Rejjie Snow Finally Wows Us with Debut ‘Dear Annie’

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Rejjie Snow is not your quintessential rapper. Hailing from Dublin, an area hardly synonymous with hip-hop, and already one of Ireland’s most successful exports, Snow is an anomaly who is both refreshing and intriguing. Dear Annie has finally been released into a world that has been craving more from the rapper, with Snow having teased his debut album for years while his career generated a modest buzz with several accomplished mixtapes. Preceded by a pair of corresponding EPs, the ambitious album has a sprawling track-list of 20 songs that travel between numerous musical styles and influences. Dear Annie moves fluidly between jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop and RnB and this eclectic mix is only to be expected from the guy who has supported both Kendrick Lamar and Madonna.

Credit: Pitchfork Magazine

Romance is the theme of Snow’s debut as he embarks on a complex journey through the highs and lows of love. Giving the well-worn topic a fresh twist with his lyrical dexterity, the emotional complexity of Dear Annie matches its genre-bending ambition. Snow, who now resides in Brooklyn and belongs to stateside label 300 Entertainment, has adopted a smooth American croon. However, his Irish accent shines through on a series of intermissions where a late-night radio host invites Snow to discuss the stories behind his sound. Sensual slow-jams ‘Mon Amour’ and ‘Desole’ see Snow rapping in French while ‘Spaceships,’ ‘Charlie Brown’ and single ‘Egyptian Luvr’ are funky feel-good hits. The album includes collaborations with strong female voices including Anna of the North, Dana Williams and Caroline Smith.

Dear Annie simultaneously looks forwards and backwards – it is inspired by the funk and soul of the past while challenging what it means to drop a debut hip-hop album today. It may be early in 2018 but Snow’s album promises to be one of the most innovative and defining records of the year.

 

Lucy Milburn