Sampa The Great – ‘Final Form (Live Performance ARIA Awards 2020)’

Sampa The Great (‘Energy‘) used the stage at the most important music award show in Australia, the ARIA award show, to denounce discrimination and the lacking diversity in the Australian music industry. The Zambian-born, Botswana-raised rapper cited the non-diverse ARIA board, “Is it free, this industry, for people like me? Diversity, equity, in your ARIA boards?” and ignited a crucial debate about the past and present forms of racism in Australian society.

At the beginning of her performance, which was live broadcasted from Botswana, she said: “In a country that pretends to not see Black, to not see its origins and its past, not only do Black visionaries make you see, but made it known who created human history. And when we win awards, they toss us in ad breaks of course. But is that history lost? Can’t remember what you forgot. Is it free? This industry, for people like me? Diversity, equity, in your ARIA boards? To my people I say! We are our own Freedom.”

Final Form‘ is taken from her 2019 released LP ‘The Return‘. In the lyrics of the track she raps about her path to grow artistically: “Final Form is about expanding yourself and calling out any negativity towards that growth process. As an artist I now recognise my in-between stage; sometimes it drops and sometimes it rises, but I love that I get to level up each second.”

“It’s like I’m born great, I’d be mad too, jeez
Third world win it, first world outdated
No mentor, all my heroes assassinated
We’ve been here, reincarnated
Tryin’ to finish what they started and we made it”

It shall not be left unnoticed that Sampa The Great won there awards at the show, in the categories ‘Best female artist‘ as well as ‘Best hip-hop release‘ and ‘Best independent release‘ for her LP ‘The Return‘ (Available on Bandcamp).

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