North London rapper Little Simz has shared her first new music since her Mercury Prize-nominated 2019 album GREY Area, which Paste named as one of the 10 best hip-hop albums of that year. Today, Little Simz has shared an EP of new material written and recorded while in quarantine.
The five-track EP opens with a bang. “You ain’t seen no one like me since Lauryn Hill back in the ‘90s, bitch,” Simz raps over a sly bass line on “might bang, might not,” and the venom doesn’t stop there: “I’m fuckboy resistant / Looking like a bulletproof vest.” Then comes “one life, might live” with its echoing, old school hip-hop percussion. The EP concludes with the sax-laden closer “where’s my lighter,” which features breathy vocals from Alewya and shows off Simz’ tender side: “Never sorry that I won but I’m sorry that you lost.”
Simz shared a lengthy written statement about the conflicting emotions surrounding the EP. Read a few snippets of it below:
I started working on an EP early April, with a plan to finish it by the end of the month. Around mid-April I got disheartened and started getting in my own way. That self-doubt shit again. “This isn’t good enough, people won’t like this, its shit, the mix is trash,” everything negative under the sun. My neighbour told me to turn the music down one day, he’s working from home. He clearly wasn’t as tolerant as Mary. I’d never seen him before, he just moved in next door. I said ok, I asked what his hours were (trying to compromise). “9:30am – 6:30pm”, he said. He was cool with the noise after that time. I said ok. He asked if I was playing drums ha. Nah nigga that’s that bass. (Osiris’ bass that is, I was working on a song to one of his beats, Track 5). I explained what I was working on and he said “ah so this is actually your work too?”. I said yes but I wasn’t really in the mood for big big convo so I wrapped it up, apologising again for the noise, and then politely kept it moving. Well this is annoying. I like to work on music during the day, I like sunlight. Especially the way it hits through my windows in my living room, makes me feel inspired to be productive. That didn’t matter though, because I was already giving up on the EP anyway.
After serious procrastination I decided to stop being a lil bitch and cry baby and knuckle down on the EP. I gassed myself up, There’s no one else here, I’m alone, I had to. It started to feel good. I started to get really excited, wheeling myself up, spudding myself. I had to. Then I completed it. and when? End of the month just as I’d set out too. Things come full circle in the end don’t they? The middle feels like growing pains, self-doubt is a bitch and the only way out is through. Thank you for being the lights that you are. You’re all needed, valued, appreciated, and loved. Not just by me of course and I am sure I can speak on behalf of everyone you hold dear in your lives close to you.
This is a turbulent time but we don’t fold. We don’t come from that. We will always be fine.
Hear the first track from the EP below, and stream the full EP here.