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Little Simz A Curious Tale of Trials and Persons AGE 101 Music

Little Simz is no wallflower. A 21-year-old rapper from North London, she’s caught the ear of Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar, and she releases music via her own label Age 101 – a testament to the sense self-determination that defines this album.

A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons swells with attitude. At times her rhymes crawl while at others they sprint, and the production ranges from smooth RnB to rock. Transcending genres, she tells the story of her journey, as a woman, to success in the music industry. It is no secret that hip-hop and grime are male-dominated genres. Yes, there are quite literally “Too Many Man.” Yet Simz has managed to elbow her way onto our airwaves.

The album’s opening track, Persons, alludes to the sexualisation of female artists and addresses how women are discouraged by society. Simz retorts that “women can be kings” and her emphasis on the neutral word “person” states that gender should not matter. This track is a middle finger up to patriarchy, and a glimmer of hope for women in the industry. On God Bless Mary, the line “started from my bedroom many years ago” evokes Drake’s infamous litany and she raps over a grimier production on Dead Body – which is a sinisterly playful song about compromising her humanity in the pursuit of greatness.

As the album draws to a close, the mighty Little Simz’ cracks begin to show: she is fragile and melancholy. This Is Not An Outro is purely instrumental, and serves as a pause for breath, allowing her message to linger before easing into Fallen. This final track responds to the rest of the album and, with its Chance the Rapper-like rhymes, Little Simz comes to a sobering realisation that it’s over – and reluctantly, so do we.