If you’re not familiar with all of the dope music coming out of North Carolina right now, then you should probably reconsider your passion for “real” hip-hop. With releases this year alone from 9th Wonder, Phonte, J. Cole and of course Rapsody, the art coming from this city must be acknowledged.
Rapsody alone has released THREE solo projects in less than a year!!! Return of the B-Girl, Thank H.E.R. Now and now her latest project, For Everything (released last night) are all testaments that she is making a name for herself in this industry. For Everything features production from super producers 9th Wonder, Khrysis, AMP and Eric G.; with guest lyricism from Kendrick Lamar, GQ, Bluu Suede and Freeway. Jamla Records/It’s a Wonderful World Music Group artist, Rapsody, is definitely doing it BIG for 2011.
Instead of writing a boring Wikipedia style article, I decided to break down each track, the Bad Perm signature “Ladies Love Lyrics” way. Rapsody is definitely taking us back to the late 80’s and early 90’s, a time when hip-hop music made you feel good. Check out my track by track breakdown:
Track 1: Pace Myself (prod. 9th Wonder)
Rapsody wants respect in this industry, like any emcee, but realizes this doesn’t happen overnight. She recognizes that she is already in her own lane and eventually she will garner the respect she desires. She’s not going anywhere, as far as she’s concerned she has only just begun.
“Nigg*s don’t recognize, they all playin Forrest dumb”
“I can run in my lane, I’m cocaine to these nigg*s for fun powder, shocking these thieves with incredible powers”
“Mad at me I’m killin them one by one, square biz I handle like mothers and sons and strollers, pushing them closer to retiring young”
Track 2: The Autobiography of M. Evans (prod. 9th Wonder)
What’s not to like about this track? This mini autobiography gives an honest snapshot of her early beginnings in North Carolina, being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, to falling short in her grades, to following her dream to be an emcee.
“The best ain’t even been told yet, just early lessons”
Track 3: A Crush Groove (prod. by 9th Wonder)
This 9th Wonder produced track instantly brings you back to 80’s. I’m sure many of us can relate to that “love/friendship”, “must make a decision which is more important” relationship. In this track, Rapsody breaks down how she felt about her best friend and the difficulties in admitting her true feelings for him. That homeboy/homegirl relationship always gets the best of us. Fcuk.
“The first one I’d call after every date night, to tell you how it all went and talk about my love life, hoping you’d be jealous of it, but I could never tell if you was or wasn’t”
“I was scared to tell the truth, cuz if you ain’t feel the same it woulda hurt me to the root”
Track 4: The Woman’s Work (prod. by 9th Wonder)
This track exemplifies a woman’s struggle in the hip-hop industry. Rapsody talks about the challenges in making a name for yourself and gaining respect in a male-dominated genre.
“Several nigg*s round my way screaming out to me ‘fuck you’, glad to know I’m succeeding now and it’s meaning that much to you.”
“I wish you well like Jay say, I ain’t trippin on you cuz I never vacay, I stay dippin on them early like Freeway, a woman’s work here is never easy”
“Call me young Billie Holiday because I’m never unsung”
Track 5: For Everything (prod. by Khrysis)
This track could easily be called “Family over Everything”. In this track she talks about the sacrifices her parents made for her and how the most important thing in her career is to take care of family. It’s not just about being able to financially provide, she talks about the time and dedication that you give to your family which is most important.
“Out of 300 cousins I got on each side, it’s always family first till the day that I die, building a legacy so the children survive, when they hear their last name hope they head it with pride”
“Culture over Everything”
Track 6: Ain’t Worthy ft GQ (prod. AMP)
Self-explanatory title. Many rap artists and people in general are just not worthy of the attention and respect they seek. Overconfident men and women are not safe on this track. Rapsody and GQ basically tell these attention-seekers to tone it down.
“I look down on them, calling them multi-Braxton, 7 whole days how weak they be acting”
“Fuck skill, appeal, branding, and this music as such”
“Nigg*s been jealous of me, ever since I was up in Kindergarten, sitting on a carpet in Indian style.”
Track 7: 4:20pm (prod. by Khrysis)
Rapsody talks about getting “high” on life instead of using weed/cigs as an instant fix. She talks about family members getting caught up on drugs and even losing some to it. She addresses cigarette smoking and how bad it is for your health. She notes that her brother smokes and is concerned that she may eventually lose him to bad health.
