Canadian/Moroccan singer-songwriter Rime Salmi and LA-based hip-hop artist Matt Nye have teamed up for an emotional hip-hop single, “Gaslight.” The song explores the complexities of a toxic relationship, and a victim being pulled between their partner’s manipulation and the reality their friend is trying to make them see.
An emotive piano line and haunting Ney (arabic flute) are accompanied by an intricate beat. Matt’s clever, ferocious storytelling verses contrast with Rime’s passionate, pleading refrains.
Rime and Matt met at a slam poetry class in LA. Nearly two years later, they met up to work together. Rime opened up to Matt about what was on her mind before the session.
She says, “I have a good friend who is in a relationship that has been very toxic for a long time. I’ve been there to support her, every time she left, every time she almost left, but she chose to go back to him, time after time. At some point it became toxic for me and I had to let it go. This song is a cry for help, an painful outrage. It’s all the things I wish she would see, and see in herself, her strength and beauty, and all the things I wish I could say to him. It’s also an attempt to let it go and let it be. A form of closure, a way of accepting my helplessness, for now at least.”
Matt takes on the role of the toxic person, while Rime’s position is a friend that's trying to help their friend get out. The song exposes the tactics of a manipulator: playing on his partner’s insecurities, threatening self-harm, distancing her from her friends, putting her down and convincing her of her own weakness. He also reveals his own insecurities and abandonment issues and at times succeeds in making us sympathize with him.