I’m not a big fan of rap music as a whole, but the whole culture in Chicago or “Chiraq” as it’s infamously known really intrigues me. Lil Durk and the rest of the artists that are struggling to crawl out of the void known as Chiraq tell how life is inside the community in a very hostile jungle. The message of this song tells aspiring artists that are also coming from the same environment that this isn’t the life that they envy after. In the first verse of his song he explains that since he’s become famous he’s been put on a hit list, a high priority suspect to the police, and that his own city/family turned against him. “… get shot, you’re the first one to get blamed”, “they say you snitch, tryna put dirt on my name”. Not only does the street go after him for possible violence, the police can also put a death wish on his name by saying Durk snitched to possible murders.
The next piece of the song really made me think and put things into perspective, Dirk says “fuck TMZ, fuck breaking news and ABC.”, “I can’t do no shows cause I terrify my city, they say I terrify my city.” Basically the news outlets wouldn’t tolerate what Dirk has to say because they believe it’ll frighten everyone about the living conditions in Chiraq, even though in reality most of the things he says are true. Statistically speaking Chiraq is one of the leading communities with very high murder rates and gang violence. What really gets me angry is how instead of broadcasting how life is like in Chicago, they’d rather cover mainstream pop-culture like why did Whiz Khalifa cheat on Amber Rose? It really makes you think how the news picks the actual news for you instead of showing what needs to be shown like in other countries. You don’t see other countries like Poland or Sweden fluff their news, they just show it straight to the audience without regret no matter how severe the story may be.
This same exact scenario happened with a local rapper from New York that you guys may already know who is Bobby Shmurda. With Bobby’s rise to fame, he became a target with hostile groups that claim he stole the beat from somewhere and that he’s “unoriginal.” Murders happen and people point to Bobby which resulted in Police being involved. Later on it was revealed he “snitched” on everyone that was part of his crew in GS9, although that could be just an extortion tactic used by the NYPD just like when Lil Durk warned his listeners.
Becoming famous and successful from a community that is well known for murder and homicide comes with its negative side affects. Although you become wealthy and start to live life in enjoyment, you still have to face the music when you’re being targeted by other factions that are out for blood. Take a look at Bobby Shmurda, everything thats going on with him wouldn’t happen if he never rose to fame. Lil Durk sends a message to artists to remain cautious when they’re playing the game, because it’s only a matter of time before the dominos starts falling.
For this reflection the mature person i chose to wrote about is my cousin. He isn’t the type of person to enjoy getting free handouts, he likes to earn whatever he gets because it makes him feel like he accomplished something for the day. He’s worked tirelessly to build the foundation he has today with his business. The reason i chose this song is because Whiz stresses the fact that the only way to make it big in this world is to put 110% in anything you do, and once that ‘s done you can finally relax and enjoy yourself.
My cousin is a Polish American that first came to America in the early 90’s by being smuggled through Canada. At the time Poland was a communist country and life wasn’t easy. Jobs sucked, housing sucked, and communism just overall sucked. There was little opportunity for any advancement in terms of financial status but that changed once his family disappeared from that country. When my cousin’s family got into this country they were still, “illegal” but back then things were much more flexible and they were able to get by on fake identities. Once the family gathered enough money they got a lawyer and filed to be legal. They become legal and open up their business.
I chose this song because Whiz is someone i personally am a fan of, he had to work tirelessly and put his sweat and blood into where he is today. He grew up with little to nothing but because he stayed away from all the non-sense of the streets he was able to skyrocket his rap career. Just like Whiz my cousin put his sweat and blood in order for his business to be successful. Now that he can sit back and watch is flourish as it unfolds, he can chill out and have some fun in his life.
Whiz’s song is overall a great “pick me up” and good to get motivated to get work done for that day. We’re all chasing that American dream and theirs only one way to do it, and it’s a brutal journey of hard work and focus. But when you reach the American Dream then you can finally kick back and enjoy life. Tour the world, go see every concert, live like a young 20 year old who decided to drop everything and just go wild at parties.
