“I just wanted something that's really soulful."
When talking about one of the better outings of 2017, Rapsody's Laila's Wisdom will not fail to come up in most circles. Therefore, it's no wonder that the North Carolina emcee managed to land two Grammy nominations this year, including Best Rap Album and and Best Rap Song for the track "Sassy."
Ahead of the awards ceremony this weekend, Rapsody sat down in a special live interview via her Facebook page with Ambrosia For Heads founder Reggie Williams to break down the creation of Laila's Wisdom and gifted us with a bit more insight on how the sound we've come to know was crafted, detailing the special way in which she relayed what she wanted to producer 9th Wonder by putting together a playlist of tracks that inspired her before Terrace Martin would come in to update everything with a more modern sound.
Among the songs on the playlist were what she calls "soulful, storytelling joints" that included cuts from Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, Jay-Z's The Black Album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, tracks from A Tribe Called Quest, and notably Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun.
“If I had to pick one album that’s my favorite of all time, that’s one of ’em,” Rapsody noted of Mama's Gun. “I just wanted something that's really soulful. I listen to that album so much at night and it goes through so many different emotions for me. We're talking "Green Eyes," " A.D. 2000," and "Time's A Wasting...Even with the title of the project, Mama’s Gun inspired it. I was like 'That's cold.' It’s short and sweet, but it says a lot.”
Watch the album in full below and catch Rapsody breaking it down around the 8-minute mark.