Cornell PhD student and rapper, Enongo Lumumba-Kasongonamed, named herself Sammus in honour of the famous Nintendo-based Metroid heroine, crafting music she refers to as “black girl nerd rap.”
Hailing from Ithaca, New York, the talented artist headlined a set at Toronto’s The Baby G for Canadian Music Week. Drawing a small, but mighty crowd, she set forth with a show that focused on facets of her personality.
Ranging from race to video game adoration, she took fandom a step further, rapping about the intricacies of Star Wars, Pokémon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
By the time Sammus performed her song Mighty Morphin’, the crowd hung onto to every word. “I’m not one thing, I’m not two things, I’m not three things, no, I’m not four things,” they collectively sang, celebrating the humanity of the lyrics.
In between her songs, Sammus took time to talk about herself, sharing her influences and interests. As she dug deeper, she spoke of her time growing up in small-town, dealing with both racism and sexism. As a result, the power of music helped her prevail the pitfalls of youth, bringing her to where she is today.
On stage, Sammus closed her eyes and waved her hands while delivering endless streams of rhymes. Incidentally, the accompanying instrumentals shook the room and rattled the bottles of those standing below.
Simply put, her flow was just as exciting as her content, seamlessly weaving through the rapid-fire words like a spaceship through a cluster of asteroids. For anyone at The Baby G, they were instantly converted as Sammus fans.