Sampa The Great makes magic on incredible new single, Energy
One of Australia's best and most essential rappers continues to strive with a new single arriving ahead of festival shows across the summer.
Header photo by Harry Deadman.
Over the last twelve months, Australia's hip-hop scene has swelled in both size and importance, with a new wave of home-grown hip-hop and R&B introducing some incredibly important names to our market - think along the lines of Miss Blanks and Genesis Owusu for obvious examples. Melbourne-via-Botswana-via-Zambia rapper Sampa The Great has been a dominant force in our hip-hop scene long enough to see this happen, with her break-out single F E M A L E arriving back in 2015, but over the last twelve months or so she's really stepped up, particularly with her AMP-award winning mixtape Birds and the BEE9 last year. The mixtape reaffirmed her position as one of Australia's most exciting young artists, giving us a thoughtful and honest look at cultural complexities and identity from the eyes of a rapper regularly beyond her years, combining elements of jazz, reggae, soul and traditional African music for a sound unique to our local hip-hop scene, more in-line with someone like Lauryn Hill than Tkay Maidza.
Her latest single, Energy, is her first since Birds and the BEE9 and it's a powerful and impactful return to glory for Sampa The Great, uniting a compelling spoken word section from London artist Nadeem Din-Gabisi with her delicate, free-flowing rhyme, which this time around, hovers above hypnotic, rhythm-fueled production created alongside Kendrick Lamar collaborator Rahki and long-time friend Silentjay. It's a slight change in sound from her previous sound but one definitely for the better, with traditional chants softly humming underneath Sampa's raw rhyme, which on Energy, presents one of this year's most important themes. "This year taught me a lot about the balancing of self. In the process of recording and writing Birds And The BEE9, it became apparent that a lot around me - including myself - was very unbalanced. To be in constant defence of myself, my community and my expression was unhealthy. A lot of people around me deal with the same things I do, so it’s no surprise that the world around us is so unbalanced," she says on the single. "We need to constantly replenish both the masculine and feminine aspects of our energy. This song and visual symbolises finding this balance, thanking those who have supported this journey so far and bridging the gap between BBEE9 and the new music to come in 2019."
Energy continues Sampa The Great's stride to become one of Australia's most essential and consistently brilliant artists, bringing a constant fresh air to an at-times bloated-feeling hip-hop scene that requires artists to present something unique and refreshing to stand out from the rest. Catch her at a range of festival shows across the summer, including dates at Origin Fields, Pleasure Garden and more - full dates below.
Follow Sampa The Great: FACEBOOK