Little Simz: Sometimes I Might Be Introvert review – soul-baring brilliance

(Age 101)
Wordsmith Simbiatu Ajikawo unleashes non-stop killer cuts on her extraordinary fourth album

Grammar pedants note: north London rapper Little Simz absolutely knows what she’s doing. “I see sinners in a church,/ Sometimes I might be introvert,” goes the full line from the title track of her extraordinary fourth album: it scans, and casts Simz as a righteous, big-picture witness.

She really is no wallflower. Heralded by a martial fanfare, Simz’s outgoing, soul-baring record knows how to beat the door down then work the room. Over 19 tracks, the wordsmith born Simbiatu Ajikawo flexes long and hard in the company of can-do-no-wrong producer Inflo (Michael Kiwanuka, Sault), effortlessly throwing out bangers. Many will know the hard-hitting title track, in which she deconstructs black anger and pain, or her female-forward summer tune, Woman. But there are more killer cuts here: Speed finds her brushing dirt off her shoulder over a boxy beat and snaking electronic hook.

All of this grandeur is punctuated by shimmering orchestral interludes, the plummy voice of Emma Corrin (AKA The Crown’s Princess Diana) as Simz’s life coach, and hard-hitting tracks of another kind, where the artist examines her motivations (Ovation) and her relationship with her absent father on the heart-wrenching I Love You, I Hate You.

Watch the visualiser for I Love You, I Hate You by Little Simz.


Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Little Simz review – an introvert on full beam
Showcasing one of the year’s best albums, the rapper is on impassioned form in a set that opens up from rapid-fire grime to lush funk and soul

Kitty Empire

04, Dec, 2021 @2:00 PM

Article image
Little Simz: Stillness in Wonderland review – variety, agility and candour
(Age 101)

Isa Jaward

01, Jan, 2017 @8:00 AM

Article image
Little Simz: Grey Area review – rap maverick finally finds her groove
Long stuck on the brink of success, the Londoner balances idiosyncrasy with big tunes on her winning third album

Kate Hutchinson

23, Feb, 2019 @2:00 PM

Article image
Little Simz: Sometimes I Might Be Introvert review – rich, vital rap
Intensely creative as she discusses race, womanhood and family – and with a cameo from Emma Corrin – Simz’s fourth album feels totally alive

Rachel Aroesti

02, Sep, 2021 @10:30 AM

Article image
Mercury prize: Little Simz wins for Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Rapper and actor, 28, wins for her fourth album after critical acclaim and a decade as a performer

Shaad D'Souza and Laura Snapes

18, Oct, 2022 @9:14 PM

Article image
The 50 best albums of 2021, No 3: Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Engaging with private, family and public life and boldly ‘taking the winner’s flight’ made the rapper’s fourth LP an artistic triumph

Jenessa Williams

15, Dec, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
Little Simz: ‘Every story told in Top Boy, I’ve witnessed a version’
The rapper on being cast in the new series of the London drama, and meeting its biggest fan, Drake

Killian Fox

31, Aug, 2019 @3:00 PM

Article image
Rodney Crowell: Triage review – brave and soul-baring
His contemplative 18th album finds Crowell on fine form, pondering mortality

Neil Spencer

17, Jul, 2021 @3:00 PM

Article image
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate review – bittersweet soul-baring
Mercury nominee Kiwanuka displays biting self-knowledge on the pain of failing relationships

Kitty Empire

17, Jul, 2016 @8:00 AM

Article image
Little Simz review – red-hot ambition and technical flair
The rapper’s talent and drive are clear and her presence is engaging, even if her storytelling skills are still developing

Kate Hutchinson

18, Sep, 2015 @1:16 PM