Little Simz is undeniably one of the finest lyricists that has rose to prominence over the last five years. Simz has been quietly plugging away for years now (too quietly in fact), releasing four mixtapes between 2010-2013 and then dropping her debut album A curious Tale of Trials + Persons in 2015.
In a climate where viral sensations and outrage rule the roost, Simz has found it difficult to gain the recognition she deserves with her clever, honest lyricism. Although she may not have received the plaudits that many of her peers have, Simz has not been short of praise when it comes to her fellow MCs – with none other than Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar; referring to her as “the illest doing it right now”.
With the release of her third album Grey Area finally here we want to highlight some of the brilliance that Little Simz has given us over the last nine years, so we’ve carefully selected seven of her best offerings to give you whet your appetite.
“Guess Who” Feat Josh Acré, Chuck20 and Tilla
Undoubtedly one of the sickest concepts. On this track each MC spits a verse written by one of the other collaborators, and as the title suggests invites the audience to “Guess Who” wrote the verse. The concept can really be appreciated to its full effect when you’re watching the visuals.
“Gratitude” Feat The Hics
From a clever braggadocious banger to the socially conscious; Simz makes the transition look effortless. Taken from Simz’s debut album A curious Tale of Trials + Persons. The visuals see Simz in Cape Town amidst the #FeesMustFall protests. Simz’s choice of collaborators on this are The Hics, who are an English electronic band; not perhaps a pairing that you’d envision for someone with roots in UK rap – but this further cements King Simz’s malleability as an artist.
“Customz” Feat Bibi Bourelly
A cut from her second album Stillness in Wonderland, Simz’s smooth flow caresses the jazzy instrumental as she delivers her razor sharp lyricism; which is beautifully offset with Bibi Bourelly’s powerful vocals. Again this track proves just how versatile Simz really is.
Rather than just select the album version of this track we had to give shine to the live performance of this on Jools Holland. The passion that Simz’s displays throughout the performance truly display one of the traits that have separated her from the rest of the pack.
We’ve already seen several different sides to the North London MC. On “Dead Body”, the fiery flows that have been simmering beneath the surface are finally let loose.
The track would go on to spawn a part two and three featuring the likes of Kano and Stormzy; further proving that Simz can go toe to toe with the best of them.
“King Of Hearts” Feat Ghetts & Chip
Little Simz brings through another two of UK’s finest wordsmiths. Chip opens proceedings with one of his hardest feature verses to date, and of course Ghetts does not disappoint with his lyrical onslaught.
From one of King Simz’s earlier projects – E.D.G.E; which predates any of her albums. Like many of Simz’s other tracks it remains criminally under viewed currently sitting at 470,000 views. Although even this early on Little Simz’s star quality shines through.