This album was released on September 3rd this year. Little Simz released one of my favorite albums of 2019 with GREY Area, so I was pretty excited to hear this album. With that said, I didn’t really care for her Drop 6 EP that came out in 2020. However, I’ve seen nothing but praise for this latest project, so I’m still looking forward to it. The one aspect of the album that has me a bit worried is the length. This thing is over an hour long. Hopefully the length is justified. All the production is handled by Inflo, who was responsible for the beats on GREY Area, so I’m confident that this’ll be a dope album. I’ll be shocked if I don’t end up enjoying it to some extent.
As always, I’ll write about the songs I like before discussing the tracks that I won’t be returning to. The opening track is entitled Introvert, and I think it’s pretty incredible to be honest.
The triumphant, cinematic production from Inflo is fucking insane. They really started the album off with a bang. I love the personal lyricism from Simz here too.
I bottle up and then spill it in verses One day, I'm wordless, next day, I'm a wordsmith Close to success, but to happiness, I'm the furthest At night, I wonder if my tears will dry on their own Hoping I will fulfil Amy's purpose Angel said, "Don't let your ego be a disturbance" Inner demon said, "Motherfucker, you earned this"
The content of this song is really heavy.
I'm not into politics, but I know it's dark times
Parts of the world still living in apartheid
But if I don't takе this winner's flight, that's career suicide
Though I should've been a friеnd when your grandma died
I see the illness eat my aunt laying in her bed
I see her soul rising as her body gets closer to death
The uncredited vocals from Cleo Sol on the hook are really nice too. Little Simz & Inflo both killed this track. The beat sounds like it’s performed by a full fucking orchestra. It’s a really hard-hitting track. I think it’s dope af. The following song is entitled Woman, and it didn’t impress me nearly as much as the opening song, but it’s still pretty good.
I really like the melodic production, and Simz did her thing on the verses. I think Cleo Sol sounds really great on the hook too. I think the content is pretty cool; she’s just showing love to women of color.
Bajan hunnies, know you reppin' for your country
Sun kissin' your brown skin, lookin' like money
Say she focusin' on bein' an accountant
When you have beauty and brains, they find it astoundin'
Why? She been gettin' it on her own, nigga
Self made, ain't nobody doin' gold digger
Now, Miss India always speaks with her chest
Got respect from her people 'cause she leads them the best
Hm, real life queen in the flesh
Know the crown get heavy, still it be's on your head
Her flow isn’t really anything special, but it’s not bad at all. I think the song is very good. The following track is called Two World’s Apart. The production here is pretty great; that Smokey Robinson sample is awesome. The beat is honestly my favorite aspect of the song. I wasn’t really that impressed with Simz’s rapping. At least, not until the very end when she switched her flow up.
Covered with silver linings, it took time just to learn about timing
I got lost in it, you got lost in it
You clocked out, meanwhile I stayed bossin' it
What it cost to be this damn hot with it?
Who knew love would be so damn toxic?
I am intoxicated, exhilarated, finally moved on
How devastating for you
Got my groove on, meditatin' too, creatin', makin' innovative moves
Listen up, honey
Never had a penny, now I'm artist-slash-actor-money
The lyrics aren’t bad at all, but none of them really stood out that much to me. She sounds good on the mic though. I definitely like this song. It’s just far from a favorite of mine. The structure of the song is very simplistic. There’s no hook or bridge. There’s just a short break in between the two verses from her. I think it’s a cool track, but, again, it’s far from a favorite of mine. The following track is a lot better in my opinion. It’s called I Love You, I Hate You, and it has a glorious instrumental. I really appreciate the personal content about Simz’s complicated family life too.
You made a promise to God to be there for your kids
You made a promise to give them a life you didn't live
My ego won't fully allow me to say that I miss you
A woman who hasn't confronted all her daddy issues
The day will come when you gotta find all the answers to your sins
Pressures of providin', feelin' unhappy within
Or what kind of external family shit up on your plate
But I understand wantin' and needin' an escape
Each verse is better than the last in my opinion. Her flow on the third verse was great. The only gripe I have with this track is that “I love you, I hate you” vocal sample. It’s just kind of irritating to me. I wish it was relegated to the hook, but it permeates the whole song. It’s not a big enough issue to ruin the song for me though. I think the track is dope. It’s followed by Little Q, Pt. 1, which is the album’s first interlude. I think the production here is pretty nice. I think the little prayer from Simz’s cousin here is pretty cool too.
