Check out the above video for some background on one of the hottest emcees working the underground hip hop movement at the moment. With her phenomenal skills, we're sure she won't be underground for long. Dubbed, "The First Lady of Jamla," Rapsody is making moves with the release of her mixtape Return of the B-Girl, featuring heavy hitters such as Big Daddy Kane and Rah Digga. When I first heard the mixtape, I got really excited, because Rapsody brought fire! If you haven't listened to it yet, get with the program immediately.
Hip Hop ChicZ got to hear all about Rapsody's background, new projects, and her thoughts on hip hop culture in this interview. She is hard-working, intelligent, and classy: A refreshing addition to hip hop music. Make sure you follow her on twitter @RapSodyMusic and look out for her next mixtape dropping in February. Enjoy the interview and get to know more about Rapsody. She is definitely Hip Hop ChicZ approved!
Rapsody Interview with Hip Hop ChicZ
|Photo by Chris Charles|
How did you get into the rap game? At what point did you realize that you were good and this was what you were going to pursue as a career?
9th Wonder was my way into the rap game. My "Dream Merchant" of sorts. In late 2005, when I wrote my first two songs, he was the one who coached me, told me I had a lot of potential, and gave me confidence to go for it. I’ve been working with him ever since. In 2007, he signed me to his label "ITS A WONDERFUL WORLD/JAMLA" and we've been working nonstop. He never promised me anything, but all we could do was try. Go to the studio EVERYDAY, study the craft, and make good music. Shoot for the stars, with a good worth ethic, and see what would happen. It really didn’t hit me, become a reality, that I could go as far as I dreamed, REALLY, until we started making "Return of the B-Girl". I’ve been doing a lot of growing and with that project, I feel like I found my lane and because of the jams we were making. It hit me hard, real hard....dreams can come true. 9th had a long talk with me, and the rest of my team and he said "Welcome to Dreamland". 2010 has been a good year for us and Im looking forward to 2011.
What is it like working with 9th Wonder and how did you end up signing with his label?
It's easy working with 9th. He makes you feel comfortable. He is a very humble, laid back person. He has a profound love and respect for the culture. So, its all about making good music. We come to the studio, joke, laugh, while he beats his life away on the mpc or Fruity Loops. He can make 20 beats or more in one day. We just get in here and jam. Pick a beat you like, go write to it, and get in the booth. Its a environment you can learn to. 9th has worked with a lot of legendary artist from Jay-Z to Erykah Badu to Ludacris. He observes and learns from them and shares it with us, to help us grow. Its a very free, fun, environment, and we do a LOT of laughing between making music.
I’ve known 9th since September 2005. Ever since he listened to my first songs and gave me advice about my music. In ‘07, I got a manager and he asked me what my short and long term goals were. I told him in the short run, I wanted to sign independently with 9th, because I knew he was starting a label. We set up and meeting and because 9th had be working and coaching me throughout the years, he welcomed me to the team. Thats how I ended up signing and Im thankful he allowed me to be a part of this family!
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I hope to still be working with 9th Wonder and IWWMG/JAMLA with major distribution. I’d like to be a platinum selling artist...I would love to see people buying music again! But, we'll see what happens with that. I’d love to be touring the world and selling out the House of Blues in New York. Making GOOD, TIMELESS, MUSIC and living comfortably, with other side business ventures.
When can we expect your album to come out?
The album is titled, THE RAP WORLD, and we are shooting for a late 2011 release.
Who would you like to collaborate with on your album?
WOW! My wish list is so long because I am a fan of hip hop first! So, Ill narrow it down to my top 5. If I could have ANY five artist, it would be JAY-Z, ERYKAH BADU, METHOD MAN, MOS DEF and MARY J BLIGE...and I cant leave out ANDRE 3000. Production wise, other than 9th of course, DJ PREMIER, PETE ROCK, NOTTZ, HI-TEK, and JUST BLAZE.
What is it like to be a female in this male-dominated world of hip hop? What are some of the challenges you’ve faced so far that a man might not have had to face in a similar situation?
My experience has been a good one, overall. Im still new and Im not that deep in the game. But, just working with my team, who are all men with the exception of Heather Victoria, and with other artists and doing shows, touring, I’ve received a lot of love. No one has been disrespectful, or looked down on me and my talents because I happen to be a female emcee. What I’ve found is that a lot of people really miss female emcees. They need someone for their daughters to look up to, aside from just our presence in the culture.
What do you think of the term Femcee? Do you embrace it or hate it?
I don’t hate the term, nor do I use the term to define me. I think I'm just an EMCEE, an emcee who happens to be female. But, when other people use it to define me, I have no real problem with it either. I know its important to be a representative for women and little girls. When I saw MC Lyte for the first time, I was STUCK! A women that could hang and out-rap some male emcees. So, I understand when the term is used it is used more in a positive light, in the sense that individuals are proud to see an female rock the mic and they champion females who hold their own, rather than it used in a negative light. So, I'm cool with the term. I understand its importance, but I also understand in some ways it can be used to "devalue" us. Its a thin line.
