Raleigh rapper Rapsody
File photo by Alex Boerner
has been making some serious music-industry rounds lately. A little more than a week ago, the Jamla Records emcee stopped through Dr. Dre’s The Pharmacy radio show on Beats 1, where the Compton titan premiered her Lauryn Hill-inspired “Lost Ones” freestyle
“Rapsody, that’s my new favorite female emcee,” said Dre. “I’m gonna keep it all the way 1000 with you. She’s hot!”
Maybe Dre should just move to Raleigh?
Anyway, during last night’s The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
, Rapsody made her late-night television debut alongside Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli. Supported by four background singers and Kweli’s longtime Okayplayer pals and Fallon’s house band The Roots, the two performed the previously unheard “Every Ghetto.” From underneath a black wide-brimmed hat and draped in a large gray scarf (or was that a shawl?), Rapsody pieced together her verse as best as she could with what seemed to be a microphone that needed to be turned up.
The call-to-clarity jam is produced by Kweli’s Reflection Eternal bandmate Hi-Tek and will be featured on Kweli’s November Indie 500 LP
, a collaborative project with 9th Wonder. The album is the first full-length joint venture between 9th’s Jamla Records, Kweli’s Javotti Media and Pharoahe Monch’s W.A.R. Media. In this Okayplayer video,
9th describes the collective’s “Indie 500” mentality as “a kind of continuation of the Native Tongues sound all the way to the Rawkus sound. Badu, Jill Scott, Slum Village—grassroots, deep-rooted hip-hop music.”
For younger artists like Rapsody, this merger of independently minded hip-hop camps should serve as a strong frontline in the ongoing culture quest for mainstream exposure, business opportunities and respect.
Meanwhile, last night's video.