Introvert or extrovert, Little Simz is a force to be reckoned with. At just 27, her cabinet of accolades is creaking remarkably — and that includes her Top Boy acting appearances. Four albums now under her belt? She’s a mainstream UK rapper with a unique voice and flow, penchant for lyrical realness and a fan of an extravagant instrumental section. But what she’s exploring on her latest record, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, is the constant grappling between her successes in the public eye and the desire to recoil and just be her private self.
It goes without saying that there’s mastery here. No-expense-spared hooks and beats take centre stage, while this grandiose 19-track album also houses interlaced sermon-esque interludes that seamlessly carry one track into another in places. And you’ll detect The Crown’s Emma Corrin on the narration, very cleverly telling the tales in a whimsical yet thought-provoking fashion throughout.
Of course, I want to talk about ‘Woman’ with Cleo Sol and ‘Rollin Stone’, the two chief singles that have led Simbi’s latest campaign. In every line, you can distinguish that she’s well-read, with lots of little Easter-egg nods to this and that, whether it’s regarding female struggles, pushing past personal barriers, racial heritage, systemic racism or simply balling. That’s certainly what Little Simz manages to cover in those two heavyweights, but also further along in the dear-diary-style ‘Little Q, Pt. 2’.
One thing remains consistent here, too — there’s always a leaning towards big, bold, bombastic tunes. The rhythms are loud and proud, and so many different instruments have been poured into this record. It isn’t just the classic rap, hip-hop and grime you get with Little Simz, it’s the jazz and soul. And if we take things back to their chronological order, the album begins with a stellar, soundtrack-worthy showcase of her deftness in creating such a powerful hit — ‘Introvert’ is a song that deserves not to just be played at volume, but to be studied repeatedly. It’s immensely orchestral and takes no prisoners.
I added ‘Two Worlds Apart’ to my new release roundup because it’s funky but mellow, which is a winning formula. I also get that vibe from ‘I See You’. But if you’re into your old-school Little Simz, it’s ’Speed’ that you’ll be chuffed about.
Meanwhile, for mighty horns, strings, brass and percussion, you’re looking at ‘Standing Ovation’ and the closing piece, ‘Miss Understood’. Sucker for a synth? ‘Protect My Energy’ is ‘80s throwback goals.
The whole album is huge. It’s teeming with epic belters that are all worthy of spinning and spinning and spinning some more, but I just wanted to pull out some of the most striking must-hears. Little Simz’s talent is almost unquantifiable.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Introvert’