Epic Little Simz Release
Reviewed by Leo Zhang
Edited by Frank Janicke
Despite being her fourth studio album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is unlike anything else in Little Simz’s discography. Previously, the British rapper has consistently crafted concise albums, with her lengthiest being just under 45 minutes. Her latest venture, however, clocks in at over an hour. While most rappers would struggle to fill such a runtime with continually compelling content, Simz is not your typical MC. Rather than bog us down with bland, repetitive drivel, Simz expertly utilizes each and every minute to explore a wide breadth of topical matters, and in the process reveals more about herself than ever before. Simz and producer Inflo choose to pivot towards a much more grand, rich, and orchestral style while still retaining Simz’s masterful lyricism and ability to offer insightful, introspective views on her life and the world.
Opener “Introvert” is an instant attention-grabber and powerful track, featuring marching drums and striking horn lines. This grandiose instrumental leads into Simz’s deft bars that open windows into the internal struggles she will later discuss throughout the album, namely government corruption and her need to find a way to deal with the problems she faces throughout her life. It’s essential to the album and introduces the existential yet epic sound that will be maintained throughout the project’s runtime. Simz’s grand ambitions continue to pay off on “Woman” and “I Love You, I Hate You,” the former being a smooth neo-soul cut on Simz’s admiration and respect of the important role of women around the globe, while the latter features Simz employing her flexible and razor-sharp flows to draw a vivid picture of her complicated relationship with her father. Beautifully orchestrated strings only serve to brighten her crushingly human story. The more mellow “Little Q, Pt. 2” is just as analytical, with Simz taking a step back and evaluating the bigger picture of her life. Simz’s conversational but ever-passionate flow seamlessly glides over bits of vocals and smooth strings and keys, casting a golden haze over the troubling events of her past. Interludes are often overused on hip-hop albums, especially those from the 2000s, but Simz manages to make them diverse. Each interlude is just as lovingly made as the songs, so every track transitions smoothly to enhance the flow and cinematic quality of the album.
“Rollin Stone” shows a more confident Simz backtracking to her older, more rapid style over a nocturnal trap beat with an ambiance similar to that of GREY Area. “Protect My Energy” is a smooth, danceable synthpop number that sees Simz accepting her introverted personality. On jazzy, somber “How Did You Get Here,” Simz adopts a more autobiographical stance on her arduous journey to the top, dotted with plenty of her unique observations and motivational advice that never feels too preachy. If we take “How Did You Get Here” as an end to the narrative of the record, then “Miss Understood” is the epilogue, with gentle keyboards and neo-soul vibes that add to the finality of this grand album after all its twists and turns. Little Simz has exceeded all expectations with Sometimes I Might Be Introvert and has left her mark on hip-hop with this well-crafted, thoughtful album.