Beast Mode On: Looking back on Rapsody in Amsterdam

Written By: Qual-E.T.

Photography: Qual-E.T. & Youtube


“Not merely an incredible femcee but rapper PERIOD”

How do I find the right words to describe Rapsody’s concert in Amsterdam yesterday, February 27, 2018? Where do I start? How do I convey my impression of her performance that evening? Even 24 hours after her show I am still in awe. I have not been able to sleep at all last night and I could not get any work done today: I was not able to focus on anything as I was playing back the concert in my head over and over again. Yesterday, however, was the worst: When I had the chance to meet her after her performance at Melkweg, I was so awestruck, I barely managed to remember how to speak and was not able to utter more than a simple “Thank You Queen”; stuttering at that.

Being speechless is a rarity in my world. Just ask my friends and family and they will tell you that it is very untypical for me and rather worrisome to find me close-mouthed and/or in search of words. I am just happy I didn’t bow down or something embarrassing of that kind.

Even though it will not be easy, I will try and recount Rapsody’s concert in Amsterdam yesterday. However, I feel obliged to point out that there is simply no way my review can do her performance any justice but hey, since you were not there, it’s ok for you to be square. The show started with GQ, an upcoming rapper from Oakland, signed with Jamla Records, who opened for Rapsody. We all know how difficult it can be for up-and-comers to be the opening act for someone of Rapsody’s caliber, especially abroad. But GQ, who proved that he is not only a very talented rapper but also a great performer, won the crowd over easily and in no time and got everyone hyped-up; If you do not know him yet, you should definitely go and check him out  “E14th” . While GQ was doing his thing, no one other than 9th Wonder, the legendary producer, did his magic on the 1s and 2s.

Shortly after GQ’s performance Rapsody took the stage like a force of nature. One thing was clear from the jump: She is a beast and she is not playing! Her show was full of power, passion and energy from the very beginning until the very end: She was fiery, witty, funny, 100% authentic and incredibly likable. Rapsody took us, the audience, on a journey through a wide range of emotions. She was able to deliver very heavy socio-politically critical content in such an entertaining way, I had goosebumps throughout the whole concert.

Rapsody provided us all with food for thought for days if not weeks; something rather rare these days, which I appreciated infinitely. What I applaud Rapsody for is her ability to demonstrate through her lyrics and her demeanor in general and at yesterday’s concert in particular that pro-black des not mean anti-white. One of my personal highlights was when she pulled one of my friends’ friend on stage and danced with him. It just showed me how down-to-earth and approachable she is.

Her performance of “Hard to Choose” and the moment she had eye contact with my friend, for whom the lyrics of this song mean the world. In general  I was blown away by her humility and ability to connect with the crowd, which in addition to that seemed of great importance to her. Rapsody managed to make us all feel seen and heard and turned this concert from a monologue – at times a dialogue with 9th Wonder – to a conversation with the audience; a conversation that my friends and I will continue to have after the concert.

The fact that she took the time to talk to everyone after the concert and make sure that all of us get a signature or a picture only confirmed the impression I had had of her. I am so grateful I was able to attend this concert: not only did I feel like I was part of what Hip Hop really is about but I also left the venue intellectually nourished, with even greater appreciation of Hip Hop (Who would have thought that could be possible?!?)  and new perspectives.  

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