Sound Moves

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:58 pm by nicole

Sound Moves
As much as I love my IPOD I really feel like it’s destroying personal interaction, along with cell phones and other forms of technology. Its interesting reading the personal statements of the individuals in this article because I can relate to some and I’m irritated by others. I can say I defiantly wear my IPOD when I don’t want to be bothered, sometimes when I’m at home doing work or I just don’t want to be bothered by anyone in the house. When I’m outside my house the only time I really use my IPOD is when I’m at the gym, walking or using some other form of transportation. I rarely wear my IPOD if I’m in a store and if I happen to have it on I never talk to someone with my earphones stuck in my ear because I think that’s terribly rude. I could be bias though since I work in customer service it’s one of the most annoying things when people are so involved with their devices that they can’t pay attention to what I’m saying or asking. One statement in this article that really annoyed me and related to something that’s happened at my job was the guy who said he’ll just point to his earphones as a way to avoid any interaction or interruption if someone starts speaking to him. I mean I know we all want to be left alone sometimes but seriously if your so involved with your IPOD that you can’t even vocalize a word or have the common courtesy to say oh I didn’t hear you I have my IPOD on then I feel like that’s a problem. I also don’t understand the people who go out to dinner with other people and they sit at the table with IPOD on. I mean if you can’t go to dinner and socialize with the people at the table then don’t go out, stay home! I completely understand the need to be alone sometimes and left alone by others but if you happen to be with a group of people you like doing something social, why is it necessary to isolate yourself in your music? I mean there was even a statement in the article about a guy who listened to his IPOD in a bar and apparently that’s a good conversation starter. Why would you go to a bar and listen to your IPOD? I just don’t understand that, and if I was at a bar and saw someone sitting there with their IPOD in I most likely wouldn’t go up to them and start a conversation because I would assume they didn’t want to be bothered. You really can’t go anywhere nowadays without seeing someone with music in their ears, or a phone in their hand or to their ear. It’s funny because it seems like either people want to be completely left alone in isolation through their music or they want to be totally connected through texting, email, social networking or talking on the phone. It’s almost like there can be no in between.

How to Save Recording Industry

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:57 pm by nicole

While reading this article I kept thinking about the last CD I bought, and I honestly don’t know. When I was younger I use to spend whatever little money I did have on CD’s, but every since I’ve owned an Ipod I haven’t bought an actual CD. Mostly because they charge way too much, but also because I have no reason to purchase CD’s because the songs will go directly to my IPOD and I’ll never play the physical CD again. While I do think there’s something nostalgic about owning CD’s, I don’t think CD’s will be around much longer. Even my grandmother had an IPOD now and she hasn’t bought a CD since.
During harsh economic times I feel like Apple still continued to do well as a company. They’re products are definatly not cheap so I feel like it would be the right move for them to lower the price per song. While I’ll admit to having purchased some music from them, It killed me to pay 99 cents because I don’t feel like it’s worth paying that much when I can get it for free somewhere else. I don’t think it’s a good thing that so many people get music illegally, but it’s understandable. With so many music programs available how could you blame people for not paying for music. Locke does makes a valid argument though, that lowering the price will get more people to buy music and I somewhat agree. If I could get a CD for $2 I wouldn’t have a problem buying it nor would I have a problem paying 25 cents for a song, but as long as free sights and programs are still available I don’t think everyone would make the transition as easy.

Rags to Riches

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:56 pm by nicole

From rags to riches, Jay-Z has never neglected to speak out about where he’s come from. Brooklyn and the streets are always present in his songs as his shares his reincarnation through his rhymes. Jay-Z chronically takes us to the streets of Marcy Projects where he calls home. Before he made it big his early albums seem to speak directly to the community he occupied. Then, after his crossover success Jay-Z still speaks the streets but as an outsider connecting to the community in which he once physically lived in.
When it comes to authenticity I feel Jay exudes it. That’s one of the reasons I respect him most as an artist. He’s been at the bottom and made his way to the top. And I feel his hustler mentality defiantly contributed to his success. He’s established himself as a profitable artist, and business man. Jay-Z has managed to make a household name for himself, whether it be for his music, his clothing line or his many other business ventures. He may live a lavish lifestyle now but he’s maintained some of his hood mentality. He came from hustling on the streets to now hustling in the corporate world. His story is reflected in his music as he continues to reincarnate himself time and time again.


