Unit 2 (revision)

Brandon Ma
English Composition ll
Finding your own Identity
In the mid-1900s to late ’90s, there was little to no acceptance to individuals who identify as LGBTQ within their communities. Everyone has their own journey in what they want to achieve later in life, and should not be influenced by how others think and act. Here we are in 2019, there is more acceptable compared to the 1900s but it’s hard
for people coming out to society because they may we worried about their safety. People should be able to express themselves freely for who they are without the negative opinions of others that will make individuals feel discriminated.

According to the television show “I am Jazz”, originally a documentary
transitioning into a reality show. This reality show revolves around this transgender child who transitioned from male to female at a premature age. While the show main focus is on Jazz’s life, however, in reality, she is an advocate for transgender rights. This reality
show can target any range of audience who is curious to learn more about the life of a young transgender teen. For example, waking up every day and having gender defining parts of the body that does not associate with their brain. This is one of the many things that people who identify as transgender experience every day, wanted to change very
badly. When people who do not have access to services to support them mentally to combat these feelings will eventually develop symptoms that lead to depression, anxiety, etc. leading to suicide. When you tell your parents you’re transgender, they might think you’re going through a denial stage, especially if you’re very young. For example in Jazz’s situation, ”the moment she was able to speak, she told her parents that she
was transgender”. When telling her parents, two brothers and the rest of her family had everyone speechless. No one knew what to do with Jazz in her attempts to transition at a precocious age and wasn’t accepting at first. Jazz’s parents believed they had nurtured their child in a way that might’ve caused these expressions. While there are some researchers that say its the psychology, and can not be the possibility of these children brainwashed into thinking they are transgender. In my opinion, the individual
should be able to express themselves however they would like even if they are brainwashed as long as things are reversible because everyone should be able to be happy since everybody only lives once in this world. However, not everyone can be happy in this world, in a society that judges everyone in a negative attitude without being sensitive towards the individual.

Not everyone can take negative criticism and be calm about it. Jazz and her
mother decided to confront an anti-trans group that has been targeting their family. In this auditorium, the air was filled with intensity, one of the audience came forward and said: “what bathroom do you use”. Jazz responded with “I use the female bathroom because I am female” and the individual responded with “I believe it’s a sick thing basically”. This show how people are disgusted with what is happening in our society
because these questions weren’t supposed to contain his opinions. There should be boundaries that people should respect when it comes to difficult topics to discuss. These influences can change how a transgender person will come out because of intentional threats they may receive. Some people might ask, “when is it a good time to transition?” because the brain of an infant hasn’t matured to think logically. This controversial topic led to people believing, that these parents are trying to brainwash their child into doing something that changes their psychologically and physiologically.

From the beginning of Trump’s campaign, there has been an increase in violence in our society. Throughout Trump’s term, Trump’s administration has announced a plan to thin out the terms of the biological gender meaning there will be only male and females. This caused the LGBTQ community to question the future. This will be impactful to individuals meaning the removal of some LGBTQ centers that offer treatments
to their patients. People who may not want to be tied down to male or female will unable to express themselves. If the terminology was justified, people of the LGBTQ community would not be safe because of the existing violence against LGBTQ individuals. Any type of violence against an individual identified as LGBTQ would not be considered a hate crime meaning the crime is less severe. There are people who may
not express their identity freely because of the dangers that can be exposed to them. Another action that Trump has done, was everybody who identifies as transgender to resign from the military. This is impactful to individuals because their job is resigned and won’t be able to serve their country. However, according to the Independent, “The administration had also attempted to ban transgender individuals from serving in the US
military but was blocked by several federal judges and opposition from military leaders”(Sampathkumar). This shows Trump revisions into the regulations, however, it is not being enforced by every department of the military. Trump’s action of using his power isn’t being supportive of everyone but for his own advantages.

While not going too deep into my story, my journey is a little different from others. Growing up, my parents had thought I was going through a phase and ignored it. As time continued, my stress and depression had drastically increased until I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Having this feeling constantly come and go like a tide wave became unbearable as time continued. Another problem that I face was not having a consistent therapist that helped me. I always feared to tell my grandparents what I believed in and
worried about their reaction if I tell them. There is still tension with my parents because it is not an easy topic to talk about.
As we move into the future, there are still many people hiding their identity even today to their parents or friends in the fear of unacceptance. Now after Trump has proposed this new identification, people would have to be even more cautious because that shows how our society is moving forward today in our era. However, New York City is a great place to be in such as pushing the rights for a person to use a single-sex bathroom that aligns with their expressed gender identity. Everyone should be able to express themselves such as their gender identity and/or sexual orientation freely
without the negative opinions holding them back.



