Vulnerable and powerful, Sammus is the Ithaca-based beat-maker and rapper creating space for herself in a white man's world. Her stage-name — borrowed from the galaxy protector protagonist of the game series Metroids — is fitting, as she successfully fuses together video game beats with hip-hop and electronic production to craft powerful tracks. Layered over her beats is a potent flow that allows every word to sink in. Her verses are honest, about the parts of our world that viscerally impact her: institutional whiteness, Black lives, dope friends, and cartoons, to name a few.
Her Infusion EP is the most recent example of her strikingly smart craft, with six tracks that explored her life as a Black PhD student and artist — and the whiteness, depression, anxiety and joy that surrounds it. In an email to The FADER, Sammus explained her inspiration around the project:
"I decided to drop the Infusion EP in March after talking to close friends about some of the struggles I was having in my career. Prior to this EP, the last body of work I had dropped was a Metroid concept album. That project found a lot of success but it also boxed me in as a 'nerdcore' artist, which I felt was not the right label for me. So with the Infusion EP, while I still drew generously on my love of games and cartoons to explore my identity, I really focused primarily on telling deeply personal stories — stories about depression, suicidal ideation, ageism, my Black womanhood and so much more."
"Time Crisis" is the fourth single from Infusion, a track that juxtaposes her nerdy humor with upfront truth: It’s hard in a world full of old dudes/ big balls like Gokus. Today she shares with the FADER the video for "Time Crisis" in anticipation for her next album with Don Giovanni Records coming out in the fall. Check it out below.