Rejjie Snow – Woolly Mammoth
Rejjie Snow – Woolly Mammoth
Written by Jack Gobbe
Photos by Travers Southwell
Witnessing an artist on the cusp of their major breakout is always a unique and dynamic experience, which became apparent to patrons of the Woolly Mammoth in Brisbane to catch Rejjie Snow. Although often reduced to being the ‘Irish rapper’, Snow wasted no time in proving that he was more than just a niche label in the hip-hop community.
With his debut album, Dear Annie, arriving earlier this year, it was only fitting that Snow opened the set with a suite of four tracks from the record, with the opening ‘Rainbows’ introducing any newcomers to Snow’s knack for blending melodic guest vocalists with his own slick delivery. The subsequent ‘Pink Lemonade’ felt like a natural progression from the more mellow opener, with a bouncing beat that still found its strength in a strong vocal hook paired with Snow’s subtle yet sharp flow.
After ‘Room 27’ and ‘Mon Amour’ rounded out the opening album tracks, Snow threw it back to ‘Black Pancakes’, a deep cut that reminded anyone of the roots of his talent and just how far his sound has developed over the course of five years.
On that note, the occasional singles nestled between the predominantly album focused set list served as brilliant refreshers. The likes of ‘Blakkst Skn’, ‘Crooked Cops’ and ‘Olga’ all saw the crowd disperse into mosh pits and exhibited Snow’s talent to seamlessly transition between smoother beats to notably heavier tunes that emphasised his sharp delivery and ability to shift the audience’s energy within an instant.
However, cuts from ‘Dear Annie’ certainly didn’t fail to get the crowd moving, with the bopping production of Kaytranada propelling lead single ‘Egyptian Luvr’ into a future-funk spectacle. Similarly, the pounding bass of ‘Bye Polar’ added further proof to the idea that ‘Dear Annie’ isn’t purely low-key. Moments like these displayed Snow’s ability to tread the line between both poignant and infectiously dance-worthy, a trait that few in his scene can reach, let alone nail so successfully.
As if he was ignoring as many conventions as possible, the extensive ninety minute set entered into its final stages without the typical encore break. Saying that, it soon became apparent that a pause wouldn’t bide well for the passionate Snow as he tore through the hard-hitting ‘Flexin’, a braggadocios single that blends popular trap production and catchy ad-libs with Snow’s ever so off-kilter flow. Standout album cut ‘Greatness’ rounded out the performance of ‘Dear Annie’ material before Snow closed the set with his breakout hit ‘1992’, an apt ending to a set that shows how far the artist has come.
Australia may be far from Ireland in both distance and typical music preferences, yet one only had to sit back and admire Rejjie Snow to understand how he has amassed such a cult following in a few years. It’s safe to say that Snow’s next Australian appearance will be grander in scale, so catch him while you can and witness this budding artist for yourself.