Rapsody has been one of North Carolina rap’s best since Kooley High, but used her show-stopping feature on Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A Butterfly from 2015 to solidify her spot as the best. Instead of rushing a full-length project, Rapsody created a demand for new joints by both letting a steady drip of songs leak out and signing to Jay Z‘s Roc Nation. 2014’s poignant lyrical showcase Beauty and the Beast was the last solo project she dropped, so the slow burn reveal of her new EP Crown is just the fix we’ve been looking for.
Jamla family 9th Wonder, Nottz, Khrysis, and more handle the production across 10 empowering tracks. The early standout to my ears so far is “OooWee,” featuring another 2016 MVP Anderson .Paak. The chemistry started on .Paak’s “Without You” from this year’s Malibu laces Rap’s story of money and family with soul and punch. Ab-Soul lends bars to the three-part massacre “2 AM” and Raphael Saadiq and Moonchild lend their talents and pipes to two other tracks.
This project is a punctuation mark to a wonderful year for the Queen. Last September she blazed an appearance on Dr. Dre’s “The Pharmacy” where she freestyled over Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones.” In a mini-documentary called “Queen Rap” she and 9th reflected on the significance of that moment and the co-sign from Dr. Dre.
“That was so landmark for me and for her. A lot of people think that I make stuff happen. People may listen because of me but after a while a person has to show and prove,” says 9th. “So it was such an important thing for me NOT to be there.”
“When you have somebody like that, the King of California, a legend in music, to like your music and take the time to give you that shout, that co-sign, a lot of people don’t get that. So I’m humbled by it,” says Rap.
Watch the video below.