Main Question: How do the social-cultural, racial, political factors influence the content and purpose of certain rap music and what is the EFFECT?
Chapter I, introduction to the pws: What made hip hop the way it is today?
To answer this sub-question it is important to first of all establish some background information on Hip Hop music, both as a genre and as a culture. Next to that, further explanation will be given on how we can define rap, in terms of all different music components. Also, to understand hip hop in it’s present state a look into the history , where we find the origin of hip hop as a music style, and the formation of the genre that resulted in the major popularity.
Hip hop as music genre and culture
As Defined by many experts,”Hip Hop music is a genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping.” It developed as part of a hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, breakdancing and graffiti writing. Wikipedia says that ”the commonly made mistake is the generalisation of hip hop into the art of rapping, while hip hop more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture”. as showed by many famous rappers It is often used synonymously with the term rap music, though it is not a required component of hip hop music. They mainly talk about Rapping, as about hip-hopping. This is more used for the breakdance culture.
Hip hop as music and culture formed during the 1970 when block parties became more popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx, which is the northernmost of the five boroughs of NYC. At these block parties, DJ’s played breaks of popular songs using two turntables. It’s early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum-machines became more available and affordable. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks along with an instrumental or synthesized beat. The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop as the genre developed into more complex styles. Before the 1980s, hip hop was largely settled in the United States, while during the 1980s it became a part of the music scene in dozens of countries.
New school hip hop introduces the second wave of hip hop, originating in 1983-1984 with early records by artists such as Run-D.M.C and LL Cool J. the Golden age hip hop period lasted between the mid-1980s and the early 1990. It is described as the period where Hip hop reached it’s peak, in terms of popularity and diversity. It includes bands such as Public Enemy and A Tribe Called quest. parallel with this period Gangsta Rap emerged. Gangsta rap is a sub genre that reflects the violent lifestyles Of American black Youth’s, and the suppressed condition they lived in with focus on their economical and social situation. N.W.A (Niggaz With Attitude) is the group that’s most often associated with the founding of gangsta rap. In the West Coast hip hop style, G-Funk ruled mainstream hip hop for several years. Wikipedia shows that ” East Coast hip hop in the early 1990s was dominated by Native Tongues and artist such as Nas and Notorious B.I.G.”
In the 1990s, hip hop started to diversify within other regional styles, and finally emerged on the national scene with Southern rap and Atlanta hip hop. Simultaneously, hip hop continued to be assimilated into other music genres such as Neo Soul. It became a best selling music genre in the mid-1990s and reached the top by 1999. It continued its popularity throughout the 2000s. Dr. Dre and Eminem played important roles in this development. Hip hop influences also began to show up into mainstream pop during the mid-2000s. The United States also saw the success of alternative hip hop styles such as Crunk; a style that emphasizes the beat more than the lyrics. During the mid-2000s the Alternative hip hop started securing its place in the music industry with the success of artists such as Kanye West and Jay-Z.
How to define rap:
Rapping is ” spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics”. The main components of rapping include content, flow and delivery. It is a distinct from spoken word poetry in the way that it is performed in time to a beat. Besides that, it is often associated with a primary ingredient of hip hop music, however the origins of this phenomenon can be said to pre-date hip hop by centuries. Even though it is mainly linked to the hip hop culture, it can also be found in alternative rock such as Cake/the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Since the early 21st century, rap has been realized in every major language in the world. Today, the term rap is so closely associated with hip hop that the term hip hop is generalised in rap . There are different ways in which rapping can be presented. Here we divide delivering throughout a beat, which occurs most and rapping without accompaniment, also known as Accapella. Most of the rap occupies the area between speech, prose, poetry and singing. The word itself as used to describe quick speech originates from the musical form, back in the 16th century.
The roots of rap
Rapping originated with African Roots. Centuries before hip hop music existed, tribes from West Africa delivered stories rhythmically over drums and scarce instrumentation. Blues Music, rooted in the work motivation songs of slavery and influenced greatly by West African Traditions was the result of this phenomenon. Famous blues musicians have argued over the question whether the blues were rapped as early as the 1920s. Elijah Wald, Grammy winning Blues artist even called hip hop ” the living blues”. Jazz, which developed mainly from blues, has also been a great influence, and is even called the precursor of hip hop. Not only the music, but also the jazz poetry. John Sobol, a famous jazz musician, says that rap ” bears a striking resemblance to the evolution of jazz both stylistically and formally”. Funk music also had a great influence on the upcoming hip hop in the middle ’60s.
Rap involves a lot of different problems/issues.
Conclusion to chapter I:
To give an conclusion on chapter one, It can be said that Hip hop as many different influences that form it’s whole. This involves various other music genres such as Jazz and Blues, different places on the earth like Africa where it Originates from and America, where it developed itself. It was also adapted and interpreted by different artists who gave it their own swing. In that way, rap became very diverse with many roots that went their own way. They found out different instruments, different programs to create their beats and brought it to a very popular genre for a long period. Therefore it is impossible to talk about one factor when answering the question what created hip hop the way it is today. It changed dramatically in the past 50 years, and the problems that were addressed back when hip hop started developing are still valid today. Due to this the hip hop of today got majorly influenced by the problems back then, because they are not solved; still many people live in poverty, with a lack of primary needs, help provided by the government and discriminating circumstances.
Chapter II: how can we define the social, cultural and political problems addressed in various kinds of rap?
there are many different kinds of rap, which makes the term rap on its own way to broad. therefore, rappers are also places into certain categories. For example, 2pac was known as a gangsta rapper mainly because of his attitude towards the police and the harshe society of the stages in his life. He swerved around in the drug world since he was young, which made him go to jail several times which can be linked to his contact with police. This resulted in songs with aggression and frustration presented to the world. Furthermore, there are also rappers such as Jay-z, who are extremely self glorifying in their songs. Such rappers belong to the style battle rap. They often use hyperboles to express themselves better, wealthier and more successful than they actually are. Most of the times, this is accompanied by verbal insults directed to other rappers or social groups.
Rap is way too diverse with all these various sub genres, and it also changes over time. Because of these differences the names for the styles are created and categorized through similarities certain artists have. To get an general impression of the diversity, here is a list of the most important rap subgenres. In the analysis of these various kinds of rap, you can find the main reasons and statements why the lyrics linked to these genres often address problems and issues in the world, on the social cultural, ethical and political levels. An overpowering part of these problems occur on a daily basis, that’s why certain rappers want to make a clear statement to the society. Most of the times this takes us back into the past, falling back on the contradiction between black and white people. The main reason for this is because the rappers representing the slums and the ghetto’s that they came from most of the times are Afro American; a tribe with a traumatizing background.
Gangsta Rap is one of the overall aggressive sounding genres in the rapscene both lyrical and via the usage of heavy beats. The subjects inherent in gangsta rap has caused much criticism, both left and right wing. Gangsta rap is accused of promoting genres such as crime, serial killing, violence, homophobia, racism, rape and many more negative descriptions. However, many black rappers such as Ice-T and Sister Souljah contend that ”they are being unfairly judged, because their music reflects deep changes in society not being addressed anywhere else in public forum”. Wikipedia states; ”The white politicians, artists complain, do not understand the music nor desire to hear what is going on in the devastated communities that gave birth to the art form.” Sister Souljah, a rapper back in the late 80s told journalist Chuck Phillips that ”The reason why rap is under attack is because it exposes all the contradictions of American culture …What started out as an underground art form has become a vehicle to expose a lot of critical issues that are not usually discussed in American politics.
The problem here is that the White House and wannabes like Bill Clinton represent a political system that never intends to deal with inner city urban chaos”. as a result of these violent themes gangsta rap publically doesn’t have the best view by society, and therefore is used to mislead casual music listeners thinking that all rap is that aggressive during the 1990s when it became best known. Gangsta rappers often defend themselves by saying that they describe the reality of the inner-city life with all it’s struggles. Some of them behave in a way that they do not necessarily participate. They are just painting fantasies, rapping about violence and drug dealing while in fact those are topics they don’t actually know anything about. It is the courage and the spirit to say things such as ”fuck the police” which makes them successful, because many people do not have the guts to say such things. In this world of gangsta rap, you have the emotion and perspective of marginalized people constantly being overlooked, berated and belittled by society. Those people used gangsta rap as a vent to tell their stories. The genre involves some of the most well known rap artists of the overall rap genre, like 2pac, The Notorious B.I.G, Ice cube and Eazy E. These are, however, all rappers that grew up and expanded their carreer in the 1980s, also 2pac and The Notorious B.I.G are both death. Nowadays, Gangsta rap is represented by rappers who claimed a spot in the rap scene a long time ago and rappers of this generation who are fanatically representing the ‘old-skool flow’, trying to bring the ‘old skool’ and underground hip hop back.The reason that artists and hip hop related persons miss-spell the world skool instead of saying school takes us to the pronunciation. ‘ch’ is pronounced as ‘k’, which is the main reason why they write down skool. It also adds up to the ‘anti-mainstream style’ these rappers wanna represent. Everyone would say ‘school’ but their style is different from the rest so they deform the word so that they don’t fit in with the rest, but show off their own characteristics. Some examples of these rappers are Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown, Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, Kendrick Lamar and the Underachievers. A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg
Is a genre for artists who have a concrete message they wish to share. This is also the genre that i’m building my whole project on. Because this style can directly be linked to gangsta rap, it also shares many issues regarding the society’s. Conscious rap was mainly inspired by gangsta rap, because gangsta rap started with addressing the facts of lack in equal rights, economic disbalance together with the poverty in their hoods and so on. The lyrics regarding conscious rap usually contain information about their view on a some situation, whether it’s political, ethical or social cultural. The tracks of these politically/conscious rappers often tell a story and moral about life or shares the world thoughts on struggles that are faced, most of the times extremely expressive and deep. It’s variously identified traits are almost the exact opposite of pop rap, since it is the least socially recognised genre, making it least mainstream and turning it underground. Some notable conscious rappers are Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Joey Bada$$, Capital STEEZ, Common, Mos Def, MF DOOM, Earl Sweatshirt, Rejji Snow Tyler, the Creator and Method Man. Later in the argument, When the research on specific songs will go off, I will focus on the last 4 rappers. This argument is also specifically linked to the sub genre conscious rap. I will analyse their songs with precision and detail, to find out their similarities and differences.
