I chose the song Where is the love? by The Black Eyed Peas. I find the lyrics of this song very powerful and meaningful as it mentions the issues that have been going on here in the U.S and around the world, and still does. The title of the song goes beyond the question Where is the love?, there is a lot of meaning behind it, its a very deep question with more questions that come along with it, like where is the peace? why do people fight? why do we kill each other? don’t you see the innocent suffering? where is your love?.. It talks about discrimination, racism, war, innocent people and kids dying, the selfishness government leaders, inequality, negativity from the media, lack of moral values and respect, etc…
I love this song because it’s a reminder of what is going on around us. Sometimes we get lost in our own little world being selfish, and thinking only about ourselves, our problems, and we complain, a lot, we forget that there are so many more things going on out there that might or might be worse than our problems, but nevertheless, as citizens of the world we are responsible for them as well.
The world has not never been at peace, and even though we know how to create it, we can’t accomplish it, so in the song there is a cry for help from a higher power, higher than the government and all, help from God. We can’t only be part of the problems, we also have to be part of the solution. “Can you practice what you preach?… Where is the love?”
One of my current favorite song is Ten Thousand Hours by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This is the first song of their album so it is the first song to be play every time I listen o the album. So this song is play often than any other song and I believe you will love a song if you listen to a song enough times. This album was independently produce and it manages to reach number 1 on iTunes. The song details their journey as a artist and trying to produce music base on their creatively and not falling into what the record company thinks will make the most sale. The title of the song is a referring to Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that 10,000 hours need to be spend on a subject to be an expert on it. It also point out music needs passionate and handwork since he is singing about working over 10,000 hours on this album. It is also a great catchy song. Their whole album is great and there is great variety with the songs. The order of the songs in the album also has a nice transition.
When this song came out it had a strong resonance with me. It epitomized the city that I grew up in. The rhythmic steady beats symbolize the beating pulse of New York, the city that never sleeps. There is always something going on. In the first verse of the song Jay-Z talks about coming up from poverty in Brooklyn to heights of fame. This probably is what every New Yorker strives towards. People come from all over the world to try to make something of themselves here. “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”. This line shows that the city is big and blinding and you have exactly the same chance of making it here as well as losing everything in the process. The most important message of the song, for me at least, is that even if you’re down and out of luck, and nothing seems to be going your way, the city can lift you up and inspire you to go on. I really like the line “New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do, Now you’re in New York, These streets will make you feel brand new, Big lights will inspire you, Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York”
Tupac Shakur was one of raps greatest gifts. He constantly rhymed and rapped about his everyday struggles and related it to everyone around him. One of my favorite rappers, he was killed during the 1990s and was one of the rap communities greatest losses. He wishes for greater equality between the blacks and whites, but his vision is still trying to be achieved to this day. “Changes” by Tupac Shakur is one of his most famous songs from the 90s and expresses his want for more equality, but doesn’t only blame the whites for all of the hate. He is a realist and finds that black people are also for the blame and must rise up and create change themselves.
“Changes” is based on the black person’s ongoing social problems and struggle in society. Shakur opens up the song by saying,”I’m tired of bein’ poor and even worse I’m black, my stomach hurts, so I’m lookin’ for a purse to snatch.” In saying this he expresses the problems of the black people in that they aren’t given many opportunities and have to divert to crimes to survive. Shakur also notes, “I see no changes. All I see is racist faces. Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.” The overall theme is that there is still racism against the black people and that they are still low on the social hierarchy. No one cares about the black person and that is why it is challenging for them to live. Shakur wants all of the black community to unite and stop the hatred and change for the better. He states,”It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.” This is inspirational as he wants a completely different outlook by black people. He believes that their actions are also to blame for the hatred and equality, so it is time for them to make a huge change.
For the first 10 years of my life I believed that this incredible song was written by my uncle. He played it for me by every night that he put me to sleep, which was about five times a week. It became my personal theme song, one that i would sing hum constantly, even before being able to understand its meaning. When I was older and smart enough to realize that this is song was not written for my own personal pleasure but rather a very popular hit from a celebrated artist I was floored. And when I finally listened to the real Cat Stevens version I was almost moved to tears by how in love with it I fell.