Motown and the Politics of Crossover Success

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:15 pm by nicole

It’s nice to finally see black artists gain white listeners and fans during the introduction of Motown music in the 60’s. Growing up, thanks to my grandmother, I’ve always listened to Motown music. I honestly like the music a lot because it’s fun. Something that stood out in this reading was the emphasis of image which is still relevant in today’s music industry. Warwick points out that Motown artists had images to live up to, their image became just as important as their musical talent. For instance, Lesley Gore was a “good girl“, the Ronettes were “bad girls” and Diana Ross was a glamorous superstar. The way the artist was portrayed to their audience became so important that it lead to the formation of Motown’s Artist Development. I feel like during this time period the female artists were wanting to gain respect. They carried themselves completely different than today’s female stars. There was a comment that I remember from the reading when a women stated that she remember Diana Ross being the first black woman she wanted to look like. This shows the cultural boundaries Motown achieved as they’re artists were able to capture culturally different audiences.


Hijacked Hits & Anti Authenticity

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:35 pm by nicole

In the most modern meaning of the word, I’ve always been a fan of “cover” songs. But before reading this I didn’t even think of the history behind the word, I thought it was as simple as just singing someone else’s song and crediting them for using it. After reading this article though, it’s very interesting to discover that cover songs actually developed because of racial segregation. It’s still hard to get over the fact that not only did inequalities consume African American’s everyday lives during this era, but it also transpired in their entertainment. I know music for some people provides an escape and, it’s unfortunate to image listening to a song back in the day knowing the exploitation of black artists behind it. The exploitation of African American musicians is unfortunate because not only did they’re creative talent go unaccredited but they received no money for their work. During the time when black and white artists competed on the charts I’m curious of how audiences would respond if they weren’t informed on which artist was which race, would white artists still top the charts. Also before it was brought up later in the article, one of the first things I thought about curious about was what would happen if the situation was turned around and black artists were covering songs by white artists while white artists were being exploited.
I liked reading about the connection of “Strange Fruit” and Billie Holiday since we had discussed the song and its meaning in class. The face that I was familiar with the song prior after listening to it in class made to reading more meaningful. It’s important to consider how powerful that song was and how it was bonded to Billie Holiday because of the impact it had after listening to it. This makes me think about the show Glee and younger generations. I was reading some article and they were saying how fast the CD’s and singles from the show reache#1 on Itunes, literally days after episodes air. They said how younger generations are basically exposed to the songs from the show and many of them have never heard the original recordings of the songs and are only familiar with the songs because of the show whose versions are very different from the original recordings. It makes you think about how moving Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is because other artists have covered it, yet it’s still most famously recognized as her song.
When Coyle questions authenticity in cover songs he makes an interesting point. I fully understand the image factor and expectations to have experienced the stuff one sings about, but, I feel like nowadays since singers are forced to credit the original recording the audience is aware that the song is not written by the person covering. Therefore, expectations should be disregarded. When I listen to someone singing a cover I’m not concerned with their personal connection to the song. If I’m familiar with the original recording, I’m mostly interested in how the person covering the song can it to make it new and fresh. I don’t like hearing a cover sung exactly the same way as the original because then it feels less authentic to me if they can’t do anything creative to make it there own. The question of authenticity is brought up with the gospel singer but it’s also important when talking about Gibb. The fact that he records a “white” record without changing anything by keeping the same arrangement and band and not having success is interesting because it makes you question the audience’s motivation for liking and not liking a song. If everything is the same practically as the first successful record, why would it not make a second hit record? Especially when white bands were trying to sound black in their records and gaining some commercial success.


research paper

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:25 pm by nicole


For my research project I will discuss how the internet has changed the music industry.  The internet has revolutionized the way music is purchased, marketed and shared. I will discuss how music is purchased–  the many options of music purchasing, mp3, the music store, and CD’s becoming obsolete. How music is marketed–the artist/band,  the ability of artists to promote and market themselves, social media, and interaction between artist and fans in my second focus. How music is shared– music piracy.

