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Little Simz, 'Gorilla'

The North London-based rapper Little Simz knows her worth. She may be an introvert, but she isn't faint-hearted, and on "Gorilla" she's keeping score: "Name one time where I didn't deliver," she assuredly raps on over a laid-back, plucking bassline. Over producer Inflo's steady break beat and surging streaks, she displays command of her punchy rhymes with a cadence so casual it feels as if she could deliver them in her sleep. The track closes the same way it starts: with the pomp and circumstance of booming brass notes. It's a declaration — Little Simz is here and she wants you to feel it.

(A version of this review originally appeared on NPR Music's Best Songs of 2022.)

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Teresa Xie
Teresa Xie is a reporter who specializes in media and culture writing. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied political science and cinema. Outside of NPR, her work can be found in Pitchfork, Vox, Teen Vogue, Bloomberg, Stereogum and other outlets.