After gaining popularity over the last few years, Irish rapper Rejjie Snow marks his territory with a mature debut album that hits all the right notes.
The aptly-named opening song ‘Hello’ establishes a laid-back tone that carries throughout the album. Like Sampha’s Process (2017), the work oozes the personality of its creator, and you can tell Snow means every word as he raps passionately about family, sex and growing up. Tyler the Creator and Loyle Carner are clear comparisons, while the groovy beats over which Snow spits are reminiscent of Gorillaz and SBTRKT.
Dear Annie manages to be both the guy on the dancefloor and the girl chilling out in the corner
Its eclectic range of collaborators do the work every justice, with various female artists delicately offset against Snow’s deep, warm vocals on ‘Egyptian Luvr’, ‘Mon Amour’ and the beautiful ’23’. Dear Annie manages to be both the guy on the dancefloor and the girl chilling out in the corner; it steps up and down in tempo with consummate, soothing ease.
The album retains the experimental element of Snow’s popular 2017 mixtape The Moon & You, featuring a pseudo-radio commentary that provides valuable insights into the Irish-black rapper who, growing up, had to navigate the majority-white community of his home town Dublin.
These brief interludes contribute to a total of twenty tracks, across which the quality surprisingly holds – ‘LMFAO’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ are the only weaker offerings. ‘Spaceships’ kicks hard, while ‘Greatness’ and ‘Annie’ ensure an equally strong finish.
In Dear Annie, the man from Dublin transports the the listener on a journey to LA and back. Except, Rejjie Snow is not coming back. Not to Ireland. He’s put his flag in the American hip-hop sand and he’s there to stay.