Sampa The Great has been cusping on stardom for a while now. With her debut LP proper The Return, the Sydney-based rapper might just break through. The Return is a barnstorming album, one on which Sampa Tembo draws strength from both her Southern African roots and hip-hop history. Cuts like ‘Final Form’ swagger with the confidence and class of The Blueprint-era Jay-Z. The production credits here ain’t too shabby either - Silentjay, Kwes Darko and Clever Austin are among those who contribute beats on The Return.
Vinyl Double LP £20.49 ZEN258
Black vinyl 2LP on Ninja Tune. Housed in a gatefold sleeve incl. booklet.
- Shipping cost: £4.50 ?
- Includes download code
CD £9.99 ZENCD258
CD on Ninja Tune.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Limited Vinyl Double LP £20.49 ZEN258I
Limited edition, indies only coloured vinyl (LP1 transparent green / LP2 transparent red) 2LP on Ninja Tune. Housed in a gatefold sleeve incl. booklet.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
- Limited edition
- Includes download code
I always read Sampa The Great as Samphire The Great. Always. I don't know why I do this, the words aren't even that similar. I suppose both Sampa and samphire do share a zesty, adaptable freshness, though, but enough of my wittering. 'The Return' is Sampa The Great's debut album. It's got a huge scope but admirable focus for something stretched over nineteen songs.
'The Return' is a wryly funny name for a debut album. This is something that indicates Sampa's ability to write piercing bars about difficult subjects like racial profiling and slavery. She has a very unique vocal style, full of skittering high-register couplets and a curious way of squashing her vocal cords so she sounds like someone wizened and elderly. The album is peppered with brilliant little vocalisations like "eyhey" or that triumphant "AH!" on 'Freedom'.
The beats are a blend of classic crunchy East-side hip-hop, smooth soul, Marabi, and chill-out. The thread binding all the songs together on 'The Return' is a barely-there, simmering aggression. Even on a dead smooth track like 'Brand New' there's this gentle, swaying malevolence. 'Time's Up' has a vague whiff of classic dubstep and 'OMG' is a suckerpunch with a calypso rhythms and gut-worrying bass.
'The Return' is a huge lumbering album that's packed with brilliant songs and, although I think it could have been trimmed down a little, still marks an auspicious start for someone who looks set to take her place in hip-hop's hall of fame.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- The Return by Sampa The Great
What the artist or label has to say for themselves. Read more.