The song is about finding your freedom through your individuality. About doing what you want, no matter what anyone thinks or says. It soft sounds and upbeat chorus help you to understand the happiness that can come to you when you stop living your life by other peoples standards and stick to your own. Till this day, listening to this song gives me the courage to pursue happiness in itself, rather than fame or wealth or prestige.
When this song was released in my country, Japan, it quickly became a mega hit, yet I hadn’t known the real concept of this song before coming to the United States. This song has deep meaning that Japanese can hardly imagine.
This song maily tells a story about one girl struggling to live with poverty, so she commits crime to suvive. Many American music and movies tell conection between poverty and crime. On the otherhand Japanese ones seldom deal with them. Also, Japanese media often have special programs about crimes such as shoflifting and rovveries, but they focus on police achievement of arrest. They don’t tell reasons why they commit crime or their backgrounds.Of course, population in povety in the U.S is larger than one in Japan, so Americans tend to consider about poverty seriously, yet there must be people struggling wtih porvety in Japan, so Japanese should pay attention to the relationship between crime and poverty more. Moreover, the song mention her parents that har father is police and mother is a hippie. Police is often negatively symbolized, such as unchecked power, and a hippie also represents laziness and irresponsibility. This song reflects social problems and has intersting allusion.
The song I chose i called Thing Called Love by Above and Beyond. This is my go-to song most of the times when I want to listen to something because this song generates the feelings and emotions within me. The rhythm, BPM of the song is perfect in my opinion and it is a song most people can relate to. It is talking about wasted love, or to a further extent, wasted opportunities in life where it will just bypass you if you don’t take advantage of it. “Ad it’s a waste love that we all regret,” is so memorable because of the emotions this song and the genre called trance can provide for you
The first time I heard this song back in February was alongside this music video while I was bored, looking for new music to add to my library. I thought, and still think, it is one of the best music videos, and standalone songs, I have heard yet. It is only one of a few songs in recent memory where I simply said, “Holy crap, this is awesome.”
The song is about how a person can completely lose all feelings and emotions of their surroundings into oblivion if they continue to wait for someone who they cannot let go of. The trancelike melody of the song fits the lyrics very well, and the slow motion shots of the dazed woman in the music video compliments and ties it all together into one great work of art. I never quite though of the lyrics much with all those awesome instrumentals until now but they give the song song more meaning, and I do not simply look at it like it’s another trance/dub-step song. In fact, it differentiates itself well from the generic music one would expect to hear in clubs or videos on YouTube these days; the music video is not of some DJ with a blinding laser light show with crowds going wild. That, of course, makes this video a good thing to hear, and see.
Discovering M.I.A. at the malleable age of fifteen tremendously impacted my life. Like all high school sophomores I was confused, temperamental, and insecure but despite all of that I still thought I was an “adult” that could survive in the real world. I listened to a lot of mainstream music, things that I would hear on the radio and whatever I saw on TV. I never felt connected to any of the pop or hip-hop stars that were famous, they all looked different (white girls and gangster black men) and their influence on me was fleeting. I grew up thinking that girls that looked like me weren’t seen in mainstream media because we weren’t cool or attractive enough. Due to this feeling, I was first intrigued by M.I.A. because of her appearance, her skin and hair were dark like mine but at the same time, she radiated coolness. The first song of hers I ever listened to was “Sunshowers” which confused me at first, because her lyrics weren’t about the usual love and heartbreak but seemed to be making a statement about something bigger and more worldly. I ended up having to do some research on her to truly understand what her songs were about, and a lot of them were about life in war ridden third world countries.
