A debut album from Dublin rapper Rejjie Snow is long overdue. Ever since he burst onto the scene in 2013 with his first mixtape ‘Rejovich’, which immediately topped the iTunes Hip-Hop chart [ahead of releases from Kanye West and J Cole], the world awaited to see what he would deliver.
After promising his album, entitled ‘Dear Annie’ back last year, he would then go on to release ‘The Moon & You’, a 13 track mixtape which featured the likes of Joey Bada$$, Dana Williams and Jesse Boykins III. When asked when he would drop the album, he reassured everyone that it was on the way and with time, the anticipation grew. Now, we have a date – February 16th and with Rejjie always looking to please his fans, he has dropped two special “preview” EPs which help give us a glimpse into what we can expect from the full project.
‘Pt. 1’ is a slower affair with opening track, ‘Egyptian Luvr’ bringing together elements of soul and funk, matched with a perfect chorus from the aformentioned Dana Williams and a great feature from man of the moment Aminé. The Kaytranda-produced track invites a positive vibe and is both infectious and memorable in parts. A personal favourite is up with next with slow jam infused ‘Mon Amour’, which sees Snow deliberating with feelings of love and heartbreak, happiness and anxiety. The synthesised instrumental allows the track to sound like a monologue of his inner thoughts with the French hook weaving in throughout.
“I know you love me, I know you love me. Fuck love it’s ugly”
The French theme [testament to his time spent in Paris while creating the album] flows effortlessly into the next track, ‘Desole’ and continues the theme of how love can have a negative effect. The contrast questioning of his actions set to a smooth beat again put us in the viewpoint of the observer and this is what make this track, as with the rest of this first offering, seem so personal. The quartet is rounded out by ‘The Rain’, is Snow at his most confident, tackling a laid back jazz instrumental [reminiscent of the aforementioned ‘Rejovich’] alongside Cam O’bi and Krondon. The track is actually a solo track he first performed back in 2016 but the inclusion of the additional verses makes it more a much punchier hit.
The second volume kicks off with another track with a killer verse, as ‘Rainbows’ sees Rejjie Snow’s deep, smooth voice fusing with a funky slick production before sultry female vocals take over the hook. It’s a light number backed by a mix of chords and keys and culminates in an explosion of both before softly fading out. The mood and energy is picked up with ‘Room 27’, an almost dreamlike track with twinkling hi-hats and a cloudy atmosphere with Snow reflecting on his journey so far and the modern state of society all while talking on drugs and religion. While this all seems very heavy, his laid back delivery allows you to relax into it and be taken away in the moment.
“Up is the where you tread and life is sacrament to atheist”
‘The Ends’ follows up next and sees Rejjie teaming up with UK rapper Jesse James Solomon, who he has previously hooked up with tracks ‘Yea Yea’ and ‘Tides’. The pair work together so well, bouncing off each other’s energy and constantly looking to one up each other as they go back to back. The track cuts out before we’ve had a real chance to absorb the track but within the context of the whole project, it will surely fit in alot better. The final track is ‘Annie’, which by its sound could be used as an offical single, sees Rejjie in classic mode, vibing off a old skool hip-hop instrumental with adlibs galore adding to the overall grandiose.
Both parts of ‘Dear Annie’ have certainly done the job in terms of building anticipation and hype around the official drop. The collection of songs he has put forward deliver an ecceltic mix of sounds and genres and shows us that Rejjie Snow has evolved into a confident sounding and brave musician. With last year proving an important year for rap and hip hop, Snow stands at an important junction in which he has drawn comparison with the likes of Joey Bada$$ and Tyler the Creator as well as being completely unique in his own right. With a third of his album already unveiled, ‘Dear Annie’ is sure to a making moment for the young star.