Rapsody – The Idea of Beautiful | Album Review

The Idea of Beautiful. You could write an entire essay on such an intriguing matter. Snow Hill, North Carolina native Rapsody did write an essay on the topic but did it in the musical form. In her debut LP, Rap decided to take all that she learned from her previous three projects in which she explored different avenues and combine into a rare introspective effort. Rapsody’s ode to cultural assent and narration of her own heartbreak transforms The Idea of Beautiful from complex portrayal to personal abstraction and human-dignifying advancement.

Influenced by her own self-discovery on the title topic, Rap’s debut album could be interoperated as a reassessment of previous personal beliefs and displays all glimpses of potential seen on previous releases. She features many of the usual suspects with Heather Victoria, Mac Miller, Big Remo all making return emceeing appearances.

The album opens with somewhat of a description of what The Idea of Beautiful is in the intro. “Precious Wings” shows Rapsody’s transformation from a hard body beginning on Return of the B-Girl to a woman in a more matured and idealistic mode losing no aspect of lyrical prowess.

One of the album’s singles, “Believe Me” is the quintessential track that shows Rapsody’s development through the rap game. The song includes some traditional braggadocios bars from Rap, which fit in well with one of the song’s motives. Instead of trying to establish who she is (an objective accomplished in previous drops), it gives listeners a feed of her rap game vision.

“NonFiction” features Top Dawg Entertainment’s Ab-Soul and singer Raheem Devaughn. The track skillfully blends the soothing vocals of Devaughn while bringing out Soul at the end of the track. The boom bap presence on the track demonstrates Rapsody’s respect for traditional New York hip-hop.

“Kind of Love” is the first of three tracks that features Nomsa Mazwai, one of the girls featured on the album’s cover and someone Rap has a personal connection with. During a trip to Africa, Rapsody met the South African songstress and was perhaps a major influence on the album’s title and overall message. The song is one of the first real tracks that start to delve into what “The Idea of Beautiful” is through not only Rapsody’s eyes but how those listening want to interpret it as.

“Good Good Love” is another solid track that is themed around the flaws of materialism and the shortcomings of chasing those who are too big for their bridges. Featuring the cold vocals of BJ The Chicago Kid, the song’s message is perhaps exemplified in the hook and remains a theme that lingers through out the album; “For him she packed all her Louie (All her Louie) / All her Gucci (All her Gucci) / All her Prada (All her Prada) / But somehow she left her heart.”

“Roundtable Discussion” is another one of the album’s singles and features The Cool Kids and Mac Miller. The song takes form as the title suggests. Each emcee featured participates in the “roundtable discussion” and definitely steps their bars up perfectly complementing 9th Wonder’s synced repetitive catch-up beat that he lays under the track.

The Idea of Beautiful presents many underlying themes that listeners subconsciously take in. It takes ties together the ideas of not only beauty but heartbreak, celebration and allure of triumph over both the good and bad times. Establishing Rapsody as much more than a street corner salute to Hip-Hop’s lyrical greats, The Idea of Beautiful institutes Rap as a multifaceted emcee capable of head-removing street bars and soulful reflective insight into all of life’s highs and lows.

Rapsody – The Idea of Beautiful
Label: Jamla Records / Culture Over Everything
Released: August 28, 2012
Buy: iTunes / Amazon

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