Remi and Sampa The Great spent their childhoods over 9000 kilometres away in Zambia and Botswana. Today they are touring Australia for their collaborated Fire Sign tour preaching love for their own cultures and thanking fans for their continued support throughout their careers.
Their Perth leg of the tour celebrated African culture accompanied by Pow Negro and Koi Child with front-men Nelson Mondlane and Cruz Patterson, setting up for a night of passionate praise of culture and community, all in one little lineup to get everyone bopping.
The fellas at Koi Child kicked the night off early at Capitol nightclub at half-past seven. Bringing their own mix of funk and classic club tunes, people soon started to stream through the doors like rats to Peter Piper. In standard Pow Negro fashion, they took over the stage yet again with another uber-intense hip-hop funk set led by frontman Nelson Mondlane. Before too long it was time for Aussie hip-hop-funk fusion heavyweights Remi and Sampa to hit the spotlight.
Off the back of a UK tour playing at The Great Escape Festival and a collaboration with British singer Estelle, punters expected nothing but greatness from Sampa. She exposed crowds to her signature soul cross hip-hop fusion, matched with hard hitting lyricism and poetics. Sensible J brought the funk on kit and enticed any stragglers at the bar down to dance. The early set times meant Sampa’s set was all over by nine, but she wouldn’t be gone for long.
The well toured musicians Remi Kolawole and Sensible J, who together form REMI, came home thick with confidence after playing Brighton Festival in the UK, and backed up their West Australian Southbound Festival performance earlier this year. They kicked off the set paying homage to funk forefathers Parliament and Funkadelic, a choice repaid by the crowd with hip thrusting and full body movements only funk can produce.
They played songs from a wide range of their discography, but we couldn’t wait to get a taste of For Good, a 2016 Sampa The Great collaboration. Remi, bearing afro comb and all, made significant calls to his African culture and black rights in Australian culture. He praised fans for supporting him and all the hand picked African-Australian talents present on the night.
The moment everyone had been waiting for however, a collaborative set by Sampa The Great and REMI, was more than just interweaving a few verses. The two came together with simple, yet flowing choreography to empower their lyrics and eclectic hip-hop.
All three artists bounced off each other to create an original take on their own talents so many have seen before. With a fun collaborative set starting to shut shop the final song took a turn that truly shook viewers. One after the other, supporting artists Nelson Mondlane and Cruz Patterson accompanied REMI and Sampa on a talent packed stage for a group hustle of none other than the Grammy Award winning Best Rap Song of 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s Alright.
What a time to be alive in the world of hip-hop.