Rapsody – Please Don’t Cry

A riveting return...

No one does it quite like Rapsody. In terms of pure skills, the North Carolina artist is one of the best around, a supremely gifted rap technician who is unafraid to go a little deeper. 2019’s ‘Eve’ was excellent, but since then new material has been scarce, with Raspody taking time to focus on herself, and finesse her craft. Out now, new album ‘Please Don’t Cry’ is well worth the wait – an exhaustive 22-tracker, it features some stunning guests, and a central talent on riveting form.

A true blockbuster, ‘Please Don’t Cry’ tackles virtually every area of Rapsody’s life – from introspection to rage via the erotic, this is her experience in vivid 360. Trailed by the message #RapIsBack, the album opens with a flurry of muscular highlights – the punchy ‘Look What You’ve Done’, the sick ‘Asteroids’, the incendiary ‘Back In My Bag’ and more bounce out of the stereo.

Features are used only to compliment her vision. Erykah Badu is sensational on ‘3:AM’, a song of longing and the urge towards communication that neatly captures those afterhours conversations. Bibi Bourelly stars on the self-explanatory ‘Diary Of A Mad Bitch’, while Baby Tate is on fiery form during ‘A Ballad For Homegirls’.

It’s a record where Rapsody stretches herself, and truly takes chances. There’s the playful self-love ode ‘Lonely Women’ for one, while ‘Stand Tall’ directly addresses rumours about her sexuality. As a woman in the music industry Rapsody has had to overcome a number of hurdles, including thoughtless innuendo. The spoken word intro finds the artist cross-examined by Sanaa Lathan. “On a personal level, the things that you poured into me at the time that I needed it? God aligned it for me,” Rap says. “‘Cause I was going through such a transition and a healing phase and really getting to learn who I was again. And you gave me so much. So many words and tools to help me on a journey. And for the fans, like, the album does not come without you.”

A gift from Rapsody to her fans, ‘Please Don’t Cry’ is a powerful cycle of personal growth that just might stand as her most complete work yet.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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