Today, Jan. 21, is the birthday of North Carolina rapper, Marlanna Evans, better known to the hip-hop world as Rapsody.

The Southern native initially gained gained some recognition through her time with the hip-hop group Kooley High, but things really started to take off when she started her solo career in 2008 after acclaimed producer, 9th Wonder, made her his protégé and she signed to A Wonderful World Music Group.

After releasing a slew of mixtapes, Rap dropped her debut album The Idea of Beautiful in 2012, which truly shows off the MC's lyrical prowess over mellow beats that certainly create a unique vibe.

After the release of her debut studio LP, Rapsody continued to climb the ranks of the rap world by appearing in BET cyphers, being featured on Kendrick Lamar's highly-acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly and working with the likes of Ab-Soul, Anderson.Paak, Big K.R.I.T., Mac Miller and more.

In 2016, it was announced that Rapsody was signed to Roc Nation and the MC celebrated by dropping the Crown EP. She followed that up with the release of Laila's Wisdom, a widely acclaimed album that was nominated for Best Rap Album at last year's Grammy Awards and featured the track, “Sassy,” which was also nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Song category.

While she didn't take home the statue, her career came full circle in 2018. Being the only female rapper on the Best Rap Album nomination list was epic, but so was making history as the fifth woman to ever be nominated for the Best Rap Album. “I’ve always fought for us to be recognized and respected for our talent on the same playing field as the guys—not separate because our gender does not limit our greatness or worth or skill,” Rapsody writes via email for XXL's Winter 2018 issue. “It was a big step to be recognized along your Jay-Zs and Kendrick Lamars as one of the best of the best solely for the art. But, only being one of five in history let me know how much more work we have to do.”

Happy Birthday, Rapsody!

See 10 Critically-Acclaimed Books Rappers Live By

More From XXL