Posts Tagged ‘Jamla’

Rapsody – “Drama”

Posted: September 23, 2014 by Ismael AbduSalaam in Music News
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New music from Rapsody, off her Beauty and the Beast EP (October 7). Khrysis gives Rapsody an unorthodox bounce to rhyme to, but the Jamla queen has no issue navigating it. If you’re feeling, you can download it HERE.



Pusha T’s “Numbers on the Board” beat didn’t get the love it should have last year, so it’s only right that an emcee like Rapsody try her hand at it. No word yet if this is a prelude to another project to follow-up her well-received 2013 tape She Got Game.


Disclaimer: With over 300 artists, multiple citywide sites, film showcases and panels, anyone without at least a 20-man team cannot give a true recap of all the happenings over the course of the 3-day A3C Festival. This recap is just one writer’s experience at the events he chose.

ATLANTA, GA – The 2012 edition of the A3C (All 3 Coasts) Festival has upped the ante: more artists, more interactive events and more locations. Since 2010, A3C has held their festival at the Masquerade, utilizing the venue’s vast open space to post two stages outside and three inside. But with this year brining in over 300 artists, even that was not enough. Now the entire city has become A3C’s playground, with sites ranging from the storied Plaza Theatre to several spots in the bohemian Little Five Points District.

Arriving fashionably late around 6:30 p.m., the main site offered me DJ sets throughout the night from such established names as DJ Hurricane, Young Guru and Kool DJ Red Alert. And those who were able to make it in the afternoon got treated to panels on the legalities of the music industry, the politics of voting and the money management. Artist-wise, acts like Cyhi the Prynce, Chip tha Ripper, Sha Stimuli and The CunninLynguists held down the fort well past midnight.

Knowing I’d spend the majority of tomorrow at the main site, I ventured across town to a venue named Terminal West for BET’s stage, appropriately titled “Music Matters.” I got there in time to hear a few songs from DMV’s own Phil Ade, whose rapid-fire wordplay won over most the crowd despite a short set. Kid Daytona had a harder time but got a better response and the end with his new Jadakiss-featuring single “Low.”

Business really picked up when 9th Wonder hit the the stage to intro his very talented Jamla signee, Rapsody. How do you get the crowd on your side? Stepping on stage while ripping Jay-Z’s “Takeover” beat is a good start. And with a catalogue that’s heavy on lyricism, the camera phones quickly started coming out to record her flow on tracks like “NonFiction” and “Believe Me.” If you don’t have her just released debut album The Idea of Beautiful, do your ears a favor and pick that up ASAP.

Ditto that last sentence for Skyzoo and his album of the year contender A Dream Deferred. Sky followed up Rapsody with selections off that project and Live From the Tape Deck. The former features a tribute track, “Jansport Strings,” to the then teen rapper he saw on TV that inspired him to rhyme, Chi Ali. Just released from a near 12 year sentence for manslaughter, Ali graced the stage for the “Jansport Strings” remix.

Kirko Bangz’ set with a little jarring coming right after Skyzoo’s, but he and guest Trae the Truth didn’t waste time and went through a quick set that prevented any lag time.

The night’s closer was Big Boi, who was only scheduled to do four songs. That turned into an hour-long fantastic performance that ran the gamut of Outkast’s legendary catalogue, Big Boi’s own hits and even the Purple Ribbon all-stars. You would think hearing classics like “Rosa Parks,” “B.o.B.,” “Ms. Jackson,” and “ATLiens” without one-half of the equation wouldn’t feel complete, but Big Boi and hypeman C-Bone’s energy, along with the crowd’s, was at such a high level that it didn’t even matter. This allowed Big Boi to move quickly into each classic going all the way back to the “Southernplayalistic…” and “Player’s Ball” days. And let’s not be mistaken; Big Boi had a good number of his own bangers to go through in “Ghettomuzik” (that Pattie LaBelle breakdown is heaven live), “Shutterbug” and “General Patton.”

Former friend-turned enemy-turned friend Killer Mike came out to lead off the closing segment, reciting his standout verse on Bonecrusher’s “Neva Scared Remix,” his joint “ADDIDAS,” and his part on “Whole World.” The only complaint is we unfortunately didn’t get Mike’s “Yeah!” which may off just blew the roof off. To close, the present Purple Ribbon All-Stars graced the stage for a joyous rendition of “Kryptonite.” And the only reason we didn’t get more is due to the venue shutting down.

This was Big Boi’s first A3C performance and he was so impressed with the crowd that he promised to try and make it out for the remainder of the week. If so, he’ll join a deep roster tonight featuring the likes of The GZA (performing ALL of Liquid Swords), Chino XL, Prodigy, Raekwon, Freeway, Nipsey Hussle and many others.

Check back here early Saturday for the Day 2 recap.

For tickets for the remaining two days, visit

Rapsody has launched her first official video from her forthcoming album The Idea of Beautiful, due out on August 28. Don’t sleep; this is sounding like it’ll be one of better releases to drop this year. There’s a deeper meaning behind the cover as Rapsody herself explains below.

