Florida-based rapper RAWSRVNT talks us through each track on his latest 'Shut It Down' release
"There Go That Man"
"Mama, there goes that man" is a phrase made famous by NBA-player-turned-broadcaster Mark Jackson. The verbal meme's original meaning appeared to be that of a fictional young boy trying to draw his parent's attention toward a typical "bad guy." But today, it's a statement about excellence. Its speakers are using it to express awe at a performance that is simply astounding. It's with this mindset that veteran rapper Lil Raskull and I offer our take on the term. In our song, it's about picking yourself up and pointing people to the One who gives you strength. "God forgive me for the time I lost it, doubted it, and just fell apart." That's what this track is about. I'm digging in and standing up. I'm not letting disappointments or failures hold me back. It's time to let my faith arise and do what I've been wired and destined to do. It's time to deliver!
There are many times in life when we simply have to push everything we own into the centre of the table and bet on ourselves to claim victory. In poker terms it's called being "all in" and this song offers a soundtrack for that concentrated conviction. I add my voice both in front of and behind veterans like Pettidee and Teron Carter (of GRITS fame) to build an anthem ideal for collegiate competitions or a battle between seasoned professionals.
When temperatures are low enough to create ice, one can expect things to move a little more slowly. "Ice" is a song I wrote for my brother, Bobby Puyol, who recently completed his college football career and will soon be chasing his NFL dreams with the Baltimore Ravens. I tell Bobby he has "ice in his veins" as a way of building up my little brother's confidence before each kick. The song's easy vibe continues with guest artist Greg Cooks who brings his native-Houston drawl to a leisurely laid track with a chopped-n-screwed hook.
I recognise some Christians may take issue with my use of the phrase "So the hell with what you think" line. But in the faith, we believe that anything that doesn't line up with the word of God is a lie and from the pit of hell. So likewise, if you don't believe in me or think I can't accomplish what I set my heart after doing then to hell with what you think. Those thoughts literally should be sent to hell and burned up because it doesn't have any place in my life nor should it be the talk of a believer.
"Shut It Down"
I would call this motivational music. I'm trying to speak power into existence as I mentally prepare myself and my listeners to tackle any obstacle put in front of us. I share a favourite personal mantra: "When a door opens I crush the hinges off so it doesn't even have a chance to close on me" and go on to say what's mine is mine and the only thing stopping me from getting it is ME. You have to go hard and not back down. Hence the "Shut It Down" mindset of lyrics like "You stack the chips against me?/My deepest sympathy." Rapper Pyrexx also adds street-strong verses about how he operates with a similar outlook.
"On The Line"
"When I wrote the verses for "On The Line" I had my kids in mind. As a matter of fact, my youngest daughter Olivia really fell in love with the song as I would play the beat for her when I put her down for a nap. A lot of the words came to me when I was with her and my oldest daughter Ava. Then, I saw how God says the same lines to me. I was able to connect it back to him and sing it to him as well. I also correlated the lyrics to the love I have for my wife. It's a real LOVE record! Such a heartfelt vibe to it. "On The Line" taps the sing-songy punchline raps of Philadelphia emcee Japhia Life and provides a perfect showcase for my pop side.