Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo a.k.a. SAMMUS—pronouns she/her—is a first-gen black feminist rapper, producer, and scholar with family roots in Côte D’Ivoire and the Congo. She was 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. Since 2010 Sammus has written, produced, and recorded three full-length albums, three EPs, a beat tape, and several one-off collaborations with notable artists including Moor Mother, Open Mike Eagle, Noga Erez, Xenia Rubinos, Mega Ran, and Sadie Dupuis in addition to her collaborations with video game developers, podcasters, and filmmakers. In 2019, she received her PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell University and in 2022 she became the David S. Josephson Assistant Professor of Music at Brown University, located within the ancestral homelands of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. That same year she partnered with Dr. Charrise Barron to launch the Black Music Lab, a hub at Brown that centers the intellectual and creative exploration of musical forms such as hip-hop, black sacred musics, R&B, and house among other black musico-cultural traditions that remain underrepresented within academia despite their overwhelming sonic influence and popularity across the broader global soundscape.
Creatively, Sammus is interested in the aesthetics of anxiety, specifically what it means to be an anxious black girl. Alongside her creative work, Lumumba-Kasongo’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.