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Little Simz


    2021’s “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” catapulted Simz into the big leagues, crashing into the top 5 of the albums charts, collecting Mercury Music Prize, Mobo, Ivor Novello and Brit Award wins and earning her the biggest live audiences yet in the UK and Europe.

    “NO THANK YOU” is yet another delicious left field turn for 29-year old Simbiatu Ajikawo. Sleek, succinct and utterly propulsive, it’s Simz’ defiantly punk rock, two fingered salute to conformity and fame, and all the expectations and restrictions that come with. Recorded with her regular collaborator Inflo, this is Simz at her most free, daring and spontaneous. In her own words: 'emotion is energy in motion. honour your truth and feelings. eradicate fear. boundaries are important.’


    Millie says: Returning strong with big orchestral interludes and quickfire rap from Little Simz in her new album ‘NO THANK YOU’. The album alludes to challenges faced releasing music with a tone of self-reflection but this album feels stronger than ever, with her talent shining through each track on the album despite the obstacles and healing that took place. “Gorilla” was a track that really grew on me, it reminds me of her incredible stage presence during her live performances; of being at ease like she’s always been destined to be there. It feels layered with polished production with that large Simz energy and intangible confidence. Another standout for me has to be “Heart on Fire”, you can feel the atmosphere building like a rising in your chest, it’s evident that this soulful music comes from the heart. Paired alongside the backing choir vocals, it only accentuates her unmissable dynamic sound that Simbi always nails.


    1. Angel
    2. Gorilla
    3. Silhouette
    4. No Merci
    5. X
    6. Heart On Fire
    7. Broken
    8. Sideways
    9. Who Even Cares
    10. Control

    After several singles were dropped in the lead up to this album it’s safe to say this was my most anticipated release of the year. Little Simz has really come through with her most raw and personal album to date. The opening track “Introvert” is a theatrical masterpiece which gives you goosebumps within the first ten seconds, from the cinematic brass accompanying the rolling snare drum. It feels like an anthem of a generation, fearless and vulnerable, “Introvert” bares all in its strength, openness and fluidity.

    Little Simz’ ability to perform and put into words personal pain is so emotive and taps into something powerful to make you feel every word in the track, particularly in “I Love You, I Hate You”. Her immaculate flow paired with orchestral strings and beats highlights her incredible songwriting and fire.

    Don’t be under the misconception that this is only a hip-hop album. Soulful energy in “I See You”, Nigerian and cultural influences in “Point And Kill'' and a hint of trap and incredible change of flow in “Rollin Stone” set her apart in this cohesive masterpiece of an album.

    The intertwining of interludes frame the album to create an otherworldly and cathartic experience, like in the track “Gems”. The combination of orchestra, children’s choir and the actress Emma Corrin’s spoken word are just magic. The end of the album holds just as many jewels like “How Did You Get Here” and “Miss Understood”; lyrically the most poignant piece which powerfully bookends the album with reconciliation and a self-awareness of how far she’s come.


    Barry says: Little Simz returns for the much anticipated follow-up to the superb 2019 LP 'Grey Area', this time clearly showing the meteoric trajectory of her songwriting and lyricism. There's vital, fiery rap and deep instrumentation that quickly switch into rich soulful R&B, flawlessly and seamlessly. An undeniable force in the future of hip-hop.


    Woman (feat. Cleo Sol)
    Two Worlds Apart
    I Love You I Hate You
    Little Q Part 1
    Little Q Part 2
    Standing Ovation
    I See You
    The Rapper That Came To Tea
    Rollin Stone
    Protect My Energy
    Make Promises
    Point And Kill (feat. Obongjayar)
    Fear No Man
    The Garden Interlude
    How Did You Get Here
    Miss Understood

    Little Simz

    A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons

    Embarrassingly, we missed this sophomore album from the soon-to-be queen of UK hip-hop. Released in 2015 it captures Simbi Ajikawo's unstoppable ascension to the crown with her now-signature style of powerful, wrecking ball flow, socially conscious & empowering lyrical content and fiery persona in its then-embryonic form.