The Challenge of BeBop

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:16 pm by nicole

It’s interesting how passionate the musicians of the bebop era are about distinguishing bebop music from jazz, even though it’s origins are from jazz. I honestly didn’t even know that bebop was a part of jazz before reading this. I recognize the names of the bebop artists of the time but not so much the music. Yet, without knowing the style of music Porter does a good job giving a little introduction to bebop through his musical description. I feel like beboppers mostly wanted to deter from jazz because they thought jazz was too politically outspoken in discussing African American’s unhappiness with the times. Jazz was representation of settling and dealing with the unhappiness while bebop represented change and progression. Bebop lacked boundaries and challenged other music at the time. This seemed to be the attitude African American’s had about their situation also. Even though they were struggling with racial inequalities they were motivated to do and have better things.
 The bebop movement was a big step forward in the African American community since they had more freedom to make the music there own. Bebop artists disagree, but I do believe there are indirect political messages in the bebop movement. I feel like songwriters write about what they know and things that happen to them in there lives. The songwriters of the bebop era were struggling with discrimination, therefore, even if they never directly stated there struggles it was somehow integrated into their music because it was apart of them. Also Porter says that beboppers tried to educate they’re audience and uplift them which I feel shows political activism by taking a negative situation and making it more positive
 Along with the social restrictions at the time the creative restrictions seem to be what contributed to bebop’s rise in popularity as well as it’s demise. During the introduction of bebop the lack of limitations were fresh and exciting then later rejected. As with music today marketing ability was a big component to selling the music as well as the artist. It’s interesting to see how the initial appeal of bebop was supposed to be it’s originality but when that wasn’t selling the marketing strategy changed to dance appeal. This is interesting to show how quickly musicians have to sell out in order to make a buck. The movement was an exciting change to music, everyone involved believed in the music they were making because it promoted a change, therefore to have to sell out and market it differently for recognition seems less genuine.


Music Analysis

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:05 pm by nicole

2 PAC – Tupac Shakur – Keep Ya Head Up
“Keep Ya Head Up”–TUPAC

In a time where gangsta rap flooded the hip hop scene and East coast versus West coast rappers competed for the top spot on music charts, Tupac took a risk in releasing the song “Keep Ya Head Up which first appeared on his 1993 album, Strictly for my N.I.G.G.A.Z.” and later appeared, after his death in 1998, on his Greatest Hits compilation. (“Nationmaster.com”) The beat and chorus of the song are both samples. The beat was borrowed from a 70’s soul and funk band, Zapp & Roger. “Be Alright” was known as the band’s one-hit wonder. The chorus of the song is borrowed from the song “O-o-h Child” from the 1970’s Chicago soul band, The Five Stairsteps. (“Keep Ya Head Up”) “Keep Ya Head Up” shows a softer side of Tupac and it has been referred to as his love letter to black women. “Many consider it to be one of the deepest rap songs ever made and is often referenced by other artists in their work, building Shakur’s persona as a very conscious and influential rapper.” (“Nationmaster.com”) Tupac’s spoken dedication in the opening line layers the dynamic musical ensemble of keyboard, flute, guitar, and percussion. Following the lively introduction of staccato articulation, two distinctive downbeats transition to more of a legato sound. The change in articulation creates a different beat which establishes the more serious mood for the rest of the song. It’s interesting because the lyrical deliverance by Tupac is almost like he’s singing, instead of fast paced, hard hitting rap. His flow is gentle and the passion in his voice seems sincere. It feels like he’s really trying to communicate to his audience and spread a positive message. Throughout the verse’s Tupac’s rhymes are layered over vocal adlibs and rifts which are reminiscent to the original tracks the songs were borrowed from. The softness in the singer’s voice feels like a distant echo in the background re-questioning the issues Tupac’s rapping about. The layer of singing adds soulfulness to the track in between changeovers of verse to chorus. As the chorus starts the singing is still soft and compassionate. I feel as though the vocals aren’t necessarily flawless which give it an authentic and unedited feeling. The vocal deliverance is almost spiritual, it feels like a plea or a prayer for a change/ for a better life.

This song is significant in history because in a time where rappers were referring to women as “bitches, hoes and sluts,” Tupac praises women. He offers symphony and support to his “sisters.“ Tupac’s verses’ shed light on the unfortunate reality of female disrespect, and criticize the men who degrade them.

