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Black Roses: Rayne Drop discusses his most personal track, taking a loss & changing his life

Prince Albert, SK – Earlier this year Saskatchewan artist Rayne Drop teamed up with Michael Cassidy to release a deeply personal track titled “Black Roses.”

The track started off as Michael’s own response to the “Ten Toes Down Challenge” (a challenge that was floating around the Internet a while ago wherein artists had to freestyle over the “Ten Toes Down” instrumental by Bubba Got Beatz). Rayne Drop came across Michael’s verse and begged the guy to turn the verse into a full-fledged song. Michael eventually agreed and they locked down the track, which was set to appear on Rayne’s forthcoming album.

But the album never dropped. Because Rayne’s fiancee left and his world fell apart. So “Black Roses” unexpectedly became the truest commentary on everything that was happening around Rayne. And as he went through the cycle of grieving, moving on, and getting out of his own person hell, the song was always there on its shelf. So as time has started to heal, Rayne is finally giving this track its proper roll out. Listen to “Black Roses” via Spotify below, and check out our in-depth Q&A with Rayne after the jump.

Black Roses: Rayne Drop discusses his most personal track, taking a loss & changing his life - HipHopCanada.com

Q&A: Rayne Drop

HipHopCanada: Start off by telling me the story behind this song.

Rayne Drop: I had just gotten home one night and was having a cigarette on my back deck. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and had seen Michael Cassidy post up his verse for this thing called the “Ten Toes Down Challenge” and it blew my mind. I knew instantly that this needed to become a full length song. I reached out to Michael about getting the verse off him. I offered money, beats, you name it. I’m not lying when I say I BEGGED for this to become a song for the better part of two months. Michael finally caved. We agreed on 50/50 splits and eventually I got notification in April he was hitting the studio and wrote his second verse that morning. Fast forward a month… the songs been complete and is set to be the lead single off my upcoming album BLEACH! (a half instrumental album, half original tracks). I get home from a Wolfpack show and I’m laying on my couch catching up on sleep that I didn’t get the night before. My fiance comes home and I ask her to come sit on the couch and she hits me with the “I’m leaving”. I’m like “Damn..Ok..”, stunned. A week later I act on emotion, abandon the plan to release it as a single and drop the lyric video prematurely knowing I’m not going to finish BLEACH! at this point and I want the world to know my pain and potentially help anyone feeling the same. The response and messages I got were overwhelming.

HipHopCanada: Why did you choose Michael as the MC to narrate this?

Rayne Drop: If you listen to ANY of his music – “Black Roses” in particular – there’s just certain things he says that really resonate with me. it’s real, it’s raw, it’s hopelessly romantic… it’s me.

…there’s just certain things he says that really resonate with me. it’s real, it’s raw, it’s hopelessly romantic… it’s me.

HipHopCanada: Walk me through your creation process for this song from start to finish.

Rayne Drop: Once I got the notification the files were in my inbox I took a late lunch from work, nuked a couple pizza pops and went straight to the lab. I imported everything into Logic, found the BPMs of the reference track I was sent over from the original beat and got to work. I wanted to find a melody that fit; that sounded nice and melodic but still simple. Once we hit that point, I shut everything down and went back to work. I get halfway there and realize I shut everything down without saving (rookie mistake!). So I get home that night, load EVERYTHING back up, find a completely different piano melody, load the acapella into maschine and start on the drums. Those came easy. I wanted something hard but simple enough to let the lyrics speak to people. After the drums were done it was just a matter of tracking down what it was missing. I sent the rough copy off to Memory out in Connecticut. We’ve done work together previously and he had everything back to me in a couple days. From there I was sitting on it until BLEACH! came out (it never did).

HipHopCanada: Explain the title “Black Rose” and its significance to you.

Rayne Drop: We didn’t want to just name it something simple like “Ten Toes” or “City Full Of Suicide.” But we still wanted something emotional sounding that would match the content and nature of the song itself. We were tossing ideas back and forth and settled on “Black Roses”.

HipHopCanada: This song is really interesting in how you’ve put it together in that it’s obviously a very deeply personal anecdote, but at the same time I feel like it’s universally relatable no matter who’s listening.

Rayne Drop: This one is still a bit tough to touch on. It’s personal to me only because as life progressed, Michael’s lyrics became my story. When I say “my life story as narrated by Michael Cassidy” it’s as if he was there through the bitter parts of my relationship and the aftermath as well. To me … it’s everything lately. It’s the heartbreak, the selfish feelings and insecurities being in love brings, the methods used to cope, the drugs, the alcohol, the hangovers. But [there’s also] the hope and knowledge that everything will get better even if it doesn’t feel like it. It’s the willingness to take a bullet for someone. It’s the willingness to take a bullet because of someone. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’ve been through this. And it gets better. The amount of tears shed to this song thinking to myself ‘I’m a piece of shit’ because it was all my fault, and the amount of smiles had to this song realizing it wasn’t.

It doesn’t matter who you are, you’ve been through this. And it gets better. The amount of tears shed to this song thinking to myself ‘I’m a piece of shit’ because it was all my fault, and the amount of smiles had to this song realizing it wasn’t.

HipHopCanada: Another thing that’s really interesting about this is that it somehow manages to combine two polar opposite feelings: complete despair and hopefulness.

Rayne Drop: This is exactly it. And I experienced it firsthand. I was lucky enough to hit a point where I just snapped out of it one day. But I put myself through hell first. Locked myself away for a month and half and just dealt with it. She left on a Saturday. I didn’t eat a full meal until that Thursday. I just sat there, processing shit, having anxiety attacks, dealing with my shit. And then some shit happened one day, and it was like – BOOM – gone. Everything I was hopeful for had finally been achieved. It had gotten better. I was fortunate enough to have someone SUPER special help get me to that point. We went out a few times once I was in a better mind set, and it was really everything I had hoped for when I was at my lowest. Absolutely everything I wanted. I felt like the old me again. I was being silly, fun spontaneous, making music again, being affectionate… everything I should have been previously. I was taught how to go all in on things. I was taught tenderness was a quality can be cultivated. I was really in touch with my affectionate side and when all this shit went down I felt like I’d never get there again. You do. You just need the right teacher. It never panned out how I wanted, but I was taught some valuable lessons and “Black Roses” would never have made it past a Facebook release had it not been for D.

HipHopCanada: What is the biggest take away you’ve had from this entire ordeal?

Rayne Drop: Go all in. Don’t fear potential love. Talk to the pretty girl, be affectionate, be nice, embrace your flaws. Act on emotions. Be you, don’t hold back. Enjoy life. Small things add up to big things. More than anything… love yourself. If you don’t, you have to learn. “Black Roses” is more than a song to me. It’s become a massive chapter in my life and I enjoy that. It’s tied to a shift in my life and it’s a huge part of what I went through to become who I am now.

‘Black Roses’ is more than a song to me. It’s become a massive chapter in my life and I enjoy that. It’s tied to a shift in my life and it’s a huge part of what I went through to become who I am now.


Twitter: @RayneSupremeSK


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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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