Works Cited
Green, Erica L., et al. “’Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump
Administration.” The New York Times , The New York Times, 21 Oct. 2018,
Hobbs, Allegra. “Threat to Roll Back Trans Rights Sparks Action.” Am New York , Am
New York, 23 Oct. 2018,
Sampathkumar, Mythili New York @MythiliSk. “Trump Administration Considers
Elimination of Transgender Recognition.” The Independent , Independent Digital
News and Media, 21

Unit 2

Laisha De  Jesus

       My artifact is a photo inspired a song by Kesha called Praying. Throughout the song, Kesha speaks about how she lifted herself up from her pain and wish the person that hurt her the best. This song relates mostly to the individuals including myself that have been through depression, has been hurt by others and recovered from it. This song inspired me to make this photo of my inner struggles.

        My thought process for this photo was how can I show my struggles in artists way. I knew I couldn’t draw and I’m not that creative to think of anything else so I thought of a picture. At first, I was going to make a recreation of a drawing but I wanted my artifact to be originally from me. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted the picture to look like so kept replaying the song and she said: “Ah sometimes, I pray for you at night, oh Someday, maybe you’ll see the light”. This got me thinking most of my negative thoughts comes to haunt me at night and I always tried to stay positive. So, why not take a picture that represents that. In the picture, there is two of me in black and one in white. The black represents how I’m always angry at myself for who I am and the pain I went through and the other one is how I used to be disgusted with my The white represents the faith and light in me that won’t let my thoughts get to me.



tohuratun chowdhury

Name : Tohuratun Chowdhury

Class: English1121

Prof. Hall  

                                                Women Empowerment

Gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right. A woman is entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from want and from fear. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and to improved prospects for the next generation. They place themselves on pedestals and force women to believe in their own inferiority to men and their incapability to excel educationally, politically, economically, and domestically. But the truth is that women will eventually advance in all these areas and come to realize that they do not need men to survive. I use a book called “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” and I also used an artist statement to show the importance of women in our society.


Many countries don’t give women the right they deserved as a human. I read the book “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban”.  This theme is the central focus of all of Malala’s activism. Growing up in and around a school, Malala learned quickly the power that education has to shape a child’s life, determine their future prospects, and give them the courage to speak up for what they believe in. It was because of her education that Malala was empowered to stand strong against the Taliban occupation of her home, and she has used her fame to try to give as many other children as possible the opportunity to go to school. On 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. She changed her fear of her strength. On my artist statement, I showed a girl with a scarf holding a book. It’s mean every religion gives women the right to education.


On my artist statement about women empowerments. It’s not easy to be a woman every step they have to face a lot of conflicts. Women are the roots of the nations, they embody the structure needed to carry on life, hence a woman gave us our life. They are the one who helps their child to take their first steps, the most important woman in our life is our mother. The woman who raised us and helped us become who we are today. women are always ready to face any hardship in their life to raise their child. When a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life. When she is healthy, she can be more productive, and when her reproductive rights including the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of her children, and to make decisions regarding reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence are promoted and protected, she has the freedom to participate more fully and equally in society. Without women, the world would not exist. Women as a whole take on a huge responsibility in society and the life of humans. In this art statement, the girl is seen facing north, which implies how women are powerful enough to succeed and go up. Even though we have more rights for women in this age they are still facing difficulties in their day to day life. For example, domestic violence is a huge issue in a woman’s life, in my art statement, an eye is seen with a teardrop coming out. The harassment, pain, and violence a woman faces cause emotional and mental distress.

In hence, Women are faced with countless difficulties. But we do not let that hold us back, the pain and distress women face are nothing new but we will fight till we are equal.

