Sampa The Great – Blue Boss
I don’t think, in the circumstance, it would be unfair to describe Australia’s contribution to the annals of hip-hop history to date as underwhelming. I mean, when your country’s most notable submission for review would happen to be Iggy Azalea, it’s hard not to think that the land that gave the world Kylie Minogue and the combine harvester would just be better suited sticking to excelling at Olympic sports and producing the majority of the worlds average bartenders.
Then along comes Sampa the Great, subverting stereotypes and making me look slightly xenophobic all in one go. Born in Zambia and based in Sydney, this year alone has seen her release a 12-track mixtape, a 6-track Hiatus Kaiyote mashup/remix release, nationwide touring, and more.
Her music bonds from spoken-word to pure hip-hop rapping, with stops at psychedelic and bluesy waypoints in between; it’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries. To listen is to learn.
Blus Boss opens with a plucked guitar and bouncing bassline, the percussive rhythm adding to a kind of Latino sound, as does the muted trumpet, adding a rich new colour to the soundscape and allowing her lyrical prowess to come to the fore; slick, fast, and so lyrically illustrative.
There may be hope for Australian Hip-hop yet…