In 2019, British rapper Little Simz proved herself to be one of the most versatile and gifted artists around with the release of GREY Area. This year, she has exceeded expectations on Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, her most personal and exciting work to date. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is nothing short of a masterpiece. The album revolves around her identity battles of being Little Simz the rapper and Simbi Ajikawo, a regular person who wishes to maintain a quiet life outside of the spotlight. This division of her two personas is represented through the album’s title name itself, which spells “SIMBI” with the first letter of each word in the title.
The album takes listeners on a sonic journey of nineteen songs complete with eclectic instrumentals, multiple interludes, and as always, clever, perfectly delivered lyrics. Nearly double the length of GREY Area, SIMBI feels anthemic, uplifting, and moving. Simz’ choice of instrumentals shows her paying homage to iconic artists such as Al Green, Prince, and Smokey Robinson. The album opens with “Introvert” which sets the tone for the rest of the album with its flourishing horns and a timid-sounding name. On it, she raps: “I hate the thought of just being a burden / I hate that these conversations are surfaced / Simz the artist or Simbi the person? / To you I’m smiling but really I’m hurting.” Many of the songs articulate Simbi’s introversion and contrast it with Simz’ extroverted, confident self. Simz also does not shy away from talking about familial issues–she raps about her estranged father on “I Love You, I Hate You” and about her difficult relationship with her sister on closing track “Miss Understood.” This candidness makes for a wonderful listening experience and is why Sometimes I Might Be Introvert has been hailed as one of the best works of 2021.
Its rich production, sharp writing, and creativity sets Sometimes I Might Be Introvert up as the strongest UK rap release this year. Give it a listen–you won’t be disappointed.