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Laila's Wisdom is the second studio album by American rapper Rapsody, released on September 22, 2017, by Jamla Records[1] and Roc Nation.[2] It is Rapsody's first album released under her partnership with Roc Nation.[3] The album features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar (with whom Rapsody had previously collaborated on To Pimp a Butterfly), Anderson Paak, Busta Rhymes, Lance Skiiiwalker, Black Thought, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Musiq Soulchild, among others.[2][3]

Laila's Wisdom
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 22, 2017
GenreHip hop
Label Def Jam
Rapsody chronology
Beauty and the Beast
Laila's Wisdom



The album is Rapsody's first following her signing with Roc Nation in 2016,[4] and follows her mixtape Crown (2016).[5]

Rapsody has previously collaborated with several of the guests on the record, including Kendrick Lamar, who she collaborated with on the track "Complexion (A Zulu Love)" from Lamar's 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly,[1] which is credited with gaining Rapsody wider attention than she had had previously.[6] Lamar also rapped on the track "Rock the Bells" from her 2011 mixtape For Everything.[4] Rapsody also appeared on Anderson Paak's album Malibu, on "Without You".[1] Paak also appeared on Crown.[7]

In early September, Rapsody released "You Should Know" by Busta Rhymes as the first song from the album.[8] In an Instagram post, Rhymes called the album "the best album I've heard not only from a female MC but in Hip hop period as well that I've personally had a chance to hear from top to bottom in it's entirety that I've probably in the last 10yrs [sic]".[4]

The guest appearances for the album were revealed in a video featuring Rapsody in a mural surrounded by the guests that appear on the record.[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [10]
XXL4/5 (XL)[15]

Laila's Wisdom received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 87, based on seven reviews.[9] Michael J. Warren of Exclaim! called it Rapsody's best work, saying: "It's not only her best work, but the best amongst her peers, the sort of album that transcends the lane she was in beforehand, transcends whatever antiquated gender biases may still permeate the genre and puts her in the same category as your favourite rapper (who's now clamouring for a Rapsody feature)."[11] Jesse Fairfax of HipHopDX praised the album, stating: "Rapsody evolves on this latest album—increasingly comfortable revealing a wide range of personal facets while developing into an apt storyteller."[12] Writing for XXL, Peter A. Berry described the album as "a smooth, cohesive and powerfully insightful effort."[15] In the review for AllMusic, writer Andy Kellman gave the album four out of five stars. He praised Rapsody's progression on the album, claiming that "Laila's Wisdom is Evans' lyrically broadest and musically richest work, yet it doesn't have the sprawling quality of the first album. There's a finer, detail-filled shape to it, from the "Young, Gifted, and Black" (Aretha)-sampling title track to "Jesus Coming," an astonishing finale in which Evans relates the aftermath of a playground tragedy from multiple perspectives."[10]


The album received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song.[16]

Publication Accolade Year Rank Ref.
Drowned in Sound Favourite Albums of 2017 2017

Track listingEdit

Track listing and credits adapted from Tidal.[18]

1."Laila's Wisdom"Nottz3:14
2."Power" (featuring Kendrick Lamar and Lance Skiiiwalker)9th Wonder5:34
3."Chrome (Like Ooh)"
  • Evans
  • Douthit
4."Pay Up"
  • Khrysis
  • Ka$h Don't Make Beats
5."Ridin'" (featuring GQ)
  • Evans
  • John Hammink
  • Martin
  • Andre Solomko
  • Quentin Thomas
  • Douthit
  • Eric Gabouer
  • 9th Wonder
  • Eric G
  • Evans
  • Gabouer
Eric G3:13
7."Nobody" (featuring Anderson Paak, Black Thought and Moonchild)
  • Khrysis
  • 9th Wonder
8."Black & Ugly" (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
9th Wonder4:09
9."You Should Know" (featuring Busta Rhymes)9th Wonder6:17
10."A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love" (featuring Musiq Soulchild and Gwen Bunn)
9th Wonder5:18
11."U Used 2 Love Me" (featuring Terrace Martin)
  • Evans
  • Terrace Martin
  • Douthit
9th Wonder2:42
12."Knock on My Door" (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid)
9th Wonder4:41
13."OooWee" (featuring Anderson Paak)
  • Evans
  • Anderson
  • Tyson
14."Jesus Coming" (featuring Amber Narvan)
  • Evans
  • Martin
  • Navran
  • Martin
9th Wonder6:19
Total length:1:04:29

Sample credits[19]

  • "Laila's Wisdom" contains elements from "Young, Gifted and Black" performed by Aretha Franklin.
  • "Power" contains elements from "And That's Saying a Lot" performed by Christine McVie and "May the Force Be with You" performed by Bootsy's Rubber Band.
  • "Ridin" contains elements from "Teasing You" performed by Andre Solomko.
  • "Nobody" contains elements from "LoFi" performed by Ronya, "Nobody" performed by Moonchild and "Hey! Last Minute" performed by The Meters.
  • "Black & Ugly" contains elements from "Outro: I Surrender" performed by Tweet.
  • "You Should Know" contains elements from "Cell Therapy" performed by Goodie Mob.
  • "A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love" contains elements from "Holy Smokes & Gee Wiz" performed by Tony! Toni! Toné!.
  • "Knock on My Door" contains elements from "June" performed by Gianni Marchetti.
  • "Jesus Coming" contains elements from "Time to Go Home" written and performed by Otis G Johnson.


