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Rapsody’s most recent achievement, and perhaps the one that will make the most impact on her mainstream visibility, is that she is now one of only five solo female artists in the 23 year history of the Grammy category to be nominated for the award’s Best Rap Album (for Laila’s Wisdom), making it two nods for her this year along with Best Rap Song for Sassy. The other artists nominated in these categories include Rapsody’s label boss, Jay-Z, as well as Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator and Cardi B.

This momentum has been generated by years of hard work in the face of the challenges inherent to working in a male dominated genre. Her style is polished and distinct, a throwback storyteller with precisely delivered world play and flow. Laila’s Wisdom runs a cohesive 14-tracks, something rare in today’s single obsessed culture, and confronts issues including mass incarceration, police violence and gender bias. Often performing with a full band, Rapsody is one of those rare artists that perfectly captures the past and future of a musical tradition.

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