Rejjie Snow review: Full of confidence and swagger
- Credit: Paul Jones
Rejjie Snow brought his A-game to The Waterfront last night and delivered a high quality set of lower tempo, melodic and West Coast American tinged hip-hop.
Watching a Dublin born rapper playing Norwich on a Tuesday night is a new experience for me, and I should imagine the same is true for everybody else in the near sold out Waterfront.
His performance had an occasional 80's flavour, with plenty of samples and female vocals, and a professional polished sound, which is not surprising given his recent studio time with Rahki, who has also produced for Kendrick Lemar.
The only time I remembered he is Irish is occasionally between songs when he stopped to talk to the crowd and his accent was apparent. But it is easy to forget as he raps in an American style using American slang, and just to add to the confusion he his apparently based on the East Coast in Brooklyn, rather than 3,000 miles south west alongside his label-mates.
He seemed at ease on the stage, full of confidence and swagger and worked through his repertoire with a smile on his face. A genuine nice guy and far removed from the slightly controversial character we have all read about.
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He was joined by his DJ/MC who gave him good support and hollered regularly at the large crowd to get them moving and get their hands in the air. My only disappointment was the lack of any scratching or turntablism from him, but he kept the beats coming and complimented Rejjie Snow well.
The crowd was energetic, rowdy and largely good natured and they seemed to reflect Rejjie's positive demeanour as they bounced. They were there to have a good time and those towards the front sang and rapped along with him, obviously familiar with his two albums.
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Support was from the snarling Slowthai. Straight up, bare chested Grime from the Northampton native. Another guy who had to leave his birthplace if he was ever going to be part of the music scene.
He played an extended set, largely due to the non-appearance from the first support act Jessie James, and rapped over experimental and broken beats with a much higher tempo than Rejjie Snow.
This worked as the main support and he got the crowd jumping and well warmed up. He seemed much more raw and underground, and I would guess if this was the seventies he would have been a punk rocker with his anti-system rhetoric and absolute dislike of Theresa May.
All in all the night was a success, with bass-heavy speakers sounding great and plenty of people through the door.
Rejjie Snow will continue to do well and I'd like to see him on a bigger stage in future joined by some other rappers and perhaps singers to deliver the backing vocals and see what more he is capable of. I will be keeping an eye out for him this summer at the various festivals for sure.
If you like the more chilled end of hip hop I would recommend picking up either of his albums; The Moon & You (2017) or Dear Annie (2018) and following him on Spotify, and hunting down his earlier mixtapes on Youtube. He's not one for the future, Rejjie Snow has already arrived.