Little Simz – 101FM

Simbiatu ‘Simbi’ Abisola Abiola Ajikawo, otherwise known by her stage name Little Simz, is a British rapper, singer, and actress. The 27 year old rapper is ethnically Yoruba having been born by Nigerian parents. Little Simz released her track “101FM” alongside her album Grey Area on March 1, 2019. In the song, the rapper reminisces on her early years living in the streets of London, and the struggles she had faced while being there. The rapper talks about how she had to live in a flat with not only her family, but with trappers as well. It becomes clear through Little Simz lyrics that life in London was not very safe, as she raps about hearing frequent gun shots throughout her neighborhood. In one of her versus, she talks about a childhood friend named “Ken” who was incarcerated and how it negatively impacted her community. She notes how the court system did not care and saw him as “another black boy in the system doing time,” despite having “a heart full of gold, good intent with a smile so big.” This verse brings to light the high incarceration rate of black and minority ethnic communities in England. History has a habit of dehumanizing and criminalizing black people by throwing them through the prison system without attempting to rehabilitate them or give them a better chance at life. It shows that globally black people often receive similar treatment from the system wherever they reside.  Little Simz’s Nigerian roots show through her music video when her Nigerian mother makes an appearance. She is shown scolding Simbi in her native language Yoruba by saying “It’s late! You don’t get in on time!” and “Simbiatu, what are you looking for everywhere?” Her mother is expressing her frustrations with Little Simz who is out on the dangerous streets of London leaving her mother worried. Like most nigerian parents, her mother wants to see great success in her daughter, but also cares more about keeping her safe. Little Simz continues to make her mother proud by producing amazing music and being a lyrical genius. 

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