SΔMMUS, the producer/emcee who hails from Ithaca, has created her own path in the music industry as someone who proudly and unapologetically identifies as a feminist. Born Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, the artist’s brand of rap blends shiny melodies with introspective lyricism.
These characteristics make her the perfect act for The Root 100 2022 celebration taking place Thursday night at the Apollo Theater. When she told the people closest to her about the upcoming performance, SΔMMUS said that they couldn’t be any prouder.
“We all know that this is a roundup of all of these iconic black figures who have been doing the work in various sectors and spaces and their own universes, world building...in art, politics, life.
“It’s such a beautiful mix of different Black ways of being. To be invited into that space is, um, to me it’s such a high honor,” the Pieces in Space rapper told The Root. SΔMMUS, who also works as an Associate Professor at Brown University, is intentional about the message she promotes in her music.
Whether it’s a boisterous anthem like “Genius” or the need to address the invasiveness of social media with “Comments Disabled,” the musician does her best to encapsulate the experience of Black women who don’t nicely nestle into the problematic confines of hip hop.
“It hurts that so much of the music that I gravitate towards doesn’t love me back and/or reflects a very limited range of ways that we can show up as women and be loved,” she revealed. “When I was a little girl, [I started to] figure out the ways that you have to perform a kind of femininity to receive love and to receive care.
“So it’s hurtful and sad to me 30 years later, I’m seeing again that certain performances of being a particular kind of woman are the ones that predominate,” SΔMMUS explained. The complexity of Black womanhood will be on full display during her set at The Root 100 2022. She even shared a few songs from her Thursday night setlist.
“I have a track called ‘Mighty Morphing’ that I wrote for all of my beautiful Black girlfriends who love to twerk and read and play video games and just like to do mad different kinds of things that we’re told can’t fit within one person,” SΔMMUS divulged.
“I also am going to be sharing a new song called ‘Two Hands.’ It’s about my gratitude for being able to create and how incredible it is that we can make stuff even in the face of all of this kind of doom that we’re facing.”
The rapper became cheery after taking in the gravity of this statement before reiterating: “We have the capacity to make things and create change.”