Little Simz Proves Why Kendrick Lamar Thinks She’s the ‘Illest’ at New York City Show [EXCLUSIVE]
If you earn yourself a Kendrick Lamar co-sign, you must be doing something right. After the Compton, Calif. wordsmith gushed about her endless potential during his BBC Radio 1Xtra interview with Mista Jam, 21-year-old U.K. rapper Little Simz has been on everyone’s radar. Rap fans got the chance to see the promising artist up close and personal at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Friday night (June 19).
Little Simz ventured into the heart of Brooklyn and placed the entire rap game on notice once she hit the stage. While some artists tend to fall flat when performing in the Big Apple, the vivacious MC thrived during her big moment.
Things kicked off at 8:30 p.m., when Sleeper Camp member Jimi Tents opened up the show. In recent months, Tents and his partner-in-crime, Jay Bel, have garnered positive reviews from the likes of Complex and rap blogs 2 Dope Boyz and Pigeons and Planes because of their collaborative efforts. Donning a black T-shirt and a pair of shorts, the 19-year-old Brooklyn rapper jumped on stage with high hopes of putting on for his city. Jitters may have gotten the best of Jimi at the start because he fumbled on a couple of words and forgot the lyrics to his first song. Instead of feeling dejected, Tents found his footing and recovered smoothly.
Shortly after, the “Elmer Fudd” rapper was accompanied by Jay Bel. During his set, Bel did a hellacious job of keeping the audience engaged. Songs like “Kate” and “Trans-Euro” injected life into the energetic crowd. The zealous Sleeper Camp rapper exuded supreme confidence and amplified the crowd’s energy level song after song.
The Sleeper Camp collective definitely set the table up smoothly for Tunji Ige. The Philly upstart wowed during his time onstage. His charisma and high-octane level of energy easily superseded the Brooklyn rappers. He seamlessly brought to life his smooth cut, “Ball Is Life” and transformed it into a club banger. Tunji even managed to stunt on his exes with his performance of “The Ex Song.” Things got extremely lit when he did a huge performance for his poignant single “Day 2 Day,” which featured the boys of Sleeper Camp mobbing the stage and their DJ joining in on the action with some breakdancing of his own.
With the crowd already pumped up after performances by Tunji and the Sleeper Camp, it was Little Simz’s turn to shake things up. At 10:20 p.m., security coyly escorted Simz onto the stage, where she immediately caught fire and tore up the venue. Wearing a cool pair of shades and gray hat, she seemed comfortable using her stage as her habitat. With her performance at Baby's All Right marking her third performance in New York, Simz made sure to give her all.
Her fiery flow was something to marvel at. She never was out of breath or in need of a break. What was mind-boggling about her set was that during every song she performed, she maintained the same level of energy and rapid-pace flow. The crowd was willingly at her mercy and reveled at the sight of her killing every song so easily. When Simz asked for the crowd to put both hands up and clap, they obliged with little to no hesitation, as she continued her onslaught. On "Have I," she flexed her bouncy flow and had the crowd moving side to side. "Skinny motherf*ckers why you showin' me your biceps,"she said tauntingly.
During her performance, we are able to see different sides of the young rapper. On "Is This Freedom," Simz minimized her energy level to showcase her depth of knowledge. She dug deep and unveiled a level of consciousness that isn't too often seen by someone her age. "I've been told / I will reap the things I sow / blow some trees, get in my zone /what is freedom as we know," she rapped.
When she performed "Time Capsule," she continued to unwrap her vulnerabilities and allow the audience to explore the depths of her mind. She performed the track sans Caitlyn Scarlett, but still was able to deliver a strong message. "They put me down as the one to watch / Haters put me down as the one to stop," she exclaimed to the room full of people. For the rest of the night, she provided a sense of variety of all night long through songs like “The Square,” “Devour,” “Problems” and her popular track, “Marilyn Monroe," which even had the older people in the room getting busy on the dance floor.
Simz's showcase definitely bolstered her resume and solidified K. Dot’s claims of being the "illest doing it right now." She certainly has the potential to be a lyrical beast in the years to come.