Sampa the great: time’s up ft. krown

Sampa The Great‘s Time’s Up featuring Krown is an expressive song that highlights the extreme racism within the music industry. Sampa and Krown use explicit and simple language to aggressively make their point clear for listeners. The lyrics

“Blackface industry
Lying don’t invest in me
Only want the money off our backs
Like history”

exhibits the way the top dogs, big wigs, and other leaders in the industry use Black people as puppets to make money. She relates this appropriation to the historical ways Black people across the globe have been stolen from over time. The song continues on to discuss the way the community has created good lives for themselves and how even with that it has been exploited to make the oppressors feel like they have done something good for them. Next is the chorus which is composed of eighteen words repeated for its entire duration.

“I seen the industry
Kill dreams of a dreamer
I seen the industry scheme
And it’s a killer”

These lyrics speak to the music industry’s ability to kill the dreams of aspiring musicians and also kill the careers of established artists in order to fit the industry’s agenda. This happens to artists in the industry all over the world which allows anyone that has this dream to relate to the lyrics. Having these words repeated throughout the entire chorus places emphasis on how crucial this is to the experience of artists, specifically Black artists.

The second verse continues to describe the ways Black artists are appropriated within music.

“Want all my work republished
How many times
I inspired your rhymes
Then you redubbed it
We the inspiration
We the motivation
Take our ideas and then you resell it
In variations”

This verse, as well as the rest of the song, is a direct call out to those in power in the industry of how they steal what Black artists bring to the table. Sampa and Krown express their frustrations explicitly and let the industry know they are going to war and will not back down. Time’s Up is an anthem of letting frustrations out and releasing them from the shackles that the music industry tried to tie them down with.

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