It was a housemate of mine that showed me Rejjie Snow a few months prior to tonight’s show. His music is relaxed and free and whilst it does fall into the rap trappings of sex, drugs and crime there’s no sense of cliché. His music sounds very innovative and fresh. Mixing all different aspects of rap, no one artist comes to mind to draw comparison from. He has loose, free songs and beats that draw from Madvillian, however there are more pop orientated songs and aggressive ones too.
There’s a youthful musk around tonight’s show, ID’s will be an issue. Hovering by the bar for a brief ten minuets there are many excited teens trying to pass off sibling’s ID’s as their own and everyone’s dressed up for the show. The excitement really rubs off in the main room, there’s chanting, dancing and people talking to each other without any crippling anxiety or cynicism. The crowd is still a strong mix of people but this teenage feel fills the room, there’s a sense of freedom in the audience.
After some solid chanting and hyping from the DJ, Rejjie slides onstage to a huge cheer and the room shakes. Everyone is jumping around and dancing, I’m starting to regret wearing a coat and jumper. Without a single stiff in the room the crowd are singing every word back trying to replicate his smooth flow. Projected on the back wall are graphics, stills and extracts from music videos which really add to the show lending vibrancy to a very dark room. Not that the audience needs more to engage with. Rejjie, who is essentially just pacing about the room with a microphone, manages to be a captivating performer who is in full control of the room.
The majority of the set is unknown to the crowd drawing heavily on new material from the upcoming album. Throughout the night Rejjie keeps repeating the phrase “2 weeks” clearly incredibly excited to be dropping the album. Not that you could tell, he keeps a cool relaxed demeaour throughout the night. Among the new songs he plays many crowd favourites and delivers a packed set. He plays pretty much his current discography, highlights include ‘Crooked Cops’, ‘D.R.U.G.S’ and ‘Loveleen’ which all carry off perfectly in a live environment.
Rap is supposedly all in the production, if that’s lacking the songs won’t have their intended impact. This certainly isn’t an issue for tonight, the sound is perfect. All the small details within his backings are present and clear, yet still keeping the looseness of a live show as it’s all being mixed live. It’s this kind of attention to detail which makes it a great show, everything is unfolding in front of the audience, nothing seems like it’s set out.
It’s very easy to forget that Rejjie hasn’t even got a full length album out yet. His set is packed and consistent. The faster numbers are exciting and give a burst of energy to the crowd, slower ones are captivating and allow you to properly absorb everything that’s going on. He comes on at 21:45 and plays right past curfew, we don’t get out of the venue till about half past eleven. At 22:55 he’s warned of the threat of curfew and announces “one more”, about four songs later he then announces his last song.
“2 weeks” till his album drops, after a show like tonight this tour feels like a victory lap and the end of the beginning for Rejjie Snow. It’ll take one album to make an even stronger mark on the scene than he already has, lets face it, in a few years everyone will know his name.