Women Can Be Kings

Is the rap industry ready for feminism? Rap music has been a male dominated genre of music, but within the past five years there has been a sudden emergence of female rap artists. With the likes of Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea and occasionally Beyonce dipping into the rap world, major female role models are taking the male dominated rap world by storm. Reading Oh Comely I stumble across an article about an up and coming rap artist called Little Simz. And after reading an interview with her I’m curious to see what she has to offer.

Simbi Ajikawo (Little Simz) aged 22, produced, recorded and wrote the entire album A Curious Tale of Trials and Persons in her bedroom. Little Simz refused to cave in to the commercial pressure of the music industry and decided to do it alone, releasing her first debut album.

The opening track to the album, represents her ideas of feminism whilst depicting her struggle to make it in the music industry with lyrics such as ‘women can be kings’ and ‘they told her fame is not for everyone’. Her sound is confident, and the strong beats are able to get into your blood stream and give you the same confidence as she portrays in the music. Tainted, another track on the album adheres to the same slightly cocky lyrics and beat which seems to challenge gender roles. The song starts by talking about how she thinks the world revolves around her and turns into a heavier rap song, which has a familiar sound to many male rap songs. Because of the gender roles society has enforced, when first listening to Tainted you feel uncomfortable with the lyrics because they come from a woman. However, once you realise the song is there to make you feel uncomfortable, it makes you question why it shouldn’t.

There are also some more heartfelt songs included on the album such as God Bless Mary, which has been written for her mum, and Little Simz expresses her guilt for the stress she put her mum through with her music. The album features songs with different tempos but is consistent with the raw and real vocals.

The album is a mixture of heartfelt lyrics and powerful instrumentals, each song telling a different and personal story. Although there are some fantastic songs on the album, there are some that suggest Little Simz hasn’t found her artistic way, but at twenty-two who has?

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