Alternative rap is one of the more sub genres, which covers a huge variety of sounds. Therefore it is the primary name to call a sound that an artist makes but cannot instantly name the sound since not enough people share the sound or follow the same recognisable pattern. Because notable rappers usually fit in other categories like underground, experimental and indie and they mostly also carry influences from other genres, it is different to compare alternative sounds on to another. When calling an artist alternative, it gives the people an unclear line how they should define this person??s kind of music and pinning the artist to a sub genre creates complications and makes it way harder to categorise. Some notable alternative rappers are Earl Sweatshirt, Childish Gambino, N.E.R.D., A Tribe Called Quest, Chance the Rapper and Sage the Gemini.
Poprap, or also called hip hop is a genre that changes with the times. It is what becomes the most popular and the sound that you would mainly hear when hearing rap on the average radio. From this genre a lot of other sub genres emerged, but they are more identified by other names because they are not pop music anymore. Notable rappers are for example Lil’ Wayne, Tyga, Chris brown and Nicki Minaj.
The Trap genre of rap is described as sound derived from crunk and southern hip-rop It is an an aggressive or abrasive sounding rap which lyrically covers topics like drug usage, dealing and women (bitches). It started around 2000, as it continues developing and incorporating electronic music sounds. The chances are also there that it could potentially be the root of another sub genre as many Electronic Dance Music producers are getting involved in the rapscene, it could escalate into something entirely new. Notable artists are Wacka Flocka Flame, T.I, Juicy J and Young Jeezy.
Finally, there is Cloud rap. This is a style of hip hop music noted for its use of ”ethereal, dreamlike beats” and frequently surreal, absurd lyrics. Cloud rap, together with his cousin ”trillwave” is comparable to chillwave and other newbreed or newborn genres, both musically through its dreamy qualities, slow tempo lyrics with frequent repetition of words, and to its origin as an ”internet sub-subgenre” because the cloud rap producers collaborate through the internet. Experimental hip hop group cLOUDDEAD and avant-garde hip hop label Anticon, whose sound is rooted in hip hop but involves psychedelic influences and surreal lyrics have been addressed as a precedent to the genre. It is also said that they are at least partially responsible for the name name ”cloud rap” which indicates the wavy, dreamy beats and vocals. Some examples of cloud rappers are Yung Lean, Ecco2k, Yemi, Bones, Xavier Wulf and Chris Travis.
Conclusion to Chapter II:
To give a conclusion on this second sub question, there are many different ways of rapping together with many different ways in which rappers present their statements, feelings and situations on various issues through their lyrics. . For example, the pop rappers keep their songs general, without any intensifying on global aspects. They mostly rap about their own life, their own story and their own wealth. The content of their raps is not meant to spread a message, or to make a change regarding the lacks of society. Political/conscious rap however produces way more intensive lyrics, with a lot of wordplay and knowledge of the english language. Their goal is to actually reach their public with a message, whether this is about a political, social cultural or ethical problem. Despite the fact that these rappers are way less recognised by the global public, they are the one who follow the footsteps of the infamous old school rappers, who started stating these political, social and racial problems. a lot of these 90’s rappers came up with lyrics about their ethnicity as dark skinned persons , because discrimination was a big problem back then. Even though all races should have gotten the same rights, many dark skinned people were still defined as less. They were linked to poverty in the United States because of their stay in deprived areas, whereas these areas were directly associated with criminality in various ways. Another problem these rappers encountered was their lack of representation in the government. There were no dark skinned in the parliament, without a good reason. This lead to the expression of their feeling towards their situation, resulting in powerful lyrics where the country got criticized and where their life in the ”hood” got described.
Chapter III: What are four typical rappers that are influenced by the various issues in their environment and provide those issues in their songs?
To address this question I conducted research by Contacting some of my friends who are also fanatics of hip hop, including DJ by the name of Try Ange. I asked them their personal view on what they thought were the best rappers when it comes to the use of conscience.they all reacted differently, some with similar rappers but all with a different view on what can be described as good. Many rappers try to spread their message through some sort of manipulation. They bring it with such fanaticism and power, that we understand what they are saying and how. of course there are thousands of rappers to choose from, because there are simply enough smart and knowledgeful rappers. Each of them resemble their own style, and that makes rap so diverse and abstract. my choice also got influenced by personal taste and experience, Because I’m listening to hip hop quite a lot. When I listen to some good conscious rap, I do not only pay attention to the beat or to the objective part of the lyrics, but I have a passion to dig into the lyrics and completely analyse/deconstruct them to get to know what they are actually saying. Together with this, there are many arguments on social media, where people debate about information in specific rap songs, as well as differences in rappers himself. All these different sources made it difficult to be objective about my choice of artists. After all, my own opinion counts the most, and because I put effort in aggregating information regarding many artist, I made a final choice.
This final choice led to two different rap groups, namely Black Hippy from South Central, Los Angeles, California and Pro Era from Brooklyn, NYC. Here I chose 2 rappers out of each group, to make sure I will get enough diversity. The two Rappers I chose from Black Hippy are Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul, and the two from Pro Era that I chose are Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ. The reason that these four rappers are good choices when referring back to the sub question is because they clearly represent the social, political and ethical problems they came across in their past before they became successful. The way in which they address these problems, is simply prodigious. Each of them clearly shows his own style, though when It comes to addressing problems and showing this in knowledge they can all be placed in the category of word wizards. To show how each of these four artists became masters in the art of rap and how they are useful to answer my main question I will provide some general information and how they stand out in the rap game with their knowledge of issues and their way of presenting this. Because the subject of Hip Hop in the USA is extremely limited here in Holland, the only sources I could trust where The internet and Myself. Therefore, the explanation involves a lot of information from the web, changed into my own words. I really find this a pity, because my goal was to make this PWS my own as far as possible. I did everything I could to not copy too much from sites such as wikipedia, but I didn’t really had another choice to pick some phrases that are stated on the site!
Black Hippy is an American hip hop group from South Central, Los Angeles, California, formed in 2009. It consists of West Coast rappers Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q. The first two rappers will be discussed explicitly further in this profile assignment. Black hippy was constructed after all of its members were signed to the independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment. Through Top Dawg, in 2012, the group signed a deal with Interscope Records, owned by the Universal Music Group. Although Black Hippy didn’t release a full-length project as a group yet, the members collaborate with each other frequently, with features on each others solo projects, often not even crediting one another as a featured artist. Lamar has said that the group will never face any form of demise, due to the focus of each member’s individual career before they release their debut studio album as a whole. Lamar was the first one of the group to release his major label debut, with the album good kid, m.A.A.d city. Schoolboy Q followed with his release of Oxymoron, which was also successful both critical and commercial. The idea of forming a group came from Schoolboy Q, who in his words says because he was ”Slacking in his music”: ” I figured if i could be in a group I could just write one verse and I would be good”. In 2011, Black Hippy received co-signs from West Coast hip hop legends such as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, as well as Tech N9ne who called them the new N.W.A (Niggaz With Attitude), and he hopes to sign the group to his label called Strange Label.
Herbert Anthony Stevens IV (born Februari 23, 1987) better known by his stage name Ab-Soul is American hip hop recording artist from Carson, California. He signed to indie record lable Top Dawg Entertainment in 2007, and is perhaps best known for his introspective lyrics and his three independent albums under TDE, Longterm Mentality, Control System and These Days.
At age the age of ten, Stevens contracted the Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is the origin of his dark lips and light-sensitive eyes. It had a great impact on his life, because it hindered his vision and his skin configuration. His eyes stay squeaky all the time, which makes him look extremely high 24/7. He however claimed that he ”didn’t start smoking weed until he graduated from high school”. He encountered music at a very young age, because his family owed a record store. Steven claims he wrote his first verse when he was 12 years old, to the beat of Twista’s ”emotions”.
This is a quote from Ab-Soul himself, talking about how he started rapping and how he encountered his motivation and his love towards the world play and the complication in his style;
: “I was like, I can do this; I’ll try it out. And I wrote it out. That’s a day I remember vividly. From that moment I’ve had a very keen interest in the whole craft. Being a big fan of words and making the real connection with them. Saying things that can make your eyes open up. I can say something and I can turn heads. My parents saw a bright, college-type future for me like as a lawyer, doctor, engineer, or something of that fashion. They put me in these high, gifted courses in school. I don’t know how they went about doing that, but I was in them. I think with them wishing that upon me, I imagined it early on. I wasn’t too set on being a rapper just yet at 15, it was just some real cool shit.”
”It was not until I graduated from high school that I began to take his music career seriously. I just wanted to be tight with [my raps] but I was growing a passion for it. Wasn’t until after I graduated from high school and checked into the community college that I realized I wanted to be a rapper full time. I probably did the equivalent of a half a semester total, in my attendance. I tried one semester and dropped out and then I tried another semester and dropped out. So it just didn’t work out.”
Ab-Soul cites fellow American rappers Twista, Canibus, Eminem, Nas, Lupe Fiasco, and Jay-Z as major influences, with Jay-Z being his biggest. He stated: “There are many others, but those are the ones that come to mind at this time. Those artists are basically the template to my format as an MC. They all capture me with their music, whether it be the vibe, delivery, cadence, story, or just the lyrics in general.”
