Little Simz is unlike the more popular UK rappers bridging oceans. For one, she doesn’t devote herself to making pop songs and instead focuses on the concept and lyricism — it benefits her that she had a pivotal supporting role in Top Boy, becoming popular from involvement on the soundtrack from artists like Drake. It has been the case since her early, more underground releases like Stillness In Wonderland and Black Canvas. Since then, she has grown exponentially as an artist, honing her craft and delivering gritty and depth-filled braggadocio raps at the same consistency as her more auspicious conscious raps. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is less gritty but filled to the brim in detail; this detail is part of the journey through her subconscious, showing us a deeper understanding of her person and artistry.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert isn’t the first time Little Simz has made a concept album; however, it is the first time one hits from start to finish. Simz opens the album without sugarcoating her doubts and fears into these emotionally complex bars that set the stage for the album. She has been keen on keeping her raps authentic to her vulnerably poetic rhythm and flows. These kinds of raps have been part of her identity, like blending two cultures in her music. Unfortunately, as she would mention later in the album, it is her authentic self — she brings forth production that takes influence from sounds that are less Pop, allowing her to deliver flows naturally.
From this, Little Simz pushes herself to make these doubts an absent memory as she hones her introversion and makes it an artistic and personal strength. Throughout the album, Little Simz raps about lessons learned, visions understood, and her place in this new woke culture, as she fits within the demographic of her peers. Through her perspective, she allows the music to speak to the subtleties an introvert deals with, like love, familial relationships, and in her case, her musical career. It begins with “Introvert,” which centers all the themes into an explosive conscious rap with BLARING horns and intense percussion.
After the strong opener, Simz shifts the focus to beautiful women — her daily influences — this is an external force, which boosts her confidence, especially as a rapper. “Women” adds a deep perspective toward the cultural influences women of all races have delivered throughout the years. In turn, she reflects this influence with the production her regular producer, Inflo, creates with refined details, especially the interludes — they deliver a combination of whimsical wind instruments and piano keys, subtly laying layers over the primary vocals and faint background harmonies.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert goes beyond the crevices, with Little Simz relaying situations that may have caused her introversion, as a guardian angel, voiced by actress Emma Corrin, guides her throughout the journey we take in Simz’s shoes. Inflo’s delicate and nuanced gospel and soul-influenced choir sectors add brevity to the words of Emma — or in this case, her guardian. Emma Corrin is best known for her performance as Princess Diana on the Netflix drama, The Crown. And like Princess Diana’s influence on the world, Corrin brings a similar tender approach to her conversations with Little Simz. She becomes a semblance for living for Little Simz — in a non-suicidal way — particularly, the life of her music career.
It begins at the end of “Introvert,” Emma Corrin says: “Your introversion led you here/Intuition protected you along the way/Feelings allowed you to be well balanced/And perspective gave you foresight,” and that is where the similarities begin. With Emma Corrin’s glowing presence throughout the album, the back and forth adds unique insight into Little Simz’s life and acknowledging self-worth.
Emma Corrin’s appearance at the end of “Introvert” reminds me of the narrative structure of the Lars Von Trier film, The House That Jack Built. In the movie, Jack converses with Verge as he descends into Hell, and within the conversation, he recounts his journey through five murders. However, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is not narcissistic, like The House That Jack Built. Instead, it follows a hollow structure where the conversations become intermittent with the stories in between. It is as far as this similarity goes.
In between the songs, whenever Emma Corrin appears with an angelic effect built around the choir and horn instruments, particularly the trumpet and trombone. The way Emma inflects her voice adds a contrasting light to Simz’s doubts through the various subjects explored. It is pivotal to understanding and enjoying the album from start to finish, especially when peeling the skin of her emotions.
One thing that comes from being an introvert is the complexion of your emotions when let out. Without a proper way of inflecting your tone and words, the build-up can be immense; however, Little Simz doesn’t get phased by dropping all the weight down. Whenever Sometimes I Might Be Introvert isn’t focusing on Simz purview of the world and instead focuses on her relationships with the people in her life. In the song “Little Q Pt. 2,” Simz shifts the perspective to her cousin, who grew up on the south side of the UK. Due to Simz’s introversion, she lost touch with certain people — like family. And on “I See You,” Simz creates a love song through the eyes of a self-conscious introvert.
At a midpoint, Little Simz brings out an inner realization about amounting her worth to her surroundings. It’s one thing to be a pop star or a signature star in general, but it’s another to have enough to command a stage, especially at a festival. In the song “Standing Ovation,” Simz finds her way to express her status amongst the crowd, going as high as proclaiming her and the rest of the behind-the-scenes people deserve applause. The clever double-entendre sees Simz breaking apart her reasoning, with intricate rhymes about her patience and commitment to authenticity without forcing a chart-topper.
Apart from a slow burn that eventually takes you to the scene-stealing “Standing Ovation,” Little Simz goes about revitalizing her technical and lyrical strength as a contrast to the prominent theme of introversion. On “Rolling Stone,” we hear her diving to her younger roots with a rapid-fire flow and slick wordplay, marking it as a reminder of her skills, albeit the consistently introspective turns she takes in her music. This kind of confidence is heard back-to-back on “Point and Kill” and “Fear No Man.” It carries a consistent vibe with Simz digs into her Nigerian roots and implements aspects of the culture in the music. “Point and Kill” features poet and spoken word artist, Obongjayar, and his presence on the chorus flourishes with the key afrobeat influenced horns and production.
No matter how you view it, the nuance and culture Little Simz and Inflo bring are more than the depth of the lyrics. Sometimes Simz is distraught, but she reassures herself, unapologetically, on “Point and Kill.” And it continues as she closes Sometimes I Might Be Introvert strong with “How Did You Get Here” and “Miss Understood.” After draining her emotional weight and discovering herself, she has the confidence to explain how she got to where she is and the misunderstanding of her music.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is Little Simz’s best. There is no denying it. Within the tracks, there are individualized highlights that carry repeat value, but as a whole, it’s all repeatable. It isn’t this bombastic hip-hop/pop album that makes noise through wavelengths, but Simz’s distinct carefulness makes it a compelling record. It’s rare to dig into the next level, as artists tend to seal it off when their success inflates their ego and comfortability factors.