All hail Sampa The Great, the high priestess of Australian hip-hop! Although based in Melbourne, Sampa was born in Zambia and raised in Botswana before relocating. Her African motherland becomes a crucial theme on the rapper and vocalist’s second mixtape, Birds And The BEE9, folding traditional folk sounds and native languages into her mystic vision of soulful, jazz-infused hip-hop. Each track impresses in its own way, but “Protect Your Queen” and “Flowers” are among our favorites. These tracks showcase the confidence and creative ferocity of this budding young MC, from her poetic verses (“If you accept me, all kink and coconut oil”) to the astounding versatility of her powerful vocals.
Stream Sampa The Great’s Birds And The BEE9, one of 2017’s most underrated records, below.