One of my favorite songs is Stan by Eminem from his album The  Marshall  Mathers LP.Stan came out around 1999-2000, but i wasn’t allowed to listen to it due to my young age and strong language .When i was able to  listen to this song i was mind blown with the story it told.

The song tells the story of person named Stan who is a obsesses fan of Eminem. Stan who writes Eminem letters and claims he’s his biggest fan. Stan becomes angered when he never received a reply from Eminem, ending up committing murder to his pregnant girlfriend and killing himself. When Eminem finally has a chance to reply to Stan letters, while  writing he realize  that the story he had heard on the news about a man killing himself along with his pregnant girlfriend was Stan. Every time i listen to the ending i get goosebumps. Stan is the only song that make me feel a chill through my spine.

The US intervention in the Kuwait-Iraq conflict

“While the United States could rightly criticize the violation of the sovereignty of one nation by another, the wholly undemocratic nature of the Kuwaiti regime made it difficult to moralize the conflict. Oil, not evil, drove the Bush administration response.” P.412

When Iraq occupied Kuwait, it meant they had control of a huge share of the world oil production.The Bush administration feared that Iraq would target Saudi Arabia will threat the global oil economy and national security. Bush began constructing an international coalition demeaning Iraqi withdraw. The US gained support from the Soviet Union and other Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia which allowed the US to send troops to their country in order to protect them from potential Iraqi invasion. Thirty countries contributed military forces ,and other paid for military efforts cost. By the fall of 1990 the showed no signs of backing out and the US moved forward with military action. Bush secured a Security Council resolution authorized the use of force by the U.S led coalition if the Iraq did not leave Kuwait by January,1991. With Iraq rejecting the proposal of leaving Kuwait by the deadline, the US led coalition launch a massive air attack and ground assault on Iraq and, in a hundred hours Iraq finally retreated from Kuwait.

KAL flight 007

” The beleaguered mind-set of the Soviet leader might have contributed  to their decision to shoot down a South Korean passenger jet, KAL flight 007,that in September 1983 strayed over Soviet territory, killing all 269 people aboard, including  sixty-one Americans.”  P.393

In 1983, the tensions between the US and USSR reached a level not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis. These factors were the United States’s Strategic Defense Initiative and planned deployment of Pershing II mission in Europe. The Soviet were highly suspicious of a surprised nuclear attack by the US. On September 1, 1983 when Korean Airlines Flight 007 unintentionally entered Soviet airspace over the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia’s Far East region was approaching Sakhalin. The Soviets mistook the commercial airliner as a Boeing RC-135 spy plane owned by the US navy and order Su-15 Flogon fighters to intercept the jetliner. After not being able to get the attention of  the pilots in KAL 007, the Soviet decided to shoot down the passenger jet killing all passengers. This horrified the world, many including President Ronald Reagan calling it an act of barbarism.

Harlan County, USA Relation to Music

Harlan County,USA focus on the “Brookside Strike” in the 1970s . It follows the struggles of mine workers and their families who when on strikes after their employees, the Eastover Coal Company’s Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, refused to give them safer and fair working condition and higher wages. The strike which almost  lasted a year,  went from a peaceful demonstration to violent cause by Eastover Coal Company who hired thugs to intimidate strikes with their guns . In one of those violent demonstration,a man named Lawrence Jones who was loved by the community is shot and killed. The tragedy lead to negotiation between UMWA and  Duke Power Company for a new contract and the end of the strike.

Music was an important part the strike in Harlan County in 1972. During strikes and mettings, the mine workers and families used music as a sign of hope. Other musicians wrote songs about the what was going on at the time and dangers of working in a coal mine to spread awareness. Like the mine workers in Harlan county, Bronx residents the the 1970s felt hopeless and use music to talk about the situations they were in.


Increased Prison Population

” The combination of more crime,more arrest,and longer sentences swelled the prison population. After a half century during which the incarceration rate had fluctuated only moderately, in the mid-1970s it began to rise steeply”(pg. 338-339).

The rate of violent offence more than doubled between 1965 and 1975. Liberal’s solution was to limit access to firearms with gun control laws, but conservatives and gun owners saw gun control as an unconstitutional limit on the rights of law-abiding citizens. More incarceration became  a popular solution to control crime. Conservatives rejected the ideas of liberals of using therapeutic approaches to dealing with lawbreakers,and promoted incarceration as means of punishment,retribution,and prevention to keep dangerous people of the street. Incarceration and longer sentences became the solution to control crime.  Prison population swelled due to the incarceration approach and it as rising steeply since 1970s , and keep rising today with lower crime rates. Prison population consist of nonviolent offenders and most are blacks. Tougher drug laws has also helped increased prison population.

The Urbanization and Economic Growth of Southern States

” In 1980, two-thirds of southerners lived in an urban or suburban area, compared to half in the 1950. Unlike in the Northeast and Midwest, Sun Belt cities continued to grow or at least hold their own as their suburbs swelled”(pg.307).

In the 1970’s , average  income, adjusted for inflation, fell in the North but continued to grow in the South.  This change reflected the massive exodus of poor southern to the North and growth in productive capacity and wealth. Unlike the North, cities in the south  continue to grow ,doubling in thirty years . The region attracted  and generated jobs in low-wage ,labor-intensive industries, like textiles,simple garment manufacturing,food processing, and furniture making, due to companies taking advantage of low taxes, no unions, and pro-business environment promoted by the government agencies. The region also had a growth in defense and aerospace industries. Southern states benefited from the high oil prices, helping developed cities like Houston in leader in medical,legal,electronic, and aerospace center.

The Decline of the South Bronx

In “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, Jeff Chang discusses the decline of the Bronx and how it became the birth place of Hip-Hop. During the 1950-60’s Robert Moses’s construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway in the South Bronx led to a decline that borough is still recovering from today. Due to the construction of the Cross Bronx, neighborhoods of Jewish,Irish and Italian families were destroyed when they had displaced all along with many businesses. Due to the construction of the Expressway led to decline property values, which made it undesirable for whites. White’s moved move to suburbs which is known as the “White Flight”.  Hispanics and Blacks soon moved into neighborhoods undesirable by Whites.

Decreased property also meant that landlord made less rent profits. For landlord it was more profitable to leave their building in disrepair and later burn them down to ashes to collect insurance money. Building fires were really common in the 70’s with the lost of 43,000 housing units. South Bronx residents felt neglected, and some  people (mostly youth)  formed gangs to support one another.

Richard Nixon

” Bobbing and weaving in an effort to maintain support from both liberal and conservative wings of the Republican Party.”(p. 267)

After winning the presidential elections in 1968 with a minority of the popular vote and democratic majority in congress limited his action, President Nixon hoped to win democratic supporters for seek reelection. Nixon supported the already established New Deal programs which benefited democrats and took conservative positions on other issues. Making improvements in medicaid, food stamp programs,civil rights and social security.  Nixon was also popular for giving up on proposals made by him, such as replacing warfare with an annual minimum income after the senate rejected it and environmental movements which affected the growth of businesses. President Nixon was reelected in the 1972 presidental election, after  the Watergate scandal he was forced to resign.

Lyndon B. Johnson

” Lyndon Johnson turned what had been a limited, largely guerrilla conflict  into an all-out war.” (Pg.225)

After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, Vice president Lyndon Johnson inherited the Presidency and crisis in Vietnam.  Instead of ending the small crisis in Vietnam, Johnson increased the number of deployed  U.S troops to ensure a victory. His plans back fired and the small conflict escalated to a full blown war, with many U.S soldiers lost their life due to the inexperience of guerrilla warfare. It was clearly to the American people, that the war was a total failure which led to antiwar movements.  President Johnson’s approval rating rapidly declined, and chose not to seek re-election.