Reneé Rapp's song about sexual assault has inspired fans to come forward — 'This happened to me.'

Renee Rapp laying on a bed, singing, in her "Snow Angel" music video

Reneé Rapp has had a busy start to 2024, turning heads as Regina George in “Mean Girls” and earning praise for her “Saturday Night Live” debut. But one of Rapp’s biggest points of pride in the last year has been the release — and subsequent deluxe re-release — of her album Snow Angel

“Ultimately, I’m not making music to just make music,” Rapp told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that hit newsstands on February 28. “I’m making music to start conversations. My idols make culture, my idols start conversation. That’s what I love.” 

In the album’s titular track “Snow Angel,” Rapp sings: “Smiles hide what secrets keep / Can't tell a lie if you never speak.” 

Initially, Rapp wanted fans to derive their own meaning from the song, but she has since begun openly sharing the song’s true origin: being drugged and assaulted at a party. 

“I woke up on a bathroom stall, face up in The Beverly Hilton with blood on my pants,” Rapp recalled. “And had been left alone at that point for like seven hours.” 

Rapp said that she’s still “sorting through” the feelings that have stayed with her after her traumatic experience. But she’s also felt validation in speaking up. 

Renee Rapp stands in the snow, looking up, in the "Snow Angel" music video
A screenshot of Rapp's "Snow Angel" music video. Photo courtesy of Interscrope Records

“I wanted to have ‘Snow Angel’ come out and it be confusing and left up to interpretation. … But I think that now that I’ve talked about it and now that it’s been a public thing, I hear more people being like, ‘This has happened to me,’” Rapp shared. 

Rapp said that the whole experience has also revealed how isolated she felt at that time in her life, and how she wishes she had been given better tools to process it. 

“I think that if I was taught and spoken to about what assault is — obviously it’s really difficult to prevent that or prevent being abandoned by a group of friends at a hotel bar — [but] I would love to have had more emphasis on what assault was and how to handle it,” Rapp said. 

In a podcast episode with Jay Shetty, Rapp dove deeper into her experience. Months later, clips from their video interview are still making the rounds on TikTok. Under each video, the comment section is flooded with fans who have personal experiences that mirror Rapps, from college parties to nights out at the bar. 

“This is such a hauntingly relatable experience for so many people,” a fan shared. 

“This reminded me of one of the scariest times in my life,” one user commented. “I hope everyone who has been through something similar is doing okay.” 

“I had a very similar situation,” another said. “This song grips me hard and will always be with me.”

Header image courtesy of Interscope Records

Article Details

February 28, 2024 8:12 AM
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