Wake Up!! – Waleed Qureshi

Waleed Qureshi

ENG 1121

Dr. Carrie Hall



Laga Reh (Keep It Up) is a song by Shehzad Roy, a Pakistani singer. Everyone knows that no country is perfect and Pakistan is of them. It is filled with corrupt politicians and protesting people. Which is not very uncommon in any country. In this song the singer is telling people that everyone in this country, after every little period of time, the country is in a delicate situation and it never changes. He is telling the people that they are just too greedy when it comes to themselves. Everyone is just not satisfied with what they get. They always want more. In this, to some extent they themselves don’t understand that when they are trying to do something for themselves, they end up making it worse for the other person who is not in the same position as they are and they never stop. In the song, when the singer explains this to the public, a man just says, “so what should I do, lose hope”, at this time the singer just tells the man to never mind and keep doing what he’s doing. According to the song, even elders of the country have lost all hope and they are just praying that God will handle everything by himself so just leave everything to Him. The singer even explains that just by saying this, people are still not doing anything better and leaving everything in the hands of God. Then the singer talks about the good people in the world. He says that if anyone had a chance to, their greed would not let them stay good and they will instantly turn into the people that they are trying to stop. He tells in the song that even right now anyone who has stayed good was ditched at some point when they almost turned bad. I don’t completely agree to this that not all people are like the people he displayed in the song but I don’t completely disagree with him either because even I don’t know what I might do if I had everything in the world I wanted because probably by then I would so self absorbed, I might not realize what I might be doing wrong. In the end he gets to the straight to the point and explains that everyone is just sleeping and they need to wake up and look around and realize what is happen next to them or to them but if they don’t do it right now, it will probably be too late but right now nobody understands him.



Shehzad Roy: When I was ten years old, I heard on the 9 o’clock news that Pakistani history is at a critical crossroads/crisis.

Kid: Daddyy!!

Then I turned twenty, and heard on the news once again…that Pakistani history is at a critical crossroads.

Having tied your impossible dreams to yourself, you’re standing, holding your ground.
You’re an ordinary person, dude, enough, can’t do it anymore.

Political activist: So what should I do? Lose hope?
Roy: No. Just keep at it.

Keep at it, keep at it, you keep going.
Keep waiting, keep waiting, you remain stubborn.
Laying still, laying still, you stay still.

Respected elders–they asked me, how will the nation run?
Respected elders–I told them, keep at it, keep at it.
Respected elders–they asked me, how will the nation run?
Respected elders–I told them

I’m not concerned about whether the nation will run. I’m concerned that it might go on running like this.

Keep at it, keep at it, you keep going.
Keep waiting, keep waiting, you are waiting.
Laying still, laying still, you stay still.

Dude, there’s a lot of tension in the nation.
It’s nothing, it’s nothing, leave everything to Allah.

Don’t do a thing.
You don’t do a thing.
Everything you leave to Allah.
Allah is your protector, period.

Oi, brother, you too are facing a crossroads (can also mean “have become a cause of catastrophe“),
holding your ground.
You’re an ordinary man–hey, stop! …Now it’s painful, dude.

Lawyer: No way. There’re still a few noble people remaining…on the planet.

Respected elder–he asked me, who is noble, tell me.
Respected elder–I told him

A noble person is he who hasn’t had the chance yet to prove himself otherwise

Keep at it, keep at it, you keep going.
Keep waiting, keep waiting, you are waiting.
Laying still, laying still, you stay still.
Keep at it, keep at it, you keep going.
Keep waiting, keep waiting, you are waiting.
Laying still, laying still, you stay still.

Reporter: The entire country’s law and safety has been restored to order.

And then one day the ground will disappear beneath your feet (pun, can also mean “you will face the biggest catastrophe” and “your land will be snatched away“)
And then to you, they will say..
They will say, “you’re soaring in the clouds.”
You’re soaring in the clouds.
(pun, can also mean “you are finally free“)

Poor man: So…will we really, truly be soaring in the clouds? Eh?
Roy: If you won’t understand, fool, then…!

Keep at it, keep at it, you keep going.
Keep waiting, keep waiting, you are waiting.
Laying still, laying still, you stay still.
Keep at it, keep at it, you keep going.
Keep waiting, keep waiting, you are waiting.
Laying still, laying still, you stay still.

Poor man: That boy’s face resembled Shehzad Roy’s so much…

Politician 1: Sir, it might be time to wake up the nation.
Politician 2: Don’t wake them up! They’re sleeping because of some very important work.


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Unit 3: Technology is the future and so should Elon Musk

Michael Vignoles

Unit 3

March 26, 2019

Technology is the future and so should Elon Musk

No matter if we like it or not technology will be apart of our lifestyles in the future. So we as humans need to adapt with technology in hopes to make a better world. However, because of the human nature, greed and money will always be a motivation. Technology in the right hands can benefit humans tremendously; however if it’s in the wrong hands it will only slow down or destroy the progression of humans. Elon Musk envisions a world only powered by reusable energy in hopes of preventing serious climate change damages. With Musk’s recent and most known invention, Tesla electrics cars, he hopes to create a safer world for the human race.

Since the invention of motor vehicles, awareness to prevent climate change with our vehicles were made. Things like car pooling or cars made to run on half gasoline and electricity at the same time. But were are coming to a point where small changes will only make small progression in fixing this major issue. Tesla cars that are solely ran by electricity is addressing the issue at the head of the snake. According to Union of Concerned Scientist, gas powered cars and trucks are producing 24 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon used. Our personal vehicles are 1/5 of the cause of US carbon dioxide being released into our environment. Our personal vehicles and public vehicles like trucks, planes, and ship count for about 30% of all US warming emissions. If we’re able to create a world where our vehicles are no longer powered by gas, we would be addressing 30% of the climate change issues. 

