Last year was pretty good to Jamla rapper Rapsody. The MC saw her profile rise considerably thanks to a spot on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, the only MC to get a rap feature on the album (Snoop Dogg's spoken word bridge on "Institutionalized" doesn't count, sorry), with her contribution to "Complexion (A Zulu Love)." Seizing the opportunity, she's used the high-profile guest spot to bring attention to her own work, which has paid off in spades. The latest highlight in a year full of them was the rapstress getting to do her very own NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Flanked by friend and Jamla label head 9th Wonder and band The Storm Troopers, she performed three songs from her Beauty and the Beast EP, "Godzilla," "The Man" and "Hard to Choose." The live setting and live band lent a raw, intimate feel to the proceedings, particularly her performance of "The Man," which was taken to a transcendent place thanks to the live saxophone and keys adding extra layers to her complex story. Though her set was short and sweet, it was obviously a crowd pleaser, with the audience (which had a sizable contingent of Howard University students) obviously enjoying themselves until the very end.