Three years ago, while a junior in the Journalism school at the University of Iowa, I hooked my first artist interview for a small blog I had established for a class. The artist’s name was Rapsody, then a new signee to super-producer 9th Wonder’s then-new imprint, JAMLA. At the time, she was full submerged in 9th’s “rap boot camp” as she described it then, spending endless hours in the studio honing her craft with notes from him and the rest of the JAMLA team, who earlier this week released the collaborative JAMLA Is The Squad.
Three years later, the foundation she built through those long hours of study and practice have molded her into one of the craftiest lyricists in hip-hop today. Where she was the student then, she is now looked to by younger artists for inspiration and guidance, something she never could have imagined back then. Six projects have spanned the time since I last sat down to talk to Rapsody and each one has shown a calculated growth in everything from her delivery to her cadence. In a world where artists can go from no one to the front of a magazine seemingly overnight, the North Carolina native is a bit of a throwback to a time when the art was more important than Youtube views and Twitter followers. I ran into her last month at a JAMLA event celebrating the addition of Chicago artist Add-2 and caught up over the phone recently to discuss the what the past few years have been like since we last sat down for a Q+A. Check out our full conversation below.