Rapsody, ‘She Got Game’ – Mixtape Review
To a lot of folks, North Carolina MC Rapsody is a breath of fresh air due to her skilled wordplay, detailed storytelling and overall charisma on the mic. And on her latest mixtape, 'She Got Game,' she has a chance to satisfy existing fans and pull in new ones, as it's chock-full of impressive writing and decent production from the likes of DJ Premiere, Khrysis, Ka$h, Denaun Porter and Rapsody's label boss, 9th Wonder.
From the tape's first track, 'A Song About Nothing,' Rapsody shows she has a keen knack for describing the smallest details, which would normally seem insignificant in a story, but she makes those details come alive, making her narrative sound even more compelling.
"Pile of laundry just as dirty as you seen it now play / Counting on my fingers trying to make it through a payday / Neighborhood kids run around loud as lighting / Peep through my blinds, they horse playing, fake fighting," Rapsody delivers.
Some of the guest features on the album consist of Raekwon, Chance the Rapper, Common, Nipsey Hussle, Phonte and Jay Electronica, but arguably the strongest feature on 'She Got Game' has to be from Mac Miller who successfully keeps pace with Rapsody's elaborate and wordy rhyme pattern.
"We know the feeling like a nursery rhyme / Blood rushes to the head, make a burgundy mind," spits Miller in vivid fashion.
But aside from the solid guest features -- except for an underwhelming verse from Jay Electronica -- Rapsody keeps the shine on herself by constructing well-thought out rhymes, which eclipse everybody on the track with her.
A perfect showing of this is on the song 'Feel Like' featuring Common. Even though the veteran Chicago MC is nearly an expert on writing songs about relationships and love, Rapsody outshines him and delivers a much more focused and interesting verse.
And on 'Dark Knights' featuring Wale, the Jamla Records artist makes it seem like the D.C.-area rapper didn't even utter a word on the track. She completely steels the show from the Maybach Music Group signee and makes the song undeniably hers.
When it comes to the beats on 'She Got Game,' most of the producers successfully tailor their tracks for Rapsody to spit her gripping vocals over, but a couple of the other producers fail to match her level of talent.
Listen to 'My Song' and 'Complacent', both produced by 9th Wonder. Each track unfortunately reaches a level of mediocrity, which some might say is typical when it comes to a lot of 9th's beats.
On a good number of tracks produced by 9th, it seems that Rapsody is the only strong point, and the beat comes in second place behind her verses.
On many stellar hip-hop albums and mixtapes, the music and the vocals undergo a perfect marriage, but on 'She Got Game,' it seems that some of the vocals and beats want a divorce -- meaning Rapsody's skilled delivery outdoes the backing music.
In totality, 'She Got Game' is a strong offering from an artist that probably should be much larger than she actually is in terms of notoriety. If skills automatically equal commercial success, Rapsody would be where the likes of J.Cole and the Kendrick Lamar are at in their respective careers.
And hopefully, she'll be able to get closer to that mainstream mark with this tape.
Listen to Rapsody's 'She Got Game' Mixtape