Rejjie Snow: Baw Baw Black Sheep review – artful insouciance with creative verve

Fri, Jul 9, 2021, 00:00

   
     

Album:
Baw Baw Black Sheep

Artist:
Rejjie Snow

Label:
BMG

Genre:
Hip-Hop & Rap

Snow’s follow-up to 2018’s Dear Annie was approached as if “making a short film through music”. Partly inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the album is a “kind of soundtrack”, reflecting his “colourful, positive state of mind”.

This sense of positivity is evident in some of his more uptempo impulses, such as the strident Disco Pantz, the wavery Shooting Star, and the trap-bounce of Relax, but the overall atmosphere of the record is one of hazy, yet artful insouciance, so laid back that it is practically horizontal.

Executive-produced by Cam O’bi, Snow continues to harvest inspiration from The Neptunes on something like Obrigado, with its pleasingly frenetic percussion, and Mirrors, which paints a Wanderland-era-Kelis hue. Grateful brings to mind the playfulness of Chance the Rapper, Star in the Making reaches back into 1990s RnB, and there is a louche, light elegance to Skip to My Lou.

Much of the record tilts towards a kind of nostalgia, which occasionally submerges things, yet the assured production generally keeps it on the right side of clarity, and on something like Cookie Chips, with a verse from the late MF DOOM, Snow is clearly placing himself amid interesting outliers and signifiers. This is explored further on the elegant Oreos, with its jazz-inflected beauty, where Robert Glasper meets Erykah Badu – in these corners of the record Snow brings real creative verve, an ignition.