North Carolina rapper Rapsody has shared a new single “Ibtihaj,” which features guest verses from GZA and, very surprisingly, D’Angelo. D’Angelo doesn’t exactly seem primed to make any new music these days, so this comes as a happy surprise. The song is more or less an homage to GZA’s “Liquid Swords,” with D’Angelo just warbling the chorus to that song on here, but still it’s always a big deal when someone can get D’Angelo to appear on their song. GZA also shows appreciation for the record’s sample by contributing a new verse on the song. Rapsody does more than hang with the two legends, showing a cool demeanor on the track throughout.
“Ibtihaj” is named after Ibtihaj Muhammed, an Olympic fencer who won the bronze in the 2016 games and was the first American Olympian to wear a hijab while participating. Rapsody’s last studio album was 2017’s Laila’s Wisdom. As for D’Angelo, the enigmatic soul singer hasn’t released an album since 2014’s Black Messiah, but he did find time to record an original song for the video game Red Dead Redemption 2, titled “Unshaken.” Hopefully this is a sign of more D’Angelo appearances to come, be it on guest features or otherwise. Listen to “Ibtihaj” below.