Hailing from Snow Hill, North Carolina, Rapsody (born Marlanna Evans) is an emcee best known for her intricate rhyme patterns, clever wordplay and uncompromising dedication to her own hip-hop philosophy, “Culture Over Everything.” She first got her start as part of the North Carolina-based hip-hop group, Kooley High, later becoming the protégé of producer 9th Wonder. In 2008, she signed as a solo artist to the Grammy Award-winning producer’s own Jamla Records imprint, It’s A Wonderful World Music Group. After being featured on projects from 9th Wonder and Skyzoo, Rapsody made her solo debut with 2010’s Return of the B-Girl. Her first project boasted production from the likes of 9th Wonder and DJ Premier, as well as featured guests such as Big Daddy Kane, Mac Miller, Rah Digga, Phil Ade and Skyzoo.
As she established her reputation as an incredible live performer and storyteller, Rapsody added to her catalog, both as a solo artist and with Kooley High. In 2011, she landed an opening slot on Mac Miller’s Incredibly Dope tour, as well as released two mixtapes, Thank H.E.R. and Now and For Everything. 2012 saw her debut studio album, The Idea of Beautiful, released via Jamla. The 16-track project featured in-house production handled by the 9th Wonder-led Soul Council, with guest appearances from The Cool Kids, Ab-Soul, Childish Gambino, BJ The Chicago Kid, Mac Miller and more. After releasing her 2013 mixtape She Got Game and her 2014 EP Beauty and the Beast, Rapsody landed a feature on Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly. After her memorable contribution on the track “Complexion (A Zulu Love),” Rapsody began garnering mainstream recognition and inked a deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2016. With her career a decade deep and continuing to thrive, Rapsody is a testament to perseverance, hard work and staying true to one’s vision.