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born june 17, 1987), better known as Kendrick Lamar, is an American rapper and songwriter from Compton, California. In 2004, he signed to TDE and in 2012 Lamar and the label signed a deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records.
According to Wikipedia, Lamar first gained major attention in 2010, when his first retail release dropped. The following year he released his first independent album, titled Section 80. It received critical acclaim and instantly got ranked as one of the hip hop releases of the year. His major-label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released october 22, 2012. It spawned in the Top 40 hits with songs, and got certified premium by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In Early 2013 they crowned him the No. 1 ”Hottest MC in the Game” by MTV.
Lamar was born in Compton, California. in 1995, he witnessed his idols Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre film the music video for their hit ”California Love” which would later prove to be a very significant moment in Lamar’s life.
In 2003, at the age of sixteen, Lamar released his first full-length project. It garned enough local attention for him to secure a recording contract with Top Dawg Entertainment. He began recording and released a 26 titled mixtape titled ”Training Day (2005) two years later..
In 2008, a lot of recognition came after Lamar rapped a verse over an instrumental at a Charles Hamilton show. After receiving a co-sign from Lil Wayne, Lamar released his third mixtape in 2009 called C4. In late 2009, he changed his stage name K-Dot into his birth name, eventually releasing a self-titled album.
The highly acclaimed mixtape includes a song titled “Ignorance Is Bliss”, in which Lamar ”glorifies gangsta rap and street crime”, but ends each verse with “ignorance is bliss”, giving the message “we know not what we do”. It was this song specifically that made legendary hip hop producer Dr. Dre, want to work with Lamar, after watching the song’s music video on YouTube This led to Lamar working with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on Dre’s often-delayed Detox album and speculation of Lamar signing to Dr. Dre’s record label, Aftermath Entertainment In December 2010, Complex spotlighted Lamar in an edition of their ‘Indie Intro’ series.
In January 2011, Lamar said his next project was 90% finished. On April 11, He announced the title of his next full-length project to be Section. 80. As promised, He released ”HiiiPoWeR” on April 2012. The song was produced by fellow American rapper J. Cole, With whom be started working at the time.
On the topic of whether his next project would be an album or a mixtape, Lamar answered: “I treat every project like it’s an album anyway. It’s not gonna be nothing leftover. I never do nothing like that. These are my leftover songs y’all can have ’em, nah. I’m gonna put my best out. My best effort. I’m tryna look for an album in 2012.” In June 2011, Lamar released “Ronald Reagan Era (His Evils)”, a cut from Section.80, featuring Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA.
On July 2, 2011, Lamar released Section.80, his first independent album, to critical acclaim. The album features guest appearances from GLC, Colin Munroe, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.
In March 2012, MTV announced that Top Dawg Entertainment closed a joint venture deal with Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment, putting an end to Lamar’s independance. Under the new deal, Lamar’s projects, including his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city, were set to be jointly released via Top Dawg, Aftermath and Interscope, while releases from the rest of his Black Hippy members were to be distributed via Top Dawg and Interscope, respectively. Lamar premiered his commercial debut single “The Recipe”, which features vocals from his mentor Dr Dre.
On November 13, 2012, in a recent interview with the LA Leakers, Lamar revealed that the two are still working on the project, and that there will be no given release date for the joint album: “We gone drop that out the sky though. I ain’t gonna give no dates, no nothing. I’m just gonna let it fall.”
On July 31, 2012, Top Dawg, Aftermath and Interscope serviced “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, as the lead single from Lamar’s debut album. The song peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Lamar’s major label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released October 22, 2012. Just nine months after its release, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA, with Lamar receiving his first Platinum plaque for an album.
In August 2013, Lamar’s verse on the Big Sean track “Control”, made waves across the hip-hop industry, with Lamar lyrically “murdering” every other up-and-coming rapper, namely J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, ASAP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electronica, Tyler, The Creator, and Mac Miller. He also went on to call himself the “King of New York”, which caused controversy and several New York-based rappers to take offense. In the week following the track’s release, Lamar’s Twitter account saw a 510% increase in followers, while his Wikipedia page garnered 200,000 page views
In October, it was revealed Lamar would be the only rapper to be featured on Eminem’s eighth studio album ”The Marshall Mathers LP 2” . Also in October, at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards, Lamar won five awards, including Album of the Year and Lyricist of the Year. At the award show, Lamar performed ”Money Trees”.
In November 2013, he was named GQ’s “Rapper of the Year,” and was featured on the cover of the magazine’s “Men of the Year” issue. GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson said: “Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented new musicians to arrive on the scene in years, that’s the reason we chose to celebrate him, wrote an incredibly positive article declaring him the next King of Rap, and gave him our highest honor: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue. I’m not sure how you can spin that into a bad thing, and I encourage anyone interested to read the story and see for themselves.”
Lamar received a total of seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014), including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Best Rap Song.
On February 28, 2014, during an interview with Billboard, the conclusion came that Lamar is planning to put out a new album in September 2014. During the same interview with Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and Dave Free, the possibility of a debut effort from the Black Hippy collective appearing in 2014 was revealed. On September 23, 2014, Kendrick Lamar released a song titled “i”, as the first single from his third studio album.
Lamar has stated that Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem are his top five favorite rappers.Tupac Shakur is his biggest influence, has influenced not only his music, but his day-to-day lifestyle as well. Lamar stated that Eminem ”influenced a lot of his style”. He also gave Lil Wayne credit for influencing his style, and for the fact that Wayne’s been in the rap game for a long time. When someone asked him ”who are the four MC’s that made Kendrick Lamar”? He answered Tupac Shackur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Mobb Deep, namely prodigy.
When the topic of his music genre got mentioned Lamar said: ” You really can’t categorize my music, it’s human music.” Lamar’s music often features multi-syllabic patterns, poetic rhyme structures, intense storytelling, as well as rapid and melodic deliveries.
Pro Era, also known as Progressive Era, is an American hip hop collective from Brooklyn, NYC. The most significant rappers of Pro Era are Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, Dyemond Lewis, A La $ole, Rawle, Dirty Sanchez, Ali and T’nah Apex. They go along with producers Chuck Strangers and Powers Pleasant.
Pro Era was formed around 2009 in Brooklyn, founded by Capital STEEZ, Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly and Powers pleasant. It contains of a total of 47 people, including members without musical functions such as Junior B, Tru, Dee Knows, Whlgn and Kwon Swank, who fulfill the roles of promoters, photographers, directors and publicists together with other occupations.
2010-2012: Signing to Cinematic Music
The Pro Era collective signed with the label Cinematic Music Group in 2010, after Johnny Snipes became the manager of the group’s leader, Joey Bada$$. In Februari 2012, Pro Era released their first mixtape, entitled The Secc$ Tap.e.
2012: Increase in popularity
With Capital STEEZ releasing Amerikkkan Korruption and Joey Bada$$ publishing 1999, the group raised in popularity when looking at the underground scene. 1999 was listed among ”Best mixtapes of 2012” by multiple publications. Capital Steez was put on the list for ”Rappers to Watch For in 2013.” Pro Era was incorporated in The Smoker’s Club One Hazy Summer Tour, a 30-dates tour that began on the 13th of July, 2012. In December that year, They released the P.E.E.P: The aPROcalypse mixtape as a group.
2013/2014: Touring and more mixtapes to come
On the 21th of March 2013, Pro Era took part in the Beast Coast concert tour including The Underachievers and Flatbush Zombies. Further in that year, They participated the Under the Influence Tour 2013, together with Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, Trinidad James, Chevy Woods & Smoke DZA and more. On December 25, 2013 Pro Era announced that The SeccS Tap.e,2, their third mixtape, would be released on the 14th of February 2014. Their next project, which was a free EP called The Shift was released on May 27 2014.
Controversy on the ”47” Logo
One of Pro Era’s logos, which resembles their infamous number ”47”.
It is claimed that Pro Era’s 47 Logo mimics the characteristics of a Nazi Flag, because of the red field with a solid white circle, together with an Wolfsangel which is associated with Nazism and Neo-Nazism, because of it’s similarities to the swastika.
A Wolfsangel, an German design for heraldic deeds.
As said by local news station News 12 Brooklyn, Pro Era explained that the logo was designed to draw attention, and that it is spiritual symbol and definitely not an offensive one. In their opinion, it resembles peace as the swastika does in multiple religions, balance, the number of group members and remembrance of their friend Capital STEEZ.
Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott (born on the 20th of January, 1995) better know by his stage name Joey Badass (stylized as Joey Bada$$) Is an American hip hop artist from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn NYC. He released 2 mixtapes: 1999 in June 2012, Summer Knights in July 1, 2013. His debut studio album, B4.DA.$$ will be released January 20, 2015.
Scott was born in the United States, and his family originated from the island St. Lucian in the Caribbean. He attended the Edward. R Murrow High School. Originally, he wanted to study acting, but he slided towards music around the 9th grade, with a focus on rapping.
He started rapping under the name ”JayOhVee” but changed this to Joey Bada$$ rather quick. The reason for this was due to the media’s focus on rappers with more cynical and prominent names. He stated: ”It sounded cool at the time and fitted my mood”. Scott claimes to have started writing poetry together with songs when he was 11 years old.
2010-2012: Upcoming career and signing to Cinematic Music
In October 2010, Scott uploaded a video on Youtube of himself freestyling. It was reposted on the site World Star Hip Hop and caught the attention of the Cinematic Music Group president Johnny Snipes. Joey got contacted and shortly after Snipes became his manager.
