Rapsody Introduces Marlanna In ‘Please Don’t Cry’ Album

Rapsody is not new to this. In fact, for over a decade, the North Carolina native has delivered sharp rhymes and quick wit, solidifying her legacy in Hip-Hop. With multiple albums, EPs, mixtapes, and guest verses, the 41-year-old has shared parts of herself, and her experience in this world through song.

Now, prepared to release her fourth studio album Please Don’t Cry on Friday (May 17), the Grammy-nominated musician is finally ready to introduce herself. In the 22-track project, Rapsody is at her most vulnerable, exposing the depths of her existence.

“My last album was Eve. It came out in 2019, so 4 1/2 years ago roughly. Every album before was really me, I think, trying to prove to myself that I was worthy, trying to gain the respect that I knew I deserved as an artist. I was shining the light on the world and everything else,” Rapsody proudly shared with VIBE.

She continued to explain, “The difference between all of those and this one is it’s the exact opposite, where I take the light and shine it on myself. It was me unlearning a lot of things, relearning, reintroducing myself to me, getting to know myself, getting back to the core of who I was, and I wasn’t afraid to share with the world.”

“It’s one thing to be who you are in the comfort and safety of your home, but to really allow yourself to be free to the world is one thing. And really just sharing what a part of my life looked like or what it was like with my family or what I’m… It was really… I just wanted to be human, and my goal was I wanted to connect with people by allowing them to see themselves in me. So I had to stand in the light and allow myself to be seen,” she continued.

Latetita Rumford/VIBE

Exploring themes of sexuality, identity, self-preservation, and the plight of Hip-Hop artistry, Rapsody called on the likes of Lil Wayne, Erykah Badu, Baby Tate, Niko Brim, Alex Isley, Nicole Bus, DIXSON, Bee-B, and Phylicia Rashad to add to perspective.

“Doing this, going into this album, I knew… I said, ‘I want to have more R&B singers.’ And I wasn’t necessarily focused on a lot of guest rappers because it was so about me. But I was like, this has to have some soul and it has to have singing and I can’t do that,” the “Pay Up” rapper explained.

She continued to detail the collaborative process between herself and Badu, an intimate learning experience and example of community found through artistry.

“That’s the one record I have enjoyed the most because it was a process, and getting to know her more and building a deeper friendship. She’s such a beautiful human being. You know the talent is in this style icon. She FaceTimed me the first time and she didn’t even say hello. She was in bed and she had a microphone and she was just humming melodies, and it was so dope to see her process. And we were speaking the other day and I told her, ‘I appreciate your process. You taught me how to slow down.’”

The 41-year-old added, “She taught me, just in that one song and interacting the way we did, that art can’t be rushed; you take your time and really get what you want to say and how you want to say and live with it. So that was a beautiful experience. She really elevated that record.”

Rapsody smiling

Latetita Rumford/VIBE

Please Don’t Cry was not initially the album she set out to create. However, through the process, she decided that it was the perfect time for its release.

“I told myself that I haven’t really introduced myself to people yet. And before I could do any other album, I want people to get to know me and know who I am first,” she detailed, explaining how other projects were in the works. “And that was my decision. I told the team, I was like, ‘Man, I was excited.’ About the other two, I was like, ‘I can’t put them out until I purge this and allow people to see me and let me get to know Marlanna outside of Rapsody.’”

She later added, “What I’m most proud of about this album, I’m proud of myself for being fearless, for allowing myself to be seen, allowing myself to be imperfect. I’m proud of myself for trusting me and how I felt in the art and the story that I wanted to tell. But I always wasn’t that confident in it, where I was comparing myself to the false and fake standards of what success looks like, what art looks like. Art is art. So I’m proud of myself for allowing myself to just create from the most free and authentic place”

Check out Rapsody’s Please Don’t Cry below.