Rapsody & GQ Team Up & Show That Jamla Is The Squad That’s Saying Something (Audio)

North Carolina’s Rapsody and Oakland, California’s GQ have been two steadfast members of 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records. In the last month, Rap’ released her Crown EP. GQ has been quiet for much of 2016, since eloquently speaking his thoughts on an Oaktown’ sidewalk in January. The former college basketball star has been actively writing though, and that is abundantly apparent in his first new track in some time, “Guns Hang High.” Featuring Rapsody, and a double-beat produced by Soul Council’s 9th and Khrysis, this song aims square for your brain with a lot of substance and honesty.

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“Guns Hang High” begins with GQ professing, “Uplifting the world, shoulders heavy / A man keep trying to break us, the way they broke the levees / Skin darker, they don’t accept me / Try to tell you to go to college, but I went, and that diploma stressed me / Composure kept me.” These rhymes are not only topical (“Teachers pledge to a flag before they see who’s absent / What happened?“), they are very autobiographical. Like his rhyme partner on the track, years of paying dues and consistent output have readied Q’ for the next plateau. Sampling Terrence Trent D’Arby’s “As Yet Untitled,” this song channels its soul in lyrics and sound.

The beat breaks, and it comes it with a tempo-altered rendition of Damian Marley’s 2005 smash Reggae hit “Welcome To Jamrock.” However, this song is about another Jam’: Jamla. Rapsody enters with a cutting couplet: “Trying to lamp in the Hamptons / They killed Fred Hampton / If you ain’t where I’m from, you can’t understand these mechanics / Under these hoods is pistons, a lot of ‘Bad Boys’” Tying 1980s NBA basketball to the Deputy Chairman of the Black Panther Party who was slain by police this week in 1969, Rapsody’s rhymes cross over to many places. Her verse holds the basketball references, and the assertion that Black Lives Matter throughout. She keeps her autobiographical touchstones too, discussing the personal criticisms she faces from female fans, and rumors surrounding her personal life.

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Jamla is a tight-knit outfit over the last decade. However, with two galvanized verses and two hot beats, this is one of the most impressive showings from a movement Heads can trust.