Minhaj Uddin

English 1121

Professor Carrie Hall

March 25th, 2019

Logic has wrote a very inspirational song about suiciding and it is called 1800-273-8255. The title of the song is the suicide line. He grew up in poverty and lived a hard life. His dad was a drug addict and his mom was a racist. When he was a kid he use to live with his god mother and not his parents. He knows what it feels like to want to suicide but he says that you should always talk to someone its not worth it. Many people make fun of other kids not knowing how hurt the other kids get. Bullying and cyberbullying is one of the main factors of suicide. Many kids go to school and get made of fun of what they wear and how there as a person and the feel really bad about themselves and they don’t know how to deal with is so they feel that they should end there life and thats the only way that is the only way that the pain will go away and logic explains in the song that suiciding is not the solution to those problems. The reason that I have picked this song and wrote about is because I find this topic a very important. What I have drew in this drawing is a bunch of kids making fun of another kid and they are making him feel bad. One girl is recording him crying which shows that he will have to deal with cyber bullying as well to. These bunch of kids are having a really good time laughing and make fun of the kid but they don’t know what the other kid is going through and they are just adding onto his sadness that he feels. The sun in this picture represents the happiness that the kids are having and how they are enjoying themselves just by making someone else feel bad. The lightning and rain represent the hurt that he is feeling because the kids think that kid doesn’t feel bad but even on a nice and sunny day for everyone in his world it is always ugly outside and it is raining because he never feels happy due to the fact that he is always being bullied and feeling hurt.The suicide rate in this world has risen by a lot and people feel that it is ok to make fun of others and hurt people just so they can feel cool or better about them selves just because they made a couple people around them laugh. They don’t understand that the person that they are making fun of is really hurt and they don’t know what to do with themselves and they don’t have any friends. They cut themselves and hurt themselves even more just creating more pain and they feel that physical pain will over go on the emotional pain but that is the wrong thing to do. Suicide is a major issue in todays world and should be talked about more in the world. Logic has wrote a song and he has made it known that it is wrong and people shouldn’t feel alone and they have someone to talk to and they will feel that they are worth being in the world.

Scanned Documents

Stanley Desir                                                                                                      ENG 1121

03/11/19                                                                                                               Pop Culture

 

Ain’t No PTSDs, Them Drugs Keep It At Ease

 

Post traumatic stress disorder. Or as we call it PTSD, is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. A very prominent figure in the rap culture had suffered Ptsd and shaped him into the person he is today. On his latest anticipated album “Championships” Meek Mill has a song named “Trauma”. From the beginning of the song to the end you can feel the soul samples and the beat.

The name of the song is more of a meaning then just the name of a song. It’s the reason why Meek Mill is a rapper today. When the video was released, Meek’s son is playing the role of youth meek. His childhood self sits next to a photo of his deceased father as he pens a letter to him. He also appears in the present, reflecting on his experiences, from tragic deaths to court and prison, in a mirror. Flashbacks of street life populated with drugs, money, gambling and police busts are seen throughout.

There are many lyrics through out the song that dictates Trauma as a serious issue in American culture especially within the black community. In the chorus we hear the lines “See my brother blood on the pavement, How you wake up in the mornin’ feelin’ evil? Uhh, trauma” Imagine being around the age of 14-15 and seeing bodies drop like flies. It does something to you. Later on at the beginning of a verse Meek says “Ain’t no PTSDs, them drugs keep it at ease”. In an interview with the breakfast club his response to this bar was that “It’s real life, sometimes,  You might gotta get prescribed some sleeping medicine to got to sleep from trauma, shit you’ve seen. And I was really speaking of like, when you go to court, you can’t go to court and be like, “You honour, I was carrying this gun ‘cause 50 people in my neighbourhood got killed when I was young and I got Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. They ain’t tryna hear that. You come from the army or something’ like that, then it makes sense. But from our community, if you come talkin’ that talk, that’s like a foreign language. I never even heard of nobody getting’ in court saying’ that. Even, having that to be a backup.” You see the issue Meek is arguing against, a young black individual can carry a firearm for their own safety because of all the trauma they’ve experienced. In the court of law it won’t be valid but for a veteran it makes perfect sense. Both a veteran and an individual whose watched people getting killed both experience the same level of trauma. Meek takes on the responsibility of using these experiences to educate his fans.