I know we ain't spoke in a while
And it seems like I only come when I need something
It ain't been an easy road
And I ain't angry the cards you dealt me
I just pray that you make it all make sense one day
And let me feel like it was all worth it
'Til then, strengthen me when I feel weak
Guide me when I've gone astray
And forgive me for my inequities
It’s not the most memorable interlude I’ve heard or anything, but I enjoyed it to some extent. I think it’s pretty good. It transitions really nicely into Little Q, Pt. 2. I think it’s pretty cool how she raps from her cousin’s perspective on this track. The production is great, and I even like the sung hook on this track. Once again, the content is very personal. She delves into her family life a lot on this album.
Grew up in the south side of that river Thames
Hard to think outside the box when you're stuck in the ends
I had dreams of many things as a youngin'
I was fourteen when the streets offered tough lovin'
Older brother went to jail, daddy weren't around
No choice now but to be the man in the house
If you're talking role models, nowhere to be seen
You can't fathom what I think 'til you been where I been
Nothing about this track really blew me away, but I do love the production, and I think the verses are super well-written. It’s a dope song. It’s followed by another interlude entitled Gems. The production on this track is super pretty to me. It sounds really dreamy and angelic. It reminds me of the fairy theme from The Legend of Zelda for whatever reason. Honestly, this track sounds like something I’d hear in a fantasy movie. The cinematic production along with the dramatic speech with the British accents just makes it sound like something I’d hear in The Chronicles of Narnia or some shit. I don’t mean that in a bad way though. I think it’s a pretty dope interlude. The production is great. I fuck with this track. It’s followed by Speed. I really love the production on this track. This song sounds like it’d fit in with the material on GREY Area honestly. The beat is fire. I also think this song has some of Simz’s best rapping up to this point on the album. Her flow is really nice.
Niggas wanna put me in a box
Niggas think they're coming for my spot
I could buy your life with no excuses
If I had a penny for all the rappers that I influenced
I know what I bring, no, I ain't stupid
You should try that shit on someone that isn't being their truest
Figured I'd just leave you niggas to it
But watch how you step, promise you don't wanna see me lose it
I kinda wish there was a hook on this song instead of there just being a break between the two verses, but that’s just a nitpick. This song has one of my favorite beats on the album, and Simz killed it in my opinion. The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by Standing Ovation, which has another one of my favorite beats. The instrumental sounds like something Jay-Z would rap over. The first verse from Simz is cool too. I really love the way the production on this track evolves. It switches up for the bridge in a really cool way. The lyrics don’t really stand out that much to me in all honesty, but I like Simz’s flow a lot, and the production here is glorious. She really killed that final verse too. I think the song is dope as hell. Track 10 is called I See You, and it has co-production from an artist named Miles James. I think the beat is pretty good, although it’s far from a favorite of mine on this album. The first verse from Simz kinda reminds me of 50 Cent’s 21 Questions.
Would you take me as I am, overlook all my mistakes?
Though correct me when I'm wrong, humble me, put me in my place?
Would you be the one I come to when I'm needin' an escape?
Still be my biggest fan if I canceled all my dates?
I got shit I haven't dealt with, would you help me through my pain?
If it's any reassurance, just know I would do the same
Lookin' at you, I know that God took His time
Hope I'm seein' the real you, not a disguise
I’m not sure who that is singing on the hook, but she sounds pretty good. I think the lyrics are very romantic too.
Hopin' that I never wake up
'Cause in this dream I'll never be alone
You saved my life
I'm hopin' that I never wake up
Somethin' so special, we can't let it go
With you, I'll never be alone
I'm hopin' that I never wake up
Honestly, this is one of the first tracks on the album that really impressed me lyrically. I think it’s a super romantic song.
Never thought you'd be so special in my life
This is love built over time, this wasn't love at first sight
When plannin' for my future, I've been keepin' you in mind
If we ever grow apart, hope our stars will realign
I think the song is dope as hell honestly. It didn’t really impress me that much on my first listen, but it grew on me over time. Track 12 is called Rollin’ Stone, and it has a really cool Electronic beat.
Simz’s flow on this track is fire too.
Make you wanna dance all day likе Alfonso
Wanna talk about P's, wanna talk about wage, but can you do the job though?
I can't vouch for a man that ain't got the talent and business combo
It's all a sport, flow on archery, don't get hit with the crossbow
Stayed to myself, been true to the core
I was always the illest, there's never been no cure
Callin' shots like I call in favours, facts
My niggas got me if I ever need that
I love the way the beat switches up for the second verse. This shit is hard as fuck to be honest. It’s easily one of my favorite tracks on the album. Her flow on the second beat isn’t really anything special, but I really like her delivery. I even like the autotuned vocals on the outro. I think the song is dope af. The next song that I actually like is called Point & Kill.
