Album Review: Little Simz, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Simbiatu “Simbi” Abisola Abiola Ajikawo (born 23 February 1994), better known by her stage name Little Simz, is a British-Nigerian rapper, singer and actress of Yoruba heritage. Little Simz released her fourth studio album on the 3rd of September 2021, titled ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’.

After listening to Little Simz’s latest studio album, all I can say is Little Simz ain’t Little no more, at this point I honestly think she should consider changing her stage name, because she has made a spot for herself up there with the baddests and illests to ever do it. I’m going to be identifying her as Simz from now on, can’t type ‘little’ with my full chest, please let me know if I snooze.

Simz hasn’t been the type to surf on the waves of music trends; she stays true to her style and just keeps mastering it. Her latest album release ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ felt more introspective and vulnerable than any of her previous projects has she battles the split between her public persona and private self and poses the question directly: “Simz the artist or Simbi the person?”  in the album’s opener ‘Introvert’ and makes a subtle word play with the album title, which when shortened gives the acronym SIMBI.

The album is an orchestral epic with interludes delivered by Emma Corrin (who played Diana, Princess of Wales in The Crown). Its 19 tracks fall broadly into three camps. There’s the orchestral swagger and playful sampling of songs like “Introvert,” “Woman,” “Little Q PT2,” and “Miss Understood.” The arrangements here are glorious: huge swathes of string and horn, cascading drums, choral flourishes. Against this backdrop, Simz’s delivery comes like a whisper. The pairing fits: More conversation than sermon, Simz makes hefty subjects—familial rifts, systemic racism, craving validation and youth violence. “I Love You I Hate You” picks over the open wounds left by an absent father. Lines like, “Is you a sperm donor or a dad to me?”

Simz takes over from Simbi on “Rollin Stone,” hurtling over grime and trippy trap with bars like, “Can’t believe it’s Simbi here that’s had you listenin’/Well, fuck that bitch for now, you didn’t know she had a twin.” She boogies in the blown-out colors of “Protect My Energy,” then follows with back-to-back bops on the  Obongjayar -featuring “Point and Kill” and Fela-esque “Fear No Man.” Simz plunges into her Nigerian roots as she raps in both Yoruba language and Pidgin on “Point and Kill” (features with more Nigerian artists would be a sight. PS: she follows Buju on Instragram), and also mentions ‘Pounded yam’ on “Rollin Stone” (started craving pounded yam immediately).

On Simz’s first two albums, she referred again and again to the story of Alice in Wonderland. A newcomer to the formal structures of the music world, she had followed the White Rabbit into a
nonsensical land of fame and industry politics, and was navigating her way around this bewildering landscape. While she still has her own doubts and demons, it seems as if she is no longer lost and disorientated in the industry. Quite the opposite, this album feels masterful, proving Simz has finally gained her bearings, to reach her fullest form. I’d give this album a solid 8/10 replays.

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