While everyone seems relentlessly focused on Jon Snow’s fate, here’s another Snow worth your attention.
Rejjie Snow – Alex Anyaegbunam, 22 – was born in Dublin Ireland in 1993. Growing up between in the Glasnevin/Drumcondra area in Dublin, he attended College like every other kid and took part in a lot of extracurricular activities like theater or athletics. The kid was so much into sport that he eventually moved to the US and began playing soccer at Montverde Academy in Florida as part of an athletic scholarship. After graduation, he started a film and design course at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia but quit after 6 months to move back to Ireland and focus on music.
If Ireland doesn’t come first to mind when looking for the best hip-hop around, Rejjie Snow challenges the status quo. The 22 year old has managed to make his way to success, starting off from his humble Irish roots in Dublin to end up selling out London’s Scala and, while never falling into the trap of a mainstream approach – or even releasing an LP – announce an O2 Sheperd’s Bush Empire date. The young rapper worked with Kaytranada and co-signed a track with famous British MC Skepta, and supported huge artists like Kendrick Lamar, MF Doom or Madonna. His strong character and hard work pushed him all the way up the iTunes hip-hop charts after the release of his debut EP Rejovich in 2013.
His rap is strongly based on his roots and background. In an interview with Les Inrocks published last month, the singer explains why his lyrics put such a strong emphasis on antiracism and the “black community”. “I think every black person has got their own personal experience in regards to racism”, he says. “Mine is very different to those of most people because where I’m from, people don’t know what it means to be black and treat you very differently because they’re not interested in knowing. I had to grow up with that and it made me the person I am today. I think racism will always exist so the best one can do is to learn how to deal and live with it.”
Fun fact: In the same interview, Rejjie Snow claimed that if he ever became a music industry leader, he’d ban the word “bitch” in hip-hop and rap songs. Now that would be a huge challenge to a lot of rappers out there...
Rejjie Snow will be at The Haunt in Brighton on 20 May as part of The Great Escape Festival. Not going? He’s also on the Glastonbury line-up and has got a few other gigs in the pipe.