With Musks creation of the Tesla car, he is pushing business and social boundaries by doing what was thought was the impossible. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet a mentor that made it far in the car industry. She informed me that she left the industry because cars innovation was too ahead of the time for people to understand and adapted too. She said simply that the car industry was moving too slow but had so much potential to excel. It is human nature to cling on to things that we are comfortable with whether it is people, habits, or technology. When Apple was releasing the iPhone 7 people went crazy that there were not going to be a AUX input for wired headphones. People were concerned about how they will charge and listen to music at the same time. Some customers switched Apple’s competitors Samsung just so they can have the comfort of the AUX input. During a TED talk with Elon Mush they talk about the concerns and safety people relying on electric self driving cars. Its difficult relying on a piece of technology that will make life or death decisions for you. No one believed that self driving cars would be apart of our generation. Humans are far from perfect and we make mistakes daily. According to Bryant Walker Smith, from The Center for Internet and Society, 99% for car crashes are caused by a human mistakes. If were able to create a world where humans can no longer make those mistakes behind a wheel and allow efficient technology to work cohesively together, car crashes and death should then be limited. Nothing will ever be perfect, but people and inventions should always strive for perfection. Comparing technology mistakes and human mistakes, technology is the closest thing to a perfect safe driving world.

We currently live in a world where big company purposely have planned obsolescence strategies to make as much money as they can. With huge corporate company dominating the car industry, they are only motivated by money and personal greed. I believe that these car company always had some sort of technology to prevent climate change or push innovations but didn’t want to release it to so they can drag out technology for profit.

Musk’s motivation is the protection of the human race and efficiency. Musk wants to make Mars habitable just to protect the human race from extinction. Musk’s introducing the self driving electric cars is pushing competitors and car innovations as a whole. In 2014, Musk released all blue prints of the Tesla models to all competitors. Simon Sproule, a spokesman for Tesla states “The mission of the company is to accelerate the widespread adoption of electric cars.” In another interview with Musk; he mentions how he wouldn’t care if another business were to take over the electric car industry because it will still be for the greater good for humans. Now in 2018, majority of the top car companies introduce all electric cars releasing within a few years. Huge car companies like BMW, Ford, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and many more. A new cars campaign was made  “Drive Change. Drive Electric.” Tesla and Elon Musk is the leading image for the electric car revolution and hopefully an answer to climate change.

One of the risks Musk takes with Tesla is that one mistake could be the end of the company and all self driving cars as a whole because people will lose trust in the technology. In the interview with TED states the 1/1000 crashes is still not good enough to convince a driver that any self driving vehicle is safe enough. He aiming to life times, where a Tesla car has not crashed within 5 life times. If a self driving car were to cause an accident, people will become skeptical relying their life on this technology. This is why other corporate car companies haven’t tried to develop anything close to the Tesla because they know if they fail it could result to the end of the company. With companies motivated by money and greed they will never take the necessary risks to help innovate humans as a whole. Leader and activist Beyoncè, risks her career and self image to perform live at the Super Bowl addressing issues like Women and black rights in hopes to motivate women and minorities. Musk sees the human species is endangered if change isn’t made soon. Musk is risking his multi-million business and the image of future technology in hope of creating a solution to climate change and a safer way of transportation.

Technology is in our future and we need to start adapting to the changes. It also needs to be regulated so that we can ensure that the technology is in the right hands and is being used for the greater good for the human race. It can do great things if supported by innovators who wants humans to advance as a whole. Musk is pushing boundaries and motivating other car companies to make a world where gas powered cars will no longer be a thing in the future.

Work Cited

  • Golson, Jordan. “Tesla Just Gave All Its Patents Away to Competitors.” Wired, CNMN Collection, 3 June 2017, www.wired.com/2014/06/tesla-just-gave-all-its-patents-away-to-competitors/.Hawkins,
  • Smith , Bryant Walker. “Human Error as a Cause of Vehicle Crashes.” Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School, 28 Mar. 1970, cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2013/12/human-error-cause-vehicle-crashes.

Mentor Article/Publisher

The Electronic Foundation is a program that supports basic human right and needs with technology around the world. The EFF protects the internets freedom of speech and expression.  I would try to publish this writing piece with this foundation because it’s a political platform with the understanding of the need of internet protection.

