Rejjie Snow [Artist Review]

“I’d say my sound is a mixture between a drunken Irish guy, and Charles Bukowski. That wasn’t a joke, I swear,” 19-year-old Rejjie Snow [said in an interview with MTV Iggy] with a grin on his face.

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Rejjie Snow, formerly known as Lecs Luther, is one of the more lyrical and insightful rappers I’ve stumbled upon in recent times. Rejjie’s content ranges from gloating his lyrical skills to contemporary genocide to fallacies of black culture and everywhere in between. His skills are so nice that he’s recently been getting big time love from music websites all over the world, like XXL, and even has an album set to drop. Still only 19-years-old, he has been heralded by some of the most influential names in music as being the future of Hip-Hop. After meeting Pharrell backstage at the age of 11, inking a contract with Elton John’s Rocket Management, and opening shows for both MF Doom and Kendrick Lamar in the last 12 months, Snow’s most recent news was posted in the form of this picture on his Facebook page. There has been no other news from Rejjie about what this may entail but regardless of whether or not Yeezy “really liked” his music, you should decide for yourself. Below is one of Snow’s most viewed tracks called ‘Dia Dhuit’ from way back in the days of Lecs Luther:

Give me the loot for the beef stew or the baked bread
His rhymes so articulate smacking nuns and severed heads
He often tells tales of the old negro spiritual
Half-African brother his IQ’s lethal
I wrote this rap with a broken figure and severed limb
Arm and a dagger the duffle bag is a loosey ten
Give me the shottie I’m slaying rappers with bad pilates
Coughing up that crack I call it a John Gotti

I’ve been seeing a lot of comparisons to Odd Future going around the web lately, and I’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. Yes, Rejjie and Tyler share similar voice inflections, but that does not make them the same. Rejjie did not steal Tyler’s flow and here’s why: although Tyler’s latest album, Wolf, is leagues better than his first, he and Snow are not even in the same category of rappers. If anything, Rejjie most closely embodies the sound of MF DOOM. Hodgy Beats, Captain Murphy, and Rejjie Snow are all rappers of this generation whose style is largely inspired by DOOM. For instance, if you didn’t catch it, look at this line from ‘Dia Dhuit’:

I wrote this rap with a broken figure and severed limb

Recognize anything? One of the more subtle features of DOOM is his propensity to write lyrics describing where the rhyme was written. Here, Snow is making a clear reference to the man in the metal mask…

  • MF Doom – ‘Doomsday’: “I wrote this one in B.C. D.C. O-section”
  • MF Doom – Batty Boyz: “Wrote this lyric from in the bed with a chick/She had the tightest grip around the head of my…Bic”
  • MF Doom – ‘Beef Rap’: “I wrote this note around New Year’s/Off a couple a shots and a few beers, but who cares?”
  • Madvillain – ‘Money Folder’: “Don’t mind me, I wrote this rhyme lightly/Off a two or three Heines, and boy was they fine gee”
  • Madvillain – ‘Great Day’: “Couldn’t find a pen, had to think of a new trick/This one he wrote in cold blood with a toothpick”

Furthermore, Odd Future and Rejjie Snow have a contrasting demographic of listeners, different content, and in all honesty, Snow has shown greater maturity and insight in his lyrics than his American counterparts. He begs the listener to pay a keen ear to his lyrics because they may be deeper than you think. For example, take the theme of his latest video, ‘Lost in Empathy,’ which delves into the disturbing topic of Albino genocide in Eastern Africa.

So as I walk I’m on the move
And when I dance I fucking groove
In a forest where is black and every slug is fucking blue
Grass no roots, see a pig and I’ll shoot
Get a bullet to your tummy leave you swimming in a suit
With the fist of a warrior eloped in his roots
But he’s animalistic and his rhyming is sadistic
Sacrificing pigeons in the name of our religion

In parts of Eastern Africa, especially Tanzania, Albinos are hunted for their body parts because witch doctors believe that their limbs possess magic powers. Recently, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of witchcraft-related Albino killings but governments have been pushing to quell the attacks and put an end to Albino discrimination. From 2006 to June of 2012, out of the over 100 attacks in Tanzania, 71 were killed and 31 escaped, though most of the escapees were left maimed. [You can read more on the Tanzanian Albinos, and learn about their fight for survival and understanding from NPR's "All Things Considered" here.]

Lyrics aside, the video is excellently done. The imagination, hours of labor, and dedication to an effective final product are all evident in this video. It’s a visual work of art.

Here are my final predictions for Rejjie Snow: He will make it big. Maybe not Big Sean big or Kendrick big, but he will be seen worldwide as a respectable figure in Hip-Hop. If he continues to put out music of this quality, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have a bright future ahead of him. He has a variety of styles but his best lines are laced with quick punchlines, creative rhymes, and simple yet imaginative references to pop culture. Bottom line, Snow will make it big because he writes lyrics that inspire; they’re fresh and meaningful.

If you want to hear more of Rejjie Snow’s music, be sure to cop his mixtape The Rejjie Snow Flow and stay up to date on his progress by following his Facebook and Twitter. His next album, Rejovich, is dropping soon. Don’t sleep on the kid!

Meddling Loops by Rejjie Snow

Harlem by Rejjie Snow