You see this shit? This motherfucker is one of the top five rap albums of 2019. Oh, wait, you’re saying that 2019 isn’t done yet? Guess what? I don’t give a fuck. Because this album has got it.
For fans of Little Simz, aka Simbi Ajikawo, it’s never been a question of whether or not, it’s been a question of when. Kendrick fucking Lamar called her “the illest doing it right now”. She’s toured with Lauryn Hill and Nas. She’s been on Forbes’s 30 under 30 list. She was featured on a Gorillaz track and showed up on the show Insecure. Simbi even says on this album, “Jay-Z on a bad day, Shakespeare on my worst days.” And she’s not wrong. Her lyrics are sicker than a dog after it’s eaten chocolate. So why isn’t she headlining the biggest of festivals? Where’s her entourage? Why the fuck are we still talking about Emin-fucking-em? Damn, you went and asked those deep questions.
This is Simbi’s third album. Her second, Stillness in Wonderland, came with a graphic novel, and an exhibition, and a festival. Personally? I love that nerdcore shit. I enjoy when verses dig deep into some Wonderland. Because Lewis Carrol is a badass. Me and my army of fucked up cats, stoned caterpillars, and white rabbits will fight you if you say otherwise. But I’m not an idiot. I understand this shit doesn’t have a large appeal. The album was also introspective as hell. It dug deep into Simbi and who she was. It demanded a deep listen. But I’ve seen more esoteric albums from far worse rappers get way more cred. So this can’t be the reason Simbi isn’t on all the billboards.
Naw, maybe it’s the production then. This album has Inflo driving the bus. And, holy fuck, are these beats good. Even if English isn’t your first language, or you’re of a certain age and rap lyrics just float right past ya, you’ll still love this album. Inflo fucking kills it. Each song is catchy. It sounds fresh. It’s got more grooves than termite-riddled pine. It’ll have you tapping that foot like Astaire. But even then, her last album also had some solid production. So it’s not that either.
Look, I don’t want to be the one to fucking say it. So I’ll let Simbi do the talking:
“They would never wanna admit I’m the best here from the mere fact that I’ve got ovaries. It’s a woman’s world, so to speak. Pussy, you sour. Never givin’ credit where it’s do ’cause you don’t like pussy in power.”