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Driving Forces: Rapsody's Career is Inspired by Women

We went to the MC's studio in North Carolina to see her creative process firsthand and talk about what community means to her.

Sponsored content from Uber

Driving Forces is a video series profiling young creative people who are empowering their communities. We've partnered with Uber to highlight the stories of influential women whose work brings underrepresented voices to the front. Read more about how Uber is supporting women in the workplace here.

For Rapsody, being a gifted lyricist is a great responsibility.

"We live in a time when words aren't as important," she says. This is something the North Carolina rapper is intent on changing. From the start her music has put wordplay front and center, beginning with an interest in poetry which became an interest in song lyrics. As a child, she would take the booklets out of CD cases to read the words inside.


We went to visit the dynamic MC at her studio in Snow Hill, North Carolina where her positive energy and sense of humor took center stage.

Tied to her crusade to bring lyricism back is her desire to acknowledge the women that raised her—a rich legacy that she's trying to carry on to the next generation. Her acclaimed 2017 album, Laila's Wisdom, was named after her grandma Laila. "It connects to my grandmother, my mom, all the women in my life," she says. "I want my music to sound like classy black women."

Her debut studio album Idea Beautiful was heavily shaped by her travels to South Africa. The cover was shot there. The two girls on the cover are from Soweto—a place she felt at home. It was connecting with the girls as a role model that she reminded her of the power of music and words.

"You have a responsibility that's bigger than yourself," she says. "You can be born naturally talented but to be great you need to infuse some work ethic into it you know?"

Just as Rapsody feels a responsibility to the women and girls in her life, Uber is working to build communities for women within its company. "Women of Uber" is the name of an initiative that promotes the advancement of women in the company, accelerating professional development, and partnering across the company to attract & retain top talent—a major step toward increasing the representation of women in leadership roles at Uber globally.

The progress of Rapsody's career is evident in a studio full of production equipment, art—the things necessary for sustaining a creative life. When she's recording, she says, she basically lives in the studio until the project is done.

"I remember when we moved into this studio we didn't have anything but two beanbags and this desk. And now we've got plaques and Grammy awards. Just to see the journey and growth I'm super proud."

Video Credits:

Director: Brittany "B Monét" Fennell
Producer: Ayana Barber
Producer: Oyinkan Olojede
Editor: Morgan Riles
Director Of Photography: Ragland Media
Sound Mixer: Matthew Smith

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Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

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Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.