Fresh off the release of her new single “IBTIHAJ,” Grammy-nominated and Jamla Records recording artist Rapsody today revealed the cover art with the tracklist for her upcoming third full-length album EVE, due Friday, August 23, 2019, via Roc Nation (in partnership with Def Jam Recordings).
The tracklist is a who’s who in music, featuring guests that span from hip-hop legends like Queen Latifah, current rap stars like J. Cole and R&B crooners like PJ Morton. The line-up also sees collaborations with Elle Varner, Sir, J.I.D, K Roosevelt, Leikeli 47, Mereba and an interlude from spoken word artist Reyna Biddy. Fans were treated to an early sampling of the album’s star power with first single “IBTIHAJ,” which sees Rapsody teaming up with D’Angelo and GZA. To pre-order and pre-save EVE across all digital platforms, please click here.
Speaking to NPR about the upcoming album Rapsody stated, “I wanted to make an album and name every song after a black woman, because I’m an extension of every black woman.”
Named after the Bible’s original woman, EVE is dedicated to the celebration and empowerment of women of color worldwide. Each song on the album is titled after a legendary black female, helping shed light on the people that have served as inspirations for Rapsody through the years: from longest-reigning female Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut to 19th century African-American abolitionist and freedom fighter Sojourner Truth; from music legends Nina Simone and Aaliyah to poet Maya Angelou; from athlete Serena Williams to cultural icons Whoopi Goldberg, Iman, Tyra Banks, and Michelle Obama, plus others. (Please see complete EVE tracklist with features below.)
In their preview of the album NPR says Rapsody, “Has never sounded more urgent. She’s in full possession of her powers on this album, both as a lyricist and performer, but also as a whole-sided human.”
The album’s first single “IBTIHAJ,” produced by Jamla Records CEO 9th Wonder, and accompanying video, directed by Jay Scorsese and co-directed by Misa Hylton, were released last Friday, August 2, to critical praise. The track features guest vocals from D’Angelo and The GZA, while the music video includes appearances by The GZA, Mary J. Blige, and Roxanne Shanté. The song’s title pays tribute to Ibtihaj Muhammad. A member of the United States national fencing team, Ibtihaj became the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the US in the Olympics in 2016. The song’s lyrics speak to having confidence in oneself, being fearless, and standing by one’s beliefs while the music video pays homage to New York and Muslim women of color. The single is available now across digital platforms here and the video can be viewed here.
EVE succeeds Rapsody’s two previous albums, both praised by critics at-large — the 2012 debut The Idea of Beautiful and 2017’s Laila’s Wisdom, which featured a star-studded group of guests (Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, Busta Rhymes, Musiq Soulchild, etc) and made her a bonafide rap star. Laila’s Wisdom was nominated for two Grammys® in 2018: Best Rap Song (for “Sassy”) and Best Rap Album, making her the only female nominated in the latter category that year. The groundwork laid prior to Laila’s Wisdom included her outstanding verse on Anderson.Paak’s “Without U” and her first GRAMMY nomination for her exceptional performance on Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly.
To prepare for EVE’s release, it was recently announced that Rapsody will support Common on select dates for his “Let Love Tour” this month. For a full list of dates check here.