In the same week were Cardi B becomes only the fifth woman emcee to ascend to the top of Billboard 100 chart and only the second to do it solo since Lauryn Hill did with “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. It only seems right to highlight two sisters in rhyme who are prime for their own Billboard chart climbs. Neither are new to the game, but with every successive banger they are reaching larger audiences and shaking up the still very male dominated Hip- Hop scene.
North Carolina’s very own Rapsody was certified dope before her RocNation deal. Signed with Hip- Hop super producer 9th Wonder since 2008, Rapsody has a catalogue stuffed with remarkably hard-hitting lyrics and artfully done songs. If you are new to her work check out “Crown,” “Beauty and the Beast,” or the insane feature on Kendrick’ Lamar’s “Complexion.” Her latest release Laila’s Wisdom packs some great features with the previously mention Lamar on Power, The Roots legendary frontman Black Thought on Nobody along with BJ the Chicago Kid and Anderson Paak both showing up on four separate songs. Still with a guest list full of heavy hits Rapsody signature style and wordplay is front and center. While there is plenty to like on Laila’s Wisdom one of my early favorites is the second single released from the project, “Pay Up.”
Similar in subject to Hill’s record breaking single “That Thing” and “De La Soul 2004 Shopping Bags,” Rapsody explores the tricky terrain when romance and finance get intertwined. Produced by fellow North Carolinian, Khrysis and Kash Don’t Make Beats the track is up-tempo with a funky guitar under beat supplied by Marlon Williams. What separates this effort from others that target gold diggers and scrubs it Rapsody gives you both a woman and a man perceptive; because getting gamed is an equal opportunity trap. Assisted by Heather Victoria on the verses and hooks early in the song Rapsody spits;
“Spoiled, look good, she like real leather
She like exotic trips, good weather
All you got to offer is to love her better, better than the rest
I told her, “You ain’t need a dime to be better than the best”
Pay Up at its core is cautionary tale where Rapsody tries to show people the tell tell signs of the opportunistic lovers.
You can listen to the full song here:
A little over three years ago, Detroit rapper and songwriter Dej Loaf scored her first major hit with “Try Me.” Since then she has worked with everyone from fellow Detroit native Eminem to opening up for Nicki Minaj. Priming everyone for her newest album Liberated Dej Loaf has drop two sharp singles “No Fear,” and just this week “Changes.” Both song have found Dej Loaf in a reflective space.
No Fear is a full on embrace of savoring the moment and choosing happiness. While Changes comes to terms with the mc’s evolution and how everyone is not going to make to the next phase with her. Lyrically Dej Loaf drops some heavy punch lines on this track like the following:
“God chose me and I be God damned
If I let another soul try to wheel me in
If it was meant to be, you’d be right here
New phone, who dis? Ain’t heard from you in years”
The track itself is heavy on the horn, think Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky,” with layered drums that feel like they surround you from the outset. There is not visual for this yet but you can check out the full song here: