Bakar releases debut album ‘Badkid’

It’s been over a year since Bakar released his momentous single ‘Big Dreams’, a contagious 3 chord instant indie classic that won the hearts of so many. Now the finale to his first LP, ‘Big Dreams’ completes a body of work exciting enough to compete with any rock outfit out there at the moment. But this record only scrapes the surface of the indie sphere, Bakar combines elements of garage and grime with synths that Foals would have welcomed with open arms on their debut album ‘Antidotes’.

Cutting between post punk distorted bass-lines and a chorus of psychedelic guitar riffs, BADlands is definitely one of my favourite tracks off the new album. Released as the final single before the LP, it justifies the praise he has received from Skepta, Rejjie Snow and even Elton John. If the mention of Elton isn’t enough to make you listen to this album then I don’t know what will.

‘WTF’ is another stand out tune, which captures manipulated vocal pitch tones that  Archy Marshall would have craved for on his ‘A New Place To Drown’ album, which is still one of my favourites of all time. The Camden based artist creates a beat that flips between garage influences from Mike Skinner and electronic house that could be likened to Jamie XX. Definitely one you could kick back and bun a zoot to in the summer.

Arguably, the only missing element from Bakar’s game, at the moment, is a concrete run of tour dates. Described by NME as ‘one of Britain’s most exciting new acts’, his show at Live at Leeds made waves around the internet for its explosive energy and ‘electrifying performance’. It’s time for Bakar to break big and this album is sure to be the root of his inevitably meteoric rise to fame, especially among the sounds of the underground.

This is a truly unique body of work, an album that will hopefully get the praise it deserves. Give it a listen below.

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Rejjie Snow + Slowthai & Ebenezer @ The Cambridge Junction

It is fair to say Rejjie’s Cambridge based fans had been waiting a long time for this gig. With an inconvenient reschedule delaying potential carnage in March, it felt as if everyone was twice as hyped for this date and ready for the uncharacteristic, for Cambridge, Saturday night chaos. The unusually warm and sunny April weather complemented the tunes off of the Dublin Rapper’s euphoric debut album, which he proceeded to play most of throughout the night.

Before the 24 year old graced the stage, Ebenezer and Slowthai provided a perfectly composed warm up, teasing the audience with their individual sounds. Personally, I was extremely excited to see Slowthai. In terms of 2018 breakthrough rappers, nothing has topped his blend of experimental grime and swagger filled lyrics. The snarling angst that encroaches on tunes like ‘North Nights’ and ‘T N Biscuits’ created a riotous atmosphere and sent the pissed teens in attendance into a proper frenzy.

After a brisk 15 minutes of attempting to recover from the Northampton rapper’s set, Rejjie Snow came storming on stage to ‘Hello’ and ‘Rainbows’. As chilled out as these songs are, with unexplainable reasoning, the crowd proceeded to divide and create the first of many mosh pits. Blending the low-fi hits off Dear Annie with oldies but goldies ‘Blakkst Skin’ and ‘1992’ made the set near on perfect. The only minor disappointment, for me, was he didn’t play ‘Snow (my rap song)’ but even then this would have felt out of place in the narrative of the set.

Cambridge hasn’t been blessed with a gig like this in a while. There is a huge demand for hip hop artists coming to the city and so it is nice to see The Junction venturing out and booking more acts like this.

Rejjie Snow releases his highly anticipated debut album ‘Dear Annie’

Back in late 2017, Rejjie Snow promised us all that 2018 would be his year. With several mixtape and single releases, fans were getting anxious that the Irish rapper would never announce a debut album but luckily, as of yesterday, we have one; its definitely been worth the wait.

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‘Dear Annie’ is an album diagnosed with love, Rejjie’s fresh and vibrant tones are certain to interpellate the hip hop music scene and hopefully put him up there with the likes of break out artists Goldlink and Mick Jenkins. It would be easy to compare Snow’s aesthetic as one similar to Loyle Carner’s but actually, due to working out in LA with producers as famous as Kaytranada, it seems this LP has sucker punched the artist’s visions in a more funky and soulful direction.

Has there been a more successful Irish rapper than Rejjie Snow? The quite simple answer is… No. Rejjie is a one man army here to revolutionise hip hop and once again he has out done himself, cutting his chest wide open and exploring ideas and concepts that, maybe 4 years ago, we didn’t think he ever would. With this album, has come a sense of maturity in the artist and his work, the album features the forever evolving ‘Jesse James Solomon’, on ‘The Ends’, and breakthrough American rapper Aminé on ‘Egyptian Luvr’. However, after giving the album its first full listen, the tracks that stood out to me were ‘Spaceships’ and the intro track ‘Hello’. Focusing on ‘Hello’, the beat is scatty and beautiful, implementing the happiness and cohesiveness of a gospel choir over a punchy trap beat. It is concepts like this that has made me so infatuated with Snow’s music and I can only hope that what we hear in the future is an evolution of this quite phenomenal body of work.

