“F E M A L E” and “Weoo”


Every once and a while it is good to get out of the American music scene and check out some artists from across the sea. Today’s song(s) of the day come from Sampa the Great, a female rapper poet who was born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and is currently signed to an Australian-based record label. I found out about her because of her label, which also signed the neo-soul group and previous song of the day artist Hiatus Kaiyote. The two songs I picked today, “F E M A L E” and “Weoo,” are not the brightest or most complex tracks from her debut mixtape, but they carry a lot of individuality in their lyrics and aesthetic. Sampa is a woman making rap music, and while that makes her a minority in the current music scene, her music is brimming with confidence and you can hear her unique sound come through in her songs. In “F E M A L E,” she raps about her identity as a woman, including being independent and owning who she is. This feminism-themed rap is laid over a hyper-compressed, new age beat (with a sample very reminiscent of One.Be.Lo’s “The Underground”) which, with its punchy sound, makes it clear that Sampa means what says and says exactly what she means. “Weoo” starts slow and calm—a lot of ethereal bells going on in the background, just some bass drum and a gritty guitar riff over an industrial-inspired rhythm. Sampa starts off with intensely conscious lyrics; however, she never sounds too preachy, something conscious rappers are often criticized for. The song continues with the ambient feel, and Sampa follows through with the thoughtful lyrics, “Some of us are dreamers/Some of us are not/Some got it together/Some of it lost/Some of us lust/Some of us love/Some of us trust/Some of us loyal.” I’m sure Sampa will be popping up all over the map after this mixtape, bringing a conscious, female voice to the world of hip-hop.


Musica est potentia,