Little Simz’s highly anticipated and carefully curated album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert was finally released on 3 September, blessing the ears of all neo-soul and experimental rap lovers. A masterpiece of writing and music production which establishes Little Simz as a strong competitor on the UK rap scene.
This is Simz’s fourth studio album and is the perfect example of an artist who wants their fans to know them for who they truly are.
This is not the first time she has presented her identity through music. The first track on her album and recent single, ‘Introvert’, showcases the artist’s inner thoughts surrounding justice and her career journey. Yet with tracks such as ‘How Did I Get Here’ and ‘Miss Understood’, Simz uses her talented writing to let fans dive deeper into her personal life.
In her life away from her music, Little Simz battles with emotions of love and hate towards her absent father – in a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert performance of the song, ‘I Love You, I Hate You’, she spoke about the hardship she felt writing the track but stressed that it was necessary to release the track for her own personal growth. Her former life where Little Simz struggled to make a name for herself in the music industry as she was handing out mixtapes in school is now revealed in ‘Miss Understood’; written in third person, this creates a story-like effect which is suitable for the layout of the album. Alongside it is ‘Little Q, Pt. 2’, where the artist raps about the rough side to growing up in London where she was a victim of knife crime.
The theme of identity swims throughout the tracks, from insights into Little Simz’s upbringing to the inclusion of Nigerian artist Obongjayar linking to her Yoruba heritage. Actress Emma Corrin features throughout the album. She discusses topics from feminism (‘Introvert’) to a role as an imaginary character in Little Simz’s version of a fantasy world, like Alice in Wonderland, in ‘The Rapper that Came to Tea’. This is set against lush layerings of strings, a melodic chorus embellished with melisma and flourishing flutes.
Allowing the album to act as an audio book, Little Simz pulls the listeners into her imaginary world where freedom thrives. The cinematic approach that the artist and her team have taken towards this album is reflective of her high-quality music videos like ‘Woman’ and ‘Point and Kill’. Yet she does not let the audience forget that this is a rap album with the strong beats and a modern take of ‘Rollin’ Stone’.
The best part of this album is the production and in Sometimes I Might Be Introvert it cannot be ignored. The flow between tracks such as ‘Point and Kill’ and ‘Fear No Man’ create the illusion of the two songs being merged into one. This is by far Little Simz’s best and most creative album; it is rich with swagger and authenticity, an enjoyable sound for all.
Image: John Lubbock via Wikimedia Commons