It's highly debated that Jay-Z is the best to ever do it, but that doesn't stifle this North Carolina girl's dreams of taking his spot on the throne. A self-proclaimed B-Girl with her sights set on longevity, she began her journey with fellow hip-hoppers Kooley High and continues to tip her proverbial hat to H.E.R. at all times. Recently, VIBE Vixen caught up with producer 9th Wonder's protégé while performing on tour with another popular newcomer Mac Miller. Without further ado, we'd like to introduce a particluar female who's ready to be a role model for young women, reclaim the real essence of hip-hop and, oh yeah, drop her upcoming 'tape Thank H.E.R. Now. -Niki McGloster (@missjournalism)
Who is Rapsody?
I’m a North Carolina B-Girl. Not in the sense of break dancing, but B-girl in the sense of a hip-hop head. I grew up with a supreme love for hip-hop through MC Lyte, Tribe Called Quest and the list goes on. That’s who Rapsody is. A young female who’s like a lot of other females out in the world who don’t get represented well in the commercial sense of music. I’m a tomboy, I like to have fun and I’m all about lyrics. That’s who I am.
You’re currently on tour with Mac Miller. How’s it going?
It's definitely a new experience that came out of nowhere; I wasn’t expecting it. Our first date was in D.C., and I didn’t know what to expect. Most of his audience range from 11 or 13 to 20 [years old], so he’s exposing me to a whole ‘nother market that I usually don’t get a chance to perform in front of or reach. You know, it was new. To have them react, it feels good to know that this is the first time for some of them seeing a female rip the mic. It was an eye-opening experience, and I’m learning a lot about how to put on a show, about tour life.
What are some key things that you’ve learned?On this tour, specifically as far as rocking in front of a younger crowd, they like to party, and they like to jump [Laughs]. You have to keep your energy up; do different things to keep them entertained and happy and partying. I’ve learned that sound check is very important. Because my voice is so low, I have to make sure my monitors are high.
How did you link up with Mac? He rapped on your mixtape Return Of The B-Girl and you two just dropped “Extra, Extra,” so when did this relationship start?
Mac had a show in North Carolina at Cat’s Cradle during the time I was working on Return Of The B-Girl, and Khrysis [producer] got in touch with him to come by the studio to work and I was there. I hit 9th [Wonder] like, ‘Mac is here,’ and he was like, ‘Okay, hit him up and ask him will he get on the “Blankin’ Out” track.’ [Mac] was in the studio writing, and when people are working, I don’t like to bother ‘em, so when 9th got there, he was like, ‘You ask him?’ and 9th went in there and asked him. [Mac] got on it, and he left the next day. Then, maybe a month and a half ago, he came by the studio again and that night we did “Extra, Extra.” The next morning, Mac told 9th, ‘I like Rapsody a lot; I want to take her on tour with me,’ and that’s how it happened. We had only been around each other two times but I guess we had this connection through hip-hop. Mac is so humble, and he has a supreme love and respect for the culture. Like, he loves hip-hop. So we really built our friendship on this tour, really, really getting to know each other. That’s my family forever.
That’s what’s up. I don’t know if you heard, but we did a 30 Under 30 list, and Mac was number 29. What are your thoughts on that?
He’s going to have longevity in his career. He’s going to be to these kids what Tribe was to 9th; that’s going to be his impact on the culture. He is selling out shows across the nation. He makes incredible music, and he can rap his ass off. I think the list was good, and he is named with some incredible artist. To be doing what he's doing at 19 is remarkable! I know when it’s all said and done, he'll be one of the greatest artists to do it. He is building a legacy.
Dope. Now, how do you feel about Nicki Minaj being the only female on the list? You did shout her out on ROTB, so I see that unlike some other artists, you do respect her movement.
I have a respect for all females in the game that are doing it because it’s not easy for female artists. I think Nicki is talented; I definitely think she can rap. Is her music for me? No, but I think she can rap. Everybody has a lane in the industry. When it was Lauryn [Hill], Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, they were all about to exist at the same time but they all had their own lane. Nicki has her lane; I have my lane, and Nicki brought attention back to female emcees. Since she’s come out, everybody is asking, wondering where are other female emcees.She hasn’t done anything for me not to like her. I can choose to not listen or listen to her music, but as a person, I think everybody deserves respect. If she’s making money musically, then that’s cool. That’s why I shouted her out.