Friday 1 July 2022
Sampa proves the weight of her name with stellar rap while looking for a place in the world

Sampa Tembo has journeyed across the world. She was born in Zambia, raised in Botswana, moved to the US and made her name in Australia. Now, she’s making a name for herself all over the world.

This rapper is going places!

Sampa The Great has a natural, easy command of her art. She first released a couple of mixtapes which made the scene prick up its ears.

Her debut album, The Return (out on esteemed label Ninja Tune), delves deep into themes of home, heritage, displacement and freedom. Amid its viscous swirl of hip-hop, jazz, Afrobeat and neo-soul is Sampa’s taut and assured rapping, the hard centre of the songs. The musical scope is dazzling, with songs frequently darting down unexpected musical alleyways. You certainly understand why The Return has been received by great critical acclaim.

In the song “Final Form” Sampa raps: “Only four years, fantastic, young veteran, new classic”. It’s a reminder of just how far she’s come in such a short space of time. And she’s just getting started...

Sampa also proves the weight of her name when she plays live. She exudes a sense of swagger while at the same time remaining down-to-earth and eager to connect with her audience. She is flanked by backup singers and a full band who complement her flowing bars throughout.

Sampa wins crowds over everywhere she goes. Expect the same thing to happen when Sampa The Great takes the stage at Roskilde Festival.