5 Best Songs from Rapsody’s ‘Laila’s Wisdom’
After a dry spell that saw a dearth of female rappers impacting the mainstream, the past few years have seen a renaissance of sorts. North Carolina spitter Rapsody has been leading the pack due to her consistent track record for excellence and heightened profile, but her success has not come without dues paid, which Rapsody has a decades worth to for.
While hit singles and radio airplay may have eluded Rapsody to date, her bread and butter has been her artistry and knack for quality, traits that have attracted heavyweights like 9th Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, JAY-Z, and other influential figures in rap to stamp her with their cosign. In 2016, after seeing her buzz explode like never before, Rapsody inked a record deal with Roc Nation, news that came as a pleasant surprise to fans and put the spotlight on the Snow Hill native like never before.
A year later, Rapsody returns with her third studio-album, Laila's Wisdom, an album dedicated to her grandmother and one that finds Rapsody at the top of her game, dropping couplets alongside elite wordsmiths like Kendrick Lamar and Black Thought, as well as collaborating with soulful crooners like BJ the Chicago Kid, Anderson .Paak, Musiq Soulchild, and Lance Skiiiwalker. The Boombox gave Laila's Wisdom a spin and selected five of the best tracks from the album that are sure to pique your interest.
Known for her steely brand of lyricism, Rapsody hits fans with a change of pace on the Laila's Wisdom standout, "Sassy," a selection that exudes feminine empowerment. Produced by Eric G, Rapsody finds inspiration in Maya Angelou's acclaimed poem "Still I Rise," asking "does my sassiness upset you?" and strutting all over this uptempo ditty geared towards the ladies.
9th Wonder flips a sample of Goodie Mob's 1995 hit "Cell Therapy" for "You Should Know," a Busta Rhymes assisted salvo from Rapsody's Laila's Wisdom album. Spilling quotable lines like "Satan playin' me, I ain't Adam unless we talkin' 'bout bombin'/Over Baghdad, you look bad tryna to spar with me" over jittery percussion and organs, Rapsody scores another winner with "You Should Know," one of the premier offerings on the Jamla spitter's sophomore set.
Rapsody gets intimate on "A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love," one of various instances on her sophomore outing that finds her touching on matters of the heart. Produced by 9th Wonder and featuring singers Gwen Bunn & Musiq Soulchild, "A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love" (the title is a nod to De La Soul's 1991 hit "A Rollerskating Jam Called Saturdays") is full of surprising twists sonically, but Rapsody steady's the ship with a measured performance that rates among her strongest on the album.
Producers Khrysis and 9th Wonder combine their skill-sets to create the backdrop for "Nobody," a percussion-driven composition that pairs Rapsody alongside Hall of Fame wordsmith Black Thought and hybrid Anderson .Paak. While the Philly rhyme slinger and the Cali crooner both contribute favorable showings, Rapsody refuses to be upstaged, spouting off a flurry of couplets that are sure to wow the most cynical of listeners, making "Nobody" an essential listen.
After Rapsody made an enthralling guest appearance on Kendrick Lamar's 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly, K. Dot returns the favor by lending his services on the Laila's Wisdom single "Power." Produced by 9th Wonder, "Power" includes a pair of stanzas on the part of Rapsody to set the tone, while Kendrick anchors the track with a efficient verse of his own. On "Power," Rapsody and Kendrick Lamar display their effortless chemistry once again, culminating in what is the best pound-for-pound song on Laila's Wisdom and one that should boost Rapsody's reputation as one of the game's brightest emcess, regardless of gender.