Roses

Album: While the World Was Burning (2016)
Charted: 1 4
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Songfacts®:

  • Carlos St. John is a Brooklyn, New York rapper and singer of Guyanese descent who records under the name of Saint Jhn. He started out as a songwriter, co-penning tunes for Kiesza ("Bad Thing," "Sound Of A Woman") and Usher ("Crash" and "Rivals"). In 2019, St. John featured on Beyoncé's The Lion King single "Brown Skin Girl."

    The Guyanese-American rapper released his first song under the moniker Saint Jhn in 2016. Titled "1999," the rap tune was followed by the more urban-influenced "Roses" that same year.
  • The song has a dark feel, inspired by the 2000 movie Werckmeister Harmonies, which is set in a desolate, Hungarian small town in Communist times. Saint Jhn explained to Cinema Thread that he had the film on mute in the studio at the same as he was recording. Visually, it caught his attention, and he came up with some music based on the feeling it gave him.

    Saint Jhn finished up with "Roses," which he said "felt like the perfect record to use as a score to this almost cannibalistic type of visual, and I say cannibalistic because it felt so raw, it felt so f---ing primal and almost so offensive."
  • In 2019, teenage Kazakh producer Imanbek Zeikenov remixed "Roses" and released it as a single. His version retains the trap feel of the original track but introduces a sturdier bassline and pace.

    Zeikenov's version initially bloomed in Eastern Europe before gaining traction in the West and charting throughout the continent.
  • Both the Imanbek Remix and a second remix featuring Future are included on Saint Jhn's third album, While the World Was Burning.
  • Saint Jhn originally wrote this song for Beyoncé to perform several years before he collaborated with her on "Brown Skin Girl." He told Apple Music host Ebro Darden that back in 2016 someone from Bey's team got word to him that Beyoncé was looking for ideas. So he set out to write something the "Halo" singer had never done before. "In my mind, if Beyoncé did that at the time, it would have been revolutionary for what she was doing," he added. "She ain't never do this. And they passed. And I had to put it out, because it's too good."
  • The Imanbek remix won the Grammy Award in 2021 for Best Remixed Recording.

Comments: 5

  • Haha from HahaHaha, you ni--as know exactly what the song and video mean and which system they are talking about but you are going round and round around the subject, haha, dont play dumb with me or anyone, f--k you
  • Earl Johnson from MiamiJamal... almost but not right... this song is about the helpless getting so feed up with being oppressed that they rise up in anger and violence and destroy everything in front of them... the song is about rebellion and don’t push me because you not going to be able to handle me when I turn up the heat... the movie that inspires it goes a little further.
  • Shane from Portage WiSaint Jhn was slated to do a video to this remix, but in light of the protests, he instead donated the money for the video to bail out protesters that were jailed. That's real s--t
  • Jamal R. from Yonkers, NyImpressed?? He is Portraying a Love of Destruction of Everything Holy and the Overall destruction of what furthers the human race - A Hierarchy. And everything wrong with Black Culture which is the Cause of destruction for Black, is in this video. And it's LOVED? And everyone wonders why this is such destruction in the streets. The data doesn't at All back up police brutality. And this keeps people believing they have a Right to destroy.
  • Lisa from Sacramento, CaWow... I'm really surprised to find the true depth of that song. I love the beat, the lyrics kinda threw me so I wanted to understand it better. I'm very impressed with the singer, Saint Jhn, and his depth as a songwriter.
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