Little Simz review – an introvert on full beam

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O2 Academy Glasgow
Showcasing one of the year’s best albums, the star of mic and screen is on impassioned form in a set that opens up from rapid-fire grime to lush funk and soul

In a black tracksuit and retro shades, her dreadlocks swept back in a white bandana, rapper Little Simz looks every inch the classic north London bar-spitter – the sort of MC whose skills were honed in youthful battles, but who, at 27, knows that her true opposition is not some MC in the next postcode. Simz’s opening salvo tonight, Introvert, takes laser-guided aim against endemic inequality and stacked odds, at mothers endlessly burying sons. Powerful and revelatory, it’s work on a par with that of east London’s Kano. An entire career could go by in this righteous vein.

But over the course of the next hour and three-quarters, Simz’s compact MC persona unfolds like a concertina, blown open by the epic sweep of strings and the earthy funk of bass. Halfway through her generous, versatile set, the performer born Simbiatu Ajikawo changes into roomier attire, arranging her hair into architectural forms not entirely unlike the cover of her most recent album, the groundbreaking Sometimes I Might Be Introvert – easily one of the best albums of the year.

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