Category Archives: hip hop and rap

This IS America: A Critique by Alexa DeVon

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I am positive that you have seen the music video for Childish Gambino’s new single, “This is America.” It begins quite entertaining, with Mr. Glover dancing and making facial humorous expressions. He then takes an awkward stance and shoots a guy in the head. Then the first verse begins, “This is America, don’t catch ya slippin’…” He hands the gun to a child as the tropical beat transform into a trap beat.

With the exception of a few scenes, majority of the video follows Childish Gambino, and the group of kids pictured, as they dance, chaos surrounding them. One scene resembles the Charleston, SC mass shooting, where Childish Gambino dances into what appears to be a church-like set-up with a choir singing the hook over the trop.  someone tosses him a rifle, he turns and clears the room. Again, the trap beat returns, “This is America…”

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This scene in particular made me extremely uncomfortable. My insides sank almost immediately. It was not until this moment, 3/4 through the video, that I realized what was really going on: this was social commentary.

I watched the video through numerous times, attempting to grasp every detail (take it from me, it’s almost impossible). Obviously, the goal of the video was to point out America’s character flaw: pop culture is used to distract us all from the senseless violence around us. The song itself also functions as a “troll” song, poking fun at the materialistic values and lack of morals portrayed in trap music and/or mumble rap.

I could literally go on for days. Instead, I will close with this:

Well Done, Donald Glover. Well done.

 

Alexa DeVon

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“Pray For Me” – Kendrick Lamar & The Weeknd

The song “Pray For Me” from the Black Panther soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd really has you thinking about the lyrics. It’s one of those songs that makes you look at the bigger picture and feel a deeper feeling then you were expecting. The Weekend and Kendrick Lamar’s collaboration for this song is fantastic. It really couldn’t be any more perfect. Once you listen to the whole song through it makes you think, wow, I need to hear that again.

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The Weeknd

The song begins with The Weeknd straight up sharing some true feelings. He starts off, “I’m always ready for a war again. Go down that road again. It’s all the same. I’m always ready to take a life again. You know I’ll ride again. It’s all the same.” Then he gets real and starts sharing some true feelings, “Who gon’ pray for me? Take my pain for me? Save my soul for me?” After these few versus it starts to make the listener think, feel and connect to the song on a different level.

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Kendrick Lamar

It gets even better when Kendrick Lamar pipes in. He goes, “I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself. I fight God, just tell me how many burdens left. I fight pain and hurricanes, today I wept. I’m tryna fight back tears, flood on my doorsteps. Life a livin’ hell, puddles of blood in the streets.” He doesn’t go full blast here but you can feel the sharp anger in his lyrics. I find that to be pretty powerful!

“Pray For Me” is pretty intense and continues to escalate as the song goes on. It’s powerful words and deeper meaning bring out the best in the lyrics and really make you think. After I heard it for the first time I just sat there and thought about it for a minute. I kept listening to it and would pull out different emotions each time. Such a good song! If you haven’t heard it yet definitely check it out. Get ready to feel some feels!

Lil Yachty says “Lil Boat 2” is in the Works!

Lil Yachty’s first release that propelled him from McDonald’s line cook, to platinum selling artist was his song “One Night.” The song was featured in a meme video that then went viral, sending Yachty on the path to stardom. He then built an entire mixtape around the song to hit the demand of his newly gained fan base. This album was called, “Lil Boat.”

The tape went crazy within the hip-hop, and even the pop communities, selling crazy numbers, with his follow up album, “Teenage Emotions,” tanking in comparison. His fans wanted the old, fun Lil Yachty back.

Yesterday, the rapper went to social media with some good news for these fans,

We don’t exactly know what we can expect from the rapper on this album, but if he plans on following trend, then we might be getting the soundtrack to our 2018 summer!