Ndibulele Nqeni and Lowethu Zembe are the two little girls  on the cover who live in Soweto, South Africa.  9th Wonder met them while  he was touring in Johannesburg and took that picture.  I  look forward to meeting them when I tour there this month.  I will be  donating cash and other gifts to them, as well as other children in South  Africa for representing my Idea  Of Beautiful. This is like the beginning of my community work; I’ve been  wanting to do with the youth for a long time.  I work hard to be a great  emcee, but I also want to be an even better role model to young girls like  Ndibulele and Lowethu.

ATLANTA, GA — For better or worse, the A3C Festival had been branded as a “real Hip-Hop” event. It’s a loaded term that’s both inclusive and highly restrictive and conservative. It can champion the unknown but passionate rapper who fights to have his voice heard while isolating others whose aesthetic is deemed “unworthy” or “embarrassing” to the culture. A3C had never advocated any type of division in Hip-Hop. And on the second day (October 7) of the festival, the organizers showcased arguably their most diverse cultural lineup of emcees.

Outside, the Jagermeister Stage treated fans to an intriguing blend of international emcees. A few like Toronto’s Eternia were known, but most were young, unknown artists coming from as far away as Norway. By whatever means and sacrifices got them here, it was evident on their faces the joy they got just from being able to perform in front of people. The most intriguing aspect of these sets was the production, which ranged from calypso rhythms to minimalist, boom-bap reminiscent arrangements from Europe. If anyone forgot that Hip-Hop is a truly international culture, this was their reminder.

Inside and upstairs on the Creative Loafing stage, there was a showing of an excellent documentary on the life of 9th Wonder entitled The Wonder Year. Chronicling one year (2009) of 9th’s life, Kenneth Price’s intimate film touches on the many layers that define 9th’s existence — fatherhood, university teacher, husband and the search for music that gave him the joy he initially heard from Digable Planets, Tribe Called Quest and others. Several times during the film, the crowd burst into wowed applause when 9th’s beat-making process was detailed. A Q&A session was held before 9th took the stage to showcase his Jamla label (Heather Victoria, Big Remo, Actual Proof, Rapsody etc.). 9th would stick around behind the boards for the remainder of the night, and in-between sets did a excellent job of keeping the crowd hype with classic tracks like Naughty By Nature’s “Uptown Anthem” and Black Moon’s “Who Got Da Props?”

Outside of the iHipHopDistribution stage, Maybach Music Group’s Pill brought some ATL dope boy music to the forefront. Not everyone in the crowd was familiar with his mixtape material, but tracks like the Rick Ross-featuring “Pacman” got good reactions. Fully aware of the “real Hip-Hop” standard, Pill admitted that he had apprehension about how he would be received.

Jean Grae could care less about what your definition of real Hip-Hop is; she was going to make you feel her music regardless. Not one just to be stared at, Grae used her trademark oddball humor to get the crowd more vocal. Fans of the NY emcee know that for over a year, she’s been working on an album entitled Cake Or Death. She gave a sample of the mature, reflective direction that LP may take with two tracks. The first, with the late Steve Jobs used as an example, focused on people “getting out of their own  way” and putting their dreams into action. The second was a bittersweet reflection of a woman realizing a relationship had become devoid of any love outside of the physical.

Unquestionably, Big K.R.I.T. was the man everyone was waiting to see. The Mississippi upstart could be picked out easily behind the scenes from the swelling crowd of bloggers and hardcore fans that followed his route to the stage. The fans were very knowledgable of K.R.I.T.’s work, finishing the lyrics to tracks like “Return to 4eva” and “Just Touched Down.” For those who have bemoaned the state of southern Hip-Hop for the last few years, Big K.R.I.T. stands as a shining example that the music is now in good hands.

Inside, the Perfect Attendance stage arguably showcased the most eclectic lineup. Mixed together were swag rappers (Jarren Benton), spitters (Jon Connor) and a self-proclaimed “Kush God” (Smoke DZA). As a result, the crowds drastically changed nearly every set. Action Bronson had a short set where he showcased his humorous side with a self-deprecating track on his weight. With Ras Kass, who performs tomorrow, making rounds in the room, DZA closed this stage with a surprise second appearance from K.R.I.T. on “Gotta Get Paid.”

Well past midnight, it would be the Creative Loafing stage that closed the night’s performances. Sets from Skyzoo, Cory Gunz and Kid Daytona kept the room filled as many awaited the final set from Freddie Gibbs. With 9th Wonder back on the boards, Gibbs hit the stage with his CTE family in tow. The most impressive aspect of Gibbs’ set was his flow, which has been used to devastating effect on most of his features. The performance showed that it was no studio tricks of punching in — Gibbs’ rhymes sounded just as flawless as the records. To make sure this was emphasized, Gibbs dropped the music on tracks like “Rob Me a Nigga.”

It would be well past 1 AM when some fans began filing out of the Masquerade to get a good night’s rest and prepare for tonight’s final sets. And with a lineup that includes Big Daddy Kane, M.O.P. and Dead Prez, A3C is certain to have a memorable end to their 2011 festival.

$20 tickets for today are still available HERE.