Tyler has been known to write songs about anything. This song is pretty hard to understand because there’s a lot of ambiguities that make’s the listener need to listen to the song a few more times to get the gist of what Tyler is saying. At the beginning of the song “Yonkers” the very first line brings in an ambiguity. “I’m a f*cking walking paradox – no, I’m not..” It’s as if Tyler is answering to himself. In reality he’s answering to his alter ego Wolf Haley.
His second verse can come off as a bit offensive to the Christian religious community. “Jesus called, he said he’s sick of all the disses I told him to quit bitching,” Many of the members in his crew of “Odd future” are atheist and openly talk negative about any sort of religions. Later on it gets very interesting and connections are made to him being a “walking paradox.” Tyler says that he only wants “green paper, gold teeth, and pregnant golden retrievers All i want, f*ck money, diamonds and b*tches.” which is a paradox in itself. Other paradoxes in the song include the line “It’s been a couple months, and Tina still ain’t perm her fucking weave, damn,” you buy a weave curly or straightened, you don’t straighten it yourself.
Tyler doesn’t have a sob story like a lot of rappers do, although he never met his father, he doesn’t use it in any of his songs. He doesn’t like to conform to societies standards, when people diss him with a diss track he praises those tracks that were made against him. Although he uses very homophobic slurs in his tracks he claims that he just uses those words to describe “stupid sh!t.” The genre he mostly raps is in “alternative rap” mostly because he doesn’t need to stick to any boundaries, it’s completely interpretive. “Yonkers” is a song that bounces around topics extremely quickly, one line he speaks about his relationship with god and then in another he talks shit about other rappers.
What makes Tyler so good is the ambiguities in his music and the amount of time and effort he puts into those ambiguities in the music. If he says he’s a walking paradox he’ll stick with his main idea for the entire song and build around it using subjects that seem totally unnecessary. I really do like him as a person and is a bit inspirational. Tyler raps very aggressively and with a ton of anger, when an opposition arrises he just laughs which makes me envy him. He doesn’t care about what others think and sets a model for the kids that think a bit differently like Tyler does. Love this song.
Although I don’t have any lyric-less songs from the past, my library did have a handful of electronic artists that I deemed worthy. Music without lyrics to my understanding stimulates my imagination sort of like daydreaming. Artists like Flume use very soft sounds that relax the listener and give them an opportunity to unwind and not think about reality. While other artists and groups like The Glitch Mob use very strong sounds that are in a sense, provocative. When I listen to songs like “Bad Wings” by The Glitch Mob, it gives me a sense of empowerment, kind of like gym music.
The reason I chose “The XX” was because it’s a song I listen to when I reminisce about the past. Makes me feel genuinely good about myself when I realize I’ve made it this far in my life and more good things are to come if I stay on the path. Although this song doesn’t have any lyrics, I genuinely consider it as “feel good” music, music you listen to when you need a “pick me up” or just when you want to unwind and relax.
Although music without lyrics may sound unorthodox to the average Joe but it’s been around for centuries especially in underrated genres like classical music. Lyrics aren’t needed if the music is still harmonious and genuine. It allows for the listener to express their thoughts beyond the boundaries of the lyrics because there aren’t any. They allow people to become creative if they so choose and add their own lyrics. Flume for example has a bunch of songs that are perfect without lyrics but are sometimes strengthened with the addition of lyrics. People from his fan base would mix in vocals of old hip-hop artists like Biggie Smalls and produce very cool results.
Electronic music has recently been exploding on both the east and west coasts of the U.S. Events like “Mad Decent” and “Tomorrow land” have gotten a lot of attention from high school kids and college students. Although in the U.S. this has just started to become very huge, countries like Germany have been in the electronic game for few decades, especially with a type of electronic music called hard style. Like before although there aren’t any lyrics in the music, it’s very provocative into making people burst out and dance with everyone around them. My speculation is that music with lyrics is something that people love to enjoy listening on their own and just have space to think. Electronic style music is certainly something that you don’t listen to by yourself, it’s meant for you and your friends to dance and go crazy. But there are exceptions to that rule, just like the song I picked. Electronic music is making new moves that may in fact impact the music the youngers generations listen to in years to come.
