As soon as Simbi Ajikawo opened her 2019 breakthrough ‘GREY Area’ with the swaggering ‘Offence’, it was clear she meant business. After years of avoiding the brag-rap adopted by so many of her peers, it was a welcome re-introduction to an artist who had every reason to bask in her own confidence, a sign that she was ready to step up to the major league. Building upon the series of EPs that she dropped in quick succession across 2004 and 2005, ‘Drop 6’ takes 12 concise minutes to cement her as one of the finest rappers the UK has to offer. Inspired by the loss of autonomy under lockdown, the beats are raw and heavy, pulsing with the urgency of an artist who is clearly itching to get back on her game. The dark flow of ‘damn right’ recalls Drake when he was still young and hungry, while ‘you should call mum’ taps into the mental state of many a furloughed worker - “Livin’ day by day, sleepless night by night / Bored out of my mind / How many naps can I take? / How many songs can I write?” As something cooked up on short notice, it’s a glorious postcard from an unprecedented global moment, and a wonderful teaser for what is to come.
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