Photo Credit | José Ginarte
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a black feminist rapper, producer, and scholar raised in Ithaca, NY, which is located on the traditional lands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ (Guy-yo-KO-no) Nation, also known as the Cayuga Nation. Her family roots lie in Côte D’Ivoire and the Congo.She received her PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University in 2019 and she is currently the David S. Josephson Assistant Professor of Music at Brown University teaching classes on rap songwriting and feminist sound studies. Since 2010 Sammus has written, produced, and recorded three full-length albums (the most recent of which—Pieces in Space—has charted on Billboard), three EPs, a critically acclaimed beat tape, and countless one-off collaborations with artists from a variety of genres as well as video game developers, podcasters, and filmmakers.
Creatively, Sammus is interested in the aesthetics of anxiety, specifically what it means to be an anxious black girl. Whether her lyrics takes the form of stream-of-consciousness style confessions, Afrofuturist fabulations, pro-weirdo anthems, or reflexive meditations on screen-mediated life, she remains poetically committed to granular introspection as a form of personal and cultural shadow work. Her live shows, characterized by her high energy and the inclusion of elements of cosplay, bring together a vibrant array of hip hop heads, punks, activists, and self-identified nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus “has a gift for getting a message across.”
Beyond her creative work, Enongo’s research interests include black feminist sound studies, ludomusicology, and hip hop praxis. Her doctoral research, which she completed in 2019, focuses on the sociotechnical dynamics that shape the development and use of “community-studios”—recording studios that provide high-quality recording tools, professional sound engineering services, and audio training to communities that often lack financial or social access to these resources. Since Fall 2021 she has been a member of the steering committee for Brown’s science, technology, and society program. She is also serving as the Director of Audio at Glow Up Games, the first women-of-color led game studio, and she is a member of theKEEPERS, a Hip Hop collective that is currently developing the most comprehensive digital archive to map the international contributions of womxn and girls across Hip Hop’s 50-year history.
“She’s as likely to rap about phosphates and integers as she is to name-check Serena Williams or Emmett Till. Her delivery is piercing, her perspective refreshing.” – Pitchfork
“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.” – The FADER
“There’s a reason that she is invited to speak at technology conferences or teach online classes on structuring rhymes in hip-hop songs. She has a gift for getting a message across.” – LA Times
“A striking, chameleonic beatmaker and MC” – NJTimes, “Don Giovanni’s 7 Best Bands”
“I couldn’t help geeking out at a few of her lyrics, rife with video game and rap references” – The Mary Sue
“never have power-ups been such a measure of female independence” – Austin Chronicle
“a talented songstress” – Bitch Magazine
“a perfect combination of smart and smooth” – Bandcamp Staff Picks