Rapsody : “They’re Trying To Make Female Rappers Like A Character, All Of Them Are Characters”
Rapsody had the chance to chat with Hip Hop DX about her whole journey thus far being in the rap game. Rapsody extensively goes into detail on her debut album “The Idea of Beautiful,” having the label female rapper, how Lauryn Hill has influenced her and more!
On how she feels about releasing her debut album: “It’s indescribable for me especially like to be at this point. All my life this has been my dream and what I’ve always wanted to do and you know you always dream about putting out your first album. You can do the mixtapes but what really counts and what people put all the weight on is what your official album is going to sound like. It’s been a real fun journey and I’m really excited. I think a lot of people are anticipating it, what it’s going to sound like. It’s a real good time for me. I think about when [Jay-Z] dropped his first album, Reasonable Doubt and when Nas dropped Illmatic. To me it’s like a turning point in my career so this is what I’ve been working towards, that first album. This day is really the beginning of my career so that’s how I look at it.”
How Lauryn Hill has inspired her work : “Direction-wise, I’m a big Lauryn Hill fan and I don’t think I’m [a fan of] Lauryn Hill by any means and I’m not trying to be, but I’m heavily influenced just by what she represents and the type of music she puts out so we wanted the feeling of it, not necessarily the sound but the feeling of it to be like if Lauryn made an album, a Rap album, what would that album be like after The Fugees and with [The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill] like if she rapped the whole thing and that was kind of the feeling. I wanted to go for ’cause that’s what I love and that’s what I think my sound is. So that’s kind of what we tried to do with this and like you said, really trying to find my sound and less experimenting so this is the direction and we just gonna build from here.”
The concert behind the album : “It’s a little bit of both ’cause you could do so much with it, that’s why I like the title. I looked at it like, “What is your idea of beautiful?” But I’m also sharing what my idea of beautiful is whether it’s the cover with these two little girls with no hair, they’re black and they’re dark-skinned because I think beauty comes in many forms. That’s the beauty of Hip Hop, you can do so much and everybody be different and I think mainstream, they only give you 10% of what Hip Hop is. There’s many other elements and levels to it, that’s what the main part of it was as far as Hip Hop, you only saw mainstream, you only see a little bit but it’s so beautiful and it gets a bad rap for that 10% that you see. Then there’s the physical aspect of it. What is your idea of beautiful because there’s an idea. There’s a certain weight, a certain sense of skin tone, your hair has to be a certain texture and it’s just playing off all of those things so that’s what it is for me. I think the most beautiful thing is people get to be themselves and they don’t have to hide anything, they shouldn’t have to wake up in the mirror and not be happy about what they’re doing with their life or the music they’re making or whatever they’re doing so that’s kind of the idea about it. With me, like you said I used to play basketball so I kind of walk the middle. I like girly things but I have a younger brother that was my best friend and all my cousins were boys so that’s just who I am. It’s not a front on me or anything, I like basketball but I like to wear dresses too so that’s just the idea of being beautiful itself.”
On being a female rapper : “Oh yeah without a doubt, the scales are very tipped in that area. It’s kind of like they’re trying to make, nowadays what I see is they’re trying to make female rappers like a character, all of them are characters. I don’t wanna bring anybody up ’cause I don’t wanna turn you away but it’s really like we’re supposed to be characters or sex symbols whether it’s the Barbie doll or something else. There’s nothing wrong with that but when you try to do it for every female emcee that you push like, who’s that? I remember earlier before I signed with [Jamla Records], when I was first signing like really serious and stuff, I had went to see a manager, I had just got off work and I worked at Foot Action so I had on some working clothes and I walked in and he didn’t ask to hear any music. He just looked at me up and down, well he heard one song and then he looked me up and down and he said, “We just got to put you in a skirt with some heels.” And I was like, “No. Flat out, no.” And I think that’s what it is especially with the videos and TV and what you look like, having to do with your music nowadays. Even with male rappers, worse with females but even with males you kind of have to have this whole package. You have to dress a certain way. Like Kendrick [Lamar], he can rap his ass off but Kendrick likes to wear button-ups now and the slick shoes, it’s kind of like you have to have a whole brand with it but, like you said with the females, the brand has to be sexy and I’ve definitely had to struggle with it and I think that’s why it’s taking me a lot longer to feel the progress that I wanna feel. I had to drop three mixtapes and an EP to even make this much noise where men, they could drop one mixtape and they’re on. Like Joey BadA$$ dropped one mixtape, and he’s on so it’s a struggle but at the end of the day you play the cards that you’re dealt. So I just make the best of the situation and just stick true to myself because at the end of the day 9th always told me good music will move itself and if you keep pushing it, it might be hard but if you eventually stick with it, you’ll get there and that’s what I’ve always tried to focus on.”
CREDIT : HIPHOPDX