Little Simz - GREY Area
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2019 Ratings: #16 / 593
Year End Rank: #19
User Score
2019 Ratings: #4
March 1, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
AGE 101 / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
NME

London MC Simbi Ajikawo has come true on her early promise with this confident and unapologetic album, the best rap record of the year so far.

100
The Independent

Rapper lands on a new, bold sound that incorporates an eclectic range of influences, along with three carefully chosen features.

90
The Line of Best Fit
If you listen to any Little Simz track, you'll know instantly she's a great MC, but with this project she has stepped beyond that to become a uniquely gifted artist. An incredible album.
90
Spectrum Culture

Amid GREY Area’s indefinites, there is one absolute: Little Simz is a big deal, and nobody knows that better than her.

90
Clash

‘Grey Area’ feels like a transition for Little Simz, taking her music to the next level by working with British hip-hop producer, Inflo. His impact permeates the entire album, with its an incredibly raw, poignant air – from the record’s instrumentation to the inimitable way Simz attacks nearly every track.

90
Highsnobiety

Despite the range of styles and topics explored throughout, GREY Area is still remarkably cohesive, and that’s largely down to Simz herself, who expertly veers between touching intimacy and searing bravado without ever losing sight of the album’s overall tone.

90
The Needle Drop

Though Grey Area isn't the most cutting-edge rap album out there, there's not a spot on it where Little Simz falters even slightly.

90
AllMusic

Her evolution up to this point was a clear signifier, with all the components in place even in her early work; on Grey Area, it feels as if everything has come together in perfect unison, resulting in one of the strongest rap albums of 2019.

81
Pitchfork

At turns both acerbic and unguarded, GREY Area feels like the grand culmination of everything Simz has been puzzling out to this point.

80
The Observer

Mega-stardom might never be hers in the end, but Grey Area sets out a different kind of stall anyway: Little Simz is a slow-burner, and now that she’s found a slicker sound, there’s no telling where she might go.

80
DIY

‘GREY Area’ ... is the first full-length release where it feels like we’re seeing the actual Simz with no facade.

80
The Guardian

At once soft and hard, fiery and vulnerable, Grey Area finds Little Simz thriving in her multi-facetedness.

80
Exclaim!

GREY 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.

80
No Ripcord

Few artists achieve in their lifetimes what Simbi Ajikawo has achieved at 25. Grey Area, her coming-of-age (maybe "quarter life crisis" is a better epithet) record is equal parts confident, slick, and still somehow jejune.

70
Loud and Quiet
Arising out of what Ajikawo refers to as a time of “confusion”, ‘GREY Area’ explores darker themes as she grapples with the value of making her art despite the many obstacles and sacrifices it may entail.
70
Crack Magazine

This is Simz at her most enjoyable, delivering everything that makes her distinct but with a welcome layer of polish.

PreeMo
86
If you told me, March 1, that I'll prefer an UK-rap album over Solange's new project...I would've laughed...HARD...

Now I'm here giving this a score which implies that my disappointment with the empty "When I Get Home" got cured...

Will definitely be one of the best rap albums this year...
Plats
97
Goddammit Little Simz is just too capable of a rapper for this world! Her flows and delivery are potent as hell and her lyrics are sharp and intriguing! But this wouldn't be a terrific hip hop record if she wasn't so on point with the outstanding production too, which forgoes modern rap cliches in favor of great live instrumentation. Overall, this is one of the most forward-thinking rap records of the year!

Fav Tracks: Selfish, Boss, Venom, Offence, Wounds, Pressure, Flowers

Least Fav Track: ... read more
morningsbell
91
I'm late but holy shit

Let me elaborate: The sound of this album is something that I really wanted to hear more of in hip hop. It's energetic in a swaggering but humble way, with just enough organic feels to not lose its slick experimental qualities. Despite only being 35 minutes, this album compacts so much great ideas and sounds.
AZIZ
80
As a longtime hater of UK Rap music, I find this album to be very good. Fuck The Streets, Young Fathers and MIA this is what the UK hip-hop music scene should be.
PipePanic
74
Didn't know i'd love a project where one of the tracks ends with someone telling me the album is "Sweet as a fucking nut".

Hoooooly shit. This shit really deserves the hype here people. This thing came out of no-where for me and completely punched me in the teeth. Little Simz is one of the most charismatic and 'no fucks giving' rapper I've heard in a while, with absolute fantastic verses through-out and absolutely ruthless with it's topics. It's a fun, lively, in your face album, ... read more
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Year End Lists

#4/Rough Trade

Track List

  1. Offence
  2. Boss
  3. Selfish (feat. Cleo Sol)
  4. Wounds (feat. Chronixx)
  5. Venom
  6. 101 FM
  7. Pressure (feat. Little Dragon)
  8. Therapy
  9. Sherbet Sunset
  10. Flowers (feat. Michael Kiwanuka)
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Added on: January 17, 2019