July 1, 2014

Reader Review: Rejjie Snow - Rejovich (June 24, 2013)

(Today's Reader Review comes from Michael D., who capitalized on the fact that the site doesn't feature a ton of non-Stateside acts to write about Irish rapper Rejjie Snow's debut EP, Rejovich.  I think it will make for a nice change of pace.  Leave your thoughts for Michael D. below.)

Perhaps an introduction is in order: Rejjie Snow, a/k/a Lecs Luther, a/k/a Alex Anyaegbunam, is a twenty-year old emcee and producer hailing from Dublin, Ireland (via Florida and Atlanta on athletic scholarship). His debut EP, Rejovich, was released in 2013, whilst he was still nineteen, and was quickly followed up with supporting slots for the likes of Joey Bada$$, MF DOOM and Kendrick Lamar at their shows. Add to that plenty of blogger hype and some reps from, I shit you not, Elton John’s record label flying out to Atlanta to pick him up from university to discuss business, and it seems that Snow had a pretty great 2013.

Like most of the cats I know, I came across Rejjie through his supporting of established artists, namely lo-res videos of his performance with Joey Bada$$ in London last year. From my friend’s shaky vantage point stage left, I saw a kid tearing a crowd to shreds. I picked up Rejovich the next day and was pleasantly surprised.

The buzz has been steadily growing on the fringes of our chosen genre, with people drawing comparisons to Tyler, the Creator (please don't click away from the site just yet) and Big L. I’ve been spinning this EP for a few months now, and I feel it’s time someone brought some of the underrepresented UK to HHID.

Grab a Guinness and enjoy.

Also, that cover art is the fucking tits.

Our host greets us by way of waxing lyrical on the temptations of street life over a mellow-as-fuck beat, with horns and keys drifting in and out of the mix like thick smoke. His rhymes are delivered with a kind of placid, semi-spoken world-weariness, lending lyrics like, “Another young boy in a grave / With his picture on my shirt / Rest in peace and may you lay / Lay up in the heavens sippin’ Henny / Smilin’ at the city and your son who cries daddy” an emotional weight most contemporary standard-bearers fail to elicit. This track slays.

And then we’re thrown a curveball by way of “Snow (My Rap Song)”. Paranoid synth whines and bass hits follow an increasingly-delirious Rejjie as he describes his skill behind the mic, how big his dick is (spoiler: it’s enormous), and fucking whilst watching cartoons. The instrumental knocks if this is your kind of thing, and the bars are so out there that you’ve got to give him props, but following the previous track I’m sort of indifferent about the shit-talking. The “suckin’ on my snowball” line had me creasing, though.

Rejjie and his guest rip up a slice of throwback piano boom-bap with the sort of unfocused angst and stream-of-consciousness subject matter that accompanies an encounter with a few too many one-hitters. One thing I’ve noticed about this EP is how on point the production is: every track is a standalone killer. Jesse James turns in a laid-back, wistful performance that is a nice contrast to Rejjie’s agitated spoken-word.

Rejjie and Loyle-Carner go in deep and relay their personal coming-of-age stories. Whilst the star of the show chooses to discuss his conception and his dad bumping The Chronic, L-C contributes an alluring/depressing tale of his father’s inadequacy and unrequited love that made me feel unhappy as shit. I became slightly obsessed with his “the lights reflecting off his gold teeth are blurring my vision” line, but I guess I’m a sucker for that sort of hypnagogic mental imagery. Your mileage may vary when it comes to your enjoyment of the guest’s contribution: his delivery seems to polarize everyone I speak to.

5. OLGA (1984)
Over a jazzy, soulful beat, our host closes his EP with an equally soulful ode to lost love, mistrust, and addiction. The wordplay on this track is fucking stellar. Give it a spin.

FINAL THOUGHTS: For a twenty-year old, Rejjie/Alex/Lecs has put together a consistent, mature product with Rejovich. Those comparisons to Tyler, the Creator fall flat on their face in the light of his work as a lyricist: he’s actually really fucking good at writing rhymes. Apart from the odd misstep, he expresses his concepts with the type of intellect a backpacker cries for in this day and age, and without the shock tactics (and stupid homophobia) the Odd Future clique tends to go for. Production-wise, Rejovich is through-and-through solid gold and criss-crosses the East Coast, Dirty South, and UK with the contemporary appetite of a head with a broadband connection and an unlimited download limit. Supposedly a full-length effort is due this year, and I’m looking forward to hearing some new work.

BUY OR BURN? It’s on iTunes for £3.49. Do yourself a favour and buy it. (Or for the readers in the States, you could always click here to buy it on Amazon.  Or, you know, on any of the other hyperlinks throughout the post.  You know how it works.)

BEST TRACKS: “Loveleen”; “Olga (1984)”

-Michael D.

(Questions? Comments? General sense of confusion? Leave your thoughts below.)


  1. AnonymousJuly 02, 2014

    This guy is not irish is that a joke he sounds like one them odd futures dudes and not in a good way.Go listain to Shameless who is a good irish m.c.Snow is balls to salt too.I demand a refund from you or the artist

  2. AnonymousJuly 02, 2014

    Jesus Christ, if you're going to start commenting on Irish hip-hop at least first realise that it's not a part of the UK. Sheesh!

    1. Maybe he's talking about Northern Ireland...

    2. AnonymousJuly 03, 2014

      Hmmmm, unlikely - "Anyaegbunam, is a twenty-year old emcee and producer hailing from Dublin, Ireland "

  3. Checked this out on Youtube. I like it, though I'm not sure I'm blown away by any of it.

    That album art is fantastic, however.

    And the vid description for Snow (My Rap Song) says he's from Dublin.

    If we wanna talk about great hip-hop from the UK region (I know Ireland isn't a part of the UK, chill out), let's discuss Young Fathers, the trio from Scotland. Now that's some great music!

    1. Mehhh I listened to the first project EP thingy and although I loved one song, the rest isn't my cup of tea, but that one song is still awesome. Maybe it was that I felt there was too much singing to be a rap album. Don't take it as an insult but I felt that I was listening to a Drake album with all that singing...

    2. AnonymousJuly 03, 2014

      What about Triple Darkness or Stig The Dump??

    3. AnonymousJuly 03, 2014

      We living this til the day that we die
      survival of the fit only the STRONG survive

    4. The lyrics are great, though. Not some ankle-deep Drake detritus. And all 3 dudes have great voices. Capable rappers, too.

      Not sure if that Mobb Deep quote is supposed to be an insult towards me, insinuating that I am somehow not "STRONG," but whatever the reason, I am sure the author is perfectly contented with its posting.

  4. AnonymousJuly 04, 2014

    i tried listening to this but i dont like it i dont know why its just meh the album cover is great its like some dave chappelle shit