Delivering brutally honest and quick-witted lyrics over a sound palette that traverses soul, R&B, and hip-hop, Rapsody (aka Marlanna Evans) is an American rapper from North Carolina. Growing up in the town of Snow Hill, Greene County, she developed an interest in music at a young age through her parents' record collections, which included artists such as Luther Vandross and Tina Turner. After viewing the video for MC Lyte's "Poor Georgie" and discovering the Fugees' album The Score, Evans decided she wanted to pursue a career in rap. She briefly joined the hip-hop outfit Kooley High before beginning her solo career in 2008 after signing with the It's a Wonderful World Music Group. She put out the Return of the B-Girl mixtape in late 2010, produced with DJ Premier and featuring Big Daddy Kane, Rah Digga, and Mac Miller before swiftly following up with two more mixtapes, 2011's Thank H.E.R. Now and For Everything. That same year also saw her open for Miller on his Incredibly Dope tour before heading out on the road again with Phoebe and 9th Wonder.
Rapsody released her first EP, The Black Mamba, followed by her debut full-length, The Idea of Beautiful, in 2012. Whereas the production on the mixtapes was handled primarily by 9th Wonder, the album was produced by the Soul Council — a production group made up of 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Ka$h Don't Make Beats, and various others. She released the She Got Game mixtape in 2013 before going on to receive a featured credit on the track "Complexion (A Zulu Love)" by Kendrick Lamar on his widely acclaimed 2015 album, To Pimp a Butterfly. In 2016, she put out her second EP, Crown, while also inking a deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Rapsody's first release for the label was her sophomore effort, 2017's Laila's Wisdom. The effort featured guest performances from Lamar and Busta Rhymes. It received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, and highlight "Sassy" was nominated in the category of Best Rap Song. ~ Rob Wacey