— 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

– On August 1st, 1995, Mafioso themed artistry was forever ingrained into hip-hop culture with the release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx A.K.A The Purple Tape; Wu-Tang member Raekwon’s debut solo album.

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is fueled by a heavy dosage of gritty street-inspired tales, a sequential movie-like vibe including Kung Fu and Mafia film clips (courtesy of RZA of course), and countless allusions to organized crime – particularly that of American Mafia culture. And, while Kool G Rap is generally credited as the official originator of Mafioso rap, Raekwon and The Wu’s formula allowed that subculture to truly permeate the streets, dubbing it an instant classic. So much so, it inspired themes, characters, and personas of many other legendary hip-hop albums including Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt (1996) and Notorious B.I.G’s Life After Death (1997). Wu-tang Clan found themselves trendsetting at every turn in tracks like “Wu Gambinos” where you’ll find the entire collective giving themselves alter egos just like the mobsters they’re emulating – a tactic later used by Tupac Shakur (Makaveli), Notorious B.I.G (Frank White), and Nas (Escobar) to name a few.

Other factors that led to the incredible reception of this album included the beginning of the Raekwon-Ghostface Killah duo, the introduction of Cristal as a staple drink in Black culture, an unexpected feature from Nas, and even slang terms deriving from the Supreme Alphabet and Supreme Mathematics of the Five Percent Nation.

Very few people outside of the great Raekwon and his fellow Wu-Tang Clan group members/affiliates can shift an entire culture the way that Only Built 4 Cuban Linx did. Although Wu-Tang Clan has left a trail of greatness everywhere that they’ve stepped, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, is often regarded as one of the two best solo projects ever created by a Wu-Tang member, alongside GZA’s Liquid Swords.

According to RZA, “The only two albums I did with nobody fucking with me was Linx and Liquid Swords. I was on a mission.” Well…that explains a lot.

Make sure you take the time to get a few listens out of this project. It’s well worth it as you may even find some hidden gems, such as material sampled in Jay Z’s 4:44 album.

The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup is what you need to hold you over until you make it back to the aux cord after work. Chicago based production group, The Hood Internet, known for their pretty interesting song mashups posted to YouTube and Soundcloud, have taken on the task of smashing 40 years of hip hop into 4 minutes. It sounds damn near impossible but they did it, with each artist finishing the bars of the last. That’s the real feat here but they made it seem so effortless without missing a beat, resulting in a very solid hip hop mini history lesson.

There’s really something for every hip hop head in this mix. I’ve really never been so satisfied with tiny snippets of music but I was able to reminisce on Pimp C, get a Pac fix, and Harlem Shake to “All About The Benjamins” all in four minutes. The Hood Internet wasn’t playing games about going back in time either; The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup has Afrika Bambataa and Grandmaster Flash somehow cohesively sharing a slot with Ying Yang Twins and House of Pain. It was nice to see that The 40 Years of Hip Hop Mashup made sure not to leave out the female hip hop presence with appearances from Lauryn Hill, Missy, and Salt N Pepa.

Head over to The Hood Internet SoundCloud page for more and check out the list of all of the featured artists below.

2 Pac, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambaataa, Audio Two, AZ, Beastie Boys, BG, Big Pun, Biz Markie, Black Rob, Black Sheep, Blackstreet, Bobby Shmurda, Boogie Down Productions, Busta Rhymes, Cali Swag District, Cam’ron, Chamillionaire, Chance The Rapper, Clipse, Common, Craig Mack, Cypress Hill, David Banner, De La Soul, Dead Prez, Digable Planets, Digital Underground, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, DJ Kool, DJ Quik & Kurupt, DMX, Doug E Fresh, Dr. Dre, Drake, Eazy-E, Eminem, Eric B. & Rakim, Funky 4+1, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, GZA, House of Pain, Ice Cube, J-Kwon, Jadakiss, Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, JJ Fad, Juvenile, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, KRS-One, Lauryn Hill, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Lil Kim, Lil Troy, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Madvillain, MC Shan, Meek Mill, MF DOOM, Missy Elliott, Mobb Deep, Montell Jordan, MOP, Nas, Naughty By Nature, Nelly, Nicki Minaj, Notorious B.I.G, N.W.A, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Outkast, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Petey Pablo, Pharoahe Monch, Public Enemy, Puff Daddy, Quad City DJs, Rich Boy, Rick Ross, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Run-DMC, Salt N Pepa, Scarface, Schoolly D, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Skee-Lo, Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy, Sugarhill Gang, T La Rock, T-Wayne, T.I., Terror Squad, The Fat Boys, The Fatback Band, The Fugees, The Game, The Pack, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Three 6 Mafia, Tone Loc, Tyga, UGK, Usher, UTFO, Warren G, Whodini, Wreckx-N-Effect, Wu-Tang Clan, Ying Yang Twins, Young Gunz

Written by ViV