The first time I heard of the song Trauma was when it was released as a single off of Meek’s album, “Championships.” It was towards the end of my first semester of college and I was going through a stressful time with the idea of moving back to Brooklyn and transferring schools. Meek’s album gave me a good feeling. Trauma hit home because I dealt with trauma through out my life growing up in Brooklyn. In “Trauma”, I feel like Meek is explaining his views of it. I feel like he can’t escape it. The lyrics in the song that depicts that idea are “11 years going to court knowing they might keep you or drive you crazy.” Meek was placed on a 15 year probation after being convicted of aiming a firearm at a police officer.

Meek tells the story of how young kids become products of traumatizing situations when living in poor areas. serves to put the song’s lyrics of witnessing death, police abuse, drug use, and unsupervised children on display to drive the point home. It’s a reminder of the message and activism Meek Mill is trying to focus on even more in his raps. Meek has toured and gave press attention to advocate for criminal justice reform, focusing in particular on the unjust structural quirks of the probation system. Meanwhile, Meek’s legal team continues to fight for a retrial in his original 2008 case for allegedly brandishing a weapon at a police officer, though repeated attempts to remove the ethically controversial judge overseeing his probation have been denied. Meek even states that the judge has a lot of self hate for her own people being the same skin color as Meek and causing a lot of controversy for the rapper.

PTSD doesn’t get as much attention it deserves. It’s a social injustice. The audience Meek tries to connect with through his song Trauma is the justice system and white America and how they need to stop demonizing the character of black men who were arrested for possession of a firearm. Some times the trauma comes from witnessing your own kin or friend get murdered in front of your eyes. So it’s ideal that you walk around strapped up. Black men have an unbelievable weight on their shoulders. The stress comes in every direction on a daily basis. The impact of walking down the street in your own neighborhood can be a traumatic experience in itself. You don’t know who to trust. You would love to trust your brother who shares the same melanin as you, but he’s bound by that same fear that has you tip toeing on eggshells just to walk to work or school.

Going forward, I feel as a country we need to shed more light on PTSD within black communities. This disorder is developed after being exposed to something that is highly stressful, scary or dangerous. This exposure doesn’t have to happen directly to the person with PTSD. For instance, seeing your friend be killed and even being in the home of domestic abuse can all trigger PTSD in a person. Marked by frequent flashbacks, hallucinations, mood changes and avoidance behavior, PTSD is a disease that gets overlooked in our community. Meek’s past experiences still affect him till today. “It can be intrusive symptoms such as thoughts and emotions that intrude into his life and causes him to re-experience trauma such as flashbacks, nightmares, and sudden feelings of terror. Another way of knowing is his attempt to avoid re-experiencing trauma, and constantly feeling threatened,” Dr. Holland-Kornegay explained. PTSD can be a host of things, but for many Black men these things will be looked at as oh the “normal” experiences we go through. Our Black men have a distrust of the medical institution in America. Black men at home self-diagnosing or coping in ways that are detrimental. Researchers in Atlanta interviewed more than 8,000 inner-city residents and found that about two-thirds said they had been violently attacked and that half knew someone who had been murdered. At least one in three of those interviewed experienced symptoms consistent with PTSD at some point in their lives According to Dr. Kerry Ressler, “The rates of PTSD we see are as high or higher than Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam veterans.” This quote is absurd. And I don’t understand how this country has a blind eye to this topic.

Invisible Man: Black Men & PTSD

https://www.spin.com/2018/12/meek-mill-trauma-video/

https://psmag.com/social-justice/ptsd-crisis-thats-ignored-americans-wounded-neighborhoods-75564

The above link is to the song “Trauma” and some details about Meek with his experience with trauma.

 

 

pop culture

Pavel Nunez

English 1121

3/11/19

Dr Carrie Hall

                                                         Don’t do Drugs or Die

Every day,  a lot of people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. “The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious crisis in the United States that affects everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total  cost of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States was 1 trillion dollars since 2001 including the costs of healthcare, addiction treatment, and criminals”. Before the 80s-90s this wasn’t even happening and everybody was fine, So what happened?

 

How did all of this began? “Well In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder”. Based on the text you can see that drug overdoses are a huge problem in the United States, you can easily get addicted to it, Most of the drugs mentioned can easily be accessed by going to the doctor and getting prescriptions for it even if your not in pain(this can quickly be abused in a way to get more of the drug you want), while doing so they also recommend more than the safe dose you’re suppose to get so that is another unfortunate cause, Another is how potent the drug is. Some drugs are stronger than others and can make you develop cravings for it which prevents people from having a normal life without the drug(which they are addicted to). Biologically most drugs affect the brain’s circuit by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. Surges of dopamine in your brain circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy activities, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.Which what causes addiction in the first place (Learned in Psychology).

