From creating rock music to still dominating present day music charts, the impact that African Americans have had on music is undeniable.
Durham has its own residents making an impact on music. Hillside alumni rapper Marlanna Evans more commonly known by her stage name Rapsody is showing promising forces in rap music.
Rapsody made her debut in 2007 after her feature on 9th Wonder’s The Dream Merchant Vol. 2. A year later she signing with his It’s A Wonderful World Music Group. In 2014, she made XXL’s list of 20 Greatest Female Rappers of All Time by XXL. However, in 2016, she signed with Roc Nation. The rapper then became the only female nominated for best rap album at the 60th Grammy awards in 2018. She was nominated alongside big names like Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Migos, and Tyler the Creator. That same year she was also nominated for best rap song. Her album was also partly produced by Durham colleague, 9th Wonder.
Real name Patrick Denard Douthit is an NCCU alumni. He also has worked with artists like Jay-Z, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and other big names. He met Rapsody in 2004 and invited her to freestyle over re-chopped samples on his sophomore album.
Professor Jim Harper from NCCU who met 9th Wonder while they both were still students there believes his former classmate’s success is good for the Triangle. He told WRAL.com
“I believe it brings a great deal of notoriety to our institution and to the City of Durham.”
Rapsody lost both her nominations at the Grammys. She is currently working on her sophomore album.