By Daniel Paiz
Big K.R.I.T’s 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time and Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom were two of the best albums produced in 2017. It appears that 2019 has brought these two wordsmiths to a head again as both artists are dropping summer projects. Hip-Hop heads across the internet will likely be checking for both projects, but which one will grab our attention first? That’s what I intend to find out below.
Rapsody’s new project
Rapsody is very much one of those artists who takes her time and makes sure she has everything the way she wants it. Being a protégé of 9th Wonder might provide one explanation for this method of creativity, but it’s more likely that Raps is very intentional in her story and the message she wants fans to receive. This new project, simply entitled Eve, continues this kind of messaging.
Think of this album as a ode to strong, influential Black women that have provided role models to Rapsody and other women who grew up with these names. Tracks will be named after people like Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Nina Simone among others. Representation is at the heart of this project, as Rapsody intends to highlight these women to encourage Black and Brown young women growing up today to keep pursuing whatever it is that they want to do. The project is slated to come out in August and Essence magazine has already interviewed the emcee about the project.
Numerous Hip-Hop outlets have already written about this release, and even the Grammys website has briefly penned announcements about this August album. Queen Latifah and D’Angelo are rumored to be collaborators as well. How does Big K.R.I.T compete with this kind of online buzz? By showing that content is king, of course.
Big K.R.I.T’s new project
“Addiction” and “KRIT Here” are the first two singles from K.R.I.T Iz Here. A new tour accurately called the “From The South With Love Tour” is booked and tickets are on sale (I’ll be at the October 16th Denver date). Both singles have music videos up. Despite all of this planning and preparation, there is not a lot of hype. Perhaps fans are catching up on K.R.I.T Wuz Here, the mixtape that this is inspired after, or they’re re-listening to 4eva Is A Might Long Time, the album out before this release.
The strangest part is that this album comes out July 12th, which is Friday. There’s a simple explanation; it’s because of who these artists are at their cores.
Both are highly anticipated in very different ways
Rapsody is getting more interest from the internet because there’s still at least a month before her release, and there isn’t a date nailed down for when it drops. There’s also been considerable interest growing in each project she’s dropped. Each album feels like a stepping stone in her growth and in her notoriety. In some ways, it feels like Rapsody is a flagbearer for thoughtful, lyrical, and purposeful Hip-Hop, regardless of gender. It’s weird to say K.R.I.T is not on that same path.
Now don’t misunderstand me, K.R.I.T has bars for days and his ability to weave a narrative is sublime. The slow build of interest for the Mississippi lyricist is due to a couple of factors. First off, he has a signature sound that almost always comes through in his rhymes. Secondly, revisiting a theme as he’s doing can be risky, because old fans might expect one thing and newer fans might not take to the slight bout of nostalgia. For this listener, it’s a risk worth taking, because I’m a fan of such risks.
To answer the question first asked, Rapsody has the more anticipated album because Eve feels like that natural next step in her career. However, NEVER EVER sleep on Big K.R.I.T; he’ll surprise you yet.