On her phenomenal 2019 album The Return, Zambian-born, Botswana-raised, Melbourne-based rapper Sampa The Great offered a searing rebuke to those seeking to capitalize off her life’s work: “We not for sale, not asking for help, not out to get you, or in rage, we just searching for self,” she rapped on the Krown collab “Time’s Up.” Clocking in at just two-and-a-half minutes, “Time’s Up” is a brief-but-hard-hitting unpacking of the way the music industry seeks to exploit Black art without supporting Black artists — “I seen the industry scheme,” Sampa raps, “and it’s a killer.”
Today, The FADER is premiering Sampa’s frenetic new video for “Time’s Up,” a surreal and compelling visual accompaniment to the already-arresting song. Directed by Sampa’s longtime collaborator Sanjay De Silva, “Time’s Up” finds Sampa and Krown mugging for a wide-angle lens in the style of classic 90s music videos, culminating in a sequence that features an impeccably well-timed usage of the ARIA Award that Sampa won last year. Funny and unreservedly brutal, “Time’s Up” instantly enters Sampa’s fast-growing canon of stunning music videos. Watch the clip above.
“‘Time’s Up’ is a track that was made to reflect a conversation between 2 young black artists about the Australian music industry. With the current atmosphere it’s an important time to address systemic racism within the music industry, especially as it slowly rebuilds,” Sampa says of the video. “Allyship should never be performative and as we continue past blackout day, all music orgs/labels should be put to task in bringing forward their initiatives for real change within their industry."
“We're playing with the tongue in cheek aspect to the song and dialling it way up by incorporating metaphors like the padded room to represent the way the industry sees black artists,” adds De Silva, “to the imagery of the industry literally shaking Sampa's culture out of her for their profit.”
Alongside the release of the “Time’s Up” video, Sampa has announced a partnership with the Narrm (Melbourne, Australia) based therapy practice Pola Psychology designed to shed a light on the struggles experienced by African youth in accessing culturally safe, appropriate, and responsive mental health care. Read Sampa’s statement on the partnership below, and read more about it here.
“The labour put on marginalised people to have to address systemic racism every day means more trauma and pressure on our mental health and emotional state. I’m partnering with Pola Psychology a Naarm (Melbourne) based therapy practice to make sure African youth/musicians can access culturally appropriate mental health care in their own community, by their own community. At a time like this, it’s important to let my friends and the wider African community know that this support exists and our health matters." — Sampa The Great