Rapsody, The Black Mamba
Multiple female MCs experiencing mainstream success at the same time is a rarity in hip-hop. There seems to be a unwritten rule that only one or two female rappers can earn heavy wide recognition at one moment—or maybe listeners aren’t open to more. North Carolina wordsmith Rapsody is on a mission to prove that some rules are meant to be broken with her most recent EP The Black Mamba.
Throughout the release, Raspody displays her captivating flow over top notch production by the 9th Wonder and The Soul Council. Unlike with her first three tapes, Rapsody kept the production strictly within the Jamla Family here, which led to her most cohesive sounding project yet. Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder delivered a banger with the soulful track “Respect Due,” paying homage with a sample from fallen pop star Whitney Houston. Mixed in with 9th’s trademark sampling and robust melodies were innovative beats from new Soul Council member Eric G. Despite being new to the crew, Rap and the Seattle native show chemistry from the gates on “Shining Moment,” featuring Bluu Suede.
The Raliegh resident displays her lyrical dexterity and versatile delivery throughout the seven-track EP. On “Right Now,” Rapsody causes microphones to melt with bars like “I kill ’em my nigga, rigmortus like K.Dot/My Jeremy Lin flow, I step in the game hot.” Later on, the femcee teams up with fellow Kooley High member Tab-One on “Ballin Hot,” produced by Khrysis. The EP comes to a strong conclusion, as Rapsody shows off her clever wordplay alongside a seasoned flow on “ With You.”
Rapsody’s previous releases were far longer, but this one clocks in under thirty minutes, and can serve as a consumable introduction to new fans. She balances out the brevity with tracks with depth, like the personal “Shining Moment,” where she sheds light on a Def Jam deal that fell through and the struggles from the business side of the music Industry.
With bars as smooth as Kobe Bryant’s jumper and as much venom as a bite from the killer snake, Rapsody truly captures the essence of The Black Mamba title with this EP. — Christian Mordi