 

Before,the government overall is not doing a lot to help prevent this epidemic from getting worse but instead chooses to do other unimportant things like getting involved in another war that has nothing to do with us, increasing taxes, and increasing the military budget which is more than the 7 next countries budget combined . The amount of people getting killed by overdoses of certain drugs just keep increasing and there seems to be nothing being done to help prevent this tragedy.

Now, Donald Trump(our current president) has shed some light on the opioid crisis happening in the United States and has declared  the opioid addiction as a national emergency in 2017. One year later he signed a bill to promote the development of non-addictive pain medications. It’s a right direction towards ending this crisis but there still needs to be a lot of work done in order to make a dent on the staggering statistics of drug overdoses

 

Also drug addiction isn’t just a problem , it’s also a proven disease like cancer, diabetes etc, and if left untreated(like any other disease) it could be fatal and cause death. But unlike other diseases having  mostly physical health symptoms, drug addiction is all mostly emotional and social based. This drug addiction can destroy friendships, family, maybe lose their jobs and harm themselves physically also or harm others since they end up crazy or turn into a “crackhead”.

 

Also these days, one big influence that is probably increasing the amount of drug use leading to the increase of drug addicts and drug related deaths is music. Since the 80’s there has been a lot of music that has been growing popularity and mention drugs and during that time was the, which helped fuel substance abuse since people thought it was “cool” to use drugs and it killed a lot of people in mostly poor neighborhoods.Crack was one of them, it is basically a free base form of cocaine that can be smoked.This drug was cheaper than regular cocaine, so this was bought and distributed to mostly low income neighborhoods in cities in the United States. One rap artist was 50 cent. 50 Cent actually wrote his experience selling drugs into his songs. In the song “Corner Bodega,” he raps about his young years of being a drug trafficker, and he spoke about being  a cocaine dealer in his other song “Ghetto Qu’ran.”. Another could be depression, ironically crack can give you depression after the effects wear away, but depression can make you take drugs as a way to cope with it, or maybe being around drugs make you do it. Let’s say you in a party filled with delicious fried food and everyone’s eating it.This makes you want to eat that too. It is sorda the same with drugs, but drugs have more consequences that will impact your life in many ways negatively. Another could be a way to deal with their personal problems that deal in family,school,job etc.

But some people don’t know how to treat drug addiction and they end up dying. The first way to prevent overdose when it comes to prescription drugs, like opiate painkillers, is to follow prescription dose described by the doctor exactly. This alone can make it less likely that addiction will develop in the first place.

For people who are already addicted to drugs, the best way prevent overdose is to get into and complete a rehab program to achieve recovery from addiction, Even though the recovery rate for rehab is low there is still a chance that you should go to it in order to straighten out your life and get it back into the right path like Macaulay Culkin( kid from Home Alone).

Overall, please know what you’re doing when taking prescription. Measure the right dose, be sure it’s the right amount, Afterall please be a regular working person instead of a statistic of a great drug epidemic killing lots of people who made mistakes using drugs and abusing them in the first place.

Mentor Article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/learning/learning-with-nine-key-questions-about-the-green-new-deal.html

article of drugs dealing with songs: www.drugrehab.com/featured/substance-use-and-rap-music/.

 

 

 

Allen, Greg. “Cost Of U.S. Opioid Epidemic Since 2001 Is $1 Trillion And Climbing.” NPR, NPR, 13 Feb. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/13/585199746/cost-of-u-s-opioid-epidemic-since-2001-is-1-trillion-and-climbing.

Gonzales, Matt. “Rap Music and Substance Use: Addiction and Mental Health.” Drug Rehab, www.drugrehab.com/featured/substance-use-and-rap-music/.

Lopez, German. “The Opioid Epidemic, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 21 Dec. 2017, www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/3/16079772/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdoses.

offutt, Lindsay. “Trump Signs Major Opioid Crisis Measure into Law.” Jurist, 2018, www.jurist.org/news/2018/10/trump-signs-major-opioid-crisis-measure-into-law/.

 

 

 

 

Ever since the olden days especially when slavery existed, African Americans were seen as less than simply because of the color of our skin. Slaves were treated as if their lives didn’t matter by their inhumane white slaveholders. They were brutally beaten and many were even murdered. They suffered at the hands of people just like them, the only difference was their skin color. Even as an end was put to slavery, African Americans still face issues such as police brutality and gun violence. White police officers for the most part, have taken many lives due to these issues. A very eminent and influential individual in the music industry projects these issues through song as an eye opener for African Americans. On August 15, 2014 days after a tragic incident he released a song titled “Be Free.” In the song, J. Cole was responding to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri which took place on August 9, 2014. This song went viral just a few hours after he uploaded it on the SoundCloud platform where it was shared mainly through social media. J. Cole used his platform to voice thoughts and feelings on the issues of injustice that people of color sadly still face today.

