Rapsody, née Marlanna Evans, is a girl from around the way with a wicked knack for crushing words into carefully modulated bars of quick couplets that’ll have you thinking, “sh*t.” Her voice is old school cool and oozes poetics well beyond her years. But don’t get her tongue tactics twisted, Rapsody isn’t here to save Hip-Hop. “I ain’t the next Miss Hill/ I ain’t the next him or her/ I’m just the one you feel,” spits the North Carolina native, whose sole responsibility is to let her caged words take flight.

On wax, the 26-year-old is a brazen wordsmith with an in-your-face attitude and a cut-crystal twang. But on the other end of the line, Rapsody sounds dulcet and halfway shy, with nothing but honeysuckle syllables to offer in exchange. Something that only further bolsters her prowess on the mic, lending example to the old adage, “it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for.” This Jamla Records signee is a Hip-Hop golden child predestined for greatness and we, for one, are excited to witness her come for her crown.

Hip-Hop Wired: How does the steel sharpens steel mentality apply at Jamla Records?

Rapsody: 9th always said to me ‘You can’t be the hottest person or the most talented person in your crew, because then you are the ceiling. You don’t have anybody to compete with, to help you grow or to help you learn.’ Everybody at Jamla is equally talented, but we’re all growing and only getting better by feeding off of each other.

I put out She Got Game last year, that was the best project to come out of Jamla then. Rated Oakland is now the best project to come out of Jamla, and I’m sure 9th and everyone else feels the same way. When you’re surrounded by artists like that, artists who want to continue to grow and perfect their craft – it’s healthy competition. I learn from GQ, GQ learns from me, and so on. That’s how steel sharpens steel.

Photos: Sameer Abdel-Khalek


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