Little Simz GREY Area
Published Mar 21, 2019GREY Area, as the title suggests, is far from the theatrics of a black and white world, but lays in the complexities of everything in between. Spearheaded by the releases of "Offence" and "Boss" in 2018, Little Simz's ten-track album doubles as conscious freedom and a questioning of the world around her.
"I said it with my chest / And I don't care who I offend," she rhymes unapologetically on "Offence." For Little Simz, it's a running theme that carries the album from start to finish. Whether she's announcing her power as a woman ("Boss"), self-love ("Selfish"), mental health ("Therapy") or just spitting bar-for-bar in a reflective state ("Venom"), Little Simz uses GREY Area to put her thoughts to record — even if that may not be what people want from her.
Despite being laidback in nature, the production of GREY Area is rooted in hard-knocking bass lines, exemplified in the minimally produced "Pressure," allowing Little Simz's spitfire delivery to take front and centre. Though Simz holds bass lines close, GREY Area also takes pride in jazz, soul and funk. Songs like "101 FM," "Wounds" (featuring Chronixx) and "Flowers" (featuring Michael Kiwanuka) press Little Simz to co-exist with melody, which she flawlessly executes.
From start to finish, GREY Area reveals a young rapper who has seen success in her career, but is still sorting herself out in her real life. It's a coming-of-age narrative without a past storyline — its storyline is present, ever-changing and consistently being questioned. For Little Simz, it's not about what happens around her, but what's happening in the grey area where she exists. (Independent)