Although rap patrons are known to categorize the works of female rappers separately than those of males, Rapper Rapsody undoubtedly transcends the conversation by creating the Best Rap Album over everyone in 2019.
Going head to head with 2019 rap releases such as Nas’ critically acclaimed “Lost Tapes II”, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib “Bandana”, Jim Jones “El Capo”, Big Krit’s “Krit is HERE”, Little Brother’s “May the Lord Watch” and Common’s “Let Love”, Rapsody’s meaningful content matter in Eve undeniably produces memorable flows over infectious beats that stands without company.
Following her 2017 Grammy award nominated “Laila’s Wisdom”, Rapsody proved to return even stronger with Eve in spite of the critical success associated with her last album.
Rapsody’s unique album assemble for Eve puts pressure on the public to not only acknowledge the influence of black women in the culture but to use it as a collective celebration. Each song is dedicated to an influential black woman who in some way established her mark on the world.
Rapsody samples “Strange Fruit” by Nina Simone emitting the soul of the musician throughout the entire record. Nina Simone’s musical prowess and 1960’s political activism is felt as Rapsody opens with “Nina” as the album’s introduction.
“Cleo”, named after Queen Latifah’s standout role in the movie Set It Off, uses a Phil Collins sample as Rapsody speaks of her personal experiences of being a black woman in the industry while having to endure hardships by any means necessary (like Cleo).
In “Aaliyah”, Rapsody gives acknowledgement to the late R&b singer who was unapologetically herself (absence of hyper sexuality).
Rapsody’s “Oprah”, both inspired and named after the first female billionaire mogul is joined by newcomer LeiKeli47 to express their motivated mission to obtain all opportunities in being successful.
“Whoopi” nods to actress Whoopi Goldberg who has conquered multiple lanes of media including television, movies and music. Rapsody refrains “you’re going to make a sister act up” acknowledging Goldberg’s 1992 “Sister Act” film and 1993 “Sister Act II” films respectively.
Rapsody went on to credit athlete Serena Williams in song “Serena” for remaining an inspiration through adversity while also honoring model Tyra Banks in song “Tyra” for her effortless projection of black beauty in the industry.
Sampling Erykah Badu’s “Green Eyes” for the song “Maya” was Rapsody’s salute to legendary poet and activist Maya Angelou. Rapsody, whose career also started in poetry, raps around the central theme “I can’t be put in a cage” (an outright adaptation of Angelou’s famed autobiography “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”.
Eve’s lead single “Ibtihaj” follows next with an ode to Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad who is known for courageously being the first woman to wear a hijab during the world staged competition. “Ibtihaj” also interpolates Wu Tang’s GZA song “Liquord Swords” as a clear connection to Ibtihaj’s fencing statement.
Rapsody’s “Myrlie” is a tribute to the widow of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Like Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz, Rapsody empathizes with the women who had to watch their men succumb to being slained while working in the line of duty for the advancement of the black community.
The poetic voice of Reyna Biddy continues to be woven throughout each track setting the tone of the song, as Rapsody’s “Michelle” approaches after “Myrlie”. An upbeat fun loving track featuring Elle Varner serves as a tribute for the matched personality of the first black First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
Rapsody’s “Iman” surrounds the theme of self love (in black women particularly), as singer SiR and rapper JID are both recruited for the collaboration.
“Hatshepsut” brings the entire album full circle with a feature from iconic rapper turned multi-media personality Queen Latifah. The song uses Hatshepsut, named after the first female Pharoah of Egypt, as a claim to black women everywhere to embrace their own Queen status. Latifah’s phenomenal verse compliments Rapsody’s signature rap style perfectly.
Rapsody’s “Sojourner” featuring Jcole (previously appearing on Jamla Is The Squad II compilation album in 2018) shows up on Eve to add to this album’s collection of tributed songs to black women. Rapsody’s standout verse over JCole’s proves the song desperately needed to be included as a true reflection of her work as an artist.
The album Eve closes featuring soulful vocalist PJ Morton on “Afeni”. The song is complete with a sample from Afeni Shakur’s iconic son 2pac as Rapsody attempts to speak directly to both black men and women in a heartfelt attempt to remind the black community to have love and respect within.
In regards to original concepts/messaging, flawless instrumentation, and stand out delivery, no other album released thus far (in 2019) can stand next to Rapsody’s Eve. Whether the project is awarded by the masses or not, it should still hold weight within the black community as being as phenomenal as it is necessary. The year is more than 3/4 finished….. is there enough time for anyone to release a project (in 2019) better than Eve???? Only time will tell.