Ninja Tune – September 13th
Sampa The Great’s debut LP, 19-track The Return, will cement her position as one of contemporary hip-hop’s freshest and most intriguing voices. Real name Sampa Tempo, the Melbourne-based artist has spent four years exploring notions of home, and notions of the outsider, harvesting inspiration from her birthplace of Zambia and Botswana, where she was raised. The result is a record that melds neo-soul with hip-hop, gospel and jazz. Though she makes her declaration in the opening tracks, The Return’s latter half is, musically, more solid, from the fiery and percussive ‘OMG’, to triumphant single ‘Final Form’, to the soulful, aching tenderness of closer ‘Made Us Better’. With a host of collaborators including London jazz outfits Steam Down and Blue Lab Beats, Sampa The Great marries warm, textured instrumentation and fiercely delivered lyricism with resounding success.