In early 2012, Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ released a video for their song ”Survival Tactics” In which they describe the harsh conditions of their area and how to keep your head above the water. On march 21, 2012, MTV news featured Joey’s verse during the a RapFix Live segment. With the video premiere of the song ”Hardknock” featuring CJ Fly, the song was succeeded and Joey started becoming more recognised.
After Joey released his debut solo mixtape 1999 on the 12th of June 1999, It immediately increased his popularity in the underground scene. The mixtape reached the titles of 38th best album of 2012 provided by Complex Magazine and best mixtape of 2012 by HipHopDX.com. On September 6 that year, he released Rejex, a mixtape with songs that didn’t make it to 1999.
accordingly, American rapper Mac Miller asked Joey through twitter to collaborate. Next up, Joey Appeared on the song ”America”. He was also featured on the posse cut track (a song that features multiple successive verses from four or more rappers) ”1 Train” off ASAP Rocky’s album Long.Live.A$AP together with Action Bronson, Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Big K.R.I.T. and Danny Brown.
In December 2012, rumours that Joey would sign to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation record label got spread. In January 2013, Joey dispelled this rumor saying he would rather stay independent than signing to a major label for the first time.
2013: Summer Knights
On the 9th of November 2012, Joey released a track with Ab-Soul called ”Enter the Void” which was his first official release to retail. On January 14, 2013 Joey released the first song of his second mixtape Summer Knights called ”Unorthodox”. By the time of March 26, 2013 Joey got announced to be part of the XXL Magazine’s 2013 Freshman Class. On May 22, 2013 Joey announced the official release date of the Summer Knights EP as June 12, to mark the 1 year anniversary of his first mixtape 1999. On May 28, he stated that Summer Knights would turn be a full-length mixtape rather than an EP. On the announced release date, Bada$$ revealed that the mixtape was pushed back until July 1, 2013
Joey Bada$$ has recently said that his debut album is almost finished. On April 20, 2013 He announced that the album would be titled B4.DA.$$ with a release date to come during early 2014.
On October 15, 2013 It became clear that Joey Badass was planning to release his first commercial project on the 29th of October, 2013. It concerned a seven track EP, the Summer Knights EP including four songs from the mixtape, three new songs and a remix. The EP came in on number 48 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
2014-Present: Debut album B4.DA.$$
Joey Bada$$’s debut studio album B4.DA.$$ has been released on the 20th of January, 2015. The first single from his debut album ”Big Dusty” was released on August 4. 2014, and on September 30 he exposed the second single of his album titled ”Christ Conscious” on MTV Jams.
Courtney ”Jamal” Everald Dewar JR, better known as ”Capital STEEZ” was an hip hop recording artist, originating from Brooklyn, NYC, USA. HE was the founder of Pro Era, Together with Joey Bada$$.
STEEZ (then known as Jay Steez) started rapping in 2009 with a friend called Jakk The Rhymer. They formed the group ”the 3th Kind”. Their first mixtape was titled ”The Yellow Tape”. Then, also in 2009, Pro Era was formed. His song ”Survival Tactics” together with Joey received many positive reviews from rap exits, resulting in fame for Pro Era. STEEZ’s closing verse was nominated by XXL Magazine, for their ”25 Of The Best Closing Lines In Rap. He was also listed in ”The 25 Best Rap Lines of 2012” by SPIN.
2012: The release of AmeriKKKan Korruption
Capital STEEZ exposed his first solo mixtape, titled ”AmeriKKKan Korruption” on the 7th of April, 2012. The album features many Pro Era teammates such as Bada$$, CJ Fly and Chuck Strangers. Production has been done by Madlib, MF DOOM, Free The Robots, DJ Premier and others. It held the top position of ”Most Overlook Mixtapes of 2012” By MTV. HipHopDX mentioned STEEZ as a rapper to watch out for in 2013…
STEEZ is recognised as one of the founders (together with Bada$$) of the Beast Coast Movement. It consists of three main groups: Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, and The Underachievers which are all based out of Brooklyn.
On December 24, 2012 , The then 19-year-old Capital STEEZ Committed suicide by jumping from the rooftop of the Cinematic Music Group headquarters in Manhattan, NYC. Earlier that evening, he sent text messages to his closest friends, telling them he would love them for ever. At 11:59 PM, Dewar posted a tweet saying; ”The end.” right before he jumped.
His mysterious and sudden death has made STEEZ as a kind of a cult figure in the Flatbush hip-hop scene. Because any official information on his death is lacking, conspiracy theories have been formed like weeds in fertile soil. For instance; STEEZ believed that he’d become a Baphomet, an deity linked to the church of Satan, therefore his belief in the afterlife can be a reason for his death. Another theory spread was that STEEZ died a week after a meeting between Joey Bada$$ and Jay-Z, therefore the Illuminati had killed him. These kinds of theories went on and on.
STEEZ is credited with bringing together Pro Era and other east coast groups who share thoughts, like Flatbush Zombies and the Underachievers. They operate under the name Beast Coast. ”STEEZ is the best thinker i know, he taught me how to think” says the Underachievers’ Issa Dash. ”Beast Coast wouldn’t exist without him. He was the one who brought the idea to me, that we needed to link all groups.” This family of artists believe in New Age spirituality. Their songs are filled with references to the ”third eye” of perception and allusions to astral traveling. They refer to themselves as ”indigos” which is a reference to a theory from the 1970’s claiming that children diverging around an indigo-colored aura are blessed with special intuitions and capable of supernatural powers. STEEZ had the desire to pierce the dimensions, which brought him to some dark places. There’s a lack of evidence that the chasm he was observing, began to observe back. In one of his songs called ”Free the Robots”, Steez is watching news and broadcasts, while sitting on a couch in a room with the lights dimmed. There he starts rapping paranoid sentiments about being forgotten by god , the apocalypse that’s around the corner in his vision and how ”illuminati is trying to read his mind with an eagle eye”
In a Mass Appeal video released in October, STEEZ claimed he could see ”deeper into the future”. He also made a reference to ”some 47 shit”. This number held much significance to him, resulting in appearance in his rhymes and on the cover of his mixtape. He tweeted ”The End.” at 12/23/12; that adds up to 47. On the 11th of July, he announced on his facebook that ”DOOMSDAY” would occur in 2047. That day, a fan asked him why ”he didn’t just break free from reality and create his own world”. He replied: ”That’s exactly what I am about to do. #47shit” together with some kind of prediction that before the year ended, an ”alchemist” would rise up and reveal the key to world peace. At last he added ”Eye think it’s me”.
It was vaguely ascertained that STEEZ was convinced of second life, therefore he believed that if he would die he would re??ncarnate as a sovereign power, returning to earth to free the humans. The director of ”Free the Robots” called Luke Choi, remembers STEEZ being ”zoned out” during the music shoot in april. He remembers STEEZ telling him he planned to ”stop making raps to become a superhero” and that there occurred a ”shift in the dimension” he had to ”get out”. Until finally, he did.
Conclusion to chapter III: To give an conclusion on this third question, It is clear that these four artists all can be marked as incredible rappers. The characteristics that bring rappers as them together is their passion for lyricism and word play. That makes them really deliver their messages with enthusiasm and knowledge. Of course all four of them have struggled with problems on local level or on national level, where they simply could not do much about. Therefore they feel the urge to address these problems through rap lyrics. Combine this with their knowledge of the english language, and in fact a new form of poetry is born. In the final chapter I will make it clear what knowledge and problems are represented in the songs of these rappers, and most important of all: in what way when looking at terms of rhetoric and literary Devices. This is necessary to answer the main question, how the problems and issues these artists faced on local and national level are represented in their songs, and what the effect of that is the representing of these issues is.
Chapter IV: WHAT are these four artists saying/representing in the lyrics of their songs in terms of social-cultural, political and ethical issues and HOW are they presenting these messages (audience purpose style ).
The early life of artists is always an important source of inspiration for their songs. But this goes juxtaposed with the problems and issues that came along in their youth. Growing up in an area with a lack of primary needs, crime by the minute, prejudice saying your whole block consists of drugs and death won’t give you many positive things to rap about. If then the parliament also neglects you and your hood when it comes to providing help so the problems can be solved, frustration and anger are nothing weird. In that situation, rap is a perfect way to express these faults and issues, wrapped in your own coat of experience. However, it is also important that you deliver and state these problems properly, with a clear approach how to anticipate on the audience. If all these different factors come to exhaust in a good balance, a big part of your audience will understand what you are saying, and in that way start to get more interest in your raps. Then you can bring more problems to the daylight, so that maybe in the end there is actually going to be a solution for the imperfections in your aura.
To clarify the social-cultural, political and ethical issues of these four specific rappers I will analyse and deconstruct a total of three songs 3: One for Ab-Soul, one for Kendrick Lamar and one for Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ together. First I will present the lyrics with a short introduction to the song itself; when was it written? What are the subject, purpose and the audience of the song?. Then, I will start the analysis and deconstructing, leading to the answers of this sub questions. In the analysis, I will reflect on the information provided in previous chapters, for example the description of the struggles in these deprived areas that are mentioned in their rap songs. In this way all information obtained through the lyrics can be backed up with facts from other chapters and directly linked to the general information, which strengthens the links and the diversity of this pws!
yyyyyy = a political issue
jsdfjsdf = a social-cultural issue
gjgjfjgk = an ethical issue
ddjfhdjf = a clever wordplay, rhetoric/literary device.
Song I: Ab-soul ft. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko – Terrorist threats.
This song was released April 6. 2012, and comes of Ab-Souls album Control System. One thing that can be noticed is that Soul puts question marks to the belief that being raised up in the suburbs will keep the child away from drugs, gangs and violence. He States that we as the people own as much power as the government, and that there should be a clear division on where the state can use their power and where they have to let the people handle it, as well as that both organs should be respected equally.