Hend Elwahwah

Dr. Hall



J.Cole is one of the greatest rapper of ALL time. He is the GOAT! Not many rappers could relate to J.Cole or his music game, especially in the trashy generation we are in. He has recently released a major fire hit called, “Middle Child.” Cole mentions so many topics during this song. The title on its own has a large meaning. Cole expresses himself as the “Middle Child” in the rap game in today’s generation.

Cole mentions in the song, “Everything grows, it’s destined to change, I love you lil’ niggas, I’m glad that you came I hope that you scrape every dollar you can I hope you know money won’t erase the pain.” What he means by that is actually really deep. Nowadays we got rappers like lil pump and every other “Lil” in the rap game being the “shit.” Sadly, that’s what our generations into. Cole knows that those “Lil Niggas” are way up there and he’s not bashing or hating on them. But what he always tries to do is give them a heads up of how this rap game works, or give them some advice about what it’s really about. Cole also speaks about how he’s wishing the good on them and hoping they can make every dollar they could but just a heads up and a warning, MONEY DON’T ERASE THE PAIN! Every person no matter who you are, famous, rich, poor or a regular person, you’re still going to go through obstacles in life, bad or good. Many people start to think “oh if I had this or that this wouldn’t happen,” truly, that isn’t true. It may seem like having money could clear all your problems and make you live your best life but honestly it makes a person sick. It doesn’t erase any pain, it’s like a temporary medicine that heals you for a little and than it starts all over again. The artist J.Cole is important because he is always trying to send a message to his fans.. and haters believe it or not. You can think of it like this, J.Cole is a wake up call for this generation and upcoming artists. Another lyric the artist shared that caught my eye was, “Im dead in the middle of two generations, I’m little bro and big bro all at once.” He’s acknowledging that he’s learned a lot from the legends before him and is looking to help the new artists coming up.          

Cole is trying to show this generation the perspective of today’s hip hop and how he feels he fits in. He definitely feels that working with the older and younger generation in the industry makes him feel like the, “Middle Child.” You can say, something different. He also mentions older generations in the hit. He mentions drake and how his bond with drake is something different in a good positive way. Both the goats in our era. But in my opinion J.Cole is the OG!

While watching J.coles music video for his hit, “Middle Child” I’ve realized a lot. One of the scenes it shows the audience J.cole driving around in a Bentley, for those of you that aren’t into cars, just know that’s an EXPENSIVE car. Real expensive. As he’s driving around in the Bentley with his boys he’s driving into mud and getting the Bentley all dirty with no care in the world about it. He’s trying to send a message to the audience that money don’t buy you happiness and it most definitely doesn’t erase any pain. Another scenery from the video that caught my attention was the ALL female, powerful marching band, setting the perfect beat for the song. That scene was followed by a white women noticing a black women’s baby hairs and right after that immediately scene switches to the white women in the grocery store shopping for a black women’s face. The black face had a red “special” sticker on the packaging. The video showed lots of appropriation of different levels. How styles of black women are only honored when they are not on black women.

In the video he seems to reference the fact that he’s yet to win a Grammy and that he’s awkwardly stuck between two hip hop generations. He also seems to tackle the topic of cultural appropriation of black people and artists. In the beginning scenery, Cole was in the middle of a crowd. To his right was the older generations, he’s in the middle, and to his left was this generation we are in. That’s how cole really feels. Another scenery that really caught my eye and made me stop and think what is cole really trying to say here. This scene was when the whole crowd ended up lying dead in the morgue and they were wearing Louboutin‘s red bottoms, which are overly expensive and one of the most high end shoes. Those red bottoms end up having dirt come out of them which makes you think how fake and ingenuine the wearer is. Ironically, that scene was followed by one of the dead bodies wearing louboutin heels and has a huge tattoo saying, “Loyalty.” Clearly, there isn’t any loyalty there. Stay aware of your surroundings.

All in all, behind one song it can mean so much. Behind every song there’s some deep meaning behind it. Especially with an artist that’s one of the deepest in our generation, since he is the Middle Child in this rap game. My first time listening to this song I stopped and thought to myself, I know J.cole about to hit us with some heat and most definitely trying to send us a message. When it comes to J.Cole you gotta stay woke! Paying close attention to a rapper as great as Cole, it’ll really open your eyes to a lot. I’m really glad I got to write about this song because once it came out I was hoping we got assigned this assignment! A message I hope y’all get from this is money don’t buy you happiness and choose wisely on what you do, who you with, your circle, stay woke!




