Words: Delroy Hibbert
It’s interesting that in a week when two of the biggest names in hip hop – Drake & Kanye – chose to release their new albums, a young woman from London might just have overshadowed both their efforts. Well, at least on this side of the pond.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is Little Simz’ latest, and she more than holds her own against these two heavyweights. But enough about them, this is about her. This is not just an ordinary album release, this is a manifesto, a statement of intent telling the world that the artist has produced her best work to date.
The opening track Introvert is a cinematic affair that really needs to be heard in an auditorium with a full orchestra and choir to appreciate the intricacies of the music alone. It had me reaching for the search engine which confirmed that once again she has been working with the producer Inflo, also known for his work with Sault and Michael Kiwunaka.
The Sault connection is a strong one as Little Simz has made an appearance with them previously and the group’s featured singer Cleo Sol, also appears on this album’s second track ‘Woman’. Another guest, the actress Emma Corrin (Princess Diana, The Crown), makes an appearance in several interludes as a life coach/therapist which sounds hilarious but actually works. Don’t worry she isn’t rapping!
Little Simz does however keep the guest appearances to a minimum and the album is better for it. Stand out tracks for me include I Love You, I Hate You where she addresses the ‘daddy issues’ she has as the result of an absent father.
Point & Kill is a collaboration with the London-based, Nigerian artist Obongjayar, that is both thought provoking and hard hitting in its narrative and yet at the same time surprisingly soothing.
The album itself is bursting with good quality music, sharply focused lyrics underpinned with a musical legacy influenced by artists Fela Kuti, Lauryn Hill, Sampa the Great and the sonic noise of Public Enemy producers The Bomb Squad.
Little Simz is on tour this autumn to promote the album, and judging by the early reviews, my tip would be to get your ticket sooner rather than later.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (all formats) is available now.
Little Simz plays the Bristol O2 Academy on December 2nd, tickets from £20.65