of a girl who went to the ‘wrong stores’ in the town and lives a unfortuante drug ridden life because of neglect, and what makes matters worse, she’s pregnant…this story is reaching out to the youth and hopes that the message is reached through hip hop. What was the last positive message that so-called Barbie doll told the youth??? That’s right I don’t remember either.
Time to gather ‘The Round Table Discussion’ with Mac Miller and the Cool Kids. They give thanks 9th for making him bless one of his beats before going in the booth…and joke around that they need Phonte to ghostwrite them an intro…maybe hinting for Phonte to appear on a remix or something. In this track they expose wannabe internet thugs: “You pretend a lot, it make you look like a target/N!**@ been the block, snake n!**@$ venomous plot/Google maps on your iPhone to give it the spot/And location, all these apps so they could track yo @$$/And tap yo line and snatch yo cash…”
Rapsody continues the Jay-Z influence by playing ‘The Cards’ she dealt…and brings her team-mate Big Remo with her. Usually life is played out like a game of chess, here Rapsody uses creative wordplay explaining her life decisions using the deck of cards….
Almost as if this was a part 2 to the track Good Good Love, Rocki Evans is singing to Rapsody to ‘Come Home’ to him. It seems that the words of her mother in the aforementioned track actually sunk in.
If you have the regular version of this album, ‘When I Have You’ is a perfect finisher to the album. Rapsody shows love to all her true friends and considers them as diamonds. The vocals of Nomsa Mozwai complement this track beautifully…
I suppose you could consider this album ‘The Listening‘ Part 2, arguably this is 9th Wonder’s best work since that Little Brother début, the beats here couldn’t flow together any better…this is truly a delight to behold. This is that ‘Beautiful Music’ that has the Miseducation influence all up in the system. Lyrics, concept, messages behind the songs, wordplay, food for thought, this album has it all. In fact it is arguably the finest album by a female MC since The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. Let us not forget that bonus track – ‘Beautiful Music’, which in my opinion should have really finished the album. A unbelivable coalition of Rapsody, Childish Gambino and GQ name dropping artists and tracks that they grew up listening to, each telling their story of how they fell in love with the music and how it inspired them over the years…and yet the commercial artists of today cannot get it right. This album truly defines the word BEAUTIFUL, if it is not hip hop album of the year, it will definitely get most beautiful album of the year, and managed to do so without Keith Murray. If Rapsody continues in this way, she will be on her way to becoming one of the illest female MCs of all time.
© Mumblur Hip-Hop Promo