Psalm One: The Death of the Frequent Flyer

Psalm One
The Death of the Frequent Flyer

A chemist, rapper, b-girl, and now the only woman with a Rhymesayers contract, Psalm One is physical evidence of the "third time's a charm" truism, finally flirting with the right formula on The Death of the Frequent Flyer. Her first two attempts, Bio: Chemistry and Bio: Chemistry II, had critics telling the Chicago native, born Christalle Bowen, to take it back to the lab. Her raps were immature (peppered with yo'-mama jokes), her voice squeaky (sounding like a less sexed-up Khia), and her stories told curiously well but hidden behind a massive wall of sass. The flaws were doubly annoying due to her obvious talent. Minneapolis's favorite son Sean Daley took notice of this tomboy's potential and has challenged (or required) her to up the ante.

Now Psalm's not playin'—she's got the Twin Cities' own hip-hop perfectionist Brother Ali rapping on "Standby" over a beat immediately recognizable as Ant's. "The Nine," meanwhile, showcases her Slick Rick-esque knack for storytelling, and on "Rap Star" (framed by a snakecharmer-sounding beat produced by Maker), the sarcastic and cynical Psalm cockily reminds her listeners to "Meet Christalle/She's so cold/Come at me/Christalle she's a star...Star quality like an idol finalist/So pretty please this CD needs boo/I'll do fine at this." At a time when "My Humps" is as close as girl-fronted rap gets to mainstream radio waves, it's a good thing Psalm One's decided to finally drop science.