photo by Pinya Pipatjarasgit '22
Dr. Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo is a new postdoctoral fellow at Brown’s Department of Music, and she’s also a critically-acclaimed rapper and producer who goes by the name of Sammus. After learning about the fellowship position from her mentors and applying last spring, she will be at Brown for the next two years, working on her own music while teaching classes and participating in weekly Humanities Center discussions.
Lumumba-Kasongo – or Sammus – got her start in music from her older brother’s influence. “One summer when I was in high school, he basically showed me how to make beats on the computer, and from there it was like ‘off to the races!’” she remembers. She kept producing beats, but she never actually put lyrics to her music until after she graduated college and became an elementary school math and science teacher. Her plan was to write about the subjects she taught in order to inspire her students. “I basically wanted to make songs about how it was cool to be a nerd,” she says. “But then I showed my work to a lot of adults around me and they were like, ‘oh, this is cool, I like your perspective.’ So from there, I kept going.”