7) Le Rêve
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Sometime immediately after I released "Midnight Metropolis" in September 2016, I was at work trying to decide what music I should listen to while working. In particular, I was looking for something that would provide ideas for a new instrumental. Since the French-impressionist-influenced-hip-hop theme was still on my brain, I decided to listen to more Debussy. So I opened Apple Music, searched Claude Debussy, and played the first song that I came across, which was titled "Rêverie." After pressing play, I didn't even make it past the 0:34 mark before getting an idea for a song. I immediately restarted the song and listened to that section again, particularly the part that starts at 0:25. After listening to the same section about 10 more times, I came up with an idea for a song that would tell an in-depth love story about a seemingly perfect relationship just for the narrator to wake up at the end and realize that he was dreaming the entire time. The beat would be based off of the section from 0:25 to 0:34 and be titled "Le Rêve" ("The Dream" in english) to pay homage to the original song that it's based off of.
I made the entire beat as soon as I got home that night. Since I was trying to go sample free on this album, I transcribed the 0:25-0:34 "Rêverie" section and rearranged it to fit the timing of a hip-hop song. I ended up placing a sample at the very beginning though in order to show the listener where I got the idea for the song from. 35 seconds is too long for an instrumental intro though so I decided that a spoken word piece would sound good there. This caused me to contact a friend of mine who does spoken word to write and perform a piece for the intro. He agreed to do it so I turned my attention to writing the lyrics. I eventually decided that the first verse would talk about the initial attraction to someone, the second verse would talk about getting to know them throughout the next few weeks/ months, and the third verse would talk about the how the relationship ended up playing out in the long-run.
Once I came up with the song concept and structure, I put off writing it for a long time. Why? I flat out didn't think I was capable of writing it. I've never been in a successful relationship before and I wasn't even sure of what I was looking for in a relationship at the time. Additionally, I wanted other people to relate to this song and I didn't know if that would happen if I wrote about my own vision of a perfect relationship. Eventually, I just forced myself to write a draft by thinking about the positive qualities of every woman I have ever dated, been close to, or had a crush on and combined them into one person. Since I'm super paranoid about writing corny music that people will laugh at, writing this was a bit of a nightmare. Many lines were deleted, many sections were rewritten, and, much like "Midnight Metropolis," I almost gave up on it multiple times. I eventually persevered, however, and I remember telling one of my friends at the time that it was the best song I had ever written.
Before I finished writing the lyrics, my spoken word friend had already finished writing his poem and showed it to me. I thought it was dope and fit the concept of the song but I told him to not record it until I recorded my lyrics just in case anything in my verse made him want to change anything. So after I recorded my part, I sent the resulting draft to him so he could finalize and record his part. What happened instead, however, is he called me up and said that he could no longer be on the song because I talked about sex on the second verse. Since he's a Christian who doesn't believe in sex before marriage, he believed that being on the song indicated that he supported premarital sex and that was a "line that [he] could not cross." So after some arguing and contacting other friends who were too busy to appear on the song, I was left with no choice but to write and record my very first spoken word piece for the intro of this song. This resulted in me writing (and rewriting like a million times) a poem about how when most people fall in love with someone, they fall in love with an image of that person or the person that they want them to be, not the person who they actually are. I had almost no confidence that the poem was good though and after I recorded it, I almost cut the entire song from the album altogether. It wasn't until multiple people listened to it and told me to keep it that this song's place on the album was secured.