Credits adapted from Tidal.[18]

  • Rapsody – lead vocals, songwriting (all tracks), engineering (tracks 3–4, 6, 12)
  • Nottz – producer (track 1)
  • 9th Wonder – engineering (tracks 1–2, 4–14), producer, songwriting (tracks 2, 5, 7–12, 14), recording arranger (tracks 2–14), additional vocals (tracks 6–7, 10)
  • Terrace Martin – keyboard (tracks 1–2, 4–7, 9–13), recording arranger (tracks 2, 4–8, 11–13), saxophone (tracks 10–11), synthesizer arranger (track 10), featured vocals, songwriting (track 11)
  • Taylor Jon Shepard – keyboard (track 1)
  • Kendrick Lamar – featured vocals, songwriting (track 2)
  • Lance Skiiiwalker – featured vocals, songwriting (track 2)
  • Marlon Williams – string arranger (tracks 2, 5–6, 8), guitar, recording arranger (track 4)
  • Khrysis – producer (tracks 3–4, 7, 13), songwriting (tracks 4, 13), engineering (tracks 4, 12–13)
  • Ka$h Don't Make Beats – producer (tracks 3–4), songwriting, engineering (track 4)
  • James Poyser – keyboard (tracks 3, 5)
  • GQ – featured vocals, songwriting (track 5)
  • Eric G – producer (tracks 5–6), songwriting (tracks 5–6, 9), recording arranger (track 9)
  • Young Guru – engineering (tracks 5, 10)
  • Busta Rhymes – additional vocals (track 5), featured vocals (track 9)
  • Anderson Paak – featured vocals, songwriting (tracks 7, 13)
  • Black Thought – featured vocals, songwriting (track 7)
  • Amber Navran[a] – featured vocals, songwriting (tracks 7, 14)
  • Max Bryk[a] – featured artist, songwriting, keyboard (track 7)
  • Andris Mattison[a] – featured artist, songwriting, keyboard (track 7)
  • BJ the Chicago Kid – featured vocals, songwriting (tracks 8, 12)
  • Coup de Grace – guitar, piano, recording arranger (track 9)
  • Musiq Soulchild – featured vocals, additional vocals, songwriting (track 10)
  • Gwen Bunn – featured vocals, songwriting, vocal arranger (track 10)


  • ^[a] Navran, Bryk, and Mattison are collectively credited as Moonchild, their band name, for their feature on "Nobody".


Chart (2017) Peak
US Billboard 200[20] 125


  1. ^ a b c Sodomsky, Sam (September 13, 2017). "Rapsody Recruits Kendrick, Anderson .Paak, More for New Album Laila's Wisdom". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Centeno, Tony (September 13, 2017). "Rapsody Releases 'Laila's Wisdom' Tracklist". Vibe. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Rapsody Taps Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak for 'Laila's Wisdom'". Rap-Up. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Berry, Peter A (September 13, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar and Black Thought Featured on Rapsody's Upcoming 'Laila's Wisdom' Album". XXL. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Penrose, Nerisha (September 1, 2017). "Rapsody Announces New Album 'Laila's Wisdom' With Busta Rhymes-Assisted 'You Should Know'". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Thiessen, Brock (September 13, 2017). "Rapsody Gets Kendrick Lamar, Black Thought, BJ the Chicago Kid for 'Laila's Wisdom'". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "Rapsody Announces Sophomore Album 'Laila's Wisdom,' Joins Forces with Busta Rhymes on 'You Should Know'". Okayplayer. September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Ivey, Justin (September 13, 2017). "Rapsody Shares "Laila's Wisdom" Cover Art & Tracklist". HipHopDX. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Laila's Wisdom by Rapsody". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Kellman, Andy (September 22, 2017). "Laila's Wisdom - Rapsody | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Warren, Michael J. (September 26, 2017). "Rapsody – Laila's Wisdom". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Fairfax, Jesse (September 25, 2017). "Review: Rapsody Makes Her Elders Proud With "Laila's Wisdom"". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  13. ^ Stein, Ben (October 24, 2017). "RapReview Of The Week". Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 2, 2018). "Robert Christgau on the Star-Studded, Kendrick-Helmed 'Black Panther' OST". Vice. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Rapsody Tells the Story of the Every Woman On 'Laila's Wisdom' Album". XXL. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  16. ^ Kreps, Daniel (November 28, 2017). "Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars Lead 2018 Grammy Nominees". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  17. ^ "Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of 2017". Drowned in Sound. November 22, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Laila's Wisdom / Rapsody". Tidal. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  19. ^ "Origins of Laila's Wisdom sample credits".
  20. ^ "Rapsody Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2017.