You know when two pillars of Australian hip-hop get together on tour, surrounded by a bunch of their talented friends, you’re in for an unforgettable ride. That’s exactly the kind of ride we embarked on when REMI and Sampa The Great burned through Sydney on their Fire Sign tour.
This latest project is named after the new tune from Sensible J, Remi Kolawole and Sampa The Great, which was released earlier in June and is the follow up to another REMI/Sampa collab For Good; one of the tracks from REMI’s 2016 album Divas and Demons.
Last year also saw Sampa The Great headline nationally with her HERoes tour which was spectacular in itself. Get these two together and you’re in for one hell of an explosive time. First up was local MC B-Wise to set the vibe with some true blue finesse. He let it be known that this tour was all about family and bringing people together; a sentiment that was repeated later by Remi and Sampa. Warming up, he had everyone introduce themselves to a stranger standing nearby, after which we were well and truly off to a banging start.
On the Friday night, the Oxford Art Factory was packed to the rafters and the energy that was flying around even before Remi and Sampa took to the stage was purely electric. The two took turns in switching time slots each night and this evening we copped Remi and Sensible J up first. These two know how to throw the crowd into a groove. Remi rocks a type of flow that is largely unmatched amongst his Aussie counterparts. He’s been collaborating with Sensible J for 6-some-odd years now, who keeps a hefty beat on the drums; however, the full breadth of his production skills come full circle on both of their albums, as well as the tour’s title track.
Sampa took the stage not long after and absolutely tore it down – we wouldn’t expect anything less of this queen. Her highly acclaimed debut album The Great Mixtape led to support slots for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Hiatus Kaiyote and a bunch of festival headline spots. Favourite moment was when she paid tribute to her idol Lauryn Hill with a slamming rendition of Fu-gee La.
Following their respective sets, they stormed the stage for a joint collab. Together, Remi and Sampa have an effortless flow back and forth. They have collaborated frequently in the past and we don’t see this sacred bond tiring any time soon.
Sampa The Great
Remi x Sampa
Photos: Dani Hansen/Howl & Echoes