[Lyrics + analisis]
Kick your game, spit your flow
Can’t fuck with this Top Dawg shit though
Kick your game, spit your flow
Can’t fuck with this Top Dawg shit though
Kick your game, spit your flow
Can’t fuck with this Top Dawg shit though
Kick your game, spit your flow
Can’t fuck with this Top Dawg shit though
Wish I could see out Haile Selassie’ eye
Maybe my sovereignty would still be mine
If all the gangs in the world unified
We’d stand a chance against the military tonight
I said we’d stand a chance against the military tonight
I said we’d stand a chance against the military tonight
This phrase plays of on the Political issues Ab-Soul paints in his mind. He sees the military as an mighty authority, maybe a little bit too mighty because they can take many matters into their own hand. Therefore, he wants to gather all gangs and people in the world, make them stop fighting each other and start combining powers against the real enemy: the goverment. He wants to make them come together to promote the bond and the strength. In that way, the people as one unity, could stand a chance against the military powers.
At my window all I see is Babylon
On the news all I see is Babylon
And all niggas do is just babble on
Notice the clever repetition of Babylon/Babble on. Soul reflects on the ancient national powerhouse in Egypt, Babylon. However in this situation it’s symbolic for the government now. When Soul looks out of the window, he sees the government, or anything that is influenced by the government. On the news, all he sees is the big amount of power by the government. As Babylon was located in the present Iraq, it’s also an reference to the current occupation of Iraq. And, the only thing that niggas do is babble on, as in talk about irrelevant or dumb things.
Money and hoes, want money and hoes
If I sold dope, I’d have plenty of flows
I was from the projects like Jay Rock
I woulda more than likely slang rocks
All my life I done been around Crips and Bloods
Pimps and thugs – just to name a few
Where Soul came from, he had contact with infamous gangs on a daily base, specifically the 2 most known gangs in the USA: the Cribs and the Bloods. This can be linked to the social-cultural problems, where the political problems are being involved. There are many people who live in hoods with poor conditions to live, and the government simply doesn’t do enough about it. This results in people as Soul being with crime-related people for a long time, finally coming to the point where they are getting in the criminal circuit themselves.
I do drugs, Mama say it’s in my blood
But she don’t know what the fuck I’ve been through
This line can be interpreted as a double entendre;
Soul does drugs, and therefore the drugs are physically in his blood
The reason that Soul does drugs is because his mom says him it is genetically in his blood, he got the characteristic through his parents
To creep through the back door, the typical black boy in the good old U-S-A
on the ethical side, Soul pictures himself as a typical black person. This can be related to the racial inequality, in terms of chances. In the ”good old U-S-A”, Black folk always had to creep and sneak their way in to get the same opportunities as white people, because the direct front door was never open. This line is also an statement on society, how they see a black boy who comes through the back door: as a typical thief. This leads to even more racial inequality.
Before I pushed rhymes like weight, I used to wanna play for the NBA
Fuck I’m doing talking bout pineal gland
Ancient ways it’s Sumerian
This line plays on the first civilizations the Sumer. It’s inhabitants lived in south Iraq that became would later be known as Babylonia.
Ain’t nothing wrong with a righteous man
This why I had to write this man
For my niggas on the corner
Selling water to somebody’s daughter
Fluctuating prices man
Water is a slang for PCP, a kind of drugs. Soul wrote this for all people who have to sell drugs to make a living, which is a characteristic of an deprived area. This line is suggesting that the US is so affected by drought that people literally start to sell water illegally to people, with fluctuating prices just like gasoline.
I ain’t got no gavel
I ain’t tryna fight nobody battle
I-I just wanna be free
I ain’t tryna be nobodies chattel
Soul is not trying to enter any conflicts, he wants to be his own man, while being free and not owned by other powers. In this context, Rapgenius states: ‘Chattel’ relates back to the outro of the previous track ‘Bohemian Grove’ in which an audio clip is playing. The voice of Colonel Edward Mandell House declares that every American will be property of the government. In other words, we will be ‘chattel’ or slaves..
The gavel reference ties to Soul’s line of ”selling water” and ”fluctionating prices” as a gavel is not only used by judges, but also by auctioneers. This then again links back to being a chattel, in the way of selling slaves on an auction.
Extra pills, Extra pills
Them AK Clips they extra peel
The ammunition of an AK rifle has as a smooth curve in it’s shape, that’s why Soul refers to them as Banana’s that are being ”peeled” when they are fired.
Smoking on some of that extra kill
Purple Urkel, that Jaleel
I put that on errythang
If we could link up erry gang
And niggas is willing to bear the pain
We’d put the White House lights out today
another Social-cultural problem linked to a political one: Soul again names the gangs, to give a picture of what he lived through. This life probably involved a lot of criminal activities, and lacked enough treatment by the government; they left his hood as it was, full of problems. Therefore he wants all gangs reunited to ”put the White House lights out” together.The white house is the head-quarter of the US Government, and this quote refers to an deadly aim directed at them including the president, with all it’s consequences.
We guarded like we the black KKK
Because Soul himself is black, this line is tied to his own ethical background. Quoted from Rap Genius, ”The KKK is an organization which has a mob of white people with the intention of torturing and ostracizing essentially anyone who isn’t white. His gang is guarded against other black people who may try to attack him, just like the KKK does to black people. ”Soul compares the size of his crew to the size of the KKK, with many members.
Don’t forget my AK-a Mayday
Pee on your P-H-D or your AA
I know you just a puppet but I’m giving you props
You lying to the public like it ain’t nothing
And I just love it, I hope it don’t stop
Some sort of letter towards Barack Obama from Soul himself. He means that the president it just a ”figurehead” while hiding the truth from society. There can also be found some irony in the fact that the word ”hope” is used, because that was one of Obama’s slogans. from rapgenius: ”Barrack is just a puppet (such as in a stage play) and although He’s being used Ab is giving him props for his ability to deceive (and props on a stage). But puppets can’t use props anyway so its useless.”
I don’t give a damn, nigga bang that block
I don’t give a fuck, nigga bang that Glock
I seen an image of Hitler in the picture
When the twin towers dropped
on the 28th of February 1933, the Reichstag (the headbuilding of the parliament in Germany) burned down. Hitler took the advantage to blame a Dutch communist and therefore the communism in general. Ab-Soul tries to say that 9-11 may have been an inside plan of the government, so that they could create false reasons to start war in Iraq.
Peep the concept
You’ve got progress, you’ve got congress
We protest in hopes they confess
Just proceed on your conquest
An individual (known as Ex101) addressed this section of the song through a comment on a Youtube video of the song. This is a paraphrased version of what the person said:
Ab-Soul introduces this series of line by saying, ‘Peep the concept,’ then uses the prefixes PRO and CON to display that there’s a balance in how our system works. We have PROgress in our society, but then CONgress halts it. We PROtest to keep going onward, but the protested never CONfess to their heinous crimes against the people. So, he says we have to PROceed on our CONquest as a people to be free from Babylon (The ancient Mesopotamian city that had one of the first written sets of laws and governmental power).
To Give an conclusion on this song, we can say that Soul totally disagrees with the way in which the USA is being ruled now. There need to be some dramatic changes in his way to reach some sort of safe environment, in social-cultural and ethical aspects. This needs to be done by the government, because right now they are totally failing their job. There is no help where needed, and life will always consist out of pro’s and con’s. Don’t let others be rulers over your body, stay owning yourself.
Song II: Kendrick Lamar – HiiiPower
This is the first song off Lamar’s Section.80, released end 2014. As Rapgenius describes it ”HiiiPoWeR is about ”self enlightenment through reflection and active work, to achieve richness in body, mind and spirit. It constantly plays with racial subject, figures and conspiracy theories of today and the past.”
In HiiiPoWeR, PoWeR can be seperated into Po We R (Poor we are) which then again ties to a huge motive throughout Section 80, poverty. In Section 8(0) of the Housing act of 1937, poverty was one of the largest issues that got descussed.
Everybody put three fingers in the air
The sky is falling, the wind is calling
Stand for something or die in the morning
Section 80, HiiiPoWeR
The three fingers resemble the three i’s in HiiiPower. They represent heart, honour and respect. The second line shows us that there is not much time, but that the time is now an that we should stand up if we don’t want to die. We have to formulate our own opinion, and stand for or own rights otherwise we could just give it up and wait to die in the morning.
Visions of Martin Luther staring at me
Kendrick reminisces over the political and social ideologies of Martin Luther King Jr. He gets visions of King staring at him, creating a certain bond. We can imply that Kendricks vision is the same as Kings, equality for everyone.
Malcolm X put a hex on my future, someone catch me
I’m falling victim to a revolutionary song
Malcolm X was a Muslim minister and a human rights activist, who hoped to develop the black community, and get rid off all the high level of inequality that was present back when he was active. Because Lamar’s dad was involved in a Black power gang, his family moved to Compton to escape this influence. That is why Malcolm X ”hexed” Lamar’s future, by influencing his dad to be active in an gang. This eventually led to Kendrick ending up in Compton.
The Serengeti’s clone
Rapgenius says: ”The Serengeti region in Africa is home to one of the largest migrations in the world and is one of the ten natural wonders of the world. Kendrick is hosting a movement as large as that migration; he also considers himself one of the wonders of the world”
Back to put you backstabbers back on your spinal bone
You slipped your disc when I slid you my disc
You wanted to diss, but jumped on my dick
Grown men never should bite their tongue
unless you eating pussy that smell like it’s a stale plum
I got my finger on the motherfucking pistol
aiming it at a pig, Charlotte’s Web is gonna miss you
In the book ”Charlotte’s web”, a spider named Charlotte saves a pig from being slaughtered by writing phrases in her web to dissuade the farmer. In this situation however, The ”pigs” which is a slang for police, will not be saved from Kendrick’s pistol. This puts some emphasis on Kendricks vision towards police, and therefore the way in which the US is ruled; Anti Police.
