Months of obsessive stalking pay off for Music Editor Emily Barker, as she finally gets to interview Superorganism and compile all her research into a spotlight featureWritten by Emily Barker on 16th March 2018
Album Review: Rejjie Snow – Dear Annie
Rejjie Snow's long-awaited debut does not disappoint, reviews Music Critic Pablo Doyle
‘Who’s your favourite Irish rapper?’ is probably not a question you hear every day, but it certainly is one which just got a whole lot easier to answer. 24-year-old Alexander Anyaegbunam, AKA Rejjie Snow, was a born and raised in north Dublin. At 18, after a short stint living in America playing football under an athletics scholarship, he (thankfully) decided to come back home to pursue a career in music. Six years, four EPs, a mix-tape and a lot of anticipation later, Rejjie finally hits the world with his debut album, Dear Annie.
“After six years, four EPs, a mix-tape and a lot of anticipation, Rejjie finally hits the world with his debut album, Dear Annie
As a narrating voice during the first interlude welcomes you to ‘the wonderful world of Dear Annie’, you get the impression you’re being sucked into some sort of Alice in Wonderland universe…but instead of a Mad Hatter, you’ve got a mad rapper. 20 tracks long, lasting precisely one hour - Dear Annie takes you on quite the roller-coaster journey with its range of deep and emotional themes. One of the early standout tracks - ‘23’ - tells a story about a former lover he met in LA who, for some reason, said hurtful things to him. We instantly see quite a sentimental side of Rejjie as he sorely sings ‘Why you gotta say mean things about me?’. Later on, ‘Room 27’ covers another extreme. The song ponders upon suicidal thoughts and the possibility of joining the ‘27 Club’ – a coincidental list of artists who died at the age of 27.
“You get the impression you’re being sucked into some sort of Alice in Wonderland universe…but instead of a Mad Hatter, you’ve got a mad rapper
Despite these dark topics, Dear Annie is generally quite an uplifting record. For starters, the album begins with the line ‘life is beautiful’ being repeatedly chanted. There are also very comical lyrics scattered throughout, and you’re likely to find yourself chuckling at some of the things he says. In a recent Instagram post, Rejjie expressed his gratitude to his fans for letting him ‘be a positive black man n’ shit’. It seems we are hearing an album by a very reflective individual, who was able to express himself artistically; all of which adds a depth of honesty to the record.
Love is certainly the main theme within the album. Both ‘Mon Amour’ and ‘Egyptian Luvr’ start with the same motif of Rejjie repeatedly saying the word ‘love’. There are also multiple references to France and Paris as the city of love; not the mention the abundant use of French lyrics and song titles throughout the album. It certainly adds a very romantic feel to it. And while his accent is questionable, it just goes to show yet another creative output that Rejjie was able to adopt and boldly embrace.
“It has shown a promising glimpse that Rejjie is capable of creating his own unique style. Just like he has been described as ‘very Tyler’, it wouldn’t be surprising to see ‘very Rejjie’ being used as an adjective in the near future
The album also hosts an impressive range of collaborations. ‘Egyptian Luvr’ is undoubtedly one of the best songs on the album; produced by Kaytranda, and starring Aminé and Dana Williams, it’s really no surprise. Ebenezer on ‘Spaceships’ and Anna Of The North on ‘Charlie Brown’ also stand out as the most upbeat, get-up-and-dance tracks on the album. ‘Spaceships’ seems to channel guitar riffs from the likes of Chic, vocal melodies from Bruno Mars and a harmonica solo which could easily come from Stevie Wonder himself. ‘Charlie Brown’ is in fact a cover of the 2008 single ‘The Steady Song’ by Irish band Republic of Loose. Rejjie gives his version a slightly more disco feel and will certainly grab your attention with lyrics such as ‘I met your momma an hour ago / And then I told her just where to go / Down on the pavement to lick my balls’ or ‘I bought some heroin and brought it to your school’.
Rejjie’s use of beats, chords, vocal tone and overall style have always made him instantly comparable to the likes of Tyler, the Creator or N.E.R.D. This is certainly a big compliment, however, Dear Annie is much more than an amalgamation of imitations. It has shown a promising glimpse that Rejjie is capable of creating his own unique style. Just like he has been described as ‘very Tyler’, it wouldn’t be surprising to see ‘very Rejjie’ being used as an adjective in the near future. The quantity of hit songs he has churned out in such a short period of time has really shown off his legitimacy as an artist, and he’s just made it look so easy.
Dear Annie is out now and can be purchased on Rejjie’s website.