When it comes to the ladies having a stronger voice in Hip Hop, Rapsody is using her artistic talents to create awareness for women and the community. As a Grammy award winning artist, she understands the power of Hip Hop and how it can change many people in a positive way.

Rapsody is headlining the first ever Women in Hip Hop concert tonight [Friday, June 17] at the Garden Theatre in Detroit, MI. This is presented by The Foundation of Women in Hip Hop and one of the events within The Women in Hip Hop Conference that’s a part of the Allied Media Conference from June 16-19. The conference is an initiative that will give artists, activists, and academics the opportunity to have an intimate, interactive experience with technology, art, music, social justice and community.

If you asked Rapsody if this is what she would be doing for the rest of her life, at a young age she knew the answer and it wasn’t until college that she pursued her passion. Growing up in North Carolina, music was in her heart and soul, but the surroundings didn’t match up to the possibility of her dreams. She fell in love with the culture and was inspired by artists such as MC Lyte, Nas, Biggie, Missy Elliott, Outkast, and JAY Z at a young age.

“I come from a country town, and I really didn’t have a lot of people around me that were in the industry. Everything I saw was on the tube and as a child it seems like another world,” she says.

She made that world hers when she was in college. Originally an accounting major, she found a group of friends that shared her passion. “I had a love of music and it doesn’t take long before you gravitate to people who have similar interest as you. I got around a crew of guys that loved Hip Hop they were producing, rhyming, or in a band. They made it easy and fun. They didn’t put me in an environment where I felt like I scared or not good enough to express myself,” she reminisces.

Honing her skills she made two songs and played them for producer 9th Wonder. “He saw my potential and took me under his wing. I signed with him in 2008.” Since then, she’s proud of her growth and the foundation she has developed as an artist. “I had to make my own path, things didn’t happen for me like most regular artists, I am still considered an up and coming artist but I know I am doing it the right way and there are many confirmations happening along the way,” she says.

Rapsody has collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the track “Complexion (Zulu Love),” won a Grammy Award and most recently, landed an invite to the White House, with President Barack Obama expressing he’s a fan of her music.

One who is happy with her wins she wants to continue to use her artistry as a platform to create a stronger voice for women in in Hip Hop and inspire future generations. Her performance in Detroit is aligned with this goal and an important celebration for women in the culture.

“Hip Hop is such an important platform and it gives us a voice to speak our mind and show how intelligent, creative, and massive we are.” She would also like to see more collaborations with women and more women Hip Hop artists on a mainstream level. “We all have our own style and we can also co-exist. I want to see women have more balance and unity in the way we are represented,” she says. To become a stronger voice for women in Hip Hop, she is going to “continue to tell the story and make great music to reach as many people in the states and abroad. I want to touch people and inspire them give back to my community and tell (anyone) you can do this, it is possible. ”

The Foundation of Women in Hip Hop Presents “Women in Hip Hop” Detroit’s First Concert is tonight [Friday, June 17, 2016] from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM (EDT) at the Garden Theatre, Detroit. Tickets: http://bit.ly/rapsodyconcert.

-Yvelette Stines