Throughout the song, you can tell that J. Cole really felt hurt by the untimely death of one of his kind, a young African American who was fatally killed by a police officer in cold blood. On the day of the incident Brown was recorded on camera stealing a box of cigars and pushing a Ferguson Market clerk away. Brown was accompanied by his friend Dorian Johnson and they both fled the market. Officer Wilson drove up to them and ordered them to move off the street. Wilson had to stop his car close to them. This caused a grapple between Brown and Wilson after the teen reached through the window of the police car. Wilson’s gun was fired twice during the struggle from the inside of the car, with one bullet hitting Brown’s right hand. Brown and Johnson started to run away when Johnson decided to hide behind a car. Wilson got out of the car and pursued Brown. Eventually, while facing Brown, Wilson fired his gun again and hit Brown with at least seven shots. Brown was unarmed and died on the street. Wilson knew that Brown didn’t have any weapons on him but still decided to shoot him callously. Some may argue that Brown was coming off as dangerous or intimidating and that the officer was protecting himself. The officer could’ve tried taking him down and handcuffing him instead of shooting him. And if Wilson had back up things might have went differently. Also it’s not like he just shot him once he shot him several times, it’s almost as if he was trying to prove something. Letting Brown or African Americans know that the white police officer always wins. As expected, Wilson was cleared of civil rights violations in the shooting. This led to violence such as fires and looting. Also protesters were seen throwing objects at police officers in riot gear because they believed justice wasn’t being served.

In the song Cole even included the eyewitness testimony that Johnson presented to the court to fill his audience in on what happened from the point of view of Brown’s friend. Hearing Johnson’s voice being backed by the beat of the song made it sound soothing in a way but still painful to listen to. Cole used Johnson’s account to expose how reckless policemen who possess guns could be. He basically backed up his song with evidence from an eyewitness of the murder who told the story from his firsthand perspective. Johnson was recalling the actions each person took during the incident without pausing to think about what to say next. He knew exactly what to say, when to say it, and it all sounded truthful. It made the song sound more realistic. It’s like a message inside of a message. Johnson’s message which was his testimony was inside of Cole message which was his song. Hearing Johnson’s voice explaining what happened so thoroughly should be enough to get the attention of tons of people and realizing that African Americans aren’t completely free from injustices and that changes have to be made. Cole’s song was just the topping to the situation. It helped spark the incident of a young man who was a victim of police gun violence far and wide.

The entire song “Be Free” has meaning behind it. From verse one where Cole states, “And I’m in denial. And it don’t take no x-ray to see right through my smile.” Which refers to him not being able to believe the extent to which police brutality has arrived and knowing that he’s a celebrity who has to maintain his platform, he is grieved by the way African Americans are being victimized by violence. To the hook where Cole states, “All we wanna do is break the chains off. All we wanna do is be free.” This is Cole speaking in figurative language reflecting on how African Americans back in the day faced similar hardships but were chained and under the circumstances of violence and how it seems as if we still have chains on but not literally. Also he believes that freedom incorporates being a person of color without being mistreated for no reason. Moving on to verse two where Cole states, “Can you tell me why. Every time I step outside I see my niggas die.” This is Cole mourning the fact that so many African Americans are being killed by cops. Then follows, “I’m letting you know. That there ain’t no gun they make that could kill my soul.” Cole demonstrates toughness in the face of these injustices when he says this. When Cole starts singing the bridge, you can tell that it was coming from his heart. It sounded as if he was tearing up while singing. The bridge is Cole basically wondering if society has isolated African Americans and that we shouldn’t back down when faced with injustices. Cole reaches out to people to take action, he doesn’t want them to act like it’s normal to be mistreated. In the end of the song, Cole just repeats the hook which as stated before talks about being released from chains and being free.

