Photography by Ally Schmaling & OJ Slaughter
By Owen Murray
Venue: The Sinclair
When: Saturday, August 10th
- There is no ending she only survives, and survives and survives, until she can live. Then she lives. And lives, and lives, and lives, and lives, and lives, and lives.
- No other option
- All of the above
Ooompa’s album release show at the Sinclair was an inspirational and emotional event that marked an exciting time in music and hip-hop in Boston. With help from movie clips, a moving Toni Morrison interview projected on stage, and the empowering quote above, the tone for the night was set before Oompa even got on stage.
Along with a slew of openers and collaborators—including other local favorites like Anjimile and Brandi Blaze —Oompa’s album release show turned into a community event. There was a tremendous amount of talent and passion on stage at all times. Whether Oopma was rapping over electronic beats, backed with a live band, or singing and dancing with backup dancers, every moment was impressive.
The Sinclair was packed with fans, many of whom were already singing along to songs from Oompa’s new album Cleo, even though the album only came out earlier that day.
The admiration and excitement in the crowd showed that Oompa’s message of empowerment was resonating strongly. “If you’re under 25, a person of color, or a non-binary person, I want you to come to the front,” Oompa said at one point in the show.
Even when she rapped about her darkest moments Oompa stayed optimistic.
In one of her most emotional performances, “Joy Back,” she reflected on a time of depression in her life during which she had to fight hard to get back to a place of joy. Some of the show’s most moving moments were between songs when the crowd reciprocated the love that Oompa shows in her music. The energy was absolutely wild, with people cheering their hearts out and chanting “Oompa! Oompa! Oompa!”
She seemed overwhelmed at times by the positive reaction of the crowd. “I’m literally living my dream,” she said, almost tearfully. “I never knew this would happen for me and that this many people would be here with this much love. And we’re at home. This is Boston.”
The love that was put into Cleo was on full display at its release show, on and off the stage.
With this kind of talent, optimism, and energy, it’s easy to see that Oompa is only getting started.