Close-reading & Asking Questions about Lyrics, linking to Social Issues…
- In the two brief close-readings of songs we read for last week—Reese Okyung Kwon’s “There Must Be More” (an analysis of Christian rock musician David Ruis’ track of the same name) and Jeremy Schmidt’s “The Full Retard” (a dissection of Jaime Meline’s eponymous track)—the writer tunes in quite carefully to something puzzling in the song’s lyrical content, opening up a series of questions about the artist’s lyrics that the writer then tries to answer:
Kwon wonders about Ruis’ awkward use of the word “because” in the chorus of his song: “Why not employ and or as or for or since?” She wonders, adding “any one of which would better suit the song’s metrical requirements” (Kwon).
Meanwhile, Schmidt questions Meline’s use of the phrase “you should pump this shit like they do in the future,” asking: “What does it mean to pump, promote, or even love something right now, knowing that it—the song or the idea or the meme—will be ubiquitous in the future?”
Using these texts as inspiration, return to the lyrics from your song that you shared on 10/23, and read them in search of something baffling, confusing, or otherwise questionable. Write a series of questions—that is, a paragraph of 3 or more sentences that are questions—about one or more lyrical choices in your Essay 2 song that you find questionable.
- Re-read the lyrics and your questions. List 2-3 social issues you notice in the lyrics and/or your questions.
- Play around with several of the Research Resources I’ve shared (see link in menu above). List one article or source you’ve found on your song and/or social issue that you might read. Include the author, title, publication and resource in which you found it (e.g. Genius.com, Google Scholar, etc).
15 thoughts on “10. For Fri 11/6”
1. In the song “Freedom” by Beyonce featuring Kendrick Lamar, some lyrics are questionable and have a deeper meaning that people don’t usually seem to understand. One being “Seven misleadin’ statements ’bout my persona.” Why the number seven? Is the number seven significant in some way?. Another part in the song that I think is questionable is “Open the streets and watch our beliefs.” What does “watch our beliefs” mean? Does “open the street” mean to open the minds of closed minded people?. Lastly, it states “Lord, forgive me, I’ve been runnin’ Runnin’ blind in truth.” Why is he/she running blind? What is the truth? What does this actually mean? Are they ignoring what’s going around them?. This song overall has a lot of deeper meanings that need a lot of thinking to understand fully.
2. Police Brutality, Racial Discrimination, and Corruption
3. I used GoogleScholar to find an article that discusses the song I chose. The article that I found that talks and analyzes “Freedom” by Beyonce, featuring Kendrick Lamar is part of a journal titled “The Journal of Culture and Education.” The section of this journal that discusses the song is titled “A Rhetorical Analysis of Beyoncé’s “Freedom” An Examination of Black College Women’s Experiences at Predominately White Institutions” by Robin J. Phelps-Ward, Courtney Allen, & Jimmy L. Howard.
Fabulous questions, Maram. I think these belong toward the beginning of your Essay 2 (perhaps after your Into paragraph about the sounds of the song).
Great work in 2 and 3 as well.
1. After listening to “Where Is The Love” by the Black Eyed Peas, I developed a few questions while listening to the lyrics. “Only attracted to the things that’ll bring you trauma”. Why would someone be attracted to trauma, isn’t that something that everyone would want to avoid? I think I’m interpreting this line the wrong way. “With ongoin’ sufferin’ as the youth die young”. Who are they referring to? Who is suffering? “Children hurt and you hear them cryin”. Why would children be involved with the hate?
2. Racism, violence
3. http://www.lyricinterpretations.com Where Is The Love Meaning by Frederick published March 30th, 2006
Good work here, but it could be helpful to use some more language for introducing your quotes and transitioning into your questions. See my additions below and Google for “signal phrases” and “quotation transitions” if you want more ideas for how to move between quotations and discussion.
After listening to “Where Is The Love” by the Black Eyed Peas, I developed a few questions while listening to the lyrics. At one moment in the song, the singer talks about “Only [being] attracted to the things that’ll bring you trauma”. This
For 3: I’d like if you could find another, perhaps more scholarly-ish, source. Fine to use lyricinterpretations.com but I bet you can also find some more challenging reading material to work with as well. 🙂
1. In the song ”Wishing well” by juice wrld, it states “Ring-ring, phone call from depression”. My question is What exactly caused his depression ? Why didn’t he seek help? ”On the other line, I talk to addiction, huh”, why rap or sing about his addiction, was it a cry for help? In the song it also states “if I keep taking these pills, I won’t be here”, why continue to put your life at risk if you know drugs affect your health? “You used my past and my memories as a weapon”, could this be another reason why he takes drugs, who is the “you”? “This is the part where I take all my feelings and hide ’em. ‘Cause I don’t want nobody to hurt me”, is this the reason why you never ask for help?
