It’s been five years since D’Angelo released Black Messiah, and the beloved R&B singer remains as elusive as ever. The enigmatic artist only shows up when he wants to, and that’s lately been in some unexpected places. He recently reappeared with the track “Unshaken” for the Red Dead Redemption 2, his first song in four years. Now, out of nowhere, he’s back as a guest on Rapsody’s new song “Ibtihaj”, which also features GZA.
Named after Olympic bronze medal fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad (the first American Olympian to ever compete in a hijab), “Ibtihaj” was produced by 9th Wonder. The beat reworks GZA’s classic “Liquid Swords”, so it makes sense the Wu-Tang Member would make an appearance. D’Angelo, meanwhile, slips in to croon the hook from that ’95 cut, adding his distinct voice to fill in the gaps behind Rapsody’s verses. The North Carolina rapper isn’t intimidated in the slightest by all the superstar talent she’s surrounded herself with, confidently spitting, “Ain’t an MC on this Earth that make me feel afraid/ Wu-Tang for the children, that’s the scripture and phrase.”
Listen to “Ibtihaj” below via its accompanying music video. It’s taken from Rapsody’s new album, Eve, due out August 23rd.