27 year old London based Nigerian rapper Little Simz has been making a name for herself in the hip hop world during the last decade for her cold delivery and artistic uniqueness. She began rapping at nine and by the age of fourteen knew it was going to be what she would pursue in life, and these years and years of work definitely show in her one of a kind music. One of her most hard-hitting singles that showcase the grind she has been putting towards her art is her 2019 track “Venom”.
She stands out in a genre where women are often marketed and commodified more than their content, and instead stays authentic and uncompromising while preferring to focus on the lyricism of her music rather than any persona constructed around it. When someone tells me they are a hip hop head but never listen to current female artists, “Venom” is always the first track I pull up to show that women in the industry thrive outside mainstream narratives and produce music even harder than their male counterparts. Little Simz starts the track with the iconic line “They would never wanna admit that I’m the best one here / from the mere fact that I’ve got ovaries” and quickly addresses her exclusion in the industry and the dismissal female artists often receive.
She goes on to rap about her traumas and growth from that past, as well as the anger she has for a world that expects her to fail while simultaneously plagiarizing her work and her identity. However, she uses this anger to fuel her art and figuratively hold the listener hostage to hear her journey with both redemption and rage. The strength and force of the lyrics and delivery make “Venom” an empowering track that showcases black womanhood and struggles to be recognized beyond that label, especially in an industry and age that often only values “feminism” if it can be commodified.
Listen to “Venom” off Little Simz’s album Grey Area:
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