— Following her 2016 breakthrough album, Laila’s Wisdom, Rapsody prepares to release her third and most anticipated project, Eve.

Back in June, Rapsody announced that she’d soon be releasing a new album titled, Eve. She also shared her desire to name each song after a Black woman due to her belief that she is an extension of every Black woman. Well, ‘soon’ is quickly transitioning into ‘now’ as Rapsody has dropped the official cover art and tracklist.

The album, named after the Bible’s original woman, includes tracks named after some of Rapsody’s greatest female inspirations such as Sojourner Truth, Nina Simone, Aaliyah, Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, Tyra Banks, Serena Williams, and more. The tracklist also reveals a number of big-name features including Queen Latifah, J. Cole, Mereba, Elle Varner, D’Angelo, GZA, J.I.D, Leikeli 47, PJ Morton, SiR, and K. Roosevelt.

So far, Rapsody has only released one single titled, “IBTIHAJ”, featuring D’Angelo and GZA along with an accompanying music video. The music video, directed by Jay Scorsese and Misa Hylton, was a powerful representation of the power and beauty of Black women and even included surprise cameos from Hip-Hop legends Mary J. Blige and Roxanne Shanté.

Eve, which follows up Rapsody’s two previous albums The Idea of Beautiful (2012) and Grammy-nominated Laila’s Wisdom, is due for release on Friday, August 23rd via Roc Nation.

Tracklist:

  1. NINA
  2. CLEO
  3. AALIYAH
  4. OPRAH ft. Leikeli 47
  5. WHOOPI
  6. SERENA
  7. TYRA
  8. MAYA ft. K. Roosevelt
  9. IBTIHAJ ft. D’Angelo + GZA
  10. MYRLIE ft. Mereba
  11. Reyna’s Interlude
  12. MICHELLE ft. Elle Varner
  13. IMAN ft SiR + J.I.D
  14. HATSHEPSUT ft. Queen Latifah
  15. SOJOURNER ft. J. Cole
  16. AFENI ft. P.J. Morton

— Almost 2 decades ago, DJ Clue? made his leap from the streets to the record label with the release of his star-studded debut album, The Professional.

Many of us can still remember a time when music wasn’t so accessible and musical products themselves were much more tangible. While today you can instantly stream or download just about any music that you want, things weren’t always like this. Artists found themselves creating projects on an incredibly tight budget, often over the course of months. Crews hit the corners to distribute mixtapes like the Sunday newspaper. And, Hip-Hop connoisseurs were in the streets sniffing out the hottest new product like shameless dope fiends. So, during the ‘90s, when Hip-Hop was receiving more admiration that it ever had before, DJ Clue? mastered a formula that made him one of the first and few DJs to take his talents to the record label.

DJ Clue Presents ‘The Professional’

On December 15, 1998, DJ Clue? released The Professional through his newly founded label, Desert Storm Records (a subsidiary of Roc-a-Fella and Def Jam). Prior to this release, DJ Clue? had become one of NYC’s top DJs due to his prominent street-level mixtapes featuring exclusive tracks from Hip-Hop’s biggest names like Mobb Deep and even Notorious B.I.G. However, once given the opportunity to deliver a studio album, DJ Clue? significantly stepped his game up while still providing quality exclusives that folks on the block can appreciate.

The list of featured acts on The Professional is absolutely insane. In some cases, you get hit with excessive firepower on tracks like “Fantastic 4” featuring Cam’ron, N.O.R.E, Big Pun, and Canibus. A young Fabolous continues making a name for himself on “That’s the Way” and “If They Want It”. Missy Elliot, Nicole Wray, and Mocha set things off with “I Like Control”. Jay Z and Ja Rule join forces for the smooth cut “Gangsta Shit”. Mariah Carey even got a skit. The remaining roster includes DMX, Drag-On, Eve, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Jadakiss, Styles P, Nas, Nature, Boot Camp Clik, M.O.P, Memphis Bleek, EPMD, Lord Tariq, Made Men, Redman, Flipmode Squad, Foxy Brown, Mase, Keith Murray, Raekwon, Big Noyd, and Mobb Deep.

As of 2001, The Professional has been certified platinum by the RIAA with over 1,000,000 records sold in the United States. Still, those numbers alone can’t sum up this project. This album is a piece of history – as all albums are. However, this is one where you can see where so many different artists were at a particular time in history as well as their chemistry with each other – all in one place.

Check out the full project above.

Written by DJ Robinson