Out of the songs that Eminem has created in the past, I believe that “Stan” is probably his most vivid story he tells in song. Eminem created a fictitious character named “Stan” who was British and grew up in the same lifestyle that Eminem did. Stan’s father was abusive, and now Stan is abusive towards his girlfriend who is pregnant. As the song progresses the listener begins to understand Stan’s aggression. Stan’s aggression stems from his obsession with Eminem, he would write to him everyday and prays that he would get a response. The longer it takes Eminem to write back, Stan’s aggression grew exponentially.
Stan’s obsession isn’t just his desire to be with Eminem, he wants to become Eminem. In the music video you can see Stan bleach his hair and try to look like Eminem as much as possible and even got a tattoo of “slim shady” across his chest. It’s clear that Stan has a psychological issue, he’s aggressive, obsessive, and is abusive towards his girlfriend.
I understand the frustration of anybody who doesn’t get a response back from their hero. Me personally I was upset when I didn’t get a response back from Robert Downey Jr after the first Iron Man film. But for people like Stan, it’s like he’s emotionally torn apart. Sadly, Stan couldn’t control his anger when his girlfriend found about the Shrine of Eminem he has in the basement. Stan stuffed her In the trunk of his car and started driving while under the influence. He records his last words in the idea of sending Eminem his final breath of anger towards him. Stan nears a bridge and drives into it, killing himself and the pregnant girlfriend.
This tragedy has a hue of irony because Eminem never gets the idea to write back until Stan dies. In the music video Eminem reads everything and sends him back a letter that gives him some advice like going to counseling to take care of his anger. Although it is a very tragic story, I find humor in how Eminem realizes that the people that ended up in the river was Stan and his girlfriend. He sits there and processes what happened and tries to make up excuses to why he didn’t reply.
I chose this song because it spoke to me a bit. I’m sure everyone has been in Stan’s situation to at least some degree. When someone you really care about doesn’t even bother to recognize you, it really hurts people emotionally. It makes me feel that celebrities and famous people do have an obligation to write back to these people because even one letter can make the difference between driving someone mad or make them a memory worth never forgetting.
This song will always have a special place in my library because it’s a song that gives hope to people in bad situations or if they just feel that they won’t amount to anything. Biggie tells the story of how he goes from hustling the streets to feed his daughter to putting five carrots in his baby girl’s ear. Biggie lived a very difficult life in Brooklyn back in the late 20th century, gang violence, gun violence, and raising his daughter. He’s been to jail, seen people die that were close to him and was still able to pursue his dreams, which he did. After the release of his first album titled “Ready to Die” in 1994 the scene of hip-hop has changed completely in New York City.
“Juicy” has been considered by the Rolling Stone, The Source, and About.com to be one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time. With sales of over 607,000 copies this is one of the best singles that Biggie has released. After his death a tribute song has been created using the same instrumental and modified lyrics by a group called “next.”
As the song begins he tells the story of how everyone around him oppressed him for trying to survive in the “hood”. People around him kept putting him down and continuously kept telling him that he won’t amount to anything in his life. Then as his life turned around and he started rapping he realized his dream came true. He couldn’t believe in owning a super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis because when he was young he couldn’t picture himself owning them.
Tragically on March 9th 1997, Biggie Smalls has fallen to victim of a drive by shooting attack. It was 12:45 a.m. and Biggie was at a red light, a supposed “gang-banger” pulled up next to him and rolled out his window only to pull out a revolver and shoot Biggie 4 times. Biggie was rushed to the hospital only to be pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m., unfortunately with anyone becoming successful and famous they run the risk of becoming on someone’s bad list and a target. Although Biggie’s death was very tragic for hip-hop history along with Tupac’s, those 2 rappers have made tremendous moves in the genre and are a inspiration for many enthusiasts and artists.
