What’s Goin On: REMI X SAMPA THE GREAT @ The Zoo

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski


To start, I will admit I have been putting off this article. Not because it was terrible; it was actually far on the other side of the spectrum and I honestly wanted to create as much justice for the gig as this article can provide. It is definitely one gig I will never forget. Why? Well because it was my first hip hop gig, but the vibe, the music, the performance and the message made me feel something special about these artists that it still gives me goosebumps to think about. 

Remi and Sampa the Great have both been in the music scene long enough now, that they should be bigger than they actually are. Both black artists from Melbourne, Remi releasing TWO Ep’s in 2011, and Sampa debuting her first EP in 2015. Also, collaborating on singles alike “For Good”, it was inevitable for the duo to do a collaborative tour around Australia to promote the good music and good messages they provide in their music.

Firstly, greeted on stage by Sampa, she was a vision on stage, with great stage presence with the audience, getting them to engage with the music and groove. Playing fan favourites “Blue Boss”, “Black Dignity” and “FEMALE”, the Zambian born queen sings/raps about her pride of her heritage and pride/protest for female rights. As she is a great advocate for both black and female rights, it was so interesting to watch her on stage and how she presented her songs. With great momentum and passion in the parts that needed the most passion, the crowd (small but sweet) would continue to support and groove the night away.

One moment is still stained into my mind, when Sampa started speaking, as if it was slam poetry. The crowd was quiet, listening to every word she would say and eyes were hooked onto the stage waiting for what was happening. Then the bass dropped and Sampa went into full swing, audience going wild for something that was everything but expected.

Remi on the other hand, had some funky, good old hip hop tunes. The good old tunes that would take you back to the Bronx in the 1970’s when hip hop was just starting out. It had a funkadelic vibe to it, with all the right meanings. Also a great advocate for black lives and the working class man,  Remi put on a performance that was just as wonderful as Sampa’s and was really engaging to the audience.

Also performing fan favourites along the lines of “XTC Party”, “Substance Therapy” and “Livin'”, Remi got people dancing, singing and thinking- taking time to say that everyone has to work as one, just before the intro to “Livin'”.

Ending the show with a collaborative headline, both artists were on stage performing songs that they collaborated on including “Fire Sign” and “For Good”, ending the night on a fun note, dancing and interacting with each other, the fans and their friends on the side of the stage, that was later invited up for a dance to “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar.

Overall, the night was magical. There was no audience members that got onto each others nerves, the energy on stage was electric and again, the messages that both artists put across to the audience was important.

It was great to watch both Sampa and Remi use their platform to promote important messages across to the audience, as it is not every day you experience a mosh with a majority of white people praise and sing along to two small black artists as greatly as they did that night.

It was a wonderful experience and if you ever get to see either one or both perform together, definitely take the chance because they will certainly not disappoint.


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