Sampa The Great’s Representation of Blackness in “Final Form”

Sampa The Great raps about the process of growth in her 2019 song “Final Form.” The Zambian Australian rapper includes references to ‘Black Power’ and pop culture movies such as the Matrix in the song. 

At its core, “Final Form” celebrates Blackness. The song’s title implies that the complete acceptance and appreciation of Blackness is the “truthful face.” This face is ideal because Sampa The Great is “out of shame,” and has, in a way, successfully achieved what her heroes, namely Black revolutionaries, started. This final form looks like the “1st world” being “outdated” with “Africa” as “the new America.” Her references to Jamaica, Marley and Zion are redolent of the Rastafarian movement, a campaign that wished to unify Black people with their indigenous lands, among other things. Her lyrics “Got my land and my permit with it” are, therefore, no coincidence as they correlate with the overall message of Black Power. The song is soulful and reminiscent of 70s punk. These features only add to the aforementioned tone. 

The video for “Final Form” further adds to this message. It was filmed in a real setting in Zambia and Botswana. The video begins with a backshot of a woman having a traditional African hairstyle decorated with beads, and then follows with dancers wearing traditional African clothing and performing the traditional dances. There are screen grabs of women styling hair with braids, African drums, traditional food and Black people smiling. There are additionally dances that are more prevalent within Black communities in the West In conjunction, these elements establish a joyful mood that not only commemorates Black culture but basks in it. Sampa The Great is indeed in her “final form in her melanin” in this video. 

By honoring the Rastafarian movement, the Black Power coalition, Black Diaporian dances and African traditional dances, hairstyles and foods, Sampa The Great celebrates Blackness in Africa and the Diaspora. She links the two worlds, showing their interconnectedness thus highlighting that this liberation, namely, the “Final Form” can only be achieved through a unity of the two groups. 

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