Hip-Hop | Rap | Soul
What could possibly have been one of my most anticipated albums of 2021 (a year that had already brought forward some of the strongest music in a very long time), Little Simz’s newest effort had finally arrived last week.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is the fourth studio album from Islington rap artists Little Simz, and is the first to follow her phenomenal third effort GREY Area, released in 2019.
I actually first discovered Little Simz during a live set, in which she was supporting the virtual band Gorillaz. This was roughly around the time that the two artists were collaborating on the standalone single “Garage Palace”. That being said, the live line-up made sense.
I enjoyed Simz’s charisma and energy so much, that I went on to pursue more of her discography. I skimmed through her sophomore album Stillness In Wonderland, and enjoyed singles such as “Dead Body” and “Barz Simzson” on repeat.
That ultimately led up to my anticipation rising for GREY Area, listening to teaser tracks like “101 FM” and “Selfish”. This album wound up being one of the biggest musical masterpieces of 2019 in my opinion, and it sat comfortably as my third favourite album of that year.
Fair to say, GREY Area set the bar extremely high for whatever big project was up next. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert could have easily been cause for worry. But if I ever knew Little Simz, they are the the kind of person to outdo their previous work year after year.
And outdo herself, is exactly what she has done with this new album.
The signs of a truly magnificent fourth album began to show with the release of her first teaser track (a pseudo title track if you will), titled “Introvert”. In terms of production, it brought a powerfully orchestrated instrumental which added additional gravity to Simz’s words. Following this, she managed to show a dash of versatility with her two next teasers “Woman” and “Rolling Stone”, and finally went full-circle by bringing the orchestral splendour back on “I Love You, I Hate You”.
There actually was one more teaser released before the full album, which featured Obongjayar, another artist I’m incredibly fond of. But the time I discovered the track was one day prior to the full release of Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, so I thought I’d wait.
And what can I honestly say; if GREY Area didn’t feel like enough of a magnum opus to you, then Sometimes I Might Be Introvert surely will be. I would’ve been satisfied if this album even matched the memorability of its predecessor. But I honestly feel that Sometimes I Might Be Introvert has done the near-impossible, and has surpassed what came before it.
The aforementioned orchestral implementation does a remarkable job of making the listening experience feel like a borderline-west end play. This is something that is reflected most glaringly in the interludes. These interludes are where we get to hear most of the narrative input from English actress Emma Corrin, who does a marvellous job of tying everything together in one neat bow.
I was initially anxious about just how many interludes are on this thing (there are 5, to be exact). However, almost all of them stand as gorgeous listening experiences on their own, or at least have a purpose in pushing the narrative forward. I feel that the only exception to this would be the fourth interlude “Never Make Promises”, but that tiny nick honestly pales in comparison to pretty much every other track being at least an enjoyable one. Even “Rolling Stone”, a song which I wasn’t too keen on originally, was one of those that I got to appreciate more on the full album.
In regards to the narrative itself, it stands as an even more introspective and personal one than the likes of GREY Area. However, it manages to stay relatable and engaging through the idea of working hard to get to where you are, against all odds, and every bad card you are dealt in life. It’s an incredibly powerful sentiment, which is further boosted by the highly theatrical production.
What I absolutely love about Little Simz, is that she truly redefines what UK rap can be like. While I feel that many people outside the UK may see the surface of UK rap as dull and uninteresting, Little Simz completely goes against that notion. She has the foresight and artistry to make a true masterpiece of an album, and this statement can especially directed towards her latest effort.
Favourite Tracks: Introvert | I Love You, I Hate You | Little Q, Pt. 2 | Speed | Standing Ovation | Point and Kill
Least Favourite Track: Never Make Promises
AGE 101 MUSIC | AWAL Recordings
Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 10/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10
Uniqueness: 9/10 | Satisfaction: 10/10 | Narrative: 10/10