Yesterday Rapsody dropped by Howard University in collaboration with NPR Music to perform as a guest in the Tiny Desk Concert series. Rap was accompanied by Jamla presidente 9th Wonder and The Storm Troopers. From what I could find out, which was very little (especially if you Google Storm Troopers NOW, thanks Star Wars), The Storm Troopers are a Jamla band comprised of a drummer, trumpeter, saxophonist, bass player, guitarist and two pianists. But of course we only see three musicians (trumpeter, saxophonist and single pianist) in the video.
Rapsody ran through three tracks off of her critically acclaimed 2014 EP, Beauty and the Beast. The video jumps off with the single Godzilla. The track lends itself well to the MTV Unplugged vibe created by the live band. Rapsody's lyrics take center stage over the smooth instrumental. Before she jumped into the next song, The Man, Rap addressed the audience of Howard students and faculty. She dedicated the song to fatherless boys who have to grow up fast and be "the man" of the house. Rap also dedicated it to good fathers out there (she even shouts out a good black father in the crowd). Lastly before her final song, Hard To Choose, she again spoke to the crowd. Rapsody talked about how hard it is being a black woman on Earth, but she also focused on her personal experience in the male dominated rap game. She wants to give her nieces, cousins and all young black girls a positive role model to look up to. Most female artists (especially rappers) have to use their sexuality to push sales. Rap decided to let her skills be the focus of her product, and even though that road means less sales and fame, she wouldn't change a thing.
I came across this video while working on my next review and had to share it with uall. Over the holidays I was in the middle of the frequent conversation of the current state of hip hop. If you're a 70s or 80s baby, you might agree that the percentage of garbage music is much higher now than it was in the 80s, 90s and early 00s. One comment is always, 'yeah most of these young rappers are whack, except Kendrick and Cole." I wouldn't argue that statement, but I would add Rapsody to that very short list. 2015 had many gems for the true hip hop head, here's hoping that 2016 is more of the same. If not more.