M.I.A. grew up in Sri Lanka during a civil war and had lived through violent time which resulted in fleeing her country and living as a refugee. Her music is deeply influenced by her childhood and her negative views on war. I was born in America and lived in New York all my life, the most contact I’ve had with the third world experience is when I go to India with my parents, even then I know in a week or two I’ll be back in the states where running water and electricity aren’t considered a luxury. Because of this, M.I.A.’s lyrics did not apply to me whatsoever, but somehow they still inspired and taught me that there were bigger problems than boys and worrying about the SATs. Shortly after I listened to “Sunshowers,” I began listening to all of her music, and constantly playing them on repeat. I told all my friends about her (they thought she was weird) and eventually all my clothes began to mirror her style. I had hoodies and pants in crazy neon patterns and wore big gold jewelry that weighed down my ears and neck. My hair was curly and unkept like hers and even though I probably looked like a moron, I felt cooler than ever.
“Sunshowers” is about the violence in Sri Lanka during the civil war. The song is very political in its lyrics “You want to go- You want to win a war-Like P.L.O.-We don’t surrendo” but is very cheerful and something you can dance to. Her strong political criticisms are probably the reason why this song wasn’t featured on channels like M.T.V. When M.I.A. was questioned about the meaning of the song, she stated “Sunshowers is about how in the news the world is being divided into good and evil with this axis of evil and terrorism thing, so the song is asking: how can we talk about gun culture and other issues while Blair is preaching that if someone hits us, we should hit back twice as hard?” This statement clearly displays her negative thoughts on war, gun use and her dissaproval of violent retaliation. I remember blasting this song constantly and my mom complaining about the crazy noises that were coming out of my room. M.I.A.’s unique and influential music taught me a lot about life outside of my little bedroom in Queens, which is why I admired her so much-and still do today.
In 1966 Frank Zappa released Freak Out! the first 4 side rock and roll album. Freak Out! was Frank Zappa’s musical manifesto. In some ways, Freak Out! can be seen as the first musical attempt at Surrealism. It features incredible instrumentation (Orchestra, kazoo, vibraphone) juxtaposed with the traditional rock band format. It attempts to have a song to appeal to everyone. This makes the album go all over the place. There are doo-wop songs, rock and roll pieces, Musique-Concrete pieces, pop ballads, R&B, Pop rock, and experimental vocal and electronic compositions. All the music is written, arranged, and orchestrated by Frank himself, something very few rock musicians were doing. This record is often considered ahead of it’s time and it introduced us to Frank Zappa’s vision. I can’t even describe how out there some of the music on this album is!
(The album had a profound influence on the Beatles, who called Frank Zappa to ask him for permission to use his ideas on his album. When Zappa asked to be paid, the Beatles decided to just steal the ideas. Also, John Lennon stole an album full of Zappa material and released it as his own. What a jerk! Read all about it…. http://suckmybeatles.com/2007/10/29/reason-1754-the-ballad-of-john-and-frank/)
The song features humorous instrumentation (kazoo and vibraphones), and the almost atonal piano tone clusters laid over your standard 60s rock and roll song. It is a shocking statement for an opening of an album. The humorous musical arrangement is immediately contrasted with the powerful lyrics. “Mr. America Walk On By…” Zappa gives voice to a group of Americans who felt out of touch in the 60s. “The left behinds of the great society” as he calls them. This is a direct reference to Lyndon Johnson’s America. Zappa argues that America alienates citizens who do not buy into their “supermarket dream” or “great midwestern hardware store philosophy.” I like this song because Zappa chose to open an album with unusual music and opinionated lyrics. This wasn’t intended to be a pop success. Zappa was attempting to market to and capitalize on what he saw as an untapped market of Americans who didn’t see the world the way everyone else did. The Mothers were a band for people were unsatisfied with being fed top 100s pop and corporate-approved counter culture.
Here are the liner notes written by Zappa for the song
1. HUNGRY FREAKS, DADDY…(3:27) was written for Carl Orestes Franzoni. He is freaky down to his toenails. Some day he will live next door to you and your lawn will die. Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts. Some of you like pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read. Forget I mentioned it. This song has no message. Rise for the flag salute.