Little Simz’s 2016 Was Everything But A Still Wonderland
We may be running out of legends according to Little Simz, but the UK rapper is definitely leaving her mark. The Forbes “30 Under 30” MC exposed us to the Stillness In Wonderland this past Friday (Dec. 16) with her sophomore project and accompanying film.
In anticipation for both of the drops, Simbi took to Twitter to share a little background into what Stillness meant to her, stating it was the “biggest challenge for me to date.” She and her fans are used to a rapid release of sonic revelation, releasing Gucci Mane numbers with 10 projects in the last three years. Simz stepped out of her comfort zone, slowing down the press and embarking on the road “for near enough the whole of 2016,” filling her schedule with tours and international festivals to provide for the conceptualization of this project. She made a note that traveling, discovering herself and the world, while “the beauty, distractions and trappings of the world of entertainment” allowed her to astutely draw parallels to her life and Alice In Wonderland, which acts as a sequel to her debut project, A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons.
The independent artist’s LP has been compared to Solange’s A Seat At The Table in successfully offering a safe haven to escape to, amidst a world that seems confusing and cruel, “without ever losing sight of the truth.”
Beginning with the acronym “LMPD,” Simz begins to analyze the social scope of the world around us from her perspective as she declares that even though she isn’t half the woman that Maya (Angelou) was, she still hears “the voice of Nina (Simone) here guiding us.” While her male counterpart, Chronixx, attests that “Luther King’s soul is still patiently waiting for his dreams to come true.”
Simbi Ajikawo vents about how life’s different opportunities and possibilities act as rabbit holes leading you to different outcomes, a majority of which have been accumulated “Trust Issues.” With the combo track, “Doorways + Trust Issues,” the introverted artist embodies a more introspective rendition of the concept behind Biggie’s “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems.” In the complementary film, Simz creates a dichotomy between the two halves. During the “Doorways” portion, she explores a still atmosphere to embody someone weighing out their options. For the remaining “Trust Issues,” Little Simz is still, observing an active environment, much like someone’s mind state as they experience trust issues.
The rest of the album explores her desire to be the “One In Rotation” in your speakers and simultaneously reminds herself to be “Wide Awake” as she reflects on what she brings to the game with her “Bad To The Bone” demeanor. Simz also surveys how the “finer things and italian meals” embody the “Picture Perfect” lifestyle, while the Cheshire prompts her to be careful because “this could end up being your reality.” Nearly rounding out the album with “Poison Ivy,” in the Tilla-assisted track, the MC explores a toxic relationship with unapologetically, grungy guitar riffs matched with echoed percussions to create the image of the dance of forbidden lovers.
But, the film is what really makes the album come alive, bringing her concept to the forefront. Giving feels of the original, Alice In Wonderland, with swift scene-to-scene ups and downs, accompanied by a human Cheshire, who doubles as a therapist. Simbi delivers a modern-day Wonderland with a static TV, appearing virtually at the end of every scene, representing her life being on display, which is a relatable concept with the assistance of the variety of social media outlets available to us.
Take a break from your hectic day-to-day responsibilities and drift into Wonderland with Little Simz’s latest project here. And stay tuned for the initial release of her 4-part WELCOME TO WONDERLAND comic book series, pictured below, focusing on the supernatural nature of Wonderland, written by Eddie “Versetti” Smith with artwork by McKay Felt.