Little Simz - 'GREY Area'

8/10

Since her early beginnings, Little Simz has always used originality to project herself in the industrial. Her previous full-length 'Stillness In Wonderland' was a flurry of expressive soundscapes and conceptual ideas that allowed the frontwoman to stand out amongst the humdrum of commercial hip-hop in recent years. But now it seems she has moved away from the experimental edge of her initial career and adopted a simple yet impactful production style which allows her to make herself heard and more importantly, showcase her as a powerful female MC in a genre dominated by men.

What really grabs your ears from the start of this release is just how minimal yet effective it sounds. With the percussion taking much of the weight on this new collection, 'GREY Area' pays homage to the classic hip-hop sound while also producing something fresh and engaging as it plays. Opening up with the previously heard singles 'Offence' and 'Boss', the record makes a statement that this not the same old Little Simz anymore. She has grown within herself, in both musical style and personal confidence, to deliver a strong and impassioned return that will cement her as one of this generation's greatest rappers.

From the start, 'GREY Area' is all about her raw energy being utilised in the most effective way possible, making for a diverse but tenacious record. It feels like she has borrowed ideas from almost every era of hip-hop in order to create this album, resulting in a eclectic selection of intentions that keeps the listener on their toes and sees her truly come into her own in the process.

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