The culture of rap plays a major role on what teens choose to listen to and act on. In other words, teens usually listen to artists they feel they can relate to and they tend to mimic the lifestyle of those artists. In a textual analysis of the song “Be Free” the author states, “Rapper and the culture of rap has a very big impact on what teens choose to respond to. If a rapper used their platform to talk about an issue then the reader (teens) will pay more attention, and spread the word (mainly through social media). In another analysis the author states, “J. Cole, whose song “Be Free” ricocheted around the world in a matter of hours after he posted it on the Soundcloud Platform.” Both of these authors indicate that songs with deep meanings behind them will catch the attention of teens and go viral especially if released by a well liked artist. I agree that Cole’s song reached out to the youth especially African Americans because majority of his fan base are adolescents. This song was a great way to deliver a message that needed to be heard by uncountable ears.

“Be Free,” a message indeed. A message to open the eyes and ears of African Americans even further and realize that if we don’t try and stick together permanently as one unite nothing will change. African Americans won’t be free from injustices that have been happening before we were all even born and still continue to happen. We must come together and stand our ground. We shouldn’t comply with injustice but forbid it. Then and only then will we be free from chains indeed.

J. Cole – Be Free

Papers and Projects (Unit 2) Now due by Tuesday, March 26th!

Okay, you guys, I’m extending the deadline to Unit 2 until next Tuesday, March 26th. That said, we won’t be spending any more class time on them. You can meet with me to talk about your project, though, if you feel stuck.

Also, please think more about SPECIFIC  problems that you see in your communities for unit 3– if you are concerned about racism, for example, please think about specific issues that you could work on– racial profiling by the police, lack of diversity in advertising, etc…

ABOUT UNIT TWO– SOME FINAL DETAILS

  • The assignment is posted under “Units” (it’s Unit Two)
  • No matter which option you’ve chosen, your final project should be posted on the OpenLab– it’s a video, please post it using the “add media” link. If you did an image, take a photo, or photos, and post them online
  • The category is “Pop Culture!”
  • For paper-writers: consider posting a link to the artwork you were inspired by– the song, the painting, a clip from the movie or tv show, somewhere in your paper.
  • For creative projects: remember! Especially if you are doing something purely visual (not a video essay or poem, etc) your Artist Statement is a BIG part of your grade. I am grading you, not on your artistic ability (this isn’t a drawing class) but on your thinking– so please explain how the original artwork inspired you to make your own artwork!

Keep It Up!! – Waleed Qureshi

Waleed Qureshi 

ENG 1121 

Dr. Carrie Hall 

14/3/2019 

 

Keep it up (Laga Reh) is a song by Shahzad Roy which conveys to the people that all most people do is complain about what is going wrong and all they do is just talk. They talk about the ways people should improve the society but do nothing and even when the singer is trying to motivate the people by also telling them about the problems, the people just come up with one question, “so what should we do”. I am planning to make a comic page which shows the main idea of my pop culture artifact depicting how people are similar to sleeping when they are asked to work for themselves. I did almost end up giving up this idea because I thought that there is no way I can explain the song to the audience because of its difference in language. I did start off with the Idea that I should make a sketch but then I realized that the sketch would not be much help because there is not much that I can fit into the sketch. Since I am somewhat good with art, drawing was the only thing I could think of when thinking about this piece. Later I realized that I can also create a comic page when I was going through my old drawings and I found the comic page that I once made for my very own story but ended up abandoning later. Though it did disappoint me that I forgot about the piece, but I ended up realizing that a comic page was what I needed. 

For Tuesday

Keep working! We’ll have a little more time to look at rough drafts in class. Creative project people especially, I would like you to bring in something concrete, some version of your final project to get some feedback on!

Everyone, please note that the assignment is under “Units” (it’s unit 2)

I will post some tips here later this weekend for paper writers if you are feeling stuck.

Mentor Article

In my paper I will talk about suicide among celebrities and how they can affect other people lives. Suicide is a serious problem in society with a steady increasing rate each year. This is one of the many reasons I wanted to talk about the issue. My mentor article is written by Quintin Fottrell and the title of the article he wrote is “Studies show suicides increase in the months after a celebrity takes their own life”. In this article Fottrell is using a lot of evidence to show all his points, this is one of the many things I want to get done in my publication too, because that way if you support your thoughts then you’re more likely to be credible. What I would like to avoid is repeating myself, and what I mean is that, sometimes people to make things clear they’ll repeat themselves during their writings, this is what I hate about some writers, so I’ll try my best to make things clear before I start another crucial point in my publication. I think that my article could feet my mentor article because, it will add more details to the main point of both articles with more complex examples and more explanation on the topic I chose. The audience in this case I think should be regarded to everyone in the world because the main point, is that everyone should know about it, so I will not refer to a specific group of people. To engage more and more people to read this article I will try to make the article very easy to understand and also explaining how can the problem be prevented from happening.