Sampa The Great: The African Voice Of Australian Rap

Though Sampa The Great has been exploring her roots, she's aware of her importance to Australian hip-hop PIC: ALAMY
Though Sampa The Great has been exploring her roots, she's aware of her importance to Australian hip-hop PIC: ALAMY

Born in Botswana and raised in Zambia, Sampa The Great is one of Australia’s rising hip-hop stars. Innovations in hip-hop often don’t happen when there are new stories to tell, but rather when those who have gone unseen are finally heard.

This distinction allows for a spectrum of emotions from braggadocio, triumph, a tenderness for the familiar and a reckoning with displacement. That’s the thesis of Sampa The Great’s debut album, The Return.

Sampa Tembo, the 26-year-old rapper originally from Zambia, has taken her once conflicting identities and attempted to reconcile them. “It’s about spiritually going home to yourself, to the most you, you’ve ever been,” she says over the phone from Melbourne, her home since 2018, where the sun is beginning to shine after a characteristically cool winter.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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