Hip Hop ChicZ asks many of their artists (especially the males), how do you distinguish a groupie from a Lady Hip Hop (female hip hop head about the music)? Have you acquired any groupies yet?
No, not at all. Lol. I have my hip hop family, especially online, that shower me sometimes with loving compliments. But, they all have a sincere love for the culture, the music. They are my hip hop head brothers! Lol!
We also ask all of our artists, what are your favorite pair of shoes? What brand do you prefer to rock? What shoes are you wearing right now?
My favorite shoes are the black and red Retro Jordan 11s. I love those sneakers. My brand of choice is Nike and Jordan, and right now Im rocking the all black Air Jordan Anodized. Shout out to Jason Mayden and Brand Jordan!
What are you listening to right now? Give us a list of 5 songs or albums you are currently vibing to.
9th Wonder & David Banner - Death of a Pop Star
Big Remo - Entrapment
Actual Proof - The Free EP - The Genius Edition
Skyzoo & Illmind - Live From the Tape Deck
Mos Def - Taxi
|Photo by Chris Charles|
How do you feel about the future of hip hop right now and where it’s going?
Hip Hop is making a turn. It’s the rebirth of another golden era and I’m excited!! I miss being able to listen to the radio and watch dope videos. Drake and Rick Ross are some of the mainstream leaders of this turn around. As well, individuals like 9th Wonder, and label execs such as Sha Money signing artists like Big Krit. There are a lot of new artist I’m a fan of and very excited about. Artists like Laws, Kendrick Lamar, Godsilla, Shing Shing Regime, etc.
We were able to originally contact you through twitter. Do you feel like twitter is revolutionizing the way artists are able to interact with fans? How do you use it as an artist? What is the craziest thing someone has said to you or about you on twitter?
Yes, Twitter is definitely revolutionizing the way artist are able to interact with fans. You are able to contact them directly and have a conversation and share your thoughts and anything under the sun you want to talk about. They are no longer out of reach. Twitter is how Rah Digga and I connected to do the song "WIN". And, fans get to really know artists. They get to read their thoughts and opinions on subjects, and know what they do day to day. It makes them "human" in a sense and not these supernatural, untouchable, mega beings. They're regular people who make music for a living.
I used twitter as a promotion tool, as well. To get information out about upcoming projects, shows, etc. Thats how music moved back in the days before twitter, by word of mouth. Twitter reinvents that passing it on, word of "mouth". So, if I have a project or anything I want the people to know about it, I tweet it like crazy to any and everybody. And, if they like it, they share it.
I’m thankful for ALL the good comments I get on twitter. I love my supporters to death. But, I think the one that stuck on the most is when someone tweeted that they wanted/hoped their daughter grows up to be as talented and intelligent as me....that touched me!
Rah Digga asked this question on twitter a few days ago and we had to use it. What was your guilty pleasure song on 2010? A song that you liked a lot, but wouldn’t really want to admit to listening too.
Hmm...I don’t think I have one. I’ll tell you anything I like. Lol.
Have you read Jay-Z’s “Decoded?” If so, what do you think of it?
I have two copies of "Decoded". They were gifts from my label mate and brother, Halo, and my brother-in-law, Rod, so BIG shout out to them and I love them both!!! Two of the best gifts ever! They know how big of a Jay-Z fan I am!!
I started reading the book. But, I had to lay it down while I work on this next mixtape, "Thank Her Now". The book, however, is PHENOMENAL! All artists and hip hop fans should read it. Jay-Z and Dream Hampton did a great job!! There is a lot of good information and advice and stories artists, especially, can learn from!
Can we expect to see you tour the U.S. anytime soon? Especially the southwest or west coast so we can check you out!
I would hope so. We don’t have anything lined up as of now. But, as Return of the B-Girl continues to circulate and we release Thank Her Now in february, I hope something tour wise will come up. Id love to tour east to west, north to south. I’ll definitely keep you updated.
Anything else you would like to share with our Hip Hop ChicZ readers?
First, I would like to thank Hip Hop ChicZ for doing this interview. I enjoyed sharing my thoughts and stories with your readers. And, big shout out to my family Jamla and Kooley High. We have some things dropping in 2011!
January 15th - Actual Proof: The Talented 10th
January 29th - Halo: Heat Writer II
February - Rapsody: Thank Her Now; Tyler Woods: The Mahogany Experiment
Coming soon - TP: TP Is My Hero; GQ: Who Got The Juice Now?
Also, please visit DJ BOOTH and download RETURN OF THE BGIRL here:
And always keep up with IWWMG/JAMLA at www.9thwonder.com
LIVE. LOVE. HIP HOP