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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Telegraph
This is music to bop to on the streets, to listen to in church with a big congregation, or to soak up alone in a room.
90
PopMatters

On Sampa the Great’s As Above, So Below, she makes music with incredible clarity of purpose and affirms a sense of interconnected self and heritage.

80
Loud and Quiet

As Above, So Below feels like Tembo at her best and most confident, free to make the music she’s always wanted to make with the artists of her choosing. It’s a rich, vibrant and carefully-curated record that successfully reveals the many sides of Tembo’s personality.

80
Clash
Sampa the Great’s latest release cements her as someone who ignores any traditional restraints within hip hop. The beautiful blends of genres and crisp production make ‘As Above, So Below’ an enthralling listen, and has Sampa raising the bar for herself once again.
80
The Skinny

Sampa the Great returns with As Above, So Below, and it is a force, with Sampa's ability to play hard and soft the driving core of the album.

80
DIY
Sounds from Zamrock and kalindula woven seamlessly alongside those of contemporary Western hip hop and soul.
80
Exclaim!

Her identity is permanently stamped on As Above, So Below — the album both showcases Sampa's growth as an artist and delivers on fan expectation, taking them on a journey beyond bars into Africa's rich musical heritage.

80
The Guardian
Sampa Tembo is no longer answering to Australia’s music industry, delivering a cohesive second album that oozes with confidence, empowerment and joy.
80
Mojo

Her uncompromising politics never come at the expense of the music: the beats make strident points on their own.

80
The Line of Best Fit
Sampa The Great's latest offering ensures that she will remain a beacon in her home continent of Africa and beyond
80
Gigwise
While she may always struggle with ideas of identity and where she fits in a predominantly white society being a Zambian artist, she will always have the talent to get her ideas across.
80
musicOMH
Impressive second album from Sampa Tembo sees her incorporate Zambian influences and more to deliver a statement of intent.
80
NME
After making her mark on Australian hip-hop, the trailblazer turns her gaze to her home of Zambia, unleashing a confident, compelling second record
70
AllMusic

A much more concise record than the sprawling, jazzy The Return, As Above similarly celebrates heritage and culture while looking inward and discussing personal issues.

70
Spectrum Culture

The spirit of what makes Sampa so great is still intact, even though it seems like a lack of focus prevented the record from feeling as triumphant and powerful as it otherwise might.

70
Uncut

Her flow has a bratty edge and unhurried, authoritative core, capable of Philly soul sweetness on “Lo Rain”, or riding low, squelching beats on “IDGAF” ... Meanwhile, “Let Me Be Great” is a pan-African firework display celebrating her rooted rebirth.

68
Pitchfork
The rapper continues to explore identity and belonging on her second album. Recorded in her native Zambia, it folds together zamrock, polyrhythmic percussion, and choral harmonies.
Louis13
76

Sampa The Great's greatest quality - her uniqueness - is on full display here, especially in her vocal delivery. I also appreciate how she dives deep into her African heritage and upbringing both sonically and lyrically, although the production feels like a bit of a step down from her debut. In terms of features, Kojey and Angélique sound great and Denzel continues to impress on the Powers Pleasant-produced lead single but I expected more from Joey given his recent form.

Favourite ... read more

TheCarioca
78

Shadows - 4/5
Lane - 5/5 ❤
Never Forget - 5/5 ❤
Mask On - 4/5
Bona - 3/5
Can I Live? - 4/5
Imposter Syndrome - 3/5
Tilibobo - 3/5
Lo Rain - 4/5
IDGAF - 3/5
Let Me Be Great - 5/5 ❤

Vexel
80

Sampa the great shows her greatness on her sophomore release, ‘As Above, So Below’. Stacked with an impressive list of great features, Sampa navigates her way through these smooth beats with ease, showing appreciation for her home country through the stunning tribal instrumentation and her tasteful writing, it all comes together into a package that is simply irresistible and endearing.

Favourite Tracks: Never Forget, Lo rain, Mask On, Lane

Least Favourite: IDGAF

Pierra
100

Perfect beats, perfect lyricism, perfect, features, perfect EVERYTHING.

HFITZG
60

It can be a tough line to walk between making an album constantly surprising and exciting vs making it disparate and all over the show. This album seems to really straddle that line with some features seeming very out of place and breaking the pacing of the album, whereas others offer refreshment.
Sampa clearly can make some fantastic music and it really shows here. I just find it a bit too inconsistent in quality.

78

Sampa the Great provides a spiritually authentic experience with her newest studio album.

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Track List

1Shadows
4:08
72
2Lane
2:42
79
3Never Forget
3:37
87
4Mask On
2:52
75
5Bona
2:40
76
6Can I Live?
4:14
feat. Witch
74
7Imposter Syndrome
4:17
67
8Tilibobo
3:04
70
9Lo Rain
3:32
feat. Mwanje
80
10IDGAF
4:08
71
11Let Me Be Great
3:54
90
Total Length: 39 minutes
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Added on: June 28, 2022