It would be near impossible to get in between Little Simz’ ferocious ambition, as she secures herself amongst the UK’s most refined, artistic talent. Following the release of her fourth studio album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, and hitting the main stage at festivals, Simz decided to make a stop at the cozy and casual Rough Trade East. The project is larger than words, it is indeed a theatrical masterpiece that can already anticipate itself on the critical radar when discussing albums of the year. Restricted to an intimate capacity of 200, Clash expected a stripped back, raw performance of her new material - lo and behold, the seasoned rapper delivered just that and more.
Within the first few steps over the threshold of the record store, there is a bubbling crowd eagerly waiting with SIMBI LP’s in hand, chattering amongst each other. In fact, an emotional re-introduction to the essence of live music that still seems to feel like an old friend to many of us.
These conversations come to a halt once the opening military drums of ‘Introvert’ strike through, and Little Simz takes the stage. Behind the decks is OTG, a close friend and collaborator. There is an undeniable chemistry between Simz and the mic that marks a point in her career where she’s very comfortable in her performance, with crystal clear delivery and flows that not many can achieve, a facet that comes to light at smaller shows.
Following track ‘Two Worlds Apart’ bags itself an instant wheel-up bringing the rappers struggles and impeccable storytelling to life, which is even further fleshed out with raw single ‘I Love You, I Hate You’ that captures the conflicting emotions that entail the rapper’s relationship with her father. Throughout, one can tell that Simz truly feels the production of this album, particularly with groove-heavy ‘Point And Kill’ that encourages gun fingers and smiles from her and infectious dancing amongst the crowds, who call and respond with the chorus.
Engagement is another element that the tight capacity enhances, where the upbeat and bouncy ‘101 FM’ invites Little Simz into the crowd, spitting her playful bars face-to-face with keen fans who’s adrenaline is already pumping after a re-visit to 2019’s ‘GREY Area’ with menacing banger ‘Venom.’
Simz concludes the performance with ‘Woman,’ leaving the room with a gorgeous ode to the female species filled with heart and soul. Undoubtedly, Little Simz has quite literally provided both the sunshine and heat that summer ‘21 has been crying out for.
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Words: Ana Lamond
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