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Rapsody is a bout de force in hip hop, both afire the aisle for a new bearing of emcees and showcasing effortless agreeable ability in adulatory the hip hop culture. But this Grammy Award appointee represents abundant added than aloof the changeable ancillary of hip hop culture; she is an emcee who represents hip hop ability above the curve of gender, proving that annihilation the boys can do, she can do too, and better. Her adroitness and ability abaft the microphone highlight her presentation, and her apprehensive address attests to her connected following of advance with every exhausted and rhyme.
Windy City Times: Modesty aside, how would you call yourself?
Rapsody: A agreeable alien, babe feminine atramentous woman with a lot of body and apparatus gun funk.
WCT: You are the alone woman anytime nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rap Anthology category. You were called one of the top changeable artists to apperceive by both TIME Magazine and USA Today, as able-bodied as called one of the 20 Greatest Changeable Rappers of All Time by XXL. How do you reflect on those honors, as able-bodied as others?
R: Well, I can’t say that I’m the alone woman anytime nominated for Best Rap Anthology in the Grammys, but I am one of bristles ( now six if we included Cardi B’s best contempo choice ). It’s acceptable to assignment so adamantine and be accustomed for years and years of practice, growth, talent, art. I acknowledge those flowers as reminders that I’m abundant as I am, and [that] my flowers to the apple through my music are accustomed and noticed. However, it additionally pushes me to accumulate growing and do more. I don’t appetite to aloof be boxed in as one of the greatest women to do anything; I capital to be one of the greatest beyond all boxes. I appetite to admonition accessible and widen doors for the girls/women advancing abaft me in the aforementioned way so abounding women accept done afore me. One of my mantras has consistently been, “Anything the boys can do, we can do aloof as able-bodied if not bigger than.”
WCT: Along with abounding added accolades, your music is sometimes declared to accept intricate beat patterns, metaphors and wordplay. Does texturing and layering music appear artlessly to you or do you accept a accurate process?
R: That’s accustomed for me. I’ve consistently been a fan of wordplay, and I was absorbed at an aboriginal age with the ability of words, and all the agency you could use the words, in hip hop. Back alert to my admired artisan growing up, it was amazing the account they were able to back in aloof two confined of a song. By ambience up the words and application metaphors, you could put some of the densest thoughts into 10 lines. That’s genius. I looked at it like a puzzle. I’m a huge fan of abstruseness movies that accept a aberration and set you up for the big “ah-ha” moment that you didn’t see coming. The twist. That’s the affectionate of lyricism I accept consistently loved. The set up. Connecting words four confined from the aftermost time you said it. I feel in adulation with that creativitylearning how to be circuitous and simple at the aforementioned time, [and] to say things like no one abroad would anticipate to say them.
WCT: Both rap and hip hop are acclimated back anecdotic your work. Do you accept a preference? Why or why not?
R: Hip hop is a culture. That’s article I live. Rap is article I do aural hip hop. It’s an aspect of the culture.
WCT: How do you acclimatize to the fast-changing realities of the music industry and how business is conducted?
R: I came in able because I was clean-cut and accomplished by both 9th Wonder and Adolescent Guru on the business. So, best of the time, I knew what to apprehend or how to acknowledge to altered situations. They told me what to attending for, what to watch out for, the things to do to accumulate my sanity; they gave me all the accoutrement I charge for the acceptable fight. To run the marathon.
So, accepting that as a foundation and demography affect out of anything. it hasn’t been a adamantine adjustment. It’s alive the aberration amid the ability of hip hop and the business of hip hop. Once you accept that difference, accept authentic your boundaries, apperceive what you appetite out of the business, and ascertain what success agency to you, it’s easier to navigate. That’s not to say it’s easy, but easier to assignment appear what it is you’re aggravating to accomplishand not actuality abashed to say “no” or airing abroad from money.
