Written Before Listen
Little Simz is a UK hip-hop artist who started making waves with her 2019 album “GREY AREA”. That album showed the potential of Little Simz and how dynamic and unique she is as a rapper. She is now back with “Sometimes I might be introvert” and I’m hoping for something quite as good or even better so without further ado, let’s get into it.
Well…..the production on here is immaculate. Starting with the triumphant and epic “Introvert” to the jazzy “Miss Understood”, this album is lush from front to back. The slick and soulful “Two Worlds Apart” as well as the simple “Rollin Stone” are beats that give Little Simz a new light of look. On “Woman” and “Standing Ovation”, Little Simz shows her devotion to 2000s hip hop in the best way possible. On “Point and Kill” and “Fear No Man”, the beats are very afrobeat inspired to the point where it’s anthemic and passionate instead of something like a dancehall crossover. It’s also a showcase of pride that Little Simz shows with her Nigerian roots. Overall, these beats are fantastic. Little Simz knows how to choose memorable beats that showcase ambition, integrity, and exaggeration without sounding campy.
Alongside the wide variety of flows and above-level rhyming, Little Simz is a full-time lyricist. On the intro track, Little Simz talks about the state of mind she’s in with herself and how she feels about the world around her. With that, the song “Woman” that follows right after is all about the empowerment of the woman that influenced her. In “Two Worlds Apart”, Little Simz shows her ability to flex with some great one-liners like“You clocked out, meanwhile I stayed bossin' it/What it cost to be this damn hot with it?”. Similar thing with the song “Speed”, she brags once again with some ferocious one-liners like “I could buy your life with no excuses/If I had a penny for all the rappers that I influenced”. “I Love You, I Hate You” is more wisdom-focused with some thoughtful lyrics like “You made a promise to God to be there for your kids/You made a promise to give them a life you didn't live”. Similar thing with Little Q, as her thoughts on family life, continue. This time it’s from the point of view of her cousin and it’s emotional. A couple of tracks later, “I See You” shows Little Simz talking about love with pure poetry. Plus, the line “Know I like my time alone, but still, don't wanna be lonely” hits hard. One of the hardest-hitting songs might be the introspective “How Did You Get Here”. Nearly every line shows a younger version of Simz, that is hardworking and passionate. She is now looking back on those days and looking at where she is now. It’s no surprise that she cried while writing this. Overall, I think Little Simz solidifies herself as one of the best lyricists in the game with this album and a good competitor for this generation’s top lyricist.
Little Simz isn’t one to show that many influences on her sleeve, but the people she wears are artists that are great inspirations to take. Having the ambition and soul of a young Kanye while having the lyrical weight of Kendrick Lamar is like a match made in heaven. It also doesn’t hurt to have the world influence and political knowledge of an MIA either. She also takes influence from conscious hip hop from the late 90s such as Mos Def, Common, and Lauryn Hill. She is a rapper’s rapper but also is not shy to show her ambition.
Alongside being a strong rapper and elite beat selector, Little Simz is more than a hip-hop artist. It’s also more than the usual soul and R&B influence that most rappers take too, it’s a lot more. On “Introvert”, we start with something that could start a symphony. Speaking of symphonies, the influence of classical music is all over the interludes and instrumentation of this album. Not even the 1700s period but more of the Star Wars/Lord Of The Rings film score classical. It’s epic. On “I See You”, the instrumentation is a little dubby with the waned guitars and modulated vocal samples. On “Rollin Stone”, Little Simz pays tribute to the UK Hip Hop that she is devoted to taking influence from Grime. Although genre-bending is prevalent in the first half, it isn’t until the second half where it becomes far more than hip hop. “Protect My Energy” is the strongest example of it due to its old school 80s pop sound and absence of rapping. On “Point and Kill” and “Fear No Man”, Little Simz showcases her devotion to Nigerian music and Afrobeat. Little Simz demonstrates that she is more than a rapper on this album, and I love to see it.
I’m going to be 100% real with you, I don’t think I have any problems with this album. I guess if I said anything is that, this album takes multiple listens but a lot of great albums do. Yeah….This album is beyond words.
Wow…..this album is fantastic. It’s albums like these that will shift not only the artist but the music scene the artist surrounds. It’s what made albums like ‘The College Dropout’ and ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ staples in the current day music industry. This album will be a centerpiece in UK Hip Hop for a very, very, very long time.