Thank You, Kendrick

One afternoon, while I was working as a hostess in a restaurant, I overheard a song by Kendrick Lamar on the speakers. I only heard about two minutes of this lengthy 12-minute song. But, within those two minutes, I knew it was a song that I had to constantly play. I adored the soothing tone of his voice, and that is what made me fall in love with this song. No, not a song, a story. “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is composed of two parts. The interesting fact about Part One, “Sing About Me” is that it is broken down into three points of view. Part Two “I’m Dying of Thirst” includes a skit and ties back into the lyrics of Part One. Kendrick not only raps about today’s social issues; he raps about the social issues he’s personally gone through, as well as his friends, and how he overcomes these trials and tribulations.

I love Kendrick Lamar as lyricist because he is cut from a different cloth than today’s rappers. In my opinion, he is undeniably one of the greatest hip hop artists of his generation. I say this because all of his music is a story. He is not the usual artist that you’ll hear on the radio rapping about having sex with women, smoking weed or drinking “lean”, finding himself in trouble with the law or getting to the money. At least, you’ll probably never hear him rapping about these topics as a means for fun; he’s actually mentioned these topics to tell his story to his listeners to make them aware of the everyday life of a Compton teenager, even though we may just listen for entertainment.


What makes “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” so fascinating is one: it actually happened, two, this song ties into the whole album, which is a story line, and three, Kendrick wrote this song with three different points of view. In verse one, Kendrick is rapping, in his friend’s [named Dave] brother’s point of view. The brother’s name was never told; however, it is obvious he is speaking to Kendrick.

“Just promise me you’ll tell this story when you make it big…” ~ Verse One, Part I

He is telling Kendrick that he wants him to share his story with the world when he became famous. He tells the story of his brother getting shot right before him and his friends, including Kendrick. He also goes on to say how much he loved Kendrick for being a brother to his brother and for being there for him and his brother during the time of his death, as Kendrick is the one who held Dave in his arms as he was bleeding out. This verse was an example of a heavily common social issue, gun violence. Gun violence also corresponds with gang violence in this case. Kendrick raps:

“This Piru shit been in me forever
So forever I’ma push it, wherever, whenever…” ~Verse One, Part I

This clearly meant that Dave’s brother was gang-affiliated. This was more than common growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s in the wicked streets of Compton. Dave’s brother’s tone is angry and resentful towards the guys that killed his brother. It is also a tone of love admiration. As stated previously, Dave’s brother loved Kendrick as if Kendrick was his own brother. He says:

“I wonder if I’ll ever discover a passion like you and recover
The life that I knew as a youngin’;
In pajamas and dun-ta-duns” ~Verse One, Part I

This conveys that Dave’s brother’s wants to find “a way out” like Kendrick did with his music. Unfortunately, he never did. The verse ends with Kendrick rapping, and being interrupted by the sound of gunshots, indicating that Dave’s brother’s life was also cut short due to gun violence.

Verse two sums up the story of a teenage girl who follows in the footsteps of her older sister, Keisha. Again, the point of view is in that of Keisha’s younger sister but rapped by Kendrick Lamar. Unlike Dave’s brother, Keisha’s sister did not want Kendrick to sing about her. He starts the verse off by saying:

“You wrote a song about my sister on your tape
And called it Section. 80

The message resembled “Brenda’s Got A Baby” ~Verse Two, Part I

In Kendrick Lamar’s 2011 album “Section.80”, he wrote “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain)”, which was a story about a woman he knew, named Keisha. At the time, she was a 17-year-old prostitute. The message of the song was similar to Tupac Shakur’s “Brenda’s Got A Baby”, a story based on 12-year-old Brenda who got pregnant, became a prostitute for money and was slain. “Keisha’s Song” was a story that told the life of Keisha as a prostitute, with the same outcome as Brenda. The lines after this clearly show Keisha’s sister’s tone of disapproval after hearing the song about her very own sister. Keisha and her sister were prostitutes, and Kendrick did not mention that so abruptly; but there were parts of Verse two that hinted the profession of Keisha’s sister, which stood out to me:

“Even if I got to fuck, suck and swallow

In the parking lot, Gonzales Park, I’m followed

By a married man, and father of three

My titties bounce on the cadence of his tinklin’ keys

Matter of fact, he my favorite ’cause he tip me with E’s” ~Verse Two, Part I

This is one instance where a listener would find out that she’s a prostitute. Kendrick’s use of E’s is a homophone because this shows that he tips her easily because she’s a good prostitute and also tips her with ecstasy. Keisha’s sister is a teenager herself, and this is proved when she speaks upon running away from her foster home and not missing it; she believed that she was just another girl whose life was damaged by the system. She also shows a tone of slight regret and felt that if she was brought up by a family that actually loved and supported her, then maybe she would have learned to respect her body and become a woman, a leader.

