The 405's alternative winner wasn't even on the Mercury Prize shortlist. Isn't that always the case with these kinds of things though, when industry representatives try and dictate who is most deserving? On this side, however, rather than uplifting household names, we believe that, above all else, the annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland, should be granted to purveyors of new and exciting music. This year, it's Little Simz who wears the crown on her album cover, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons and it's Little Simz who wears it still.

It's fitting, in a way, that the Islington artist's debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons, released earlier this fall, wasn't a shortlist contender. In a thorough review in September, we stated that the album is "a much-needed self-defensive assault on the industry. On labels. On genre and gender norms. On materialism. On blinding ego. On expectation. On the box so many people have attempted to put her in." It makes sense that such an assault would be hastily overlooked by the ones she's ardently striking on, throughout the ten booming orchestral tracks that make up the opus. The 21-year-old North-London rapper has dubbed herself king on the conceptual release and now we are too.

Little Simz wasn't willing to compromise this year, which is precisely what makes her a winner. The breathy-emcee shied away from ever jeopardizing her creative vision by refusing to sign to a label, despite insistent offers. Instead, the young artist's unrelenting independent grind serves as a modern autonomous map, marked by a paved route to releasing her full-length debut under her own label, Age 101. She's the epitome of what the fervent up-rise of British hip-hop represents, pioneering a new generation of conceptual quality, idiosyncratic performing and global dominance. She embarked on a world tour. Sold out shows in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, but more importantly, garnered admiration from home, where fans have keenly put her on the pedestal that the industry may not be willing to just yet.

Simz has also killed the term, "female rapper" for good. Her universal message that women can be kings makes A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons the most multifaceted and masterful contemporary feminist rap album of recent memory. Her mission statement that women can surpass their male counterparts is an empowering truth oftentimes whispered and overruled in a misogynistic industry. But Simz throughout the album and throughout her life, refuses to submit or lower her battle cries. Although strong and feminine simultaneously, her inclusive gender-neutral referral to 'persons' ensures the attention is centered where it should be - Simz's smooth, textured and experimental blend of rap.

"They told her woman cannot call themselves kings. They told her fame is not made for everyone," she growls on the assertive album opener. "The industry will break you, you're not strong enough." A Mercury Prize snub won't break Simz. Not even close. It's the mainstream industry that's less important than a progressive fanbase anyway. Sure, as the winner of The 405's editorial team-declared Mercury Prize, Little Simz will walk away with an inconsequential eBay-purchased trophy for good measure, but more importantly, a little acknowledgement that what she's doing - sonically, creatively and culturally - is appreciated.