Bobby Raps is in "Purgatory" on new single.

words by Eamon Whalen

Bobby Raps' new song "Purgatory," released on Wednesday, will give you goosebumps. The opening track on Raps forthcoming project MARK, it's a three minute tour de force, reaching a climax in a single bellowing verse recalling the death of a close friend, book-ended by haunting harmonies.

In a way, the song reminds me of Ab-Soul's 2012 song "Book of Soul," in which the TDE rapper grapples with his flaws and the loss of his longtime partner, the singer Alori Joh.

It takes courage to bear one's scars and allow yourself the public vulnerability like these two songs do, and artists that are able to channel emotion so precisely should be applauded. In Bobby's case, he told me months ago that the motive to put his heart on display in song, and on MARK, wasn't just about personal catharsis, but to extend a hand to listeners who might be going through similar situations. 

Wednesday also marked the annual unveiling of this year's Soundset festival, where Bobby will reunite with his brothers from TheStand4rd - Allan Kingdom, Corbin and Psymun. You can read our cover story on TheStand4rd here.