Little Simz dropped what might just be the last great album of 2022 in No Thank You. Released seemingly by surprise on December 12, the 10-track album was produced entirely by Inflo. It sees Simz grappling with her mounting fame, pitted against society’s greater ills in the process. Now she’s put out a stirring short film to accompany the album.
Directed by Gabriel Moses and filmed just outside of Paris, it opens with her rapping “X,” the pivotal midpoint track to No Thank You. The visual looks like Simz is delivering a sermon. Images of afro-imperialism are interspersed and she delivers punishing verses like: “This is post-apocalyptic where we stand. You wanna give us the Bible and have us give up the land. They will dangle the carrot when nothin’ is in your hand. And tell you never to worry, ‘it’s all just part of the plan.’”
The video morphs into an interpretive dance number set to “Silhouette,” before “Sideways” kicks in and Simz extols her empowered self, rapping, “They say Black don’t crack. My complexion is iridescent.” The film shifts into the track “Broken,” set to powerful images of child soldier depictions, moments of death, and a feeling of running away from a haunting past. Still, Simz looks deeper within herself, and a particular stanza stands out:
“Look how far you’ve come and see you’ve only just started
You exist, you alive, you are deservin’ of life
You are a beacon of light, you are determined to fly
You have a journal inside, you have the power to write”
“Heart On Fire” closes the moving film and it’s the most literal visual depiction of her facing her recent fame. She’s the belle of a ball, being honored, but feeling inherent guilt. She’s clearly grappling with feeling like she deserves accolades like the Mercury Music Prize, and her willingness to lay out that struggle on No Thank You and no in the short film, is exactly why she’s becoming one of the modern greats.
Watch the No Thank You short film above.