The lyrics carry a special meaning throughout the song. Biggie rapped about how people believed that he’ll never do anything with his life, but he proved them wrong. Not to mention the backup singers during the chorus keep saying “You know very well who you are Don’t let em hold you down, reach for the stars.” Biggies ultimate piece of advice to any teenager or adult is to ignore anyone who is toxic and/or judgmental because those people don’t know who and what teenagers and adults like Biggie are capable of doing.
This song is about Bob Marley often seeing 3 little birds, and with that inspiration he tells a beautiful story about how the 3 little birds told Bob “every little thing gonna be alright.” The very first time I heard it was while I was waiting next to my sister after she got treated for a severe allergic reaction. I was very tense and was constantly worried for my sister. Suddenly the radio in the back is playing the song. When I heard those lyrics my mind went to ease, I started to be confident that my sister would be okay and my nerves calmed. So did my dad, the look on his face changed from complete anxiety to hope. I realize that my sister is in professional hands and surrounded by people who love her and I was convinced that she’s “gonna be alright.”
The Reggae beat and lyrics work harmoniously together to produce a song that is extremely uplifting and calming to listen to. No matter what kind of person you are, this song is created in order to make people realize that little things aren’t worth to be worried about. An example would like when I would walk into work about a couple of minutes late and my boss would give me hell for it. But during his outburst I just had Bob Marley repeat “every little thing gonna be alright!” over and over again in my ear. That’s what made me realize that my boss’s life could be worse and made me not really care about the entire encounter. From their on I changed perspective on all of the non-serious issues I had, made me a generally more happy person.
Marley has always been an icon of peace and love. All of Marley’s songs are created to promote peace, love, and prosperity between everyone of planet Earth. He’s sold over 75 million albums and has been praised for his great success during the Grammy’s. “Three Little Birds” isn’t in fact from the rest of Marley’s songs. This song has a very uplifting beat that teaches people to not sweat the little stuff. This song helps promote Marley’s wish to unify all of Africa against Babylon (which means oppression). Marley’s songs resonated with just peace and love that he wanted to teach to his fellow people.
I would recommend anyone to add this song to his or her libraries, in my opinion it is a “must have.” This song makes me want to believe that it has the magical ability to bestow happiness among people. Whether you may feel down, upset, frustrated, or even heart-broken, then this song is for you. It just works wonders in order to make you feel better and re-rationalize certain problems. Not to mention the story he tells is just beautifully sung by him and the three backup singers that the producer called the “Three Little Birds.” It goes to show how talented Bob Marley is if his only inspiration were three little birds he would see often.
Reggae is one of the few genres I can mix with other playlists because I can still enjoy the playlist no matter what type of playlist it is. Reggae provides a beat that is very harmonic and soothing. It gives the listener a sense of peace and passion alongside escaping the anxiety that his worries give him. It’s a shame that the legend suffered an illness and passed away. Who knows, maybe the world could be a better place if he was still around making a global impact with his music.
Hello world! My name is Patryk Zdunczyk and I’m a first generation Polish American. I know how to speak, read, and write in Polish as well as in English (Duh). I have a few hobbies that keep me busy so I don’t get bored, one of them is photography. I like to take photos of practically almost anything that I think is pretty cool, such as jets. I also like to program on the computer. I have a few projects that I’m currently trying to progress on GitHub and am looking for partners that would like to take part of it.
The kinds of music I listen to really varies on the mood I’m in. In peaceful mornings I love listening to Bob Marley’s legendary classics such as “Three Little Birds”. When I’m at the gym working out with my friend Shawn I like to listen to rap artists such as the Notorious B.I.G. I’m not centered onto a single genre, if I like how another sounds then I won’t hesitate to add it to my collection.
After my 4 years at Stony I hope to expand my music library by at least a thousand songs.