Words by Brinsley Chidavaenzi
As with all powerful records; they have to be ability to be emotionally moving, have a healing effect on you or you can even be transformed by them. We feel music. Music can’t feel us, as the saying goes.
The deep cut entitled “The Rain” on DMX’s 5th offering ‘Grand Champ’ is a track that hits heavier in his passing.
‘The Rain’ is a track that plays with homonyms and multiple meanings embedded within its lyricism and imagery.
Rain, reign, rein are the three that come to mind.
Rain falls from the sky
Rein is to control
Reign is a period of rule
Definitely not a choice of coincidence but rather a device to illustrate the different shades and angles to explore his desires and obstacles from.
It’s a plea to God, it’s a plea to himself for salvation, an acceptance of only himself that change his own actions, an acceptance of how the influence he can have with acquiring the Lord’s word into practice. Ultimately a plea for life.
This in conjunction with the prayers throughout the rest of his studio catalogue are poignant; as this mood wasn’t only for one song, but rather a discography filled with aggression, violence, pain, and force. (that should be looked at within the context of 70’s and 80’s America and a heteronormative society verging from Christianity to a more secularist social and inclusive framework.)
Slippin is the obvious masterpiece and heart mover for anyone to hear, as DMX effectively tells his life story in less than 5 minutes with tearful, introspective horns. But ‘The Rain’ should be looked into as well – as the track is mantric and determined with fiery self-analysis and contemplation.
Rest in Power, DMX.