Rapsody: Producer 9th Wonder's Secret Weapon
"I want to be the female Jay Z and... be the role model for little Black girls.
I want to be Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte if they had stayed in the game and made album after album and classic album, I want longevity, I want to be a powerhouse."
When it comes to female MCs in Hip-Hop, its equivalent to the disproportionate crack/ coke sentences. While their male counterparts can be as diverse from Gucci Mane to Nas, it seems as if there can only be one woman rocking the mic at a time. But hopefully that's about to change.
While Nicki Minaj represents one side of the spectrum, North Carolina's Rapsody plans to kick in the door for the other as well as hold down sisterhood across the board throughout Hip-Hop. Signed to producer 9th Wonder's label, listen and learn how Rapsody plans to change the game.
Peep The Interview And More After The Jump!!! [More]
Snow Hill, NC native, Rapsody would have grown up to be an accountant had she not seen MC Lyte's “Georgie Porgie” as a youngin', and as a young adult, gotten head nodding approval from fellow Hip-Hop lovers including Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder.
Now, with her MC Lyte-reminiscent presence, she holds a special title as the first to be signed to 9th's record label, It's A Wonderful World Music Group/Jamla, and holds her own as the only female – emcee or singer – officially endorsed by his critically acclaimed musical ear. She's also the first lady of dynamic home-state crew called Kooley High.
Hip-Hop Wired: Last time we spoke you were steady working on music; how are things going?
Rapsody: It's going good. Trying to stay busy... the album [expected this summer] is going to be called Return of the B-Girl.
Hip-Hop Wired: That's a fitting title; your energy definitely brings that. You just came off tour with the Kooley High fam; how's that going?
Rapsody: Oh that's going real good. We're working on another mixtape, it's untitled. We got The High Life album, trying to build a buzz before we drop it.
Hip-Hop Wired: How did y'all meet?
Rapsody: I knew Charlie Smarts and he knew somebody else [who] knew all these Hip-Hop heads, and well, the Hip-Hop presence at NC State was gone ‘cause before we got there we had Wu-Tang and Tribe [Called Quest], coming to do concerts. [When] we got there we had a country artist for homecoming so, it's like, wow, we missed out and [so] we was like let's start a Hip-Hop club, it'll be the first one ever, so, that's how we all met – me, Taz, Charlie.
We just started working together and 9th was like y'all should start a group because y'all sound good together and there's no, there's not really like a Fugee group out anymore with a female in it so we jumped on it.
Hip-Hop Wired: How did y'all connect with 9th?
Rapsody: Foolery, one of the producers [with whom Kooley High works] met him; he came to NC State for a panel and he went up and asked him are you looking for any internships... and 9th being the teacher that he is took him under his wing, taught him how to use Frooty Loops and really produce and master a song, so we met him through Foolery.
Hip-Hop Wired: 9th loves the kids! We've heard good things about his “Sampling Soul” course that he's teaching at Duke University this semester. So how did you go about being signed to Jamla?
Rapsody: 9th had been coaching me two to three years prior, so we already kinda had a relationship.
Hip-Hop Wired: What made you decide to sign to Jamla just as yourself as Rapsody rather than sign with Kooley High.
Rapsody: The guys are in another group with each other called Influential, so we all had things going on, whatever way helped, you know, that's what we gonna do.
Hip-Hop Wired: In the intro to your song “A Man's World” you say “women make it go ‘round like money;” what did you mean by that?
Rapsody: I think women are so, so important in this world, you know. Behind every good man is a good woman, so to say... women, we birth you negroes, you feed off of us. Men need us like they need money.
Hip-Hop Wired: You've made it clear that you want to bring balance to the presentation of women in Hip-Hop; does the proliferation of women being cast as accessories like jewelry, cars, and champagne bother you?
Rapsody: Yes it bothers me only because it's so one-sided. If there was more balance like we had more choices and we show more women in different lights it wouldn't be as bad but because that's all you get is the champagne bottles and walking around in bikinis. and when you do get a rapper it's either sexually or she done went hot damn gangsta like a lot of female rappers– whether it be Remy Ma or Foxy or Kim – a lot of them are in jail or have been in jail and it's like what happened?
Why do we only get this gangsta Queen Latifah “Set It Off” broad, or this girl sliding down a pole? Like there's no medium and a lot – a majority of us, we're like regular women who go through regular love and hurt and crying or regular women things, having children being in love, careers, you know.
Hip-Hop Wired: When you think about your career; what is your motivation?
Rapsody: I want to be the female Jay Z and I tell them I want to be the role model for little black girls. Like you have Lauryn she came in two albums and she's out, MC Lyte, she's not making music as much as she was in the day, so it's like I want to be the female Jay Z. I want to be Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte if they had stayed in the game and made album after album and classic album, I want longevity, I want to be a powerhouse, I was looking at the Ebony magazine, I want to be the Ebony Power 150. I want to be a role model to little black girls.
Hip-Hop Wired: As you're building your legacy and passing your torch, what do you have in mind as how you will be doing Jay better?
Rapsody: How will I be doing Jay better? That's hard. I don't know. I mean if I reach that, I will be more than happy. To be better than Jay, trying to exceed that threshold? I guess to affect females and touch them and to change the perception of women in hip-hop and to change what Oprah thinks about Hip-Hop.
Rapsody feat. Skyzoo - "Chosen One"
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