Born 27 June 1993, Rejjie Snow is a Cancer, but he isn’t quite certain exactly what the nature of being a cancerian entails. In an interview with Nylon magazine earlier this year he confessed: “I only know about being a Cancer in bits. Like, I know that we’re emotional and stuff.” And he’s not wrong: crab signs are empaths at heart, who feel everything at a heightened degree of emotional depth as opposed to astrology’s other 11 signs. Which while can be a blessing is more often than not a curse, one which Snow articulates with utmost sincerity through heart-spoken rhymes.
Little to his own awareness, the Irish rapper embodies all that encompasses a male cancer on his debut album Dear Annie. Throughout his discography Rejjie has held an obvious keen fascination with Cancer’s ruling planet, our mother moon (The Moon and You mixtape including “every night in my room and my head still tilts to the moon”, “flirting with the moon” on ‘Lost in Empathy’). But only on Dear Annie does Rejjie manage to unwittingly capture the entire emotional spectrum of a Cancer male with a masculine outer shell facade, but a strong emotive sense of soul baring sentimentality at his core.
His wonderful world of Dear Annie reads as a love letter. A declaration of endearment past and present addressed to the many lovers over the course of his life; all rolled into one as character Annie. The rapper’s Cancer-leaning tendencies lead to a specialty in slow jams with silky, lullaby-esque hooks surrounding wistfully reflective verses. ‘23’ reminisces a mean spirited lover, Amine and Dana Williams featuring lead single ‘Egyptian Luvr’ ponders a past love affair and ‘OH NO!’ captures the raw emotion of a relationships looming downfall.
It’s not all heartbreak and sensitivity, though. When he’s not engulfed by his own hopeless romanticism, he’s creating his own space for isolated Irish rap. Where his identity was once lost between the saturated whiteness and lack of representation in his home country, Snow now thrives in the face of adversity knowing his narrative is unlike anyone else’s. Standout track ‘The Ends’ sees Rejjie trade verses with English rapper and frequent collaborator Jesse James Soloman, setting a scene of seedy, alleyway loitering local rap. On ‘Bye Polar’ he triumphs, “I’m Black, I’m weird and I’m proud.”
After building anticipation surrounding his debut album ever since his mixtape debut Rejovich in 2013, on Dear Annie Rejjie Snow officially retreats from his shell. Tenderly and at his own pace, he sheds a shield of masculinity and breaks free.
You can get tickets to Rejjie Snow’s upcoming Australia/NZ tour in June at justtheticketnz.com.