Spotlight: Despite His Name, Rain910 Is Here To Shed Light On His People’s Pain (Video)

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North Carolina has consistently proven itself to be a breeding ground for forward-thinking, soulful, and prolific MCs, a tradition be carried on today by Rain910. Hailing from the land of 9th Wonder, J. Cole, and Little Brother, the 27-year-old Fayetteville rapper and producer is currently surfing the waves he left pulsating throughout Hip-Hop with his recent performance on the BET Hip-Hop Awards, which he helped close out with a live cypher. A highly acclaimed battle rapper representing the Smack/URL TV movements, Rain910 released his EP Sunlight Through Bullet Holes earlier this year and is already getting set to drop a new album. A Perfect Day to Die drops November 13 and features Paul Wall, amongst others. Ahead of its release, he spoke with Ambrosia for Heads about the driving forces behind his artistry and why he remains steadfastly outspoken.

Rain’s cyphers were applauded by many for the choice in content, which included themes of social justice, particularly involving racism. As a returning performer, he chose to take the ceremony’s huge platform into account when constructing his bars, telling Ambrosia for Heads that during the Awards, he’s “more focused on saying something the world needs to hear. I could’ve easily took the stage and bragged about myself, what girl I’m seeing, how much my chain cost…but what justice would I be doing?” The quest for justice works both ways for him; he simultaneously aims to do justice to his community while also being acutely aware of the lack of justice he sees being returned by society. “My inspiration comes with the fear of being next. The next young Black man to be murdered by a cop. The next innocent man to be buried without justice. I get pulled over all the time for driving while Black. I feel it’s only right to shine light on it before it’s too late.”

On A Perfect Day to Die, Rain directs that message of awareness and self-determination on “Blow Me Away,” a single with an accompanying video that is thought-provoking and directed in particular to the youth who are often claimed by the streets, whether through violence or incarceration. In the video, a young man is followed as he becomes attracted to the money, power, and perks of a hustler lifestyle, and the message is universal. “I do know a lot of young men that remind me of the character at hand,” he shares. “I see it every day. I was him. I once followed the older hustler in order to live a life that wasn’t dormant. We all strive to live a life above average and where I’m from, sometimes the only people you see living that lifestyle are drug dealers.” Far from anecdotal, the inspiration behind the song and video’s concept is something he hopes he can reach on a larger scale. “I can’t speak for every artist but I feel it is important for me to give these young people the game before they end up dead or in jail. I want the most for my people and I will always try my best to make sure they are equipped with enough game to survive.”

Heads can watch the powerful visuals below and can hear the album’s latest single, “Too Many,” featuring Paul Wall.

Related: Ambrosia for Heads Spotlight Series