“Never givin’ credit where it’s due ’cause you don’t like pussy in power” – ‘Venom’
It’s always nice when an artist finally comes good, Little Simz has been on the verge of there or there abouts for years now. Going back to her 2015 single ‘Dead Body’ I have half kept an ear out but neither of her 2 previous albums really struck a chord with me in a way I would have hoped.
‘Grey Area’ is a completely different beast however. From the opening clatter of snare and the warm fuzzy bassline that follows in ‘Offence’ through to the harder edge ‘Venom’ and the summer feel of ‘101 FM’ there is an instrumental cohesion to this record that really gives it a complete feel. That’s not to say that there is a lack of variety, but despite the lack of the gimmick of a concept which both her last 2 albums had, every left turn feels part of a bigger whole.
Lyrically the record alternates between stories, swagger and social commentary. There is a regular thread of the power of women in a way that echoes hip hop’s traditional braggadocio. If there was any criticism to be had the record doesn’t really push into ground breaking directions but when things are as good as this its easy to completely overlook that.