My issue isn’t televised, and you ain’t gotta tell the wise
This could mean that Kendrick’s problems with society are not shown on TV, therefore not brought to the daylight enough because otherwise many people would have noticed it.
how to stay on beat, because our life’s an instrumental
This is physical and mental, I won’t sugar-coat it
You’d die from diabetes if these other niggas wrote it
If something is sugar coated, it is made less intense than it in fact is. Kendrick does not sugar coat his vision and opinion, it’s all 100% true and honest. There are however many other niggas who write things that are completely bent from reality, Therefore if you would eat their words you would die from diabetes because of the colossal amount of sugar.
And everything on TV just a figment of imagination
I don’t want no plastic nation, (dread) that like a Haitian
Nothing on TV is real, it’s all made up to play with our minds. Kendrick doesn’t want no plastic nation, where plastic is a synonym for fake. from Rapgenius; ”In the video in which he explains the HiiiPower he says that everything we thought in school is just a half truth. He also states that the government is feeding us with bullshit, so everything is just a ‘figment of imagination’. The dread is just a clever play In Haitians wearing dreadlocks, and the Haiti reference links us back to the subject of poverty as Haiti is an extremely poor country.
While you motherfuckers waiting, I be off the slave ship
Building pyramids, writing my own hieroglyphs
While everyone just stood still and waited until things changed, Kendrick escaped the slave ship of society to start up his own movement where he could write his own hieroglyphs, as in spread his own messages. He’s gone after the HiiiPoWeR, to get spiritually, mentally and physically elevated though knowledge and wisdom.
Just call the shit HiiiPoWeR
Nigga, nothing less than HiiiPoWeR
Five-star dishes, food for thought bitches
I mean the shit is, Huey Newton going stupid
You can’t resist his, HiiiPoWeR
Throw your hands up for HiiiPoWeR
No matter how hard you try, you can never escape the HiiiPower. It will stay with you as a part of the goal you want to achieve your life. The knowledge that Kendrick brings us can be compared to a Five-star dish, which is food of the highest quality. Therefore his words are a real delicatesse for our minds.
Visions of Martin Luther staring at me
If I see it how he seen it, that would make my parents happy
Sorry mama, I can’t turn the other cheek
They wanna knock me off the edge like a fucking widow’s peak, uhh
And she always told me pray for the weak, uhh
Them demons got me, I ain’t prayed in some weeks, uhh
Dear Lord come save me, the Devil’s working hard
He probably clocking double shifts on all of his jobs
Frightening, so fucking frightening
Enough to drive a man insane I need a license to kill
In this part Lamar plays on his vision regarding enemies. He cannot simply turn them the cheek, he wants to undertake actions towards them. As rap genius says; ”A widow’s peak is a distinct point formed in the middle of someone’s hairline edge, in the center of the forehead. It’s common practice to remove it.” Kendrick compares this to being hit off a literal peak. His mom told him to pray for the less fortunate, but Kendrick is captured by demons from hell. Therefore he hasn’t been able to pray for some time. In fact, the devil so busy with him, that he works overtime on all his jobs. This contact with the devil is extremely frightening for Kendrick, frightening enough to drive him insane; all together this is one big biblical allusion. Notice the wordplay on ”drive” and ”licence”.
I’m standing on a field full of land mines
Doing the moonwalk, hoping I blow up in time
If you blow up figuratively, you become famous. Of course this counts for Kendrick, Just as you will literally blow up if you do the moonwalk on a field full of land mines. In that way, he secures his fame by comparing it to something that will happen guaranteed in this situation getting blown by an land mine.
Cause 2012 might not be a fucking legend
Trying to be a fucking legend, the man of mankind
Who said a black man in the Illuminati?
Last time I checked that was the biggest racist party
The illuminati can be described as an invisible diety in the world, holding certain people in their power. Because the dark skinned race have suffered incredibly throughout history, Lamar concludes that a black man ”can’t be in the illuminati because black oppression seems to be included in their agenda”(rapgenius)
So get up off that slave ship
Build your own pyramids, write your own hieroglyphs
This line is another version of the ending line in verse 1, here he addresses it to us, the people. This creates an positive effect towards the audience, since it is about them now. This can be linked to the purpose of this song, involving the audience in it so that they feel more bonded to the content of the song. Also, We should follow our own way, build or own life and write our own statements/opinions. don’t fall for other people’s words, but use your own.
Just call the shit HiiiPoWeR
Nigga, nothing less than HiiiPoWeR
Five-star dishes, food for thought bitches
I mean the shit is, Bobby Seale making meals
You can’t resist his, HiiiPoWeR
Bobby Seale is a famous Cook, who’s dishes are so delicious that you cannot resist it to eat them. Therefore if he serves you HiiiPoWeR, you can’t reject it. The only way to live with that is starting a quest for higher knowledge and ”purifying your body with a clean conscience”.
Throw your hands up for HiiiPoWeR
reference to putting 3 fingers in the air, in which you resemble HiiiPoWeR.
[Alori Joh (Kendrick Lamar)]
Every day we fight the system
just to make our way, we been down for too long
But that’s alright, we was built to be strong
cause it’s our life, na-na-nah
Every day we fight the system
We fight the system
We fight the system
(Never liked the system)
We been down for too long
But that’s alright, na-na-nah
A big part of society, including Lamar always works their ass of 24/7 to get far less than it deserves. Therefore they have to fight the system, to give some gas in the issue of unequal rights. If the system fights us, we will fight back”
Who said a black man in Illuminati?
Last time I checked that was the biggest racist party
repetition taken from the end of verse 2. With that, Lamar intensifies his opinion in black people in the illuminati. He disproves all theories, because the Illuminati has a racist background. Therefore these theories can never be legit.
Last time I checked, we was racing with Marcus Garvey
on the freeway to Africa till I wreck my Audi
To give an clear explaination on this line, I quoted this phrase from Rapgenius, which took it frome Wikipedia:
Marcus Garvey was a prolific Jamaican participant in Pan-Africanism and Black Nationalism. He influenced the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica. Pan-Africanism is a movement which seeks to unify African people into a ‘one African community’ and often seeks to have persons move back to the continent itself.. As soon as Garvey became a big enough problem for the government they had him deported to his homeland of Jamaica and essentially silenced him. Lamar wants to reach the finish line in his race with Garvy, which is symbolic for getting back to his roots.
The Audi resembles his body, physical or mental. He implies that the wrecking of his Audi is executed by the government, who wants to kill important leaders. quoted from rapgenius: ”Racing to Africa to chase your roots but not achieving your goal because you wrecked your high end German vehicle implies a sense of sarcasm and implies that it is a complex task to leave the lavish-materialistic lifestyle of the United States.”
And I want everybody to view my autopsy
So you can see exactly where the government had shot me
He wan’ts everybody to see HIS body when he eventual gets assasinated. This links to the killing of JFK, as that was a case with many holes in the evidence of who was guilty. Therefore it could be an inside job of the government. Therefore, if Lamar get’s killed, everybody needs to see the results of a government operation towards a black induvidual as he is. It can also refer to Tupac’s assasination, as Tupac predicted that years before it happened.
No conspiracy, my fate is inevitable
They play musical chairs once I’m on that pedestal
Frightening, so fucking frightening
Enough to drive a man insane, a woman insane
The reason Lauryn Hill don’t sing, or Kurt Cobain
loaded that clip and then said “Bang!”,
The actions of the government are haunting Kendrick in his mind. These negative actions are the reason that singers such as Lauryn Hill stopped expressing her feelings, or that Kurt Cobain killed himself with a gun. The government restricts the freedom of individuals, until they cannot live with it anymore. This can then lead to a stop in productivity. Leaders over the world are making a mess of their job, which is taking care of a whole nation.
the drama it bring
is crazy, product of the late 80s
Trying to stay above water, that’s why we shun the Navy
in this context staying above water means surviving in a society where the media can easily let you drown. The Navy performs many underwater actions, and by staying above water he escapes on their plans to let him drown in their power. It’s an reference to the government trying to invade the freedom of citizens. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you have to stay above them and maintain that position.
Pull your guns and play me, let’s set it off
Cause a riot, throw a Molotov
Kendrick isn’t afraid of a battle. He will eventually win the situation by ”walking the Malcolm X route”, and therefore by using intelligence as a weapon.
Somebody told me them pirates had got lost
cause we been off them slave ships
Got our own pyramids, write our own hieroglyphs
This the end of the build up in the last few lines of the verses 1 and 2. It represents the enlightment of one mans body, to the enlightenment of a whole nation. Many movements are involved here, which is why Lamar counts the world in as a whole, not mentioning individuality; enlightment is something you also do for others.
He could also be referring to the restoration of the black communities consciousness, with an aim to create healthy minds and bodies.
Just call the shit HiiiPoWeR
Yeah, nothing less than HiiiPoWeR
Five-star dishes, food for thought bitches
I mean the shit is, Fred Hampton on your campus
You can’t resist his, HiiiPoWeR
Throw your hands up for HiiiPoWeR
Kendrick wants to emphasize how own life, which has been thug obviously. By saying that, he represents the black neighborhoods which make the life there thug. He addresses the social political problems that caused all the problems, in which he had to be thug to survive.
To give a conclusion on the analasis and deconstruction of this song, Kendrick Lamar clearly represents different perspectives on problems. A big part of the issues that he came across are most of the time linked to a lack of political influence. The defects in the black neighbourhoods are not being solves, which results in more criminal activities. These problems are adressed in a way that the audience of this song are involved, so that they can share his thoughts. Lamar also mentions global problams such as poverty and crime. In that way, the song is extremely effective when it comes to reaching it’s audience and presenting a clear message that there is a need of change over the whole world, aiming it towards us as inhabitants of earth.