I really dig the groovy production here, and I love the hook from Obongjayar. I even like Little Simz’s melodic delivery on the first verse. She sounds great over this beat in my opinion. None of the lyrics really stand out to me personally, but I can definitely fuck with the song sonically. I think it’s dope. It transitions really smoothly into Fear No Man, which is another really good one. I love the kind of tribal-sounding production, and the first verse from Simz is great.
Tell me who you know floatin' on a beat like this?
You can not respect it, I ain't askin' you to like this
You can always trust I'll give you somethin' new to vibe with
Heads turn when I pull up, lookin' stylish
Ain't your typical rapper, I ain't got my neck froze
Still your favorite artist couldn't even step close
Hеard they want my crown but I ain't never strеssed though
'Cause to your career that would be detrimental
I like the hook on this track a lot too. The second and third verses from Simz didn’t stand out to me as much as the first one, but they’re still good. I think the song is pretty dope overall. The penultimate track is called How Did You Get Here, and it’s another pretty dope song. I like the choir vocals on the hook, and the way Simz raps with minimal percussion is really cool. Her flow is really nice, and I appreciate the reflective lyricism.
Nothing in life comes easy and you work twice as hard 'cause you black
Used to think mom exaggerated 'til the world showed me it's fact
Still, it's mine for the taking, lock the doors and we break in
Still got love for them non-believers, yeah, the ones that said we won't make it
Everything you want is out there waiting for you to take it
The key is to have faith in your dreams and never stop chasing
And you'll make it, trust
The jazzy production is really nice, and I think both of Simz’s verses are very well-written. The song is dope. The last song on the album is called Miss Understood. I think the piano-driven production is pretty nice, and the first verse from Simz is cool. I think the hook is pretty solid too. This definitely isn’t one of my favorite tracks, but nothing about it stands out in a bad way. I especially like the way the second verse ends.
When it comes to family, see now, you testing me
You want my everything until there's nothing left of me
I just wanted you to call me, saying, "Hey, sis, how's your day been?
How's your love life, who you datin'?
Oh, he fucked up? Girl, I had the same thing
But there's a bigger picture God is painting"
It's hard mixing family and business
I really wanted it to work and God is my witness
It’s a pretty good song. The first track that I don’t see myself returning to is an interlude entitled The Rapper That Came to Tea, which is easily the most British song title on the whole album. I just don’t really care about anything Emma Corrin had to say here, and I’d be lying if I said I liked the vocals on the outro. It’s an incredibly well-produced track, but it’s just not something I’m gonna be listening to again. I also don’t really care for Protect My Energy. It’s not a bad song, but nothing about it really stands out that much to me. I think the production has kind of an 80s-ish sound, which is cool I guess. Simz doesn’t rap on this song at all; she’s singing the whole time, which is probably why I don’t like this track as much. Her vocals sound fine, but the melody and instrumental just aren’t that entertaining to me. It’s a fine song, but I’m not gonna be listening to it again. I also don’t really care for the Never Make Promises interlude. It sounds like something I’d hear in a musical. This just isn’t my style at all. The melody isn’t very entertaining to me, and the production didn’t stand out to me either. I don’t think it’s a bad song, but, again, I’m not gonna be listening to it in the future. Same goes for the final interlude, The Garden. I think the production is pretty nice, but aside from that nothing about it stands out to me. It’s not a bad track, but it has no replay value for me.
This album isn’t nearly as amazing as GREY Area in my opinion, but it’s still a pretty great project. I honestly came away more impressed by Inflo than Little Simz, but none of her performances were subpar. I definitely prefer the darker production style on GREY Area, but I was still impressed by a lot of the beats on this album. Little Simz doesn’t have the most impressive flow to me, but I appreciate a lot of the personal content on this project. I was expecting this to be one of my favorite albums of the year just based on the way people were talking about it, so I have to admit that I am slightly disappointed. I think it could’ve been pared down to about 12 tracks. This album is definitely longer than it needs to be in my opinion. I could’ve done without the interludes, even though they’re very well produced. They didn’t add much to the album for me. Anyway, as a whole, I think this is a great project. Again, it’s not nearly as amazing as GREY Area, but it’s still worth listening to. Check it out.
Favorite Song: Introvert
Least Favorite Song: Protect My Energy
Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.