It’s ironic that Rapsody would name her latest album “Please Don’t Cry”. Since damn near every track bleeds emotionally like an episode of “This Is Us”, how can one expect a listener do anything but? The precision with which she cuts through the folds of her own psyche is pointed, splaying out her strengths and insecurities in rapped form for all to hear and take something away from. As an emcee, Rapsody’s prowess on the mic has never been in question. Looking closely, the talent of female emcees in recent times is comparable to that which we saw in this year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament. She’s always been dope, but never been so exposed. Actress Phylciia Rashad plays a part in multiple skits, including the “She’s Expecting You” album opener with its therapeutic motif.

Austin-based beatsmith Blk Odyssy produces several tracks, including the sound-shifting “Marlanna” where Rapsody spits two stream-of-consciousness verses interspersed with several gems. The lead single “Asteroids” is produced by Hit-Boy and Rapsody’s perseverance is shown through the hook: “Y’all threw some rocks at me; I threw back asteroids.” There’s a choppy R&B sound to the production on “Look What You’ve Done” while on “DND (It’s Not Personal)”, Rapsody and songstress Bee-B make use of the hit Monica song “Don’t Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days)” for the “do not disturb” theme of the track. S1 & Epikh Pro lace the 808-heavy “Black Popstar” with DIXSON having the first guest rap verse of the album. The single “Stand Tall” sees Eric G. as the sole remaining Soul Council producer retained for this album. The one-verse track is prefaced in the music video with a faux therapy session, thereby functioning as a cathartic response:



The psychoanalysis continues with the soulful groove of “That One Time”, where Rapsody’s introspection comes in many forms, including “I’m such a hypocrite—insecurity / I never felt socially accepted or wanted physically.” In something of a callback to 2019’s “Eve”, she gets an assist from Erykah Badu on “3:AM” with its idyllic lyrics and carefree reverie. For “Loose Rocks”, Rapsody narrates a first-person story over an airy soundscape about a loved one succumbing to dementia. Over the low-key menace of “Diary of a Mad Bitch”, Rapsody unleashes her fury on several targets, taking a lyrical Louisville Slugger to her irritations. The reggae-infused “Never Enough” has her show inadequacies and confident self-awareness with “Ignorance is bliss; the fantasy don’t exist / Never fit in their illusion—I was always the glitch.” The similarly reggae-inspired “He Shot Me” is Rapsody’s take on police violence against Blacks. The most lyrically turnt-up track is perhaps “Back In My Bag”, and Rapsody makes her mic presence known over Major Seven’s choppy horns and trap snares:



On “God’s Light”, gratitude is peppered in the lyrics as Rapsody also addresses 9th Wonder’s noticeable absence from this album. The track “Niko’s Interlude” is a commercial in Rapsody’s show, a brief showcase of rapper Niko Brim’s skills. Lil’ Wayne is the most well-known of the guest appearances and is featured on “Raw” to spar with Rapsody on the mic. “Lonely Women” is about literal self-love in a positive way and is essentially Cardi B’s “W.A.P.” if it was made-for-TV as an after-school special. “A Ballad For Homegirls” is a lyrical treatise about being thirsty and yearning for an emotionally unavailable man.

Phylicia Rashad makes her second appearance on “Please Don’t Cry Interlude”, providing a spoken word reminiscent of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and emphasizing self-actualization. The penultimate track “Faith” has a gospel tinge that sums up Rapsody’s reasons for laying out her vulnerabilities on this album: “For people that need healin’, I share my truth and my problems / Hope it might change your outcome even if it don’t solve ’em”. The final track “Forget Me Not” has no raps and is largely composed of a spoken word on Rapsody’s part before coming full circle with the opener. “Please Don’t Cry” bears comparisons to “Jagged Little Pill” by Alanis Morrisette: While it’s nowhere near as pissed off as the latter, it is just as confessional.


Rapsody :: Please Don't Cry
9Overall Score