Song III: Joey Bada$$ ft. Capital STEEZ – Survival Tactics
This song was released on Joey Bada$$’ album 1999. Quoted from rapgenius, survival of the fittest means: ”Every man for himself”. It plays on the social-cultural issues, especially the violence in deprived areas. The conditions there are so hard to live in, that groups have to protect themselves from being killed. They have to push it to the fullest to survive, which results on other groups not making it. Claiming the position of fittest will leave you alive.
It’s either, them or you
It’s sort of like, survival you know. Survival of the fittest you know
You do what you do to stay alive
[Verse 1: Joey]
Niggas don’t want war I’m a martian with an army of spartans
Sparring with a knife in a missile fight
Joey is someone you have to watch out for. All the violence around him made him adapt the fact that he has to fight for his life. He refers to his group as ”spartans”, which were inhabitants of the ancient greek town Sparta. Their army was almost invincible, so the same counts for Joey’s people (pro era)
Get your intel right, your intelligence is irrelevant
When you wanna fight Joey, it doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, your physical state is what counts in the battle. You can imply that Joey says you will definitely lose. Notice the irony as coming up with ”Intel right, Intelligence, Irrelevant” is a pretty intelligent move. Joey himself has the brains, but also the physical power!
But it’s definite I spit more than speech impediments
Brooklyn’s the residence, the best and it’s evident
We got them niggas P-E-Nuts, like they elephants
Throw ’em in a trunk if they hate though
We don’t give a fuck as long as we collect our pay, so
Ya’ll collect pesos, ya money ain’t right here
I got them girls next to the wood like they light year, I’m right chea
Tryna get a buzz, tryna pollinate
STEEZ got that presidential shit out to inaugurate
My P.E conglomerates bout to P-E-E on any wanna B-E, weak MC
rap genius says: ”P.E: stands for Progressive Era, which is the crew Joey is part of. Any one from his crew can murk the competition. P-E-E (obviously pee), is a play on words with P.E. (Pro Era), continuing the spell-it-out theme.” Weak MC’s will be no match for him, as the struggles from his area made him stronger in every battle.
Air ’em out or leave ’em empty congratulate the semi-auto
Joey has no hesitation to kill others. This links him to the criminal and violent activities on neglected neighborhoods such as Brooklyn. he has to be part of the violence In order to survive harsh conditions that are likely in the Brooklyn hoods.
Fire flame spitter like komodo
No time for fake people, they be simmin’ like Kimora
I’m the empor-ah in search of the adora, my heart go
Ba boom Ba boom Ba boom boom
It’s panic like Dora when shots blast
See I was raised that way, I’m from the place where they raise that K
Like every day in every way and every where you go, just ain’t safe
The only thing that I can say, to you is pray
Cause when niggas start equippin’, and throw the clip in
Your blood drippin’, and got you slippin’
Another victim, don’t know whats hit them ‘ through his spinal
Just another man who defeated by survival
That’s your biggest rival, in your whole life
Where bada$$ comes from, guns are raised everyday. The K is a slang for an AK, which is an automatic rifle. Raising an weapon is a synonym for shooting, therefore there are riots in Brooklyn everyday. Because of a lack of security, you aren’t safe anywhere in Joey’s hood. The only thing you can do to help yourself is praying to god. This paints a perfect picture to the Social-cultural problem ”violence” in such places, it’s an serious issue that has to be solved. But the government is not paying attention to then, they are simply neglected. Joey’s purpose of this phrase is to warn us for his block, as it can be your last place if you don’t prepare for war; ”fight fire with fire”. Otherwise, you will be defeated by survival where others stronger than you. this then can result in your death.
These bars you can’t handle you better hold tight
They sayin’ I’m the best, I’m like you’re so right
Still ain’t got enough shine to last the whole night, nigga
Yo, fuck the police nigga
Fuck every ass corrupt politician on Wall Street
P.E, Public Enemy, Assassinate us, bitch
Fuck that, fuck everything so
Fuck government, Fuck, listenin’ and shit
This clearly shows us Bada$$’ and STEEZ’s opinion on some certain authorities. They express their opposition towards the police, implying that they are for no good. ”Fuck every ass corrupt politician on Wall Street” shows us their hate for Wall Street. This can then be linked to the Wall Street Crash, with the Government as catalyst. Pro Era does not like high power, they only like their own mind therefore they won’t listen to people telling them what to do. They form their own power to be prepared for war with the government when needed.
You want fuckin’ energy? Dickheads
[Verse 2: Capital STEEZ]
It’s like 6 milli ways to die my nigga choose one
STEEZ can murder you in any possible way. This line is also tied to the violence on areas such as Brooklyn, where people get killed on a daily basis. Therefore STEEZ also has to be armed up with guns, to protect himself.
Doomsday comin’ start investin’ in a few guns
New gats, booby traps, and bazooka straps
Better play your cards right, no booster packs
Everybody claim they used to rap
But these ain’t even punchlines no more, I’m abusing tracks
Leaving instrumentals blue and black
Steez is so strong when it comes to rapping that he does not only use punchlines but even goes a stap further, where he abuses the tracks he spits on. This then results in the instrumental being blue and black from all the lyrical beatings it experienced. notice the irony as he BEATs the BEAT, because the beat is part of the instrumental. No further explanation needed on whether STEEZ was a strong MC.
I’m in Marty McFly mode, so tell em’ that the future’s back
Riding on hoverboards, wiping out motherboards
Stopped spitting fire cause my motherfuckin lung is scorched
STEEZ spits hot like fire, which causes his lung to be burned. Therefore he cannot maintain spitting so hard, as it does does damage to one of the most important organs you got.
King Arthur when he swung his sword
This sword is the legendary Excalibur, which could only be pulled out of the stone by one person. STEEZ Raps as hard as King Arthur swung his sword when he pulled it out of a rock. Therefore, He the hardest of everybody. Could also refer to physically grabbing a sword to be prepared for battle, playing on the violence and criminality in Brooklyn.
A king author I ain’t even use a pen in like a month or four
This phrase was a little unclear for my, so I quoted the annotation on Rapgenius: ”laying off of the King Arthur line, he says he’s the king author but doesn’t even use a pen/write his lyrics down.
This may also be an allusion to Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s quote ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ If so, Capital STEEZ is going against the statement by saying the sword is mightier to him because he doesn’t even use a pen for his rhymes.”
I had a hard time writing lyrics
Now I’m way over heads, science fiction
You can try and get it, my man the flyest with it
With a mind of fine of interest for your finest interests
They say hard work pays off
Well tell the Based God don’t quit his day job
Cause P.E’s about to take off
With protons and electrons homie that’s an A-bomb
In an A bomb aka atomic bomb , Protons and Electrons are needed to create the blast. Here, Pro Era blowing up means their rise in popularity. It is literally compared Atomic bomb. They are about to blow up with the heaviest power in the world.
Finger to the president screamin’ “fuck censorship!”
STEEZ shows his opposition towards the president, in this situation Obama. He presents him the ”middle” finger while screaming ”Fuck censorship” to show people his opinion on the Government trying to for example censor the Internet. STEEZ disapproves the actions of his president, and therefore shows that there have to be some changes. He adresses the problem ”censorship” towards the president, which is the highest authority in the US. Therefore he really is convinced of his statement.
If Obama got that president election
Then them P.E. boys bout to make an intervention
If Obama will get chosen to be the president again, Pro Era will try to intervene his presidentship to take matters into their own hands. They are convinced that they can do it better than the President himself, therefore putting a lot of problems and faults that are not resolved into Obama’s hand.
Fuck what I once said, I want the blood shed
Cause now-a-days for respect you gotta pump lead
Previously STEEZ’s place was about peace. Nowadays to earn some respect in your gang you have to pump lead, which is shooting a rifle. Places are not safe anymore, and there is nobody who does something about it. Life there has changed into all day violence, where you aren’t safe anywhere.
I guess Columbine was listenin’ to Chaka Khan
And Pok??mon wasn’t gettin’ recognized at Comic-Con
these lines show the audience some sarcasm. STEEZ states that the shooters of the Columbine shooters listened to the Soul and R&B artist Chaka Khan, and that Pokemon was not recognised at the biggest game convention in the world. As both these things are inevitable to happen, STEEZ plays on the previous line where he definitely will earn respect. The chance that he will not get respect are as big as these 2 lines to happen, which is extremely small.
It’s like we’ve been content with losin’
Quoted from Rapgenius: ”People nowadays are afraid of trying to be the best because it’s too much work. As a result, people are okay with losing just so they don’t have to fail trying. Also, STEEZ is continuing to speak politically, where people in the street are cool with being in the street or the lower class is happy with their 9-5’s but fail to see the bigger picture. White folks are keeping minorities in the lower class this way. We’re victims to the system.”
And half our students fallen victim to the institution
Jobs are scarce since the Scientific Revolution
And little kids are shootin’ Uzi’s cause its given to ’em
Little weapon, code name: Smith and Wesson
And you’ll be quick to catch a bullet like an interception
These lines play on the development of the world, which comes with certain problems: Students become victims to the institutions, which are in this situation the schools. They keep the students there against their will, and make them learn things they don’t wanna learn. Still they have to finish it otherwise a proper job is not guaranteed (it never is). Then, because of the Scientific Revelution massive improvements were made in machinery, which led to a decrease in jobs. This then results in more and more workless people, all because replacement by machine’s is way cheaper. Little kids playing with Uzi’s also refers to a big problem in the United States, lack of security. Nobody pays attention to children playing with guns, while everybody should be because that’s not how a child should grow up. The society just does what it likes, which results in growing problems. Politicians don’t interfere these problems with sollutions, while we can easily ”catch a bullet” which is a synonym for being killed. Another interpretation, done by Rapgenius: ”When a football player throws a fast pass, it’s sometimes known as a ‘bullet pass,’ so if the opposing team catches it, its an interception. With criminals and police shooting in the streets, everyone becomes a target, meaning that you can take a bullet to the head just by walking downtown, without being involved with guns at all, only living your daily routine.”
