Music

Reneé Rapp Wanted to ‘Start Conversations’ Around Sexual Assault With Her Song ‘Snow Angel’

Over the last year, Reneé Rapp quickly became one of the internet’s favorite celebrities thanks to her phenomenal singing voice and her trenchant humor. Now, the Mean Girls star would like to get real for a second.

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In an interview for the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, Rapp spoke candidly about her song “Snow Angel,” the lead single off her 2023 album of the same name, and how it was inspired by an “incredibly traumatic” event involving sexual assault. “I still feel like I’m sorting through those feelings … and it feels weird to talk about because I don’t remember it,” she said. “I recently was like, ‘I actually don’t want to follow this person on Instagram anymore because they left me at a club to get drugged’ … I woke up on a bathroom stall, face up in The Beverly Hilton with blood on my pants. And had been left alone at that point for, like, seven hours.”

That specific scenario not only inspired the lyrics of the song, but also Rapp’s viral performance of the track on Saturday Night Live. “I was like, ‘OK, well, when we do SNL, if I’m doing this [song], I am doing this,’” she said. “I will be on a red floor and I need to start laying down because that’s how I woke up. And there should be red underneath me and I should be in all white.”

Since releasing the song, fans have praised Rapp’s candor and celebrated the track for its depiction of trauma, which is a discussion the singer says she had hoped to spark. “Ultimately, I’m not making music to just make music. I’m making music to start conversations. My idols make culture, my idols start conversation,” she said, adding that plenty of fans have brought their own perceptions of the song to the table. “I wanted to have ‘Snow Angel’ come out and it be confusing and left up to interpretation. And I still see so many funny takes now that are like, ‘Well, this song is clearly about when she was doing heroin.’ And I’m like, ‘You’re amazing, and I love your creativity.’”

Elsewhere in her wide-ranging interview, Rapp spoke about pitching herself to her label as “the bisexual Justin Bieber.” (Rapp now identifies as a lesbian.) “That boy is still cute to me, sorry. And he also, I think, has a similar [love] of R&B,” she explained. “He reminds me of a really sexy lesbian. Just the way he walks around and moves onstage and always has this demeanor that’s chill, sings his a– off, dresses really cool.”

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The singer added that her role as Leighton on the hit Max series The Sex Lives of College Girls profoundly impacted the way she came out publicly. “Being celebrated for being out because of a TV show or celebrity or success or something was really interesting because I think it forced a lot of people in my life and my family to have to accept me in a weird way,” she explained. “That [show] was the most parallel experience in my life, and I remember doing that specific coming-out scene and not acting at all. At all. I was just sobbing.”

Rapp is currently closing out the final dates of her Snow Hard Feelings world tour in the U.K. During a recent show in Paris, Rapp performed a cover of Beyoncé’s 2016 country track “Daddy Lessons” in celebration of the superstar’s return to the genre — which prompted Queen Bey to send the “Poison Poison” singer a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gift.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can reach out to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The organization provides free, confidential support to sexual assault victims. Call RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) or visit the anti-sexual violence organization’s website for more information.

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