Rapsody’s last acclaimed project was named The Crown, but as the steadily-ascending North Carolina lyricist will tell you, she’s still definitely aiming to be consistently named in rap’s hierarchy. If you ask JAY-Z, she isn’t doing shabby.
“I saw him at [the Made in America Festival] and we were leaving. He grabbed me by the shoulder, he said, ‘You’re doing a great job. You’re rapping your ass off,’” Rapsody said during a visit to the REVOLT TV studios in Manhattan. “I can’t wait to sit with him and get his thoughts and any advice he has. But I’m happy with [my album], so I hope he’s happy with it.”
Now, the fans get to share what they think as well. Rapsody’s new album, Laila’s Wisdom, impacted on Friday morning, and it’s a special occasion: it’s the first album spawned from the partnership between her label, 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records, and Jiggaman’s Roc Nation management company.
Hip-hop fans who love topical subject matter and adroit lyrics will definitely be delighted with the LP. Make room in your “Album of the Year” candidate selections. Rapsody speaks about racism and color-struck mentality on “Black and Ugly,” and on the abuse of “Power” with Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak elsewhere on the album. “Jesus Coming” delves into her superior, profound storytelling chamber. The album’s title pays homage to an elder in her family.
“I titled the album about my grandmother,” Rap explained. “Her name is Laila. And she had this quote that my whole family knows, it’s: ‘Give me my flowers while I’m here.’ And so I just wanted to take that and put it into the music. What does that really mean? It’s showing your appreciation of people, not through physical flowers but everything else: time, love, a phone call, however you want to express that musically.”
“I wanted to do it where I, as an artist, wanted to give back to whoever is on the receiving end,” she added. “Especially little girls so they have somebody to look up to, and to inspire. Whether it’s listening to my music to heal yourself or to medicate. Just to relax or have self-confidence. We talking about songs like ‘Black and Ugly.’ Then there’s another a flip side. I feel like we can get caught up in fame and money and letting that decide if an artist is dope or not. Or if they’re relevant. Do they deserve our time and appreciation? You think about it when you talk about artists who have passed away. Let’s talk about Prodigy, let’s talk about Prince. We can talk about whoever. Do they know much they’re loved before they leave? We have these tribute shows, let’s tribute them while they alive. They [mean] something to the culture, never forget that. Artist or whoever else has affected you and inspired you, appreciate them while you can.”
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