Keisha’s sister’s tone of loathe is persistent throughout the verse. It became clear that her and Dave’s brother had opposing tones. Dave’s brother wanted Kendrick to tell their story when he made it big. It appeared that Keisha’s sister did not:

“…what point are you tryna gain

If you can’t fit the pumps I walk in?

I’ll wait… Your rebuttal a little too late

And if you have a album date, just make sure I’m not in the song…” ~Verse Two, Part I

Verse three is more centralized on Kendrick on verge of life and death. The tone of this verse is very unhappy, disgusted with himself as he stares into his reflection, and it becomes worse and worse every time he stares. It, more or less, becomes the rebuttal that Keisha’s sister claims (verse 2) was “late”. He reflects on both instances in verses one and two:

“And you’re right, your brother was a brother to me

And your sister’s situation was the one that pulled me

In a direction to speak on somethin’

That’s realer than the TV screen” ~Verse Three, Part I

The first line aimed at Dave’s brother, and corroborates verse one, which mentions that Dave’s brother sees Kendrick as a brother of his own. He is making sure that he’s telling Dave’s story and his because it is something that should be heard. The next three lines, and some after that, explain that Kendrick didn’t sing about Keisha to put her business out there and judging. It was instances like Dave’s and Keisha’s (and ultimately their brother’s and sister’s) that drove Kendrick to focus on his music, and not the sad life of the Compton streets. Kendrick hopes that one day, when he dies or retires, that someone will rap about his legendary days as a rapper, just as people do now with BIG and Tupac:

“…And hope that at least one of you sing about me when I’m gone

Am I worth it? Did I put enough work in?” ~Verse Three, Part I

At this point in the song, Part one’s (Sing About Me) beat is simmering down and the skit is arising. In the skit, Dave had just been killed due to gun violence, and Kendrick and friends are trying to figure out if they want revenge or to run. Dave’s brother concludes the skit by fumingly yelling that he’s tired of running. Kendrick starts off Part two (I’m Dying of Thirst) by stating:

“Tired of runnin’, tired of huntin’

My own kind, but retirin’ nothin’” ~Verse One, Part II

This is a never-ending cycle of violence in the black community; this is black-on-black violence that he partakes in because of the death of his friend. “Retirin’ nothin’” is in reference to not losing anything of value (besides involved loved-ones) after this is all said and done. Essentially, nothing is gained from violence.

Part two more so shows Kendrick’s relationship with God.

“My momma say “See, a pastor give me a promise

What if today was the rapture and you completely tarnished?

The truth will set you free, so to me be completely honest

You dyin’ of thirst, you dyin’ of thirst

So, hop in that water, and pray that it works.”

This is in reference to holy water. Kendrick is seeking salvation; he is talking about being baptized with the spirit of the Lord. The tone of Part two is reflective, and Kendrick just wants forgiveness from God.

I enjoyed listening to this song the first time; and I felt exactly the same way after dozens of listens. What I learned about Kendrick Lamar, and more so on this song, is that it ties into the whole album. Kendrick Lamar is very descriptive, and I believe that is what drew me into this song out of millions I could have chosen from. Not only did he tell a story of four people he deeply cared about, he made people aware of their situation of gun/gang violence and prostitution. I love music; however, I don’t listen to a lot of songs that will tell the story of the person rapping it. I will never have that problem with Kendrick Lamar.





Final Pop Culture

Brandon Ma
English Composition ll

Finding your own identity

In the early 1900’s, there has not been much acceptance to individuals who identify as LGBTQ in our communities. Everyone has their own journey in what they want to achieve and become later in life, and shouldn’t assume how others think and act in finding their own identity.
Here we are in 2019, it’s more acceptable as compared to the 1900’s but its hard for people coming out to society as their safety is still a factor. People should express for who they are without opinions of others that impacts their life.

According to the TV show “I am Jazz”, the focus of this documentary revolves around this transgender child from male to female at a very young age. It is very slice of life, but outside the TV show, she’s an advocate for trans rights. This reality show can target any audience who is curious to learn about the community out there and what a transgender individual will go through everyday. Such as waking up everyday and looking at themselves in the mirror, and say how their body doesn’t match with their psychology. These symptoms often lead to depression and anxiety, and worst case scenario is suicide.