Be sure to go and check this album out, it is setting a high standard for hip hop in 2018. He is also going on tour very soon, previous shows have been unmissable.

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Bakar is back at it with ‘Million Miles’

It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what Bakar is, you may have seen him on TopMan billboards, hanging out with Rejjie Snow or as part of Milkavelli’s 616 Laigon crew but it turns out he is also a very talented musician. Bursting onto the scene with 2017’s indie smasher ‘Big Dreams’, it was hard to ignore the London based Artist’s simplistic but unique sound. If Pete Doherty and Skepta were to ever interact sexually, Bakar would be the product. Although this is a disturbing analogy, it is one that you will come to grips with very quickly if you listen to his material.

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After a short hiatus following the release of track ‘Small Town Girl’, the man is back with the instantly groovy ‘million miles’ – his biggest showcase of the musical talent we all know he has. Tampering with echoey synths that could be likened to Tame Impala has amplified his innovative qualities and will hopefully be a feature of his future tracks. I’m a sucker for a cow bell anthem too; he uses it brilliantly in this song, similarly to how you would imagine The Specials to back in the day.

Bakar is definitely one to watch this year. You can bet on at least a couple more new tracks to come soon but, for now, go and check out ‘Million Miles’.

Rejjie Snow releases his best track yet with ‘Egyptian Luvr’

The undisputed king of Irish hip hop last night released 4 new songs when speaking to Annie Mac for Radio 1. Featuring a single from upcoming album ‘Dear Annie’, the mini EP  is titled ‘Dear Annie: Vol 1’ and if the album sounds as beautifully blissful as this then it will certainly be worth the long wait fans have had to endure.

Produced by Kaytranada and featuring Aminé, as well as some soothing female vocals, the track is both rich in vintage Kaytranada soundscapes and Rejjie Snow’s goofy, sinister eloquence. His tone matches Amine’s perfectly and they create an undeniably sunny and springful world that should help us survive this horrid, typical, British weather. I have been saying for a long time that Snow is the most underrated rapper of recent years, he excels on any tune he makes. Whether it is the trappy ‘Flexin’ or the stoner banger ‘Loveleen’, he is one of the most versatile rappers out there. If you disagree, listen to his brilliant feature on Yellow Day’s track ‘Lately I’.

There is an overlying theme of love running throughout this mini EP, which may disappoint those who say they want Rejjie’s bangers back. ‘Snow (my rap song)’ is still one of my favourites of his and I would love him to make more tunes like this but you have to respect the creative direction he is taking and the maturity he is adopting. Also when I saw him at Secret Garden Party he played a few unreleased trappy stinkers so I wouldn’t be surprised if these feature on the album, ‘Milk and Honey’ certainly shows promise in this sense.

For now though, go and check out the Dublin Lad’s latest synthy hit and indulge in the whole EP, ‘The Rain’ is also especially great.

Rejjie Snow’s ‘Virgo’ will brighten up your summer

At 24 years of age, Rejjie Snow’s music continues to surprise and push the boundaries of hip hop. It seems every track he releases blends sub genres, proceeding to leave a statement on his audience; ‘Virgo’ is no different. Opting for a tropical trap beat this time round, the Irish rapper creates a scummy but beautiful contrast between the visuals of the video and the colourful production; the dreariness of an estate is given a carnivalesque makeover through the cheery nature of the song.

I caught Rejjie Snow at Secret Garden Party this year and he was definitely one of the best acts across the week, gracing the main stage with new fire and old classics from Rejovich. As for this track though, it features ‘Pell’, who offers soothing vocals that neatly fit over the beats and helps to bring out Rejjie’s purposely goofy vocals.

Overall this is definitely a song that should be on your summer playlists, turned up to the max as you crack open a cold one with a bit of African heat smothered on your face. I’d still say I prefer the direction Snow was going with in ‘Crooked Cops’ and ‘Pink Beetle’, but we can only wait for the album now after these countless singles.

 

Watch: Rejjie Snow releases music video for ‘Pink Beetle’

Released shortly after his previous single ‘D.R.U.G.S’ Rejjie Snow is back with a vid for his latest track ‘Pink Beetle’, and it’s a gory one. Fitting halloween perfectly, the visuals show Snow having a bit of a weird, and extremely painful, dental appointment. Once again the Dublin born rapper has matched the creativity of his music with the video to go with it, all of his content makes for an extremely intriguing watch and this one is no different.

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The track itself is a blissful 3 minutes of hip hop, rich in hooks of pianos and snare drums. The beat is infectious, as are the vocals on the chorus, and of course Rejjie absolutely kills it with his trade mark flow and soothing voice. Produced by ‘Rahki’, the song is just a snippet of how incredible Snow’s up coming album could potentially be; the producer has worked with the likes of ‘Kendrick Lamar’ and ‘School Boy Q’ and so if Rejjie and Rahki can replicate the work of these two artists then we are really in for a treat.

Watch the video below and go buy the new single.