Rejjie Snow — Baw Baw Black Sheep — Album Review

Hip-Hop | Rap

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

My knowledge of Rejjie Snow was a bit of an unusual case up until recently. The musical project of the Irish rap artist Alexander Anyaegbunam released the debut studio album, Dear Annie, back in 2018. And while it seemed to push that experimental vibe of Rejjie Snow pretty well, Dear Annie ultimately became one of those albums I nearly reviewed, but never did in the end.

But last week gave me a golden opportunity to redeem myself regarding this matter, advertised by the enigmatic album cover of Rejjie Snow’s sophomore studio album, Baw Baw Black Sheep.

I recall it being through Album of the Year that I wound up discovering that this album was coming out. Piecing together that this was the same Rejjie Snow who released Dear Annie thereafter, I decided to tease myself somewhat, prior to the release of the full album, with the most recently released teaser “Disco Pantz”.

Featuring Tinashe, grouptherapy, and a very luminous electro-dance beat, this teaser track drew me in instantaneously. And it was from that moment, that I decided I definitely wanted to give this album a review, regardless of the outcome.

Upon listening to the full album when it was finally released, Baw Baw Black Sheep also gave me a chance to listen to the 2020 single “Cookie Chips”, featuring a rap verse from none other than the late MF DOOM. It was through a number of merits (not only just that amazingly special feature), that made “Cookie Chips” feel like one of the strongest moments on the album for me.

As I was listening through the record, I could definitely sense that some kind of narrative was being established, and this intrigued me enough to look further into it.

For starters, Rejjie stated that bringing this album to life was far more of an easy and natural process than Dear Annie, which followed the end of a relationship for Rejjie. He found it much more enjoyable to create this album, and he was in a good enough headspace to have more certainty towards what he wanted to put out; all very good signs indeed.

So I think, from what I could gather, that Baw Baw Black Sheep represents the pure peace of mind and ecstasy that Rejjie is feeling. The tracks that are found here are tied together by sound clips of Rejjie talking to what could be a younger version of himself or some kind of off-duty conscience.

What I’ve said so far definitely establishes that there was indeed a lot of great ideas, and a great sense of creativity, that was behind this album, and Rejjie Snow was out to make Baw Baw Black Sheep almost like a musical movie of sorts.

However, I do feel that the narrative focus was given a lot more attention than the musical focus, in the case of this album.

While Baw Baw Black Sheep does have some very enjoyable tunes, they do feel a bit few and far between. Many of the tracks on here, to me, felt a little too repetitive or melodically mundane. I also felt that some of the interludes and sound bites took me out of the moment from time to time.

As a result, my overall listening experience of Baw Baw Black Sheep did feel a little clunky, and it ultimately comes off as an album I still feel a bit undecided towards. But while Rejjie Snow’s sophomore effort could potentially have been more enjoyable, in my mind, I still full respect the creative mindset that went into this project.

Favourite Tracks: Obrigado | Cookie Chips | Disco Pantz

Least Favourite Track: Oreos

300 Entertainment | BMG

Enjoyment: 7/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10

Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 6/10 | Narrative: 8/10

Final Score: 7/10

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