This is a compact, impressively focused effort by an upstart Irish rapper, and his overarching thesis is chill vibes. Normally I don’t go for this frequency of hip-hop unless it comes washed thick layers of electronica, but Rejjie’s simple, mostly live productions in such a concise package left me wanting more. Every track brings something else to the table, each occupying a slightly different sonic sphere all while basking under the safety of the chill-hop umbrella. A solid slate of guest features further keeps up interest through these four tracks… Wait, is this a full LP?
An hour later, I’ve realized that I’ve made a terrible mistake. The four tracks I enjoyed were only a sampling of the 20 total tracks on Dear Annie. I must have saved this album back when only a few of its tracks were available. As I listen to the full album, Rejjie’s diverse musical style begins to congeal into familiar patterns and tropes. I enjoy the experience, but having mentioned earlier that this is not my style of hip-hop, I’m a little disappointed that this didn’t come in a smaller package. In a world where all of the world’s music is practically free to listen to, why do artists insist on such sprawling releases? Quality is must be tantamount, though I understand that rappers love the sound of their voice.