Conscious rapper Rapsody sat down for an interview on Larry King Live recently, and discussed a wide range of topics, including her recent Grammy nominations, her relationship with Kendrick Lamar, and hip-hop in the Trump era.
When asked how the genre has been affected by the current climate under the Trump Administration, the North Carolina native said there is an upside to these “turbulent times,” as she sees people coming together within different communities to collaborate in ways they haven’t previously.
“I think musically it makes it better,” said Rapsody. “There comes a time, especially when it’s bad and you can’t ignore it, you have to speak on it because we’re all affected by it. Now, you just see these movements and people are coming together more.”
“Even in rap, people like to divide rap from underground or socially conscious,” she added. “But, I see artists coming together now more. I see women coming together. So, these times, I think they definitely bring us together more. And when we’re together and we see our power with that, even musically. I think the best music is made with a bunch of people.”
Rapsody’s 2017 album release, Laila’s Wisdom, has landed her two Grammy nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song. She breaks down the bittersweet honor of being the only woman nominated for Best Rap Album, noting that unlike the ’90s, there are fewer known women in mainstream hip-hop and today’s generation seems to subscribe to the perception that “there can only be one” female MC at a time.
“I think there are less women on a mainstream level,” she said. “There are women in hip-hop, but you have to dig and find them … This new era, it seems like there can only be one at a time. So, it’s bittersweet in that I wish that there are more women that get put into these categories with these men. And don’t get saved for ‘these are the best females of rap’ or ‘This is the best female of this year.’”
Elsewhere, Rapsody touches on her collaboration with Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp A Butterfly and how it impacted her career, while expressing why she feels Kendrick is so special. Both artists are up for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song at the 2018 Grammy Awards.