Musicians play an integral role in the society we live in. They serve different purposes and make life bearable. The contemporary world is struggling with a plethora of issues ranging from drug abuse, infidelity and crime. Musicians have a powerful impact on society and are better suited to address the issues that society is struggling with. The younger generation stands to benefit the most from music because most of them still need proper guidance. Even as music keeps evolving, there are artists who have been consistent in their message. Jay-Z is the perfect example of an artist who has continually conveyed positive messages in his music. In his music, he has addressed important issues such as financial freedom and marriage. Many youths can now differentiate right from wrong because of the message in Jay-Zs lyrics. However, as much as he has had a positive impact on the youth, he cannot single-handedly address all the contemporary issues. The perfect musician to address all the societal issues would have the lyrics of Jay-Z, the influence of Beyonce and Kanye Wests melodies and style.
Jay Z was born on December 4th in Brooklyns Marcy projects. He was raised by his parents Gloria Carter and Adnes Reeves until when he was 11 when his father left them (Biography.com, 2017). He is the last born in a family of four and during most of his livelihood, he was raised by his mother. He attended school with other rap legends such as Biggie Smalls. He had a rough upbringing growing up in the Marcy projects and most times he had to sell drugs just to make ends meet. As a way to escape the violence and drugs, he turned to rap music. Later on in his career, he teamed up with Damon Dash and Kareem Burke and together, they founded Roc-a-Fella Records. He has had and continues to have a long and successful career as a rapper. He has 13 solo albums to his name all of which have enjoyed huge commercial success. On 15th June 2017, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame becoming the first rapper to receive such as honor (Knight, 2015).
His prowess as a lyricist is unrivalled. In his latest album 4:44, he addresses very sensitive issues affecting society. He exposes his vulnerabilities and weaknesses as an individual and talks about his mistakes. The album was well received by critics and it even earned him eight Grammy nominations besides going platinum in less than a week (Biography.com, 2017). Jay-Zs lyrical ability is what is needed in the United States society today. His ability to express himself tactfully can lead to positive change. For example, in his song The Story of OJ he talks about having a plan as artists and formulating proper ways of survival. Artists in the United States and the world over have been known for living reckless and lacking sound financial plans. Jay Z continues to be a powerful voice in the American society because of his ability to talk about pertinent issues in a creative way. His upbringing, struggle and success prove that any person can succeed as long as they put in the work and remain focused. Through his lyrical prowess, Jay Z could demonstrate that our environment and situations in our life should not limit us. He can show the society that everyone has the power to uplift himself or herself.
Jay-Z's music is what is required in the contemporary US society because for a long time, there has been a culture of dishonesty and many people have been afraid of owning up to their mistakes. Through his lyricism, Jay Z has taught the larger American society that it is okay to admit when one is wrong. In his song 4:44 he admits to having cheated on his wife Beyonce and goes ahead to apologize for it (Gavilanes, 2017). Honesty can greatly benefit the US society. His lyrics also evoke thought. Many people have been shown to reflect on their decisions after listening to his music because he talks about issues which many people can relate to. In his song The Story of OJ, he advised individuals to make proper financial decisions instead of wasting their hard-earned money on goods that do not appreciate in value. He advises everyone to seek financial freedom through wise investments. Jay-Z's music is an important part of the US society because he is one of the few individuals addressing issues that affect a large part of the American society.
Great lyrical ability is ineffective if a musician has limited influence. In order to really effect change, Jay-Z's lyrical ability needs to be coupled with Beyonces influence. Beyonce was conceived in Houston Texas on the 4th of September 1981. She was singing ever since she was a child and even attended numerous local talent competitions where she impressed the panelists with her singing ability. She later formed an all-girl musical group known as Destinys Child which became a huge success musically. Henry Knight (2015) states that Beyonces talents do not only emanate from a single talent but all of her talents in concert. She has excelled in many if not all of the things she has been involved in. Knight (2015) writes about her cult-like following among the younger generation and acknowledges the fact that she is the most powerful pop star in the music business. Knight reminisