Billboard Hot 100 Fest

Rapsody Kicks Knowledge at NYC's SOB's for Her Wisdom Is Power Tour

Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW
Rapsody performs onstage at the Mass Appeal music showcase during 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Stubbs on March 16, 2017 in Austin, Texas.

Newly-minted Grammy nominated MC Rapsody took to New York City’s SOB’s Friday night (Dec. 1) for her Wisdom Is Power Tour. To promote her critically-acclaimed Roc Nation debut, Laila’s Wisdom, Rapsody embarked on the 15-stop journey across the states and Friday night was a true showcase of lyrical ability.

Accompanying Rapsody on the tour were her special guests Don Flamingo, Deante Hitchcock, and her fellow Jamla Records labelmate, GQ. The three up and coming artists each left it all on the stage delivering solid performances that kept the audience attuned to the show. With each act, it was as if the bar continued to rise and it made Rapsody’s highly-anticipated appearance all the better.

“If they ask you about Rapsody. Don’t tell them I’m a female rapper, a female MC, a femcee. If they ask you about me, you tell them I’m a motherf---ing beast,” Rapsody said half way into her set. She wasn’t lying either. Dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt under a camouflage army jacket featuring Colin Kaepernick’s name stitched across the back, Rapsody arrived on stage ready to feed off the energy the audience was giving her.

The Snow Hill, North Carolina, native, known for her complex rhyme patterns and witty wordplay, had the microphone on fire all night. Rapsody’s opened her set with “Laila’s Wisdom” the opener to her acclaimed album. The audience showed their utmost appreciation from the start with roaring cheers and a deafening applause.

Several members of the audience made it known that they wanted Rapsody to take home the Grammy nomination for best rap album with Laila’s Wisdom. In a cool sign of humility Rapsody said, “I’m just happy to be nominated. If we win, that would be beautiful but I got to give it up to JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Migos and Tyler, The Creator because it’s culture over everything. I think this year we have a beautiful representation for the culture. So whoever wins, it’s a win for everybody.”

Rapsody continued the show with tracks off Laila’s Wisdom performing “Chrome (Like Ooh),” “Pay Up,” and “Nobody.” She then decided to take everyone back for a moment with riveting performances of “Crown” and “Gonna Miss You,” Throughout her set Rapsody reminded the audience that this was a showcase of real hip-hop and she showed her appreciation by interpolating her own records with classic hip-hop instrumentals.

Rapsody flipped the switch on several records. She performed her verse off the Anderson .Paak collaboration “Without You” to Biggie Small’s “Kick In The Door” instrumental. Rapsody then took Biggie Small’s “Dead Wrong” for a spin performing “You Should Know” over the haunting instrumental. Most impressively however, Rapsody performed “Hard to Choose” over not one but two instrumentals with the first being A Tribe Called Quest’s “Check The Rhime” and “Electric Relaxation," not missing a single step.

Rapsody made it an interactive show as well bringing some members of the audience on stage. While performing “Sassy,” three women joined her on stage to dance to the feel good record. On “A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love” Rapsody got very close and intimate with a male audience member macking and vibing to the sensual track, much to the delight of the audience.

She ended the show with an energetic performance of her hit record “Power,” but before going into the record, Rapsody gave the audience some words of wisdom to live by. She explained that she’s been making music for a number of years and mentioned that people always ask her why she continues to do what she’s doing due to the lack of mainstream popularity.

Her response was, “I do this so women know that anything a man can do we can do just as well, if not ten times better than them.” Rapsody also spoke on people constantly asking her what she wants her audience to take away from her shows. “I want you to be inspired to do something, to love yourself, to live your purpose, to follow your dream, and to be confident in yourself.”