What’s ironic about this song is the production actually makes you want to “light up” *side eye*
“It’s like everybody smoke but me, everybody broke but got money for weed, I wouldn’t know I’m too busy getting by, I ain’t got the time, I ain’t got the wealth, I ain’t so brave I’m too focused on my health”
Track 8: Jamla Girls and Jamla Boys (prod. by 9th Wonder)
This track instantly reminds you of the greatness that was Aaliyah. 9th samples Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat” for this song. This is Rapsody’ play on Jay-Z’s (who happens to be her favourite emcee) “Roc Boys (And the winner is)” track. Her take is simply about partying and having a good time minus the balling.
“Work hard, play hard, the motto we live, 15 whole years later and we still playin big”
Track 9: ABC/Guilty (prod. by Eric G)
I am feeling this double track which seems to be popular these days. Two sick beats (changes up about midway through) and clever wordplay, you couldn’t ask for more. In “ABC”, Rapsody is confident, sassy and fearless. In “Guilty” she exposes her insecurities and trust issues in relationships. ABC is self-assuring, Guilty is the total opposite. I’m sure many of us could relate to this track.
“A is for asinine, aiming arrows at all you nigg*s
B is you better get below balling I’m shooting no brick
C if I give a fuck if I you like me, you know I don’t
That’s what D is for dummy”
“You could blame me for a lot of wrongs that I’ve done here, checking your phone wondering who has called here, and when you gone I be wondering who you chillin with, insecurities stemming mostly from past relationships, how I’m insecure when all you do is fill me with compliments, of how no one is touching me on this continent, guess I need to trust you more fuck it, find some confidence”
Track 10: A Cold Winter ft. Freeway (prod. by AMP)
This is the brash track, Rapsody admits to studying Jay-Z, so her rap game is tight. Freeway jumps on the track reminding everyone that even though he’s been on “intermission” it’s gonna be a cold winter and nigg*s better bundle up because they are bringing it lyrically.
“Wu Tang Chef with the blue flame, cook any new nigg* walking this earth on any turf that you name”
“Fresh off the intermission, right back in the kitchen, feed the customers, this is hustler’s ambition
Track 11: All Black Everything (prod. Eric G)
Power to the people with this track! This would have been the theme track for the Black Panthers had it come out back then. Rapsody expresses her appreciation for the Black leaders and heroes. I love how she uses everyday items as symbols to prove how influential our culture is and the strength of the colour. I must make mention that this beat is ridiculous!!
“All Black Everything, polos and socks, symbolize we’re not defeated by them systems and cops”
Track 12: Live It Up (prod. by Khrysis)
This is a great track to start your day off with. If you wake up with a positive attitude it sets the tone for the day. We all want to “live it up” and have the best life possible, but in order to get there it all begins with a positive outlook and drive. Rapsody is also confident that with her hard work and drive things will pay off.
“Waking when I want and doing what I feel today, ain’t got a lot of money, but I swear I feel that way”
“Big bodied whips only equipped for a Bryant Lane”
Track 13: Rock the Bells ft. Kendrick Lamar (prod. by Khrysis)
This track is only 2:34, but is by far one of the dopest tracks on the album. Rapsody and Kendrick equally went hard on this track. This is definitely a lyrical showcase expressing their capabilities as emcees. Honestly I don’t even know how to describe the excellence that is this track. I suggest you listen.
“Pull out like two knives, and I aim it dead at their eyes, and tell them lyrically motherfucker you have met your demise”
“Look into the new vision and mind of Kendrick, divine intervention, I drop a jewel and the diamonds glisten, don’t chime in my business, you will run into atomic collision, you knew my colonic was different, I’m shittin no shit that…”
I can’t keep up…Damn.
Track 14: Dear Friends (prod. by 9th Wonder)
The final track pays homage to all of the emcees and dj’s that have influenced and paved the way for Rapsody and other emcees of her time. She is also thankful to the artists that have shown her love, she recognizes this and is appreciative.
This project is a solid piece of work, nothing short of tight lyrics and strong production. Rapsody is definitely an emcee making a name for herself in this male-dominated industry and has proven her lyrical abilities. I, for one, look forward to hearing much more from her.
DOWNLOAD: RAPSODY – FOR EVERYTHING
Natasha of bad-perm sat down with Rapsody and chopped it up. Listen here: