8. For Friday 10/23

1. Next week we will be focusing more on how to listen to and write about music more carefully—a skill that will be key for developing your Essay 2s. For Friday, I want you to work on close-reading the lyrics of your selected song (e-mail me if your song has no lyrics). Specifically, what I want you to do is to write out the lyrics line by line and identify a social issue in at least five lines (using your own words).

EX (from Drake’s “Hotline Bling”):

“You used to call me on my cell phone”
possible issues: loss (used to…), love, friendship? Trust?

“Late night when you need my love”
possible issues: love, sex (late night), dependence (you need)

2. In the text we’ve read this week, “Drake: Rapper, Actor, Meme,” Jon Caraminica creates a thesis about Drake’s “Hotline Bling” that connects this song to a key contemporary “social issue,” the meme. In a few sentences, unpack (using your own words) the connection Caraminica makes between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling” and the issue of memes and meme-making. If you’d like, you can also add your own response to this article—ideas or opinions you’ve had while reading.

19 thoughts on “8. For Friday 10/23”

  1. 1. My song is wishing well by juice wrld. The song is about his drug addiction that later led to his death.
    “I toss my pain with my wishes in a wishing well”
    Possible meaning: He is trying his best to find some way to get rid of the pain he is going through
    “I still try even though I know I’m gon’ fail”
    Possible meaning: Although he is going through a lot he is trying his best to get through it
    “Perky got me itching like a ant-hill, Drugs killing me softly, Lauryn Hill”
    Possible meaning: his drug addiction gets the best of him sometimes, but he knows that his drug addiction is affecting his health.
    “Somethin’ feels broke, need to fix it. I cry out for help, do they listen?”
    Possible meaning: Could be possibly suffering from depression, and no one seems to care about it

    “If it wasn’t for the pills, I wouldn’t be here. But if I keep taking these pills, I won’t be here “
    Possible meaning: Drugs helps with whatever he is going through but he know that it will come with a price

    2. Based on his reading I believe the connection Caraminica makes between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling ” are relationship issues, and “shortcomings”, which most people go through this makes the song relate able to the people listening. He later explains how quickly the song and music video broke the internet, where people would become creative and make little skits and GIFs and compare his dancing in his music videos to other videos of songs that fit the dance. This allows not only Drake to get famous off of a simple song but also allows fans to create “high art” and “fan art”. The author also states that “Caraminica makes between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling””, which is very true because of drake’s song and music always end up becoming a meme, a GIF, or become trendy.

    1. Sorry to be responding so late, Kamille.
      I’m definitely seeing some important issues raised in these Juicewrld lyrics–notably, addiction and depression. Either of these topics would be very important to discuss in your Essay 2.

      You nailed Caraminica’s thesis on the meme-ability of Drake’s minimalist aesthetics in “Hotline Bling”. If you revise this, can you connect this topic—the meme-ability of “blank” looks—to what you mention regarding “relationship issues” as they’re raised in the song?
      Interesting… thanks.

  2. 1) “Hell of a long way from equal is how they treat us”
    (Inequality, discrimination)

    “Body of a builder with the mind of a fetus”

    “Turn on the television and see the vision they feed us”
    (Torture, violence)

    “I should be ashamed to be black
    And some black people look ashamed when I rap”
    (Racism, hate)

    “Everybody people, everybody bleed, everybody need something
    Everybody love, everybody know, how it go”
    (Basic right, empowerment)

    2) The connection Caramanica makes between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling” and the issue of memes and meme-making is that when people make memes, it gets viral and they spread the content everywhere. By doing that the original content gets more recognition but the meaning behind it starts to fade away because of all the memes. For example, I feel like by making all the memes people forget what “Hotline Bling” is actually about.

    1. Mehreen–great work. I definitely hear the issue of racial discrimination echoing in these lyrics you’ve compiled. That’ll be important to explore in your Essay 2.

      In your response to Caraminica’s read of the Drake video can you discuss more of the aesthetics of the video itself? How does this connect to the meme things you mention?

  3. 1.
    Seven misleadin’ statements ’bout my persona
    Six headlights wavin’ in my direction (Come on)
    Five-O askin’ me what’s in my possession
    {Police brutality}

    Open our mind as we cast away oppression (Yeah)
    Open the streets and watch our beliefs
    {Opression, Racism, Discrimination}

    I’ma walk, I’ma march on the regular
    Painting white flags blue

    I’ma riot, I’ma riot through your borders
    Call me bulletproof
    {Activism, Protests, Riots}

    Lord, forgive me, I’ve been runnin’
    Runnin’ blind in truth
    {Bystanders ignoring and turning a blind eye to police brutality}

    2. The connection Caramanica makes between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling” and the issue of memes and meme-making is how fast the internet took the video and made it into many different memes. Many of the memes were in different languages and it spread across the world. This just tells you how fast social media picks up something and creates it into a funny meme that was used all around the world. In the text, it states “Within hours — minutes, really — Twitter and Vine and Instagram and Tumblr were filled with short clips pulled from the video set to other songs: Elvis Crespo’s merengue conflagration “Suavemente,” the “Seinfeld” theme, “Danza Kuduro,” various Vince Guaraldi ditties from “Peanuts,” and, most crucially, “Obsesion” by the bachata boy band Aventura.” This quote demonstrates how fast the internet made the video into a meme, they replaced the music with many different types of songs and even added props into the video. Drake benefitted from this because it made people talk about him and even to this day it’s still used.

    1. Maram,
      Great compilation of lyrics circling around the issue of racism and police brutality.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  4. 1. I chose the song “Tell Me U Luv Me” by Juice WRLD and Trippie Redd

    “Drugs to the brain, swervin’ inside of a benz truck, I cannot stay in my lane”
    Possible meaning: (Drug addiction and reckless driving) Juice wrld has always had a drug issue which was sadly the cause of his death.

    “Y0u can’t have it any other way, it’s me or no one”
    Possible meaning: (Selfish when it comes to the girl in his life. He doesn’t want to see her with anyone else).

    “If you leave, I’ll take your life away”
    Possible meaning: (This line seems toxic to me because if he really loved the girl, then he would let her be happy with someone else).

    “Without you, all it ever does is snow”
    Possible meaning: (Needy) It seems like he needs the girl in order for him to be happy.

    “Tryna figure out how to live with the blueprints”
    Possible meaning: (Confusion) He is implying that he is trying to piece his life together but is struggling and confused on how to.

    2. According to the reading “Drake: Rapper, Actor, Meme”, Jon Caramanica connects the song to a relationship with problems and “shortcomings”. It wasn’t long before the hotline bling music video became a meme. There was one meme where they put a tennis racket in his hand and he was whacking away the tennis balls because it went with the dance. This illustrates that people always have to turn something into what it’s not and then the true meaning of the song becomes a blur since people get distracted by the several memes. Rappers can’t simply release a song without the media creating memes that break the internet. Even though Drake possibly found the memes to be annoying, it helped him in a way since his single became Number 2 in the country.

    1. Alexandria–hi
      Noticing a number of issues in these lyrics, but the one that stands out the most is the issue of dependency in romantic relationships. I’d love to see you discuss this in Essay 2.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  5. 1.“There is definitely a problem
    These days, knowing more
    Makes you more miserable”
    Possible issue: depression{miserable), anti-social

    “I’m useless posting these pictures
    But no one knows my hidden feelings behind them
    I’m wandering again
    Inside Instagram”
    Possible issue: Feeling left out(useless posting these pictures), anxiety

    2.The connection that Caraminica made between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling and the issue of memes and meme-making is that once a meme goes viral on a specific situation, in this case “Hotline Bling” all meaning can be lost on the original content, and the attention will go towards the joke rather than the meaning of the song or point that was originally was supposed to go out on.

    1. Eufemio,
      The following issues are ringing out loud and clear in this song: FOMO, depression, anxiety. It could be cool for you to try to think about the relationship(s) between these topics in your Essay 2.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  6. 1. “As we keep our hands up high and scream for justice”
    Possible issues- Civil Rights
    “Time to take a stand and save our future”
    Possible issues- unity, protesting, people stress.
    “God ain’t put he on the earth to get murdered, it’s murder”
    Possible issues- police brutality, gun violence.
    “Don’t put your weapons at me”
    Possible issues- Gun violence
    “Seen the pictures, feels the pain, scandalous how they kuddes son”
    Possible issues- Torture, hate.

    2. The connection caramanica makes between the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling” and the issue of memes and meme- making is that how people make memes on someone’s music. They started to add any other music in it or create different sound. It’s not always funny because people make fun. They got viral it around. I didn’t know about drake but I saw a meme that was made by someone in my language. So from then I knew him. I started to listen his songs. From memes, I think the benefit they have is the people who don’t know about them will also know them.

