18th November | Rough Trade

Sampa the Great is here to make waves.

The Zambia-born, Melbourne-based rapper burst onto the scene with The Great Mixtape four years ago, and since then she’s refused to slow down. Still early in her career, she’s scooped up numerous music awards – including a pair of ARIA nominations last month – and supported some of the biggest names in rap, including Kendrick Lamar and Lauryn Hill.

Her debut album, The Return is her most self-assured effort yet. It’s the sound of her kicking down the music industry’s door and announcing herself as the next big thing. The release is sprawling in scope: a journey of self-discovery that sees her explore what it means to be a black woman in a white, male-dominated industry.

The Return’s highlights are numerous. ‘OMG’ sees Sampa deliver an unrivalled level of swagger while exploring her cultural heritage and ‘Final Form’, which samples 70s soul group The Sylvers, shows off her ear for a sticky hook. Elsewhere, on ‘Time’s Up’, she addresses her misgivings with the music industry head-on with a fierce chorus: “I’ve seen the industry kill the dreams of a dreamer.”

It’s this confidence and self-assuredness that makes Sampa the Great such a magnetic character. Only a few years into her career, she sounds like she has nothing left to prove.

See the video for ‘Final Form’ here: