Album Reviews

Album Review: Rapsody - Eve (Jamla Records)

Sam Smith
Rapsody - "Serena" Live Session

It has been another exceptional year for hip hop releases with many MCs and producers bringing their A-game when it comes to new albums. The latest release to get heads turning is by North Carolina rapper Rapsody, who’s second project Eve is her best yet.

Following on from her 2017 breakthrough album Laila’s Wisdom, Eve is an ode to successful black women with each song named after a black woman who influenced Rapsody in some way. Rapsody decided to write this album as a dedication of sorts when she was asked whether she felt she was a successor to the likes of Nina Simone and Roberta Flack.

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Given this, Nina, Serena, Michelle and others all feature across the seventeen-track album which is produced by Little Brother’s 9th Wonder and that features guest appearances by the likes of GZA, D’Angelo, J Cole, and Queen Latifah in what can only be described as a stellar supporting cast.

The music is deeply rooted in the southern style of hip hop of the 1990s that is making a comeback of sorts at the moment with soul and R&B influences permeating throughout the record largely thanks to Rapsody’s killer vocals and 9th Wonder’s soul and R&B sample-based production.

The biggest surprise was on the track Cleo which featured a wonderfully utilised sample of Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight, while the classic refrain of Nina Simone’s gorgeous cover of Strange Fruit was the perfect way to kick off a deeply moving record that celebrates black power and success.

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Eve proves Rapsody is an MC on the come up and with other female rappers like Little Simz and New Zealand’s own JessB also dropping stellar projects this year, hip hop is in a great space right now when it comes to some stunningly talented Wahine Toa beating a lot of the men at their own game.

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Released: 23 Aug 2019

Written By: Sam Smith When he is not writing for Radio 13 Sam works in media and journalism at 95bFM radio and the University of Auckland. He also has is own personal music blog Nowhere Bros.