HHAP EP 71: Multiple Diaspora Cultural Experiences Influencing the Creativity of Sampa the Great

Born in Zambia, Sampa the Great lived in the United States, Australia, and Botswana. With multiple African and Diaspora experiences, her music and style are very Pan African. Her work is Pan African in a very organic way. It does not claim to be conscious or preach about Pan Africanism, it just is. Because of this, as a listener, there is joy in listening to music that speaks to our multicultural Black identities. In this interview, she talks about existing as a Black person in different cultural spaces and her interactions across the continent and in the Diaspora.

Sampa the Great also talks about her experiences with racism and self-identification while studying in the US in the early 2010s, and later after she moved to Australia. She also talks about the differences between racism in the US and racism in Australia. She delves into the differences in the social unity of Black people in the US and in Australia, where in the US there is a division between Black immigrants and multi-generation-US-born Blacks and in Australia there is an understanding of the importance of Black unity in the face of living in societies that are held up by institutional racism.

As an artist, Sampa the Great released her first mixtape in 2015 while living in Australia. Several singles, EPs, and mixtapes later, she released her debut solo album, The Return, in 2019. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Australian music charts. She went on to win Best Hip Hop Release at the 2019 and 2020 ARIA Music Awards, Australia’s top music award. In 2020, she also won the ARIA award for Best Female Artist and Best Independent Release.

Sampa the Great has been very outspoken about racism in Australia through her music and performances. She has also been outspoken about the role of women in hip hop and the importance of representation as an African artist on an international stage.

Sampa the Great in Instagram and Twitter as @Sampa_The_Great

This episode is the last of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live-streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.

HHAP Ep 70: Xidus Pain on the UK rap scene and being a hip hop educator

Xidus Pain is a Zimbabwean artist who grew up in the UK. He’s based in London MC who has been involved and influenced by the UK hip hop scene since he was a young kid. He currently works in schools, universities, communities centers, and prisons as a hip-hop educator. He’s been doing this for over ten years. As an artist, he has worked with musicians from around the world from members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to Rap Legend Special Ed. 

Xidus Pain is also a Director at Beat This, a community-based organization that works with young people in London, and a manager with Generation HipHop UK, a global empowerment and development program. He connected with The Hip Hop Africa via Hip Hop Loves, a hip-hop NGO that works with hip-hop artists and activists globally.

In this episode, we have a great conversation with Xidus Pain about the history and growth of hip hop in England. He talks about the development of the various hip hop elements in the UK, as well as the drill and grime music scene. Grime is a genre created by Black artists in England that comes out of UK hip hop culture.

Xidus Pain also talks about the influence of religion on his music and his decision to not use profanity in his lyrics, his lyric writing process, and what influences him. He also talks about the impact of Brexit on the hip hop scene in the UK.

Xidus Pain is on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xidus_pain/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/xiduspain

This episode is part of the special series that we did in partnership with Words Beats & Life. The series was recorded and live-streamed with students in the Hip Hop in Africa class at Howard University and George Washington University.

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