1st Verse:
Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holler to my sisters on welfare
Tupac cares, if don’t nobody else care
And uhh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot
When you come around the block brothas clown a lot
But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain’t nuttin don’t believe him
And if he can’t learn to love you you should leave him
Cause sista you don’t need him
And I ain’t tryin to gas ya up, I just call em how I see em
You know it makes me unhappy (what’s that)
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up

Keep ya head up, oooo child things are gonna get easier
ooooo child things’ll
get brighter [2x]

Tupac addresses both women and men in this first verse. His first point is to empower woman and let them know that they should be treated with respect. When they’re able to realize this they need to get out of any situation where a man is mistreating them. Once they’ve realized they’re worth more they’ll recognize their capable and strong enough to do anything on there own (like raise a child) without a man, especially one who disrespects them. Men are also addressed in the song as he encourages them to change they’re ways. Issues such as abortion, welfare, single parenting and rape are brought up in this verse. These are all heavy issues that directly affect women ultimately because of men, and certainly cause hardships in there lives. He questions how men could treat women so badly when they all came from a women. Tupac foresees a cycle of disrespect being passed on from generation to generation. This verse pioneers Tupac as somewhat of a social activist exposing the issues and promoting a change. He asks the real men to step up and support the movement. And until the changes occur he’s encouraging woman to keep on living life, not let men bring them down, and to simply echo the chorus, keep there heads up.

2nd Verse:
Aiyyo, I remember Marvin Gaye, used to sing ta me
He had me feelin like black was tha thing to be
And suddenly tha ghetto didn’t seem so tough
And though we had it rough, we always had enough
I huffed and puffed about my curfew and broke the rules
Ran with the local crew, and had a smoke or two
And I realize momma really paid the price
She nearly gave her life, to raise me right
And all I had ta give her was my pipe dream
Of how I’d rock the mic, and make it to tha bright screen
I’m tryin to make a dollar out of fifteen cents
It’s hard to be legit and still pay tha rent
And in the end it seems I’m headin for tha pen
I try and find my friends, but they’re blowin in the wind
Last night my buddy lost his whole family
It’s gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity
It seems tha rain’ll never let up
I try to keep my head up, and still keep from gettin wet up
You know it’s funny when it rains it pours
They got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor
Say there ain’t no hope for the youth and the truth is
it ain’t no hope for tha future
And then they wonder why we crazy
I blame my mother, for turning my brother into a crack baby
We ain’t meant to survive, cause it’s a setup
And even though you’re fed up
Huh, ya got to keep your head up

The second verse seems to be a reflection of Tupac’s life, and the struggles he’s gone through (and were going through at the time). Topics of race, social division, drugs, and violence are touched upon in these lyrics. He speaks to African American’s about being proud to be black, yet realizing all the adversity that follows him everyday simply because of the color of his skin. He also speaks to family’s, particularly mothers and even more so single mothers. Tupac was raised by his mother after his parents separated before he was born. Frequently the family was at poverty level. (Rovi) However, he still shows appreciation towards his mother for everything she did for him and his family. He realizes that it may have not been much but it was always enough, which is more than other people and families out there with nothing. He also directly speaks again about his life when addressing the internal struggle inside of him. He had desires to come up from where he came from and make it big. But, he also couldn’t avoid the negative influences surrounding him in his community. Tupac sees hoplessness in the future if negativity is still capitalized upon, and until they’re can be a change those who are unfortunate must to stay positive and keep there heads up.

3rd Verse:
To all the ladies havin babies on they own
I know it’s kinda rough and you’re feelin all alone
Daddy’s long gone and he left you by ya lonesome
Thank the Lord for my kids, even if nobody else want em
Cause I think we can make it, in fact, I’m sure
And if you fall, stand tall and comeback for more
Cause ain’t nuttin worse than when your son
wants to kno why his daddy don’t love him no mo’
You can’t complain you was dealt this
hell of a hand without a man, feelin helpless
Because there’s too many things for you to deal with
Dying inside, but outside you’re looking fearless
While da tears, is rollin down your cheeks
Ya steady hopin things don’t fall down this week
Cause if it did, you couldn’t take it, and don’t blame me
I was given this world I didn’t make it
And now my son’s getten older and older and cold
From havin the world on his shoulders
While the rich kids is drivin Benz
I’m still tryin to hold on to my survivin friends
And it’s crazy, it seems it’ll never let up, but
please… you got to keep your head up

This third verse again addresses women and the lyrics help them to heal. At the end of the day despite facing incredible odds he encourages women to stand tall and be strong for their entire family. Things might gradually get better or progressively get worse as the days advance, but he offers hope to women declaring that they can and will get through everything as long as they keep there heads up.

1. NationMaster.com. Nationmaster.com, 2003-5. Web. 3 Oct 2010. .

2.Rovi, Stephen Thomas Erlewine. “Tupac.” Mtv.com. MTV Networks, n.d. Web. 3 Oct 2010. .

3.”Wikipedia.” Keep Ya Head Up. Wikipedia, September 24, 2010. Web. 3 Oct 2010. .

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