In an industry where men are often the dominate figures, female lyricist Rapsody has clearly figured out how to shine through in the rap game. The North Carolina native has been signed with 9th Wonder’s A Wonderful World Music Group since 2008 but has made sure not to allow the legend’s reputation overshadow her potential. Putting out four mixtapes, one EP and one album since being signed, Rapsody recently added to her ever growing resume by releasing the DJ Drama hosted mixtape, She Got Game.
The mixtape opens up with the typical DJ Drama “special touch” before it goes into the first track, “A Song About Nothing.” The Eric G produced track features Rapsody rhyming about unemployment and tough times, sharing closely held memories and thoughts of what’s to come over a slow, steady beat. The moody track sets the tone for the rest of the tape, which has a smooth, laid back vibe filled with philosophical rhymes and poignant observations.
Though She Got Game features seven tracks out of 16 produced by 9th wonder, it also includes a mixture of beats from DJ Premier, Ka$h, Eric G, Khrysis, E.Jones and Denaun Porter. “Special Way,” the Khrysis-produced track, samples El Debarge and Stevie Wonder’s “Love Me In A Special Way,” using the song’s warm piano part to conjure feelings of nostalgia. The track is indicative of mixtape’s overall style, which emphasizes the happy, positive and inspirational side of hip-hop. Rapsody spits about her love for her family, her haters, her listeners and what’s close to her heart: hip-hop. “I love you like a fat kid love cake,” she raps. “I love the way you listen to me ‘fore you eat and say grace.”
The rapper pays tribute to one of her idols Lauryn Hill on “My Song,” with some help from upcoming songstress Mela Machinko. The 9th Wonder produced single samples Hill’s “Ex-Factor,” as Rapsody rhymes about taking her place in the game, not stressing the missed magazine covers and establishing herself as a lyricist. “Kingship,” “Feel Like (Love Love)” and “Jedi Code” are also tracks that will be on repeat. “Feel Like (Love Love)” features Common and the track gives listeners a soulful, loving flow as Rapsody and Common rap about emotions and feelings involved with new love. “Jedi Code” is a more hard-knocking and intense cut featuring hip-hop luminaries Jay Electronica and Phonte.
Rapsody has come a long way since the release of her The Idea Of Beautiful EP, which displayed a more grittier, more explicit approach. Along with a more varied sounds, She Got Game also has a more notable list of features including strong verses from Wale, Raekwon, Ab-Soul and Chance The Rapper. On a tape filled with big name contributors, Rapsody more than holds her own. It’s quite the understatement to say that Rapsody is going to be the next hot rapper—she already is. -Jasmina Cuevas