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Big Sima - Album Review: Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood

04 Jul 2022 // A review by Ben Ruegg

Currently one of the most active NZ Hip-Hop artists on the live circuit, The Underground King AKA Big Sima is no stranger to the big stage. During his come-up, he has played support for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Guru (Gangstarr), Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill.

On his new album, Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood, he firmly grounds his flag to make his mark. Not only does the album sound incredible and complete, but it's honest and genuine, something that I continually comment about in modern Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop culture has become a cash cow, but many artists still don't follow that narrative. On the opening track, Stormy, it is clear that Big Sima does not follow it. "Everybody wants to be a legend, so everybody sells their souls just to be up in someone's mentions". Preach. The choir backing only fuels the feelings in this opening track.

Each beat feels old-school yet modern. Like the record crackle at the beginning of Truth. There are nods to many greats that have come before all over this album. Even sometimes, artists, you wouldn't expect. Forgive me if I am wrong, but there is a Shapeshifter vibe to the synth bass on Truth. Yet, the flow and cadence stand out here as they do on every track. Halfway through we get a spoken-word interlude, driven by haunting distorted guitars and beautiful acoustic to create juxtaposition, you know a lot of heart went into this product.

With so many incredible tracks to mention, it is worth noting that this album pays dividends if you sit back and really listen with your soul. Like on the closing track, The Student, there is some incredible sax and trumpet playing that will leave you in a wonderful vibe wanting to hit repeat so you can hear and feel the stories that illuminate this album from start to finish.

This is most definitely a Hip-Hop classic that knows its vision and paints it vividly with passion. Everything about its production and performance deserves credit. And with an all-star guest line-up even featuring Tiki Taane, Big Sima has credibility backing up this album.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Big Sima

Currently one of the most active NZ hip-hop artists on the live circuit, The Underground King AKA Big Sima is no stranger to the big stage. During his come-up he has played support for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs 'n’ Harmony, Guru (Gangstarr), Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill. His stage presence and overall performance acumen can only be matched by the sonic value of the beat-bumping, bass-box booming mixes courtesy of longtime friend and fellow collaborator Tiki Taane. After 4 years of hard mahi together at Tiki Dub Solar Powered Studios in sunny Papamoa it seems the duo have finally zeroed in on the completion of Sima's debut LP, aptly named Stereotypes Of A Polynesian Misunderstood. This is a certified classic in the making - unlike many other rap albums that just throw together songs, this a complete body of work. Set for release May 30th, this is indeed Big Sima's 'magnum opus'. After 4 successful single releases thus far, over 500k streams across all platforms and 1000s of spins on radio stations up and down the country, the most recent release Truth has made it into the top 10 on the Hot NZ Singles Chart and Top 20 songs most added to radio in the country. These are epic feats for an independent hip hop artist in Aotearoa.

The last two years have been exceptionally busy on the live front; with guest appearances on stage with both Summer Thieves and Dolphin Friendly, as well a special bucket list performance of 'Revolutionaires' alongside Tiki Taane and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra at the town hall for ‘Otautahi Proud.’ As well as those notable guest appearances, Big Sima also started picking up momentum on the festival circuit with performances at Go Live, Summer Sounds and Soundsplash.

Big Sima is back in 2022 with a new album & a new band, but the team, the dream and the work ethic still remains the same, expect big things!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Big Sima


Other Reviews By Ben Ruegg

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Taiotims (Mataio Timaloa) is an Auckland Hip-Hop artist who has independently built a growing fanbase all over New Zealand. His music is known for his relatable story telling, nostalgic tone of voice and his soulful beats.
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