Little Simz - Drop 6 EP Music Album Reviews

Stuck at home on lockdown, the London rapper returns to her long-running mixtape series with a gloomy, affecting meditation on self-reliance that feels as claustrophobic as a one-room apartment.

Little Simz punctuated 2014 and 2015 with her Drops series: spontaneous, carefree mixtapes that established her as a curious and brave voice in UK rap. She used these Drops to open up with diaristic verses and work freely with collaborators from across the spectrum. Since releasing the last Drop in December 2015, she’s reached new heights. Her third album, 2019’s acclaimed GREY Area, was her brassiest, most daring, and most profound work yet. But this year, finding herself locked down in London, where she lives alone, Simbi Ajikawo decided to go back to her roots with Drop 6: a gloomy meditation that proves she’s still spontaneous and self-reliant, if no longer carefree.
Simz retains the confidence of GREY Area, opening the EP with an urgent running bassline and a lyric aligning herself with “Lauryn Hill back in the ’90s” (a comparison that has been bestowed upon her many times before). But this time, between the stripped-down drums and the metallic echo that haunts much of the record, a palpable feeling of loneliness surrounds her self-empowerment. As the EP loosens its pace, and more anxious thoughts creep into its fabric, you get the sense that these lines about self-confidence are not so much boasts as notes to herself. On Instagram, Simz talked about how she pushed through a crisis of confidence to finish the EP in April, while lockdown was sparking mental-health issues. Struggling against “all that self-doubt shit I never imagined thinking,” she notes, “I gassed myself up. There’s no one else here, I’m alone, I had to.”

In between lines celebrating her success, Simz gives the impression of an artist halted mid-stride. She’s elated to be at such a successful point in her career, but she faces the pressure of calculating her next move—and, more to the point, she’s locked down like the rest of us, confronting mortality as well as enforced solitude. The world of these songs feels as small as a one-bedroom apartment. Each consists of little more than drums, snaking bassline, and Simz’s flare of a voice, and most run for less than three minutes. The shuffling, spare “you should call mum” is a song for the quarantine era: “Crabs in a barrel, we all in this,” she spits, between slow-rolling choruses about sleepless nights and nap-filled days. This circling of the same sounds and themes is an extreme form of introspection from a notoriously introspective artist. Occasionally, it becomes too claustrophobic, as with the off-the-cuff “damn right,” on which Simz cruises steadily in one gear.

This confinement prevents the EP from reaching GREY Area’s heights, but Drop 6 still contains deeply affecting moments—particularly when Simz lands on cautious, conditional optimism. At the EP’s end, on “where’s my lighter,” she looks ahead to the future and her “next masterpiece” while keeping one fearful eye on the present. The EP’s final verse finishes mid-thought: “Breaking my back to make sure my family eats like...” That sense of uncertainty bleeds through every track—two of which have “might” in the title, including the most upbeat, with a hook that boasts, “I’ve got one life and I might just live it.” But it hits hardest on that piano-embellished final song, which is lifted by the smoky tendrils of London singer Alewya’s voice, and where Simz herself takes vocal leaps. Where the other songs are short and sharp, this one twists and turns through melancholia toward a lighter, softer promise that better days are still to come.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Little Simz - Drop 6 EP Music Album Reviews Little Simz - Drop 6 EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 Rating:

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