The two songs I chose in Task 1.1 are as follows:”I’m not racist” by Joyner Lucas.You can listen to this at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43gm3CJePn0 And”Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump You can listen to this here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LfJnj66HVQ”I’m not racist” by Joyner LucasI think this song was written from personal experience of racism in America.I can identify with this song as I am mixed race.  My father is from Ghana, West Africa.  He has experienced racism through his time in the UK and still experiences it today.  He has worked hard and managed to get a successful career and his own home.  My mother is from London and is white.  She too has experienced racism through having a black husband and mixed race children.I feel anger to the people who think they can identify with what black and mixed race people live through everyday.  Even as a child, if we travelled outside London I experienced racism.  Especially from predominantly white cultures.  As a child I have been stared at in disgust, called names and pointed out.  And these things happen by adults!  The adults are passing these thoughts down to their children.  People ask “what are you?” as if I am not a person.  Police look at me as if I’m always a suspect, even though I have never committed a crime.  I go for work and I am told “apply online”.  Why do I have to prove myself just because of the colour of my skin?My brothers are also mixed race and my older brother is frequently stopped by police asking who he is and where he is going.  Even though he is usually on his way to work or shopping.  People assume we are bad.  That we take drugs and are going to steal.  Just because of the colour of our skin.Racism in the UK was improving but over the last several years, it is going backwards.My parents have brought me up to work hard and succeed in life and not to choose the wrong path but it wears me down as people always assume I will choose the wrong path.  I think my feelings for this song are typical of those felt by black people and mixed race people.  Young people are angry when people say “I’m not racist” when clearly they are.I listen to this track on my ipod usually when I am relaxing in the evening or when I am travelling on the train. I like to listen to music which has meaning at these times and I mostly enjoy the beat to the track.  I use music to switch off from the outside world so sometimes I don’t focus on the actual words and meaning I focus on the beat.  I have adhd (now known as add) and through my years at High School I realised that I can use music to calm my mind.  All of the time, my mind is working much faster than if I didn’t have adhd.  I find it very hard to focus on one subject at a time and it is as if my mind is constantly on a treadmill.  If I listen to music and block off outside noise, I am able to focus.  Music like “I’m not racist” has the type of sound which enables me to do this, although I am not actually focusing on the lyrics and meaning, the tone and beat of this track helps me.This music also inspires me to write my own beats. I feel I can identify with Joyner Lucas because at a young age he was designing rhyme schemes and when he was ten he recorded a song.  I have always been writing music and wrote my first song when I was about ten although I didn’t record it I still have the lyrics.  I enjoy making beats and I am always tapping and making songs in my head.  He also has a black father and a white mother so has experienced life being biracial as I have. He has talked about being rejected by black people for being “too light”. My brother, was referred to as “too white”” when we went to Ghana to visit our family.  Although this could have been “banter” it was hurtful and unkind to him. So I feel that, as with Joyner Lucas, some of my family do not think we belong because we are not “pure” black.I think that not everyone will think the same about this song as I do.  Most middle class white Americans will not identify with the lyrics and their meaning and will still think they are not racist.  Perhaps even some black people who have lived more privileged lives will not identify with Joyner Lucas or this track.When I first heard this track I was listening to the lyrics but now I just enjoy the beat and switch off to the words.Harmonic Content”Harmony means the process by which the composition of individual sounds, or superpositions of sounds, is analysed by hearing.  Usually this means simultaneously occurring frequencies, pitches, tones, notes or chords.The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the “vertical” aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic line, or the “horizontal” aspect.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HarmonyThe piano content is reversed which makes it hard to identify chord progression.Melodic Content”Melodic means “relating to melody” and “melody” means tune.A Melody (also a tune, voice or line) is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity.  It is a combination of pitch and rhythm and can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal colour.  It can be considered as the foreground to the background accompaniment.  Melodies consist of musical phrases or motifs and are usually repeated  throughout a composition in various forms”(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melody)This track is more lyrical than melodic although it does have melodic aspects throughout and the beat changes at 2.53.  Within the 8 bars the chords are easier to identifyTexture and timbre “Timbre”a)   The sound of a specific instrument.  Tonal Characteristics.b)   Also includes any effects on the instrument such as ‘Reverb, Chorus, Delay, Distortion etc .” (http://moodle.accesstomusic.ac.uk/mod/page/view.php?id=92876)In this track you can hear a piano, vocal samples, snare and percussion sound effects.Reverb is on the snare, percussion and vocal samplesSubject MatterThis describes what the lyrics of the track is about.This rap is one of two halves.  Although by the same voice. It starts with “with respect” – which is a lie….Initially it is a white man stating his side of the story although the voice is Joyner Lucas (in the video depicted by a typical American with a “Make America Great Again” cap).  He is talking about how he is not racist because he has “black friends”, that he is not allowed to say “nigga” because he is white but it’s ok for black people to say it, stating that black people should no longer be affected by slavery because it was so long ago, thinking that black people are lazy, that they can’t be bothered, that they only want to take money from the government and not work for it, that they are drug dealers who idolize weapons and money.  