If your man’s tryna disrespect it
Send a message and it’s over in a millisecond – nigga
If someone disrespects STEEZ and his crew, he will get killed in a millisecond which is incredibly fast. This speed plays on the speed of an text message, which also send pretty quickly.
Conclusion to this song: From this song I can conclude that there are a lof of different sorts of problems in the lives of Joey Bada$$ and Capital STEEZ. However, I assumed that Bada$$ would focus more on issues around him. In this song, he mostly raps about his own situation and his own rap skills, which do not add anything to my main question. Therefore this was not the perfect song to choose. But even though he raps about himself, that doesn’t resist him to throw in some lines putting emphasis on the problems from different aspects. Violence is a big issue in their area, that’s why they have to arm themselves up to be prepared for a shooting. Because this problem involves a big part of the Inhabitants of Brooklyn, the reason for Bada$$ and STEEZ to address these problems is probably to awake certain people, such as the President. They cannot change the situation in their deprived area, but the government can. Thats why they mention the government pretty often, to show him the struggles in their daily life. The purpose of this song can certainly be defined as describing the conditions of their home area, with a lot of criminal activities and violence that are not being resolved. It even affects the kids, who should be growing up in a safe environment. Their problems need some national attention, just as all the other deprived areas. Only in that way we can resolve the issues that make a lot of rappers address them in their rap songs.
Conclusion on chapter IV:
To Give a conclusion on this chapter, I first of all have to say that these four rappers are incredibly smart. The way in which they bring their message regarding certain points is so strong and powerful, that you simply cannot resist it’s content. Certainly for people who use their mind to reach for knowledge their lyrics can be described as an art form, in terms of Literary and rhetorical devices. However, the content of their raps isn’t something to laugh about because they are dead serious. In the way Ab-soul and Kendrick Lamar for example blames the government for the long duration of discrimination and the lack of restoration in deprived areas, you can clearly see that these problems are dead serious. They have great impact on the way people have to live their life, though nobody deserves to live in such condition. Still it happens. The government simply doesn’t do anything about these issues, which keeps them going on and on. Capital STEEZ and Joey Bada$$ clearly highlight the problems in their own area, with all it’s results. Again, the government has to make sure that these hoods stay safe. But they do not succeed in their job. Therefore the government should be addressed on their mistakes and lacks, and that’s what these rappers do. They form their opinion towards the authorities, with the intention that the situations will change. The police doesn’t help them, but only causes more trouble in their eyes. They claim that they can choose their own life, and their own way of living it. Whether the Government is influenced by these raps is not clear, but they at least reach their audience which then can build up an statement upon their lines. These rappers also express themself as ethical minorities, because even though everyone owns equal rights discrimination still happens on a daily basis. They cannot escape the prejudices, therefore they include them in their raps to give everybody a clear image of what their folk lived through for a long time. These concious rappers adress the problems on social-cultural, political and ethical level in a way that makes the audience fully understand them, and sharing their thought that there needs to be a change. In that way, they are very successful when it comes to bring a message from society under the eyes of many many people.
Conclusion of this PWS
In the beginning of this PWS, I wanted to find out in what way the social-cultural, political and ethical problems around the world affected the rap songs of certain conscious rappers. I did a lot of research on the background of hip hip hop itself, on the background of the various rappers and on the content of their raps. From there I can conclude that the problems certain rappers had to live through everyday massively influenced their songs. This representation can be linked to the lives of these rappers. They all grew up under bad conditions, while facing a lot of discrimination. In the content of the 3 songs that I analysed there were a lot of references to problems regarding certain parts society, and mostly caused by the government. Those rappers did not state those issues there for nothing. They must have lived through the hard conditions themselves, and therefore they want to address those problems in their raps. For me, the effect of these raps is very sucessfull and I believe that that also counts for many other people. If a message is brought over through music it kind of strengthens the meaning. The way in which they presented these issues comes with mastering the art of writing. If you do not expand your knowledge on the English Language, you simply cannot write such lines with such an content in word play and meaning. The effect of using clever lines is that it gives way more depth to the songs in general. Using difficult combinations of words makes you look a way more developed rapper than if you rap about common subjects. They rap about global problems that need to be changed, so using word combinations only strengthens their aim of adressing these problems. Overall, I think this conclusion matches the main question, because it gives an clear explanation on how these various problems are presented and what the effect of that is. Furthermore, this PWS was a hell of a job. I put way more than 80 hours in it, even though I worked individually. This resulted in a lack of time in terms of not spreading the time well enough. That resulted in a lack of time at the end. Also, this subject is so underdeveloped here in Holland, that I had to get all knowledge from the internet. This does not show much Diversity, which really sucks. If I would have known that before the start, I would have chosen another subject. I did have fun because this subject is something I love to do something with later, but the amount of work is simply not doable.
Attachment 1: Subject Choice and Ori??ntation.
1. Namen/klas: Jasper Kreijtz V6C
2. Onderwerp: various problems adressed by certain consience rappers in the US.
3. Course/school subject: This pws belongs to the subject english, with a focus on the language that is used to bring a certain statement.
4. I have Spoken to: Mr Heinrichs, who assented the subject of this PWS
5. Motivation: I have a huge passion for the english language literature, especially on a high level in rap lyrics. Therefore, this subject suits me perfectly. I spend a part of my free time on analysing and deconstructing certain rap lyrics, to understand the exact meaning of the song and the way in which it is presented. Most of the time i’m really dismayed by the intelligence that is put in most of these songs. They can be compared to magnificent literary works, because the context represent deep reflections of their own vision on their individual life and on the life in the outside world. This then goes parallel with an incredible combination of words, where many rhetoric and literary devices are used. The use of complicated sentences contributes to bringing their personal message. In comparison to other rappers, there are not that many who show their intelligence and developed knowledge about the language. A big part of the rap game is simply taken over by rappers who only want to entertain and make money. The group of intelligent rappers however distincts itself by showing their knowledge in rappin. I want to do research on the question how the problems these rappers witnessed are described in their songs, and what the effect of mentioning these problems is. I will also pay specific attention to the word play that is used, because wordplay resembles the knowledge of the rapper on how to write a proper song. My motivation for this subject is really big, therefore I will put in all effort that is needed to reach a suitable conclusion.
6. Hoofdvraag: De hoofdvraag luidt: Welke sociaal-culturele en maatschappelijke factoren dragen er bij aan de manier waarop bepaalde rappers hun gevoelens en statements uiten via de inhoud van hun nummers?
– How are social & cultural and political factors represented in songs written by conscious rappers?
– To what extend are ethnic and racial inequalities discussed in conscious rap songs?
– In what way do specific rap songs show the attitude of the rapper towards his own life and the outside world
How are the factors regarding the different views of society expressed in terms of Literary devices and Rhetorical devices such as metaphors, alliterations, allusions, word play and paradoxes?
8. Hypothese: Mijn voorlopige antwoord op de hoofdvraag en deelvragen is dat vooral de plek waar rappers zijn opgegroeid, het leven dat zij daar hebben geleid gecombineerd met hun visie op de gehele samenleving vooral bepaald hoe zij op de inhoud van hun nummers komen. Rappers die bijvoorbeeld uit een hele arme wijk komen zullen schrijven over hun tragische leven, en aangezien die hoogstwaarschijnlijk geen goede scholing hebben gehad zou de inhoud wel niet zeer kwalitatief zijn. Toch kan het wel zijn dat dit aanslaat over de wereld omdat het gewoon catchy is, en de artiest enorm veel emoties en passies in zijn nummers stopt. Rappers die bijvoorbeeld op een goede school hebben gezeten, maar zich toch een lange tijd niet lekker in hun vel hebben gevoeld en een kritische visie op de samenleving hebben, kunnen rappen over de gehele maatschappij met kwalitatieve teksten. Hiermee laten ze zien hoe zij de wereld observeren, en vaak ook hun kennis van de engelse taal.
9. Rode draad:
– waar/hoe vind je je informatie? Ik vind mijn informatie door middel van het internet, boeken die ik ga lezen, muziek die ik ga luisteren en door het proberen van interviews met hiphop-artiesten op te zetten.
– Welke experts buiten je school kun je inschakelen? ik ken verschillende personen in Deventer die op dit gebied al redelijk ver zijn, die mij hier vast in kunnen helpen/ondersteunen door middel van het toegankelijk stellen van informatie.
– Welke informatie/faciliteiten denk je daar te vinden? informatie over het dagelijkse leven van een rapper, zowel in Nederland als in de USA. Ik focus mij daarbij vooral op de informatie die zij kunnen vertellen over hun inspiraties uit Amerika, waarvan ik vrijwel zeker ben dat zij mij daar iets over kunnen vertellen. De verschillende faciliteiten zullen bestaan uit rappers, maar ook uit experts op het gebied van de hiphop als kunst.
– Welke experimenten ga je doen? experimenten zoals interviews, rondleidingen door studio’s, het luisteren van verschillende soorten amerikaanse hiphop muziek en misschien het uitdelen van enqu??tes.
– Hoe ga je je resultaten verwerken? ik zal mijn resultaten allemaal netjes verwerken in het werkstuk door middel van grafiekjes, tabelletjes, cijfers uit antwoorden van enqu??tes, uitgewerkte teksten en vooral uitgebreide antwoorden op alle vragen.
– Hoe ga je je resultaten presenteren?
xt in here…