    1. Jasleen, hi
      Guns and racism—these are the two issues that stand out to me in these lyrics and which I’d love to see you write about in Essay 2; you could also explore the relationship between these two terms if you’d like. That’d be really interesting.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  7. 1. Song: Bang Bang from Green Day’s Revolution Radio (2016)

    “I get my kicks and I wanna start a rager/I wanna dance like I’m on the video”
    Possible Issues: constant attention seeking by people, the need to be recognized

    “Bang, bang! Give me fame!/Shoot me up to entertain”
    Possible Issues: Mass shooters seeking attention for their actions, the freedom to post anything online nowadays leading to people taking drastic action just for fame or recognition

    “You’re dead! I’m well fed!/Give me death or give me head”
    Possible issues: obsession with sex and violence, legal system that allows incarceration and eventual release of mass shooters

    “I wanna be a celebrity martyr/The leading man in my own private drama”
    Possible Issues: narcissism, the desire to be seen as a messiah

    “I wanna be like the soldiers on the screen/It’s my private movie”
    Possible Issues: pop culture being a negative influence, glorification of violence

    2. I think that Caraminica connects the aesthetics of “Hotline Bling” to meme culture by saying that Drake intentionally made the video with the express purpose of having it be memed and have the video go viral. He says that due to an understanding of internet culture, Drake manipulated the system to his advantage in order to boost the video, the song, and his popularity as an artist. I think this might be true, but I can’t really say whether the author totally knows that Drake made it with the purpose of being a meme, or if he sprinkled in some opinion that he phrased as facts.

    1. Dom, hi
      The issues of attention-seeking and violence seem to be the key things to explore in your Essay 2 on the Green Day track—a very interesting topic.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  8. 1. “At that star-filled night I can not make you understand”
    Possible meaning, That wonderful night he was trying to explain to her his feelings.

    “How much pain was on my heart”
    Possible meaning, how was his heart painful for her.

    “You was busy with your own matter”
    Possible meaning, but she was thinking about her happiness.

    “I Have found your way after traveling a long dark way”
    Possible meaning, He has traveled long dark nights for her, and he meets her.

    “And I wanted to gave my heart to you”
    Possible meaning, He wants to give her his true love.

    2. The connection Caramanica makes between the style of “Hotline Bling” and the issue of images and image making is that when individuals make images, it gets viral and they spread the substance all over. By doing that the first substance gets more acknowledgment yet the significance behind it begins to blur away due to all the images. The creator additionally expresses that “Caraminica makes between the feel of “Hotline Bling””, which is genuine as a result of drake’s melody and music consistently wind up turning into an image, a GIF, or become popular.

    1. Lubna, hi
      The key issues in this track seem to be courtship and sacrifice in the realm of love—and also, the relationship between pain and love. Wonderful material to explore in Essay 2.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  9. 1) “Came from the streets, it turned me to a beast”
    This means he came from a neighborhood that is not safe but it made him into someone influential and powerful.

    “I spent two-fifty, don’t know where it went”
    This means he has trouble managing his money.

    “My brother got locked, another bond I gotta pay”
    This means his siblings are facing criminal charges and that’s a problem he has to fix.

    “I’m puttin’ in work, I beat her out the frame”
    This shows possible abuse.

    “Swear the change gon’ hurt, but it really ain’t a game (Yeah)
    Shawty like to twerk, I bring the rage (Yeah)”
    This shows possible anger management problems.

    2) The connection is that when people make memes of a song, the song’s importance fades away. If the artist meant the song for something important. The memes make the song a joke. Such as, if an artist makes a song about his depression but people make memes of the music video, everyone will think the song has no importance.

    1. Nahid,
      The key issues to explore here in Essay 2 seem to involve the relationship between poverty and crime. Can’t wait to see you dive into these in Essay 2.

      Regarding Caraminica and Drake, can you make the connection between the video’s aesthetics (what it looks and sounds like) to your discussion of memes?


  10. ” The Bigger Picture” By Lil Baby

    ” I still find it crazy how the police’ll shoot you and know that you dead, but
    still tell you to freeze”
    possible meaning- Shocked how the ones that are supposed to protect us do the complete opposite

    ” Every colored person ain’t dumb and all whites not racist”
    possible meaning- shows how people thinks now a days

    ” we just some products of our own environment,
    how the f***k they blame us”
    possible meaning- I feel like he means that they blame the African Americans when it not only them that living in this world.

Leave a Reply