Media Review: Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Photo courtesy of Little Simz

Little Simz’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert was not what I was expecting. Based on the title, I expected it to be serene and self-reflective, full of mellow beats and smooth vocals. While definitely self-reflective, it’s also emotional, loud, and blatantly unapologetic, filled with honesty and truth about wider issues. She uses this album to open up conversations about issues surrounding parent abandonment, class division, and flaws within the music industry.

Nigerian-British rapper Simbiatu Ajikawo, who goes by the stage name “Little Simz,” dives into her traumatic past in the emotional “I Love You, I Hate You.” As Little Simz struggles to get her thoughts out, she asks herself: “How many times did I cry for this? I would hate myself if I didn’t try for this.” Little Simz opens up about her rocky relationship with her father, revealing the wound that he inflicted. She writes, “Never thought my parent would give me my first heartbreak.” She acknowledges her hesitancy to confront the issue, trying to build the confidence to get her thoughts out – finally speaking directly to her father with the gut-wrenchingly vulnerable line, “Is you a sperm donor or a dad to me?” She uses their relationship to emphasize the harshness of reality, calling her father out for running from his responsibility to care for his family, but also herself for running away from having this discussion.

While definitely self-reflective, it’s also emotional, loud, and blatantly unapologetic, filled with honesty and truth about wider issues.

In “Little Q, Pt. 2,” Little Simz tackles the issue of class division. She tells her cousin’s story of being stabbed, stressing the idea that blame shouldn’t instantly be put on the less fortunate. Using the boy who stabbed her cousin as the prime example, she looks back on her own life, saying, “I could have been the reflection that he hated, the part of him he wished God did not waste time creatin’, the broken homes in which we’re coming from but who’s to blame when you’re dealt the same cards from the same system you’re enslaved in?” Comparing her rough childhood to the boy’s life, Little Simz criticizes how people living in less-privileged environments are given no other option than resorting to violence. Little Simz’s complex lyrics are full of honesty and lead the listener from being angry at the boy to feeling sympathetic. This reinforces her plea for listeners to do the same in the real world and look at all sides of the story.

Photo courtesy of Little Simz

Little Simz then goes on to criticize other issues within the music industry, specifically regarding the lyrics of other artists. In “Standing Ovation,” Little Simz claims many artists often get caught up in the fame and romanticize violence and criminal activity with their lyrics, “Rapping about pieces” (a slang term for firearms), when “people are really dying, is that what’s needed?” Little Simz boldly compares her work to theirs, condemning the artists for their insensitive subject matter and warning fans not to exchange meaning for hype – instead, to appreciate the “overachievers in the shadow of the gatekeepers.”

Overall, Little Simz’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert takes on large and complicated issues and makes them relatable, universal, and real. Backed by stunning orchestration and soulful beats, Little Simz’s emotional lyrics take center stage, culminating in meaningful and expressive songs that contribute to what Sometimes I Might Be Introvert truly is – a compelling and breathtaking journey into Little Simz’s mind.