Sampa the Great set to release sophomore album, ‘As Above, So below’

Also, watch her emphatic ode to Zamrock with "Never Forget"

Zambia-born, Botswana-raised Sampa the Great is a rap iconoclast. Over the course of her catalogue, she’s explored deeply resonant issues, spinning personal stories and societal observations – especially as a black woman who’s lived in Africa, the U.S, Australia, and travelled the world a fair bit – into declarative vignettes over a variety of instrumental choices, ranging from jazzy rap to progressive R&B and even Dance-inflected beats. In 2019, Sampa released ‘The Return’, a sprawling and stunning debut album that scored her critical acclaim, expanded her popularity, as well as wins and nominations at several music awards in Australia.

Three years after her international breakout, Sampa the Great is gearing up to share her sophomore LP, titled ‘As Above, So Below’. Earlier in the year, she teamed up with American rapper Denzel Curry for “Lane,” a delightfully abrasive song reclaiming and reasserting the narrative of her artistry, setting an expectant tone for her upcoming album. In addition to that single, ‘As Above, So Below’ will comprise eleven songs, with notable features from American rapper Joey Bada$$, British-Ghanaian rapper Kojey Radical, and Beninese icon Angelique Kidjo.


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Conceived after relocating back home to Zambia during the coronavirus pandemic, ‘As Above, So Below’ taps into a heritage Sampa the Great is clearly proud of. She’s collaborated with a handful of Zambian artists, including Jazz musician James Sakala and Jagari Chanda of the iconic Zamrock band WITCH. On the recent, second lead single, “Never Forget,” Sampa delivers an emphatic ode to Zamrock, the inventive style of psychedelic rock that originated in the ‘70s. She’s joined by her sister Mwanjé, singer Tio Nason and rapper Chef 187.

In the single’s accompanying video, archival footage of Zamrock bands performing in the ‘70s, as well as clips of everyday Zambian life from that era, is sprinkled within the artful and riveting set of visuals. In addition to strengthening her bond with her roots, “Never Forget” expands the rap artist’s musical purview and continues to sustain expectations for a new Sampa the Great album. ‘As Above, So Below’ is scheduled for a September 9 release.

Pre-order the album here and watch the video for “Never Forget” below.

[Featured Image Credits: NME]