The business is actual political. The best affair I did was alpha indie to apprentice the ins and outs on a abate calibration of accepting a duke in all affective genitalia of my art. And compassionate at the end of the day, I am the captain of my own ship. Patience and admonition is everything.
WCT: What admonition do you accept for adolescent women rappers starting out their career?
R: There’s so abundant I would acquaint them. Aboriginal and foremost, that they are enough. They don’t accept to be copycat versions of anyone else. Their altered cocky and ablaze is ablaze enough. So, to consistently abide accurate to cocky and mostly chiefly accumbent themselves with bodies who accept in them, their eyes and their art.
If you alpha out aggravating to chase a trend, you will be block trends consistently and eventually bake out. You can be a bigger adaptation of anyone else. You can consistently be the best adaptation of yourself ever. So, do article that can’t be recreated, because it’s absolute to you.
To never let anyone box them in because of their gender. Our gender is a ability we possess, but it is not all of who we are. We are bottomless in what we can do, actualize and become. So, embrace your womanhood, about that looks to you but admeasurement your abeyant and abundance beyond the board; appeal that respect.
WCT: What does your boilerplate day attending like?
R: Back I’m not traveling for tours, festivals, interviews, meetings, etc., my accustomed day to day is alive up about 8 a.m. I’ll cull out my laptop and analysis all my emails, blow abject with my Jamla aggregation on any circadian things we are all alive on, afresh I usually alpha alive on new music, run errands, hit the gym, etc.
Then I’m at our home base, Ablaze Lady Studios, by about 4pm. The blow of the atramentous is spent in the flat until the wee hours of the morning, or sometimes I absorb the night, or I’ll go home about midnight and assignment from home. I accept a flat to assignment at my residence.
That’s a accustomed Rapsody day. If I’m not alive on my own project, we are all alive on one of our added artist’s projects and authoritative abiding recording, business ideas, branding, etc., are taken affliction of. And, I may accomplish time to bandy a spades bold in every now and again.
WCT: What’s new on your comedy list?
R: Our new Jamla is the Squad 2 anthology is altered on my playlist, alloyed with a agglomeration of new artists and new releases I’m in adulation with. Leikeli 47’s new anthology Acrylic is a admired of the year. She has a song blue-blooded “Top Down” that I run several times a day. My RocNation label-mate Nicole Bus appear a new distinct blue-blooded “You” that is a jam! Amazing record. I’m additionally diggin’ on TDE’s Reason’s new project, and JID’s Strawberry song from his latest activity is dope. … And, I’m still alert to Sir’s November. Meek Mill’s Champions activity is blockhead and we all are still absolute by the Jay-Z ballad on “What’s Free.” As you can see, I’m into a lot of R&B this year.
WCT: What is your admired alms or cause?
R: My admired alms is Atramentous Girls Rock. I’m decidedly fatigued to annihilation that uplifts our youth, abnormally adolescent Atramentous girls. It’s an amazing alignment created by Beverly Bond that educates, empowers and celebrates our girls.
The youth, boys and girls, are our approaching and it’s important to betrayal them to bottomless possibilities so they apperceive their worth, that they matter, are able for the world, and can do annihilation they dream.
WCT: Which active person( s ) do you best admire?
R: I accept to alpha with my foundation, and that’s my mother and father. I’ve abstruse so abundant from them about womanhood, sisterhood, assignment belief and family. They were my aboriginal examples of strength, ability and love.
Then there are women like Phylicia Rashad, Cicely Tyson, Nikki Giovanni, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill and MC Lyte that I attending up to. Phylicia and Cicely accomplished me, alfresco of my women in my family, how to be classy, regal, backpack myself with respect, be gracious,poetic and strong. They were able examples of the ablaze I capital to airing in, and actuality a able atramentous woman. They were absolute queens, in the aforementioned way my mother and aunts were.
Nikki Giovanni showed me how to portray in accounting form. How to use my articulation through words. Latifah, Lauryn and Lyte accomplished me what that looked like in hip hophow to flash through all the adulthood and be an actual force.
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