    Now pretty much a household name and likely to be as monumental for British music as Stormzy, Wiley and Nadia Rose, we're all blushing here at HQ about not stocking this first time round! (do feel free to laugh at us online...).

    Irrelevant now, as the incredibly poignant and hard-hitting LP is now on our shelves ready for you to get a grip on this unstoppable homegrown talent. Comparisons above aside, her grasp of language, incendiary character, socially-learning verses and soundsystem-testing production remind me, on this outing at least, of some of Roots Manuva's "Run Come Save Me"-era vibe. It'll leave you breathless on completion and reaching for the repeat switch. Don't sleep (like us) a second time folks! 


    The Lights
    God Bless Mary
    Dead Body
    Full Or Empty
    This Is Not An Outro

    Whilst stuck at home on lockdown, the London rapper returned to her long-running mixtape series. Previous volumes have been released digitalliy, and went a long way to establishing this Nigerian-born artist as one of the strongest voices in the capital at present. Mixing grime, jazz, hip-hop and neo-soul into a fiery broth she can most definintely call her own; the world has pretty much been unanimous in their adoration of this rising talanet with us and 6Music being early proponents. First volume of the seriest to be released on vinyl and it contains five tightly wound tracks with explosive bursts of lyrical genius paired to her usually loose, slack but heavy and weighty instrumentals which drift beween bump, gloom and grit effortlessly. A neutron star of modern UK rap! 


    Millie says: Little Simz has always remained grounded despite the success of her incredible last album, Drop 6 has an airy spontaneous feel to it. ‘damn right’ and ‘where’s my lighter’ demonstrates a moody and mature song writing skill which Little Simz pulls off so effortlessly.


    1. Might Bang, Might Not
    2. One Life, Might Live
    3. Damn Right
    4. You Should Call Mum
    5. Wheres My Lighter

    Simbi Ajikawo, crowned Little Simz, lets her work do the talking - and her prolific releases and boundary-breaking achievements clearly tell a story of a pioneering hip-hop artist who leads the way on her own terms. Giving lauded, energetic performances, critically acclaimed albums, sold-out headline shows around the world, and international tours with the likes of Gorillaz, Anderson .Paak and Ab-Soul, this visionary 24 year old woman from North London is living out her childhood dreams to heights of excellence - and inspiring her generation to do the same.


    Millie says: North London’s Little Simz has turned hip hop on its axis in recent years and excels herself with ‘Grey Area’, an LP exploding with high energy, rapid flow and sharp production. A bold and ingenious lyricist, she peppers her fourth album with twists of dry humour and quick wit; ‘had to let you mature like some fine wine’ from the hit track “Selfish” gets me every time. These comedic phrases are matched with provocative barbs and personal experiences, lending this flawless listen depth and realness. Her bars are intelligent and fierce, leaving no doubt that this is a powerful black female voice in hip hop whose importance should not be overlooked. “Pressure” juxtaposes melancholic piano chords with fat off-kilter beats, a balance which is mirrored by her emotive and gritty lyrics. Alongside this, “101 FM”s’ 8-bit beats are reminiscent of a forgotten game-console soundtrack, the perfect backdrop for a nostalgic narrative focusing on growing up in London and playing Mortal Kombat.
    However “Venom” has to be the stand out track on the album for me, you can feel her rage as it strikes through each verse, exploring themes of inequality of race, gender and class throughout: “They would never wanna admit I'm the best here, from the mere fact that I've got ovaries”. The focus she draws upon surrounding her experience as a woman in hip-hop and within wider-society is refreshing and important. Her flow is incredible, I can’t do it justice to just say how good it actually is; this is one amazingly talented woman. If you listen to one song from this entire booklet, make it this.


    Selfish (Ft. Cleo Soul)
    Wounds (Ft. Chronixx)
    Pressure (Ft. Little Dragon)
    Sherbet Sunset
    Flowers (Ft. Michael Kiwanuka)

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