I ain’t tryna be a role model but the game it needs a hero – Little Simz, Intervention
Hip hop has a weird space in my life. Outside of a handful of artists nothing new has captivated me for a long time and inevitably if I want to listen to beats I end up listening to 36 Chambers.
Then I heard Little Simz, a 21 year old rapper from the UK. I’m not sure how I ended up playing one of her tunes and I may be a little late to the party on all this, but right away I stopped everything I was doing and started looking for more. The first video that came up was the clip for Intervention, which was released earlier this year.
The video starts off with the rapper stumbling down the hallway looking pretty turnt (as the kids would say). The woozy tune turns into a pretty serious beat and like a drunken master the stumbling turns into swagger and bounce and Little Simz launches into one of the best hip hop tunes I’ve heard in a long time.
Moving at a different speed from that raucous club song is the highlight from her recent concept album “A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons”, for me, is Wings.
This the type of music that ain’t never gonna sell? Well
Shouldn’t never ever tell me that
Should’ve never ever told me that
What if I prove you wrong? Tell me know, could you live with that?
No, you wouldn’t wanna live that
I ain’t saying this’ll go to number one, oh, I ain’t saying that
I know you know that I ain’t saying that
I just wanna do this all for my people, fuck the rest
Give you realness every time, nothing more, nothing less
In a personal album full of reflection it tells a lot about her character and drive. The album moves through serious, to breezy contemplation all with tight rhymes right at the forefront.
This live version of Wings shows despite being still very young she is comfortable on stage, like a 20 year veteran in front of a live band, instead of a fresh faced up and comer.
Spending a week or so listening to the mixtapes and EPs online, it’s clear why Little Simz is getting shout outs from Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and has already impressed hip hop tastemaker Sway on his Sirius radio freestyle segment “5 Fingers of Death”.
Fortunately for Australian and New Zealand fans she will be out soon and if you aren’t quick you may be paying a lot more and struggling against bigger summer festival crowds to get a glimpse next time.
Australian tour dates here – while she plays Splore festival in Auckland (with Leftfield, and Nightmares on Wax also at the festival… that sounds like a fun time)