For the past 5 years or so, London-based rapper Little Simz has blossomed to become one of the most exciting voices in the country. Her 2019 album GREY Area was an exceptional body of work that showcased the extent of her talents – a hard-hitting, introspective and unapologetically visceral project that combined soulful, bass-heavy boom-bap production with honest, heartfelt lyrics about mental health, personal growth and womanhood. It’s appeal reached far beyond the UK, elevating her status as one of the most important rappers of this generation. She is back with a short 6-track EP titled Drop 6, which to me acts as an extension of her last project. It’s a lively, engaging and soulful new project that continues the streak of hard-hitting and confident raps over rumbling, bass-heavy production.
One thing I have to commend Little Simz for is her choice in production. Her beats feel organic, textured and lively. The energy and tone of “might bang, might not” is visceral and unsettling, with a heavy bassline and a dynamic rhythm that keeps pulsating throughout the track. Little Simz’s intricate and confident lyricism ripples through, as she talks about her greatness. “You ain’t seen no one like me since / Lauryn Hill back in the ’90s, bitch,” and “Fuck that, I crashed the party / Fuck that, I am the party / Don’t get me started / I am a one-woman army / I am the force that we speak of / What’s a wave to a tsunami?” are examples of this. The groovy bassline on “one life, might live” is infectious too, as she raps about the disappointments of dating and embracing being single as she’s got one life to live and she’ll live it to the fullest. It’s the way she flows effortlessly with intent on these tracks that makes her stand out as a rapper. “you should call mum” and “where’s my lighter” featuring Alewya are both examples of this, with more introspective raps about her state of mind and the state of the world we’re living in at the moment. On “you should call mum” she states “Times we livin’ in don’t seem real /But it was never a fairytale to begin with.” The cynicism she expresses is backed by a determination to fight through these struggles. “damn right” features more of a dynamic, drill-influenced beat, as she states “Inner city child, inner city problems / We ain’t have no guidebook on how to solve ’em / Used to hit the clutch straight into first / Now I ride automatic through the place I was birthed (True, true).” With more success comes more self-reflection too. “What do I believe? I tried the mosque and I tried the church (Church) / Now I’m just spiritual, I had to think about what I was living for / How on Earth did I speak to the masses?” Her lyrics are revealing about her state of mind and how she views the world around her, and her ability to convey her thoughts and messages through her vivid and powerful lyricism is truly inspiring.
Drop 6 is an excellent extended play, as Little Simz brings her usual confident and assuring personality, through intricate raps and booming, bass-heavy production. It’s a fitting follow-up to her last full-length album GREY Area, and I’m excited to see her grow continuously as an artist. Make sure you guys show love and support this one!