Single Review: Ashanti “Rain On Me”

Rain On Me
Album: Chapter II
Year: 2003

There are not many songs out there addressing rape (other than Tori Amos’ “Me and A Gun” and Fiona Apple’s “Sullen Girl”), domestic issue seems to get at least some time. In “Rain On Me,” Ashanti sings about being involved in a relationship with domestic violence. In the first verse, she is looking at herself in the mirror knowing that she needs to leave her boyfriend. She is dealing with depression because of the situation. This is her second time being in a relationship like this, but this time she’s afraid for her life. (” I’m looking in the mirror at this woman down and out…I don’t want to be this woman the second time around/’Cause I’m waking up screaming/no longer believing/that I’m going to be around”).

She finally seeks her faith to guide her out of this relationship (“Rain on me
Lord, won’t you take this pain from me/I don’t wanna live/I don’t wanna breathe”). She is wishing to be re-born perhaps as a stronger or new person.

In the second verse, she reveals that she cries herself to sleep every night, agonizing about what she is going to do. However, she is tired of having low self-esteem and being tense all the time (“See, I don’t wanna hug my pillow late at night no more/I’m tossin’ and turnin’ and thinkin’ about burning down these walls/I don’t want to fuel this fire no more, no more, no more”).

In the bridge, she knows she has to get out and seems to ready to leave (“‘Cause sometimes I can’t sleep at night/and this here it just don’t seem right/sometimes I just wonder why I almost let my life go by”).

The songwriting of the single has a strong point. It doesn’t read like a “10 Signs You Should Look Out For in A Partner” brochure. There’s some effort to talk about the emotional aspects of domestic violence rather than only a list of personality qualities found in an abuser. However, she doesn’t make a break from him. Instead of the unnecessary pre-choruses which only repeat the previous verse’s ideas another verse could have been added. It could’ve been how she felt leaving him.

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