But he “is not racist” because he has “black friends”.Then the second half of the song states the side of the black man, still citing that “he is not racist”.  It starts with the white man wanting to hear the story of the black man.  The second half starts with “with all disrespect”….The black man tells his story where when a black man greets his black friends as “nigga” it’s just a greeting but when a white man does this there is an undercurrent to its meaning.  He states his grandmother was a slave, so why should he “forget” about slavery and all it meant to his family.  He tries to look for work but no one wants him as they favour the white person.  He tries to better himself but gets nowhere.  The police stop search and arrest him just because of the colour of his skin.  He says the white person shouldn’t even TRY to think they know how it is for a black person in this world because they have no idea.  The white person tries to blame racism on everyone else except himself.The song concludes that there are two sides to every story.Sonic Characteristics”The specific instrumentation, effects or sounds in a piece of music.  Largely related to the ‘production’ of the recording.”http://moodle.accesstomusic.ac.uk/mod/page/view.php?id=92876You can hear the piano throughout the entire track apart from the 8 bars mentioned above “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump When I first heard this track, I enjoyed the rhythm and beat. I still do enjoy this but I think the lyrics are immature.  This also makes me angry because this is not a good image.  Although I might like to have a fast car and expensive designer clothes, I would not want to get these things by illegal methods.I cannot write as much about the second song because it doesn’t have a lot of substance whereas “I’m not racist” has deep meaning.I would listen to this track if it was played at parties.  I would dance to it with others.  It would make me feel relaxed and happy even though I don’t agree with the meaning and I don’t like the way it depicts young black youths as being all about designer goods and drugs, if I was listening to this I would again not be focusing on the lyrics.  I would just be having a good time with my friends.  It would not encourage me to want for this lifestyle.  I would find it amusing.  This is not the type of track I would choose to listen to on my ipod with my earphones. I do not feel that I am like Lil Pump in his ways of wanting the good life without hard work, and showing off but I feel when I was about eight to ten years old, I thought this lifestyle was what I wanted (not including the drugs part as at that age I didn’t really understand).  I used to wear clothes with dollar signs and wanted to take pictures with money to show that I was rich.  Lil Pump started recording music because he was expelled from school and did this to fill his time.  There were times when i struggled at school to be understood and thought that perhaps, at one stage, I might be expelled as well.  When I was at junior school, I enjoyed it.  I found it hard to sit still but I was a very animated child and the teachers liked my contributions to the lessons.  It was when I got to high school that they said that I had a problem and I should be assessed.  After two years, I was diagnosed with ADHD (ADD).  High school written work was more intense and although I excelled in practical exercises, I struggled to concentrate for long periods of time.  My mum refused to allow me to take the mediation as she felt it would stop my creativity.  She felt that ADHD was not a “problem” and just needed to be managed properly.  Together with the school and my mum, I was able to complete high school and obtain GCSEs.  Although there were some teachers who wouldn’t help as I didn’t conform to their standards.  I failed these subjects.  They made me feel I was incapable, whereas I wasn’t, I am just made differently.  If all teachers had been like this I would have been expelled like Lil Pump.I use my free time now to compose beats as he did when he was expelled.  Lil Pump is the same age as me.  He began uploading his music in 2016.  He seems very immature in his lyrics.  In an interview he said “parents just don’t understand” and agree to a certain extent..  We are similar in that he is a teenager, not married and does not have children so I think at this stage, life is all about him and only him.  To me, he looks like he doesn’t really care about much except himself.  I don’t think I am like this as my mum has brought me up to care about other people.  If I was to make as much money as Lil Pump at this age (approximately 2.5 million dollars) I would probably  waste quite a lot on designer clothes and fast cars, but I would also make sure that my family are ok.https://www.famousbirthdays.com/people/lil-pump.htmlI think a lot of people my age would think of this track as a feel good track for parties without much meaning to it except how to flash the cash and the fact that they would like to have the amount of cash that Lil Pump has made, especially at this age.  Harmonic ContentI don’t think the chords are strong.  Melodic ContentThe melody is simple but it has more advanced progressions in a higher octave in the background.Subject MatterThis trap rap is by a young mixed race artist.  This promotes designer goods, expensive cars, drugs, and expensive lifestyle.  This song has no proper meaning to it.  I feel that Lil Pump is giving mixed race and black people a bad name and just doing exactly what the white man in the previous song expects of young black people.Texture and TimbreYou can hear a drum kit, synth pads, percussion and pianoThere is reverb on the piano.The chorus is memorable and contains repetitive chord production. The flow and the lyrics is also repetitiveI can hear a slight distortion on the bass.Sonic CharacteristicsThis is a simple production because the drum pattern is typical drum pattern for trap music.I do mainly listen to songs which relate to my culture and social background mainly trap, RnB and drill music.  For my own personal enjoyment, I don’t tend to analyse and dissect the elements of the music intensely unless I want to make something similar.  I just enjoy listening to the beat although I do analyse the lyrics.

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