The Return

Sampa The Great - The Return
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2019 Ratings: #110 / 766
User Score
Based on 95 ratings
2019 Ratings: #240
Liked by 1 person
September 13, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Ninja Tune / Label
Neo-Soul / Genres
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Sampa the Great's The Return is both a willfully enigmatic and deeply revealing album. It serves as a dazzling celebration of her cultural and musical heritage that will resonate for years to come.

The Sydney Morning Herald

This feels like a welcome southern-hemisphere addition to the pantheon of ambitious, socially conscious hip-hop records, like Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly or Solange's A Seat at the Table.


Dazzling, sprawling debut from genre-defying Afro-futurist.

With 'The Return', Sampa The Great expertly dismantles the notion of genre, proving that, when it comes to art, what really matters is content, not labels.
Her skills on the microphone have significantly improved, and she raps much harder than on her earlier material.

If her thousand-yard-stare determination on The Return is any indication, her journey is only beginning.


This is a talent to watch, The Return laying down an impressive statement of intent, a marker of Sampa The Great’s potential.

Northern Transmissions
It’s a defiant debut and one that people will be coming back to for years to come.
The Guardian
She’s charismatic and her challenges to western orthodoxy are welcome, but Sampa needs to find a fresher sonic palette.
A fellow AOTY user @shenalg01 suggested that I should review this album, so here I am.

Born in Zambia in the midst of a big economic recession, raised in Botswana during the height of one of the world's most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics, Australia-based neo-soul singer, rapper, Sampa The Great, breaks into the Australian hip hop scene with The Return: a conceptual record detailing Sampa's journey as an artist into the music scene and the obstacles she has overcome along the way. It's a smooth, ... read more
This was pretty good at first. But then it kept going. And kept going. And kept going. It wouldn't stop going. The last 3 tracks are pretty much torture even though technically they aren't that bad. I saved myself from it and just hopped on minecraft. Sampa is a very capable rapper but why would you do this to me? :(

Mwana (feat. Mwanje Tembo, Theresa Mutale Tembo & Sunburnt Soul Choir): 68/100 (Decent)
Kinda long and i'm not really liking the instrumentation but it has a great rap verse ... read more
Greatest Aussie rapper. She's the only Australian who can deliver a quality hip hop album. She better win an Aria. Hip hop is a genre of music that never really has picked up. Recently there has been a rise of Aussie drill rappers dominated by Polynesians, which is respectable in terms of club bangers. But in terms of hip hop as an art Sampa is the only one that I can name who delivers conscious, lyrical and quality album. She really is a monopoly in terms of deep lyrics. Portraying the ... read more
I'd like to apologize in advance. This was really a drag.
"Neo-Soul" is a genre I'm not so familiar with - however, I already had some past experiences with it, and sadly, "The Return" wasn't a good one. Even with the high-quality vocals and good composition, the album drags itself on the dirt by overextending its length with excessive songs AND song duration. A shame, honestly.
"Heaven" is definitely my favorite, by the way.
With Australia not being well known for its great hip-hop/neo-soul landscape, this is definitely a breath of fresh air. Sampha the Great delivers us with a silky-smooth, genuine and at times inspiring motivational song/writing. Thanks to people like Luke James and Shenalg, this album would have went under my radar. Sampha the great brings an inner-spiritual themes and concept surrounding on the album, detailing her journey in the music scene and up-bringing. Similar to artists like Solange and ... read more
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anztec, Surprise!, domvic, philthy, bgod, Guigss
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Track List

  1. Mwana (feat. Mwanje Tembo, Theresa Mutale Tembo & Sunburnt Soul Choir)
  2. Freedom
  3. Wake Up (Interlude)
  4. Time’s Up (feat. Krown)
  5. Grass Is Greener
  6. Dare to Fly (feat. Ecca Vandal)
  7. Any Day (feat. Whosane)
  8. OMG
  9. Light It Up (Interlude)
  10. Final Form
  11. Heaven (feat. Whosane)
  12. Diamond in the Ruff (feat. Thando & Krown)
  13. Leading Us Home
  14. Summer (feat. Steam Down)
  15. Brand New (feat. SILENTJAY)
  16. Give Love (Interlude)
  17. The Return (feat. Thando, Jace XL, Alien & Whosane)
  18. Don’t Give Up (feat. Mandarin Dreams)
  19. Made Us Better (feat. Blue Lab Beats, Boadi & Lori)
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Added on: July 14, 2019