“I call the project Bigga than Life because it’s really my trip through my life thus far,” says Rainman. “I’m making you see everything through my eyes. There’s nothing fake or phony about it.”
Rainman’s quest for hip hop superstardom started at birth when his mother used to play popular blues and soul records around their Shady Oaks home. Even though Shady Oaks is considered one of the roughest hoods in the City, Rainman’s early childhood was relatively good. He was blessed to have both parents in his life up until the age of nine when his father and mother parted ways. At that point, things started unraveling.
“Basically since I’ve been nine I’ve been wildin’ out,” says Rainman. “You know how you go from being good to doing all type of wild shit because you come from a one-parent home. My mom tried to hold it down as best she could but I had to grow up fast.”
Growing fast meant learning the ways of the streets. By the time Rainman was in his early teens he had already learned that he could make more money selling weed to his peers at school than he could working as a grocery store bag boy. Rainman started hustling in junior high by the time he reached high school he had graduated to harder illegal substances. “I was just trying to get me a little change at the time,” he explains. “So I jumped off into a lotta stuff that I shouldn’t have.” Even though Rainman was hustling in the streets he was also deep into his first love, music.
“I started getting’ into music real early, I used to buy the little 45s and 12 inches and shit with the money my mama used to give me when I was young. Rap had came up and I used to love [RunDMC], especially Jam Master J on the turntables. Everything I seen them do I tried it.”
According to Rainman his interest in rap actually started in 8th grade but it took him four years before he actually started to take the art of MCing seriously. That soon led him into a local studio where he recorded his first underground single entitled “Swing the Bass” in the mid 90s and took it to the local DJs. They liked it enough to play it on their popular mix show and the record became a local hit. After that Rainman was hooked. Calling himself Rated X, he hit the streets of Jack Town doing numerous shows. It was at one of these shows that the fledging lyricist caught the eye of Mellow T, founder of the legendary Mississippi group Wildliffe Society. Mellow asked him to join the crew as the lead rapper. Rainman accepted and a year later Wildliffe Society inked a deal with TVT’s Blunt Recordings and released their critically acclaimed album, Jack Town 601. The record was a critical success, garnering rave reviews, but it failed to do as well in sales. By 1998, Wildliffe Society had called it quits, leaving Rainman on his own.
Although he recorded several singles under the name Xtiano for different local labels, money remained extremely tight for Rainman. With his back against the wall Rainman turned to the one thing he knew would put real money in his pocket, hustling. According to Rainman that was one of the darkest periods of his life.
“Man that was a real draining period of my life,” says a somber Rainman his baritone voice heavy with pain. “It was real earth-shattering for me. For me to like be at the door of success….and to have it all go sour on me because folks couldn’t get along.”
Fortunately for him fate would intervene with a phone call from one of his childhood friends who had moved to Long Beach. Upon hearing about how Rainman was once again back to his old ways he invited him to come to California for a fresh start. In 2003, Rainman moved to California and started hanging out at the barber shop where his friend cut hair. It was there he met a girl name Robin who in his words would change his life. Robin was Snoop Dogg’s god sister and she had plenty of connects in the music industry. Believing in his talent she introduced him to various producers who helped Rainman record a demo. After a year of working on his demo Rainman got frustrated at the slow pace his career was going and decide to move back home only end up doing the very thing he was trying to escape, hustling. Again fate stepped in with another phone call when Robin asked him to be a hype man for a rapper who was doing a showcase for some hi-powered industry execs. It would be a gig that would literally change his life.
While on stage performing a well-connected attorney spotted Rainman and asked him for his demo tape. “I gave him the demo and went back to Mississippi to do what I normally do to survive.” The attorney gave the tape to Marc Tanner, CEO of Chime Entertainment. A year later Tanner signed Rainman to a development deal and they begin working on what would ultimately become the Bigga than Life LP.
“Basically I did music until he felt I was at a point to where I was ready,’ say Rainman. “I’ve got a great support team. I got all the proper funding I need. I got a great album. I got a great label, I got me and I got God –that’s all the support I need to win. I can’t be beat.”
Produced by stalwart producers David Banner, DJ Speedy (Young Jeezy), the Co-Stars (Rhiana, Fantasia, Mya, et al) and newcomer Dap as well as stellar guest appearances by David Banner, Lil Flip and Slick Pulla of Young Jeezy’s USDA crew; Bigga then Life contains a bevy of blazing tracks that run the gamut of down south club bangers that will set butts in perpetual motion to straight up hardcore gangsta music.
The album’s lead single “Country Girl” featuring Lil Flip is an rump-shaking ode to those down south divas. Built around a pounding 808 kick with hypnotic rhythm “Country Girl” may well be the new anthem for thick Southern girls. On the David Banner produced “Hustlers”, Rainman is joined by his fellow Mississippian as they drop lyrical heat over a crunked-out beat. If you’re looking for a little street savvy gangsta music, check out the menacing tracks “Out Here” feat. Slick Pulla and “Talk Dat Shit”. “Both of them tracks are bangin’,” says Rainman. “I think that every real nigga on the street is gonna feel those two songs as well everything else on Bigga than Life because real recognize real all over the world.”