2. drug addiction, depression, antisocial
3. https://www.nature.com/articles/1395603, (scholary article, published on february,1, 2001) title: “Drug Addiction, Dysregulation of Reward, and Allostasis”
Author: George F Koob Ph.D & Michel Le Moal MD, Ph.D
Interesting work Kamille.
Please have a look at the comment I’ve written Alexandria above for how to move between quotations and your own discussion/questions.
Your questions could go in your Essay 2 after your Intro (describing a repeating sound in your song).
1)After listening to “Everybody” by Logic I started questioning the song. Some of the lyrics are unexplained. Some of the questions that I thought of were, why do so many people tend to be “Hollywood” based on the privileges they have or certain looks? How do we normalize different backgrounds and different ethnic backgrounds of privileges? What does Logic mean by “red lights stop, green lights go”?Why are we so blinded by race when we are all the same? Why can’t people swallow their pride? Why do people value “white privilege”?Why is it that we are so advanced, but we are still divided by cultural differences? What does Logic mean by “face facts”?
2)Biracial, Racism, White Privilege
3)”Psychophysiological Stress Responses to Bicultural and Biracial Identity Denial” by
Analia F. Albuja, 14 August 2019, Google Scholar
Great questions Mehreen–put them after your intro in Essay 2.
Also, just be sure to give your reader some more context to understand your questions. For instance, you might say something like:
Logic speaks at one point [or several points] in the song about people being “Hollywood”; this leads me to wonder: why some people get classed in this way, based on their looks or privilege?
Just be sure you’re explaining what in the song raised each question for you a bit more.
1.After listening “Don’t shoot” by Mike Brown, I found some lyrics questionable to me. For example, he said “ like we all got shot, we all got shot”. Who got shot? What is the reason behind it? Is he talking about racism here? Also “ So I know how how niggas feel out there”. “How are they feeling? And why are they feeling that way? “How the fuck you play the game, but they ain’t playing fair”. My question is who are they referring to? Which game is he talking about? And who are playing that?
2.Police brutality, racism and violence.
3. “Killing Fields: Explaining Police Violence against Persons of Color” written by James M. Jones on 04 December 2017. I found it from google scholar
Great work in your first example and question. Just be sure you’re introducing your quotations and transitioning into your questions well in the rest. (See my response to Alexandria, above.)
Good work elsewhere in the prompt!
Through this song, he indicated that his DNA contains loyalty and royalty, goes through war and peace as well which shows that black people are fighting to survive in this world gracefully. In the video, Lamar and investigator get connected with a lie detector, the lie detector goes crazy and starts running rapidly and both of the people in the room start to remember their struggle and past experiences. The investigator realizes that Lamar is telling the truth as he gets to remember the pain and sorrows which he had to go through in his past life and then finally releases Lamar based on those facts and arguments.
2) Racism, struggle and pain
3) I use the Google Scholar website to find an article on the music choose. http://static.businessinsider.com/hidden-meanings-behind-kendrick-lamars-dna-2017-4 Alana, Yzola. “The hidden meanings behind Kendrick Lamar’s DNA music video” The Insider Summary. Insider., 21 April. 2017. Web. 27 Oct 2020.
Please revisit this prompt and your first paragraph: I’m wanting you to raise questions about your track more than I’m wanting you to summarize it. Check out other people’s responses as well as the assigned reading for this week if you want ideas for how to do this.
After listening No Role Modelz, by J. Cole I started questing the song. For exapmle, he said “don’t saver her, she don’t wanna be saved”. Who is she? Did she cheated on him? What is the reason behind it? Is he talking about love or mind game? How careless she was? “That Jada and that will love”. What happened will be? My question is he still want Jada and will love? This song makes me feel sad and happy at the same time.
2. Pain, Depression, Emotional
3. http://static.businessinsider.com/hidden-meanings-behind-kendrick-lamars-dna-2017-4 Alana, Yzola. “The hidden meanings behind Kendrick Lamar’s DNA music video” The Insider Summary. Insider., 21 April. 2017. Web. 27 Oct 2020.
Good questions. Just be sure to adequately introduce your quotations and transition out of them carefully. (See my response to Alexandria, above.) Also, a question I have that I might add to yours would be: why “save” Jada—and from what does Cole want to save her?
Your article link has to do with the song that Nahid posted by Kendrick Lamar; this is a problem that has been ongoing. Please do your own work for this class.
1)After listening to Lil Baby song ” The Bigger Picture” there was this one line I had questions about. When Lil Baby said “I want all my sons to grow up to be monsters, I want all my daughters to show out in public”. What did Lil Baby mean by this. Did he mean this literally or figuratively? Did he actually want them to grow up as horrible monsters? Or did he mean he wanted his sons and daughters to grow up a strong independent person?
2) Racism, police brutality, pain
3) I used “Liaisons, and Liaisons. “Thunderous Graveyard Affirmations.” The New Inquiry, 13 July 2020, thenewinquiry.com/thunderous-graveyard-affirmations/,” to find the song I wanted to choose.