If Idris Elba walks up to you and says “go get the camera we’re gonna shoot something” there isn’t a woman on the planet that would turn him down. This fantasy scenario was reality for North Carolina’s newest MC sensation, Rapsody.
However, this wasn’t some kind of indecent proposal. The protege of Grammy Award Winning producer 9th Wonder was in South Africa shooting the video to “Kind Of Love,” the debut single from her long-awaited LP, The Idea Of Beautiful. Elba was in Soweto filming his Nelson Mandela biopic and offered his eye to Rapsody’s clip. (Watch the video above for more on that).
It’s this type of divine providence that has followed the lyricist from a small town called Snowhill in east NC. Rapsody (born Marlenna Evans) picked up a mic during her junior year of college at North Carolina State. She was thumbing through a dictionary (a practice she copied from her favorite MC, Jay-Z) looking for a proper alias and came across the word “Rhapsody.”
“The definition was ‘poetry spoken with great emotion,’ and that’s what hip-hop is to me,” she tells TheUrbanDaily.com. “So I just dropped the “H” and ran with it. It’s been shortened down to ‘Rap’ and “Rap Diddy” but I am Rapsody.”
She was putting the name through its paces trading verses in the group Kooley High when 9th came across her unique flow and gift for lyricism and signed her to his Jamla Records labels in 2008.
“Everybody on the label always asks what he sees in us and he said that I am his passionate side. We both share the same passion for the culture,” she says. “That’s where we connect. He was the first one to kind of believe in me. When I did my first two songs he said ‘you’re a star.’ It’s good working with 9th. I don’t see me being anywhere else.”
In the years that followed Rapsody released three mixtapes: Return of the B-Girl (2010) Thank H.E.R. Now (2011) For Everything (2011) and an EP The Black Mamba (2012) to prepare for her official release, The Idea Of Beautiful.