On his new album, ‘Mr Morale & The Big Steppers,’ Kendrick Lamar features Sierra Leonean singer, songwriter, and record producer Sampha Lahai Sisay.

Kendrick Lamar, one of hip hop’s greats, is back with his fifth studio album, ‘Mr Morale & The Big Steppers,’ after a long sabbatical from the music scene. Since its debut, the album has received good media attention, with many praising the rapper for his innovation and ingenuity in using rap to address societal issues. Ghostface Killah, Kodak Black, Summer Walker, Blxst, and Beth Gibbons of Portishead are among the artists who appear on the 18-track album, which is split into two sections. Sampha Lahai Sisay, a Sierra Leonean-British singer, composer, and record producer, is one who has escaped the notice of many Sierra Leoneans as many are unaware of his feature on the album.

Kendrick Lamar featured Sampha Lahai Sisay in ‘Father Time’, a track on the album. Interestingly enough, the song revolves around “grown men with daddy issues” with Kendrick rapping, “Daddy issues kept me competitive, that’s a fact, ngga/I don’t give a fuck what’s the narrative/I am that ngga/When Kanye got back with Drake, I was slightly confused/Guess I’m not as mature as I think, got some healin’ to do/Egotistic.”

The song has subsequently become a talking point, particularly because of a phrase in which Kendrick addressed Kanye West and Drake’s friendship. That Drake and Kanye line has gone viral on Twitter. Several others have accused the Compton rapper of dissing both Kanye West and Drake on social media in response to the line. To those who were less reactionary, Kendrick seemed shocked that they were finally able to put the past behind them.

Image: Sampha Lahai Sisay


Sampha Lahai Sisay (born 16 November 1988 in Morden, South London) is a Sierra Leonean English singer, songwriter, and record producer. Sampha has collaborated with artists such as SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Drake, Kanye West, Solange, and others. Sundanza (2010) and Dual (2012) are Sampha’s solo EPs (2013). ‘Process’, Sampha’s debut album, was released on 3 February 2017 and received the 2017 Mercury Prize.

Since 2009, Sampha has been a part of the music scene. Sampha began his musical career as a teenager when he remixed The xx’s “Basic Space.” Since then, his musical style has evolved into a soulful blend of electronic R&B and pop. Prior to the release of his debut album, Process (2017), he established himself as a sought-after remixer and studio collaborator by both emerging underground artists and popular names.

Sampha bears a striking likeness to former Sierra Rutile CEO John Sisay, and many people may be startled to learn that the two are brothers.

Sampha Lahai Sisay

Author: Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories. Contact: abubakarrjalloh@theafricandreamsl.com WhatsApp: +23276211583

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