When Rapsody spits, “I ain’t five percent, unless we talkin’ top MCs,” on “Power” from her latest LP Laila’s Wisdom, it would be difficult to formulate a convincing argument to the contrary — especially as she is immediately cosigned on the same song by one of the truly undisputed members of that rarified class, none other than Kendrick Lamar.
It’s been a long time coming; Rapsody has dropped mixtape after mixtape since 2007 with little fanfare. Every release has seen her talent and gift for intricate lyricism increase by leaps and bounds, and yet, how rarely does her name come up in “best rapper” conversations?
If the cosign from Kendrick Lamar wasn’t enough, what about Black Thought’s high praise from “Nobody”?: “I’m on the same wavelength the sister Rapsody is on / I love it when she get on her Bahamadia joint.” Busta Rhymes appears on “You Should Know.” Actually, she’s held her own alongside nearly every notable lyricist in hip-hop, from Chance The Rapper and Phonte Coleman, to Rah Digga and Raekwon, earning the respect of peers and mentors alike. Laila’s Wisdom, her first full-length album with a major label (Roc Nation), is the culmination of her lyrical growth, but also shows how far she’s come as a songwriter and a creator. It’s time for the rap game to stop overlooking this incredibly talented rapper.