Ditching the zany, conceptual allusions of 2016’s Stillness in Wonderland, British MC Little Simz lays claim to her individuality on GREY Area. Her third full-length is straight to the point—a brooding, sincere look at how she stands in the male-dominated hip-hop landscape. “You do not scare me/No, you are not a threat/Anyone that want it/They can get it in a flash, no sweat,” she announces with brash confidence on opener “Offence.” Self-empowerment runs throughout Simz’s multihued electronic sound—over a minimal bass throb on “Boss,” she proves her worth to men who underestimate her skills, while on “Selfish,” she prioritizes her well-being on top of a slinky, Can-inspired drum beat. Simz throws out spitfire bars on “Wounds” (which features Chronixx’s brisk flow)—a reggae fusion that points her grime sound forward. Alongside dissonant strings on “Venom,” she asserts, “They would never want to admit I’m the best here/From the mere fact that I’ve got ovaries.”

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