April Album of The Month: Rapsody – Eve

 

Welcome to April and an album that was very hard to get my hands on. In-fact there was only one place on the entire internet where I could order it; and it didn’t go to print for another 4 months after the digital release. I need to highlight that this is becoming very common within Hip Hop; digital only albums which has resulted in us meeting some really good albums…. I digress…..

 

Rapsody has been making waves within not only Hip Hop but also the music industry in general over the last 5 years. Backed by super producer 9th Wonder’s Jamla Team and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Records, Rapsody is hands down one of the hot commodities in Hip Hop. I must admit I was a little late to the party with Rapsody. It wasn’t until I heard ‘Power’ from her last album that I started to pay attention. Since then she has appeared on many of my favourite songs over the last 18 months often stealing songs where she guest appears. Why do I like her? She’s an MC’s MC. She moulds her deep southern routes with impressive word play and honesty.

 

The concept of her latest effort ‘Eve’ is a nod to 16 of her female heroes which is firstly highlighted in the song titles and also lyrically throughout. Now, that being said, as a middle aged white male this is obviously right in my wheel house. Joking aside this album is banging!

 

Rapsody starts the album with ‘Nina’, such a statement song. Lyrically she goes in straight away, and really sets the pace for the album. Throughout the song and throughout the album Rapsody touches on personal experience and her view on being a black female not only the music industry but more so in present day America. Track by track Rapsody winds through her latest album changing the pace and tone track by track.

 

Joining rhapsody on the album there is a wide range of guests from new to old. Man of the moment J.Cole joins Rapsody along with the likes of GZA, Dangelo, Queen Latifah and Leikeli47 to name a few. Each guest well picked for each individual track.

 

I think there’s something for you all on this album. I think it’s accessible for Brother Guy, it’s got pure hip hop for Brother Joey and lyrically it will keep Brother David on his toes. As I’m introducing you to this album I’m going to avoid my personal highlights as I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

I also need to stress that after this you need to take some time and visit ALL of her albums on Spotify as they’re pretty remarkable.

5 comments

  1. whyohwhyohwhy

    I’m finally getting round to listen to this. It’s just such a struggle with hip-hop needing some real time and care to get into, especially a new artist. And I just don’t have that at the moment. I don’t want to listen the first few times when running. I can’t listen at home if Leila’s there, and hip-hop isn’t really work-friendly for me. Nothing with lyrics is.

    So I’m sorry i’m slow of the mark. I’m not blaming the virus, but also, I sort of am.

    But the first listen is promising, for all the reasons above (even for me!) but I need to find the time to get more listens, when at the moment I’m finding myself going back to old favourites or ambient/dance stuff I can work to.

  2. David Allison

    Christ, this has taken me far too long. Sorry Brother N. I don’t know what it is is about these strange times, but getting things done seems to have become so difficult.

    Anyway. My review is a simple one: I FUCKING LOVE THIS ALBUM. Been playing it loads. The sunshine sure helps with hip hop, doesn’t it?

    Funnily enough, a hip-hop loving Twitter acquaintance had already recommended it to me off the back of me choosing Little Simz as my album of the year. And despite being across the pond from each other, I can see why the comparison works. Both are proper hip hop albums, while at the same time being quite happy to dip into all kinds of other genres along the way. They’re not bound by a strict notion of one kind of sound, and that makes for quite the journey with them as a listen.

    Little Simz occasionally has a slightly more playful, cartoonish quality to her beats (and, in particular, samples), whereas Rhapsody is a little more focussed and straight down the line. But they both draw on lovely, deep, classic sounding soul samples that give their work a classic hip hop feel. Maybe I like this also because it sounds like classic hip hop. It’s a lot more Mos Def than Stormzy, innit?

    Been loving that track with D’Angelo forever. What an absolute belter that is. But I also LOVE the Phil Collins sampling Cleo, and the earworm Serena, and the J Cole collaboration at the back end of the album – another banger! Talking of collabs, I’d say that would be my one criticism – actually a lot of the guest artists collabs in the 2nd half of the record aren’t as strong. The first 6 tracks in a row are all so strong, and I think it maybe tails off a little (Isn’t that nearly ALWAYS true of hip hop albums?!). A track or two less would have made it so tight.

    But I’m splitting hairs. It’s been on my turntable for a while and it ain’t going nowhere. Guy, give it your time, it really reveals itself with repeated listens, even if it sounds a little dense to start with.

  3. misterstory

    Firstly, it’s Hip Hop. Secondly, it’s a ‘proper’ album. I always bang on about this but there aren’t half as many proper-hip-hop albums as there should be. But this is definitely one of them.

    Like the other brothers, I want to apologise for my horrific response time to get on and write about this album. I am properly sorry mate. I know it was a major ball-ache to get these CDs and keep things ‘physical’ on the blog. Kudos Brother Kane. You always go the extra mile for the blog and I love you for it. Also, like Brother Guy, I struggle a little with air-time for albums like this. Now we’re not driving anywhere my hip-hop time has been further reduced. So, this is basically training tunes, headphones on.

    Let’s get to the album then. I think the stands up really well. It feels fresh and new but also sounds a little like a ‘history-of-hip-hop’ album too. I love it. There’s loads of Death Row hey-day nods. ‘Whoopi’ sounds like a mash up between Lady of Rage and Little Simz. There are loads of stand out tracks, in fact the stand out tracks are probably in the majority (if that’s not a contradiction in terms?). I keep coming back to Ibithaj … but Brother Kane new that would be the case with the WuTang tie up and D’Angelo.

    My moans are small and mostly disposable … but (i) the concept of each track being dedicated to an iconic woman is a little flaky at times? Some tracks are only tangentially linked to their namesake? (ii) This album did not need to 16 tracks long. There are at least 3-4 tracks that could be cut to create a really tight album and experience. But hey, I think this about almost every album I listen to these days. Particularly hip hop.

    Thanks Brother Kane.

  4. whyohwhyohwhy

    I have started to listen to this more (ok, so 4 times, not 1). My listening depends on mood and work, and this isn’t that conducive to work unless it’s on so quietly I don’t get to really experience it.

    But….. as I’ve listened more, it’s clear this is a super album. Production, lyrics, guests (used sparingly and well) and obviously some killer hooks and samples.

    You know that I’m never going to be as into the hip hop as the rest of you gang, but this is good.

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