“Don’t be a female emcee, just be an emcee,” - Rapsody


Big Daddy Kane, Mac Miller, Jean Grae, Rah Digga and Kenrick Lamar are just a few artists Rapsody has had the pleasure of working with. With a resume like that, it’s no wonder this MC has been signed to 9th Wonder’s Jamla records. Branching out from Kooley High, Rapsody is quickly tackling the hip hop scene, with her intricate rhymes, boom bap & soulful style, proving gender is not an issue in this hip hop game. Rapsody discusses her debut album ‘The Idea of Beautiful,’ working with 9th Wonder and her advice to other female MCs’. Margaret Tra writes. 

Tell us how your solo career started?

9th Wonder signed me as a solo artist in 2008. He had been coaching me a couple years, and when I found out he was starting a label, I reached out to him via my manager at the time. And, he said yes. But, I am still in Kooley High and we are still making music.
What is it like working with 9th Wonder, and Jamla Records?

It’s a very good place to be. It’s not just a record label, we are really a family. 9th is a very patient person and he puts his all into all of us. He is always there teaching us how to survive in the business, and just life. We can talk to him about music and about life. He has created a family with the label, a sanctuary in Bright Lady studios, and he his making all of our dreams come to life.
Tell us about the Black Mamba, what does it mean to you?

I honestly named it that because I am a big fan of Kobe Bryant. It’s that simple. (laughs)
Musically/emotionally? What can we expect?

The music is on Black Mamba is soulful and boom bap. Eric G, of the Soul Council, produced two songs on the EP. Shining Moment is a bigger sounding record. It’s soulful but has that underwater sound. Khrysis produced a jam called "Ballin' Hot" ft Tab One of Kooley High. That’s neck breaking Khrysis. It’s a good summer riding joint. 9th brings you classic 9th with "With You" and "Respect Due". They are very soulful jams. You feel those joints through your soul. "Right Now" is probably the most radio song we have. But, it’s still our sound. 9th killed that one. On the records, I talk a lot of about my life. Songs about doubters early on, but how I pushed thru being put in a box and now this is my time. I talk about how we are loosing so many black legends it seems, and how we have to keep black music going. We can loose the soul. There are a few different topics.
How old were you when you decided you wanted to be an MC? Walk us through that moment, and what do you think makes you stand out?
I was very young when I knew I wanted to do music. I was probably around 5 years- old. Michael Jackson made we want to do music. But, I was around 9 when I knew I wanted to be an emcee. I would always be at home sitting Indian style in front of the TV watching videos. I just fell in love. I stayed glued to the TV and in record stores buying CDs, and maxi singles, etc.


You are the new generation of female MCs’, what advice can you give other females wanting to get into a male dominated genre?

First would be to not put yourself in that "female emcee" box. Don’t be a "female emcee", just be an emcee first. And like any great emcee, you have to work at your craft. Study the science, and work on your craft day and night. And, be yourself. Find your lane and run with it.
Favourite artist you have collaborated with?

That’s hard. I’ve worked with a lot of artist that I look up too and that I’m a fan of. I can’t say I have a favourite. They all were special to me for different reasons. Big Daddy Kane and I were in the studio together, and to be making a song with a legend like Kane, that was crazy experience for me. All the joints Mac Miller and I did were just natural and fun. I got to work with Rah Digga and Jean Grae, man, they influenced me so much. I want to work with Big Krit again. The passion he brings in his music, man... 'So Be It' is still one of my favourite songs. Kendrick also came to Bright Lady when we did Rock The Bells. That was a good time that night.
Who would be the most ideal artist you could collaborate with?

What’s next for Rapsody? Any tours across the world?

I’m currently working on my debut album, ‘The Idea of Beautiful’. It will be the end of
August. And, also in August I will be performing in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South
Africa. That’s going to be nuts.
What Stimulates Your Soul?

Good music.
For more on Rapsody jump onto her website.