Born Simbiatu Ajikawo of Nigerian parents, the Londoner Little Simz is undoubtedly one of the best MCs on Earth, as evidenced by the excellent Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Her huge talent was confirmed by her first albums, the superb Grey Area (2019) and Stillness in Wonderland (2016). Here she is again at 27 years old, at the top of a resolutely Afro-British art but still an outsider to the charts, rooted in a greenest left field. The lyrics are introspective and singular, the flow is dense – Little Simz has a lot to say beyond her own life as an artist and her personal conflicts (especially with her father); she also tackles the themes of material constraint, social ascension, bureaucratic limitations, the condition of a black woman in the heart of the English kingdom, with the funny evocations of “The Crown”. Her sonic environments are clearly above average: ambitious neo-classical and contemporary orchestrations sometimes inspired by the best Hollywood soundtracks, choral deployments, British soul, Black American R&B, jazz, Nigerian Afrobeat and juju, Afro-electro and other stylistic borrowings brilliantly flesh out the flow of this super gifted frontwoman. We can’t confine her to grime, English rap built on electronic references to Caribbean and African roots; Little Simz’s art reveals a depth that transcends the genres involved, all produced in concert by her buddy Inflo, as was the case for the previous productions.
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