For a person growing up at a very young age can be very shocking when they explain it to their parents. For example for Jazz said,”the moment she was able to speak, she told her parents that she was transgender”. Telling her only family, her brothers and especially her parents was really tough. They feared what will happen if they allowed Jazz to dress up the way she likes and get bullied at school. Or fall into deep depression and commit suicide. When coming out to everyone, it is a very hard topic to discuss at a very young age. Jazz’s parents may believe they might’ve nurtured them in a way that affected their perspective in life. While there are some researchers that say its the nature, down the biological psychology.

Even though there is more acceptance compared back to the 1900’s, but there is still some anti-trans people who despise trans individuals. Jazz and her mother “ decided confront an anti-trans group that has been targeting the family. In this auditorium with intensity in the air, one of the audience came and said “you should be discussing these things with your parents” like they haven’t discussed at all to begin with. Another thing he asked was “what bathroom do you use” which can be sounded offensive. Jazz said she uses the female bathroom because she identify as a female,however , this individual spoke his opinion saying “it’s a sick thing basically”. This showed how there will always be people who will in doubt hate transgender people by speaking out their opinions. This influences can change how a transgender person will come out because of threats they may receive. Some even argue the question , “ When is it a good time to transition as suppose you’re only a child”, because the brain of an infant hasn’t fully matured to think logically. This controversial topic led to people believing, that these parents are trying to brainwashing their child into doing something that changes their psychologically and physiologically.
It can also be hard for people who may not be transgender, and your sexual attraction can be homosexual relationships. Coming out to your most supportive family members and even friends can be challenging. Depending on your ethnicity it can be viewed as shameful act because of expectations the family. This can lead to individuals to not be supported by their family and often be depression. Eventually, keeping these emotions in will later on continue to make your life more miserable. Especially millennial will not understand the terms of LGBT, and it can be even harder for them to understand what a child will go through.

In the 21st century, there is a lot of hate and discrimination in our society. Such when Trump was campaigning for presidency in 2016. In his term, Trump’s administration has announced a plan to thin out the terms of gender to the biological male and female characteristics. This caused the LGBTQ community to question what will happen to them, and started protesting. This can be very drastic to individuals, this can mean removal of LGBTQ centers that offers healthcare, therapy, programs, and etc. For the millions of people in the United States will no longer be comfortable for they express themselves. If the term was justified, people of the LGBTQ community would not be safe because of the violence against LGBTQ individuals.This type of violence against the LGBTQ wouldn’t be considered an hate crime and can be viewed as crime.There are also people who are still not public about their identity because of the dangers that are imposed by these changes as increase to discrimination towards these individuals.

Another action that Trump has done in the past was by removing everyone who identify as transgender to resign from the military. According to Independent, “The administration had also attempted to ban transgender individuals from serving in the US military, but was blocked by several federal judges and opposition from military leaders” (Sampathkumar). This impacted individuals who are passionate to serve their country, but now they can’t. This is also a good reason that we have balanced of powers, thus people who are public about their identity will not be shamed for who they identify as. This shows Trump revisions into the regulations, however, it is not being enforced by every departments of the military. While there are higher powers in our society, everyone should be able to express freely without discrimination.

While not going too deep into my story, I went through this process. My parents thought it was a phase and ignored it and thought it was normal for every child to have, eventually this feeling every time I would try to forget about it. Having the feeling of anxiety and nervousness emotions held in for so many years that it became unbearable as time continued as if nothing has changed everyday I would wake up. I never had a consistent therapist that also helped me in my journey, and this often led me to having no one to talk to. I always feared telling my parents what I believe in, and worried what their next steps was. There is still tension about this topic because of that it’s not often discussed between my family.

As we move into the future, there are still many people hiding their identity even today to their parents or friends because of uncertainty if they will be accepted. Now after Trump has proposed this new identification, people would have to be even more cautious because that shows how our society is moving forward today in our era. However New York City is a great place to be in, New York City wouldn’t enforce these changes because of its democratic standpoint. New York City has even “pushed for the rights for a person to use a single-sex bathroom that aligns with their expressed gender identity, established by the Obama administration” according to Independent. There has been implementation that individuals are treated equally in our schools, such as the implementation of unisex bathrooms, dorms, programs that are individual sex, and more. Everyone should be able to express themselves their gender identity and/or sexual orientation freely without the toxicity holding them back.

Works Cited
Green, Erica L., et al. “’Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html.
Hobbs, Allegra. “Threat to Roll Back Trans Rights Sparks Action.” Am New York, Am New York, 23 Oct. 2018, www.amny.com/news/transgender-rights-nyc-trump-1.22354107.
Sampathkumar, Mythili New York @MythiliSk. “Trump Administration Considers Elimination of Transgender Recognition.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 21 Oct.2018,www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-transgender-rights-lgbtq-gender-identity-bathrooms-military-education-a8595131.html.