12 Days of MAGFest: SΔMMUS

Rapper, producer, teacher, gamer, Ivy League Ph.D student—Sammus does it all. The Ithaca native started her career making beats on MTV Music Generator for the PlayStation while she was still in middle school. She graduated to better equipment as she studied at Cornell and taught in Houston. Sammus took her stage name from the classic Metroid because she and the character are women who kick ass in a tough world.

Now she’s a Ph.D candidate, played SXSW and PAX , put out a highly regarded mixtape and two soundtracks (with our boy DJ Cutman) and lucky for us she’ll be playing MAGFest this year. Sammus will also be releasing her first EP since 2014 this March. The first single, 1080p is available on her website along with the video) and it is awesome. I’m also including the video for her classic track Games & Cartoons (off her 2012 album M’Other Brain) because it makes me laugh every time I watch it.
Sammus describes 1080p as “an important testament to the power of seeking help and prioritizing one’s mental health above all.” In the song, she talks about struggling after a rough breakup and coming back stronger. The lines “Now I see the past with some clarity/glad I took my ass to some therapy/now I’m seeing the world in 1080p” really hit home for me.
Sammus embraces the nerdcore/chiptune’s community love, but her raps cover a wide range of issues: identity, anxiety, police brutality, sexism and heartbreak. Her work is emotionally honest while remaining catchy as hell, funny and smart.

The video for 1080p, directed by Vince Lundi, is available on her website. She’s recently been featured of The Mary Sue and on Bitch Magazine’s New Music Monday. Her new album drops in March, just after her performance at MAGFest. Let’s hope she previews a few tracks.

(Photo credit: Dirty Souf Yankee)

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