Rain Jumps “In the Mix” [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
Everyone knows – or should know – just how essential rain is for the survival of all life on earth, and how, when those showers hit the ground, all things are refreshed, reinvigorated, and clean. However, one thing about rain is that it is inescapable – whether it be in a light drizzle, a downpour or a hurricane, it can’t be avoided, and any attempt to stop it from saturating all it touches is pointless. Such is the case with North Carolinian emcee Rain, whose talent is impossible to ignore and who can’t be stopped from reaching even the most obscure corners of hip-hop with some refreshing new flavor.
Active since 2006 with the release of his first mixtape, Only In America, Rain has been on a mission to claim the title of best emcee in the game. After making countless mixtape appearances and even starting his own company, First in Flight Entertainment, that title seems more and more fitting by the day. With his latest project, the Booth-sponsored American Dreamin’ 3 set to drop in just a couple of weeks, we can prepare for this hurricane season to bring a little bit of Rain, and maybe a little MP3 player flooding too.
In this exclusive, five-question interview, Rain stops by the Booth to fill us in on all that’s happening with his new project, and what he’s planning to do to make sure he sets himself apart from the pack.
How did you get started as emcee? What made you realize hip-hop was your passion?
I always had a love for Hip Hop. Even before I was rapping. I looked at rapping as a cool way to express my feelings. I use to watch Yo MTV Raps and Rap City and be hypnotized by the craft. I always knew this is what I wanted to do.
July 21, will mark the release of your Booth-sponsored album American Dreamin’ 3. What does the American Dream mean to you?
To me the American Dream is to live comfortably doing something that you enjoy doing. Most people now are just making ends meet and they are stressed out to top it off. We are trapped in a time where we have to do things that we don't necessarily want to do, in order to survive. I know a lot of women who strip and a lot of people that sell drugs. I also know a lot of people who get up and go to a job that they hate every morning. Every day they dream of being in a better position. American Dreamin represents the escape. Escaping from what we deal with every day to a situation that we view as being better.
One of your latest premieres, “May Not Be,” features a more subdued sound. What producers have you worked with who have been able to suit your style?
Lex and Los produced May Not Be; they really helped me set the tone of this project. I've been becoming a lot more comfortable in the studio so I'm naturally starting to calm down a lot more on my records. Lex and Los definitely gave me a few joints that helped me capture that vibe. I look forward to working with them a lot more.
What was your motive behind starting your own company, First in Flight Entertainment, in spite of having received offers from several record labels?
That came from me losing faith in these major labels. They have no ear. They are lost. They don't love the culture, they love the dollar. I would never sign a deal with someone who doesn't respect my work and only looks at me as a check. F*ck that. I love the culture too much. If I ever sign with a major it will be because they genuinely love and respect my work. Even then I will push my company and continue to make money how we been making money. A major label isn't needed to make a dollar.
You’ve been quoted as saying that you’re determined to “do the opposite” of other artists in the music industry. How important is it for you to stand out?
It is part of being unique. I haven't heard a artist that makes music and speak on the streets from the point of view that I do. Especially at my age. I'm only 22 but I've experienced more than the average person should. I understand that this is nerd world right now and it will take me longer to achieve mainstream success because the majority of these artists that are gaining attention are nonthreatening, but I won't conform. The majority of artists that say that now are lying to themselves. They are afraid to say what's on their mind and they are happy a nigga like me is still on the come up. They will slowly become extinct when I come around.
Final Thoughts? Shouts? Confessions?
I would first of all like to thank you for being a part of the best tape that will be released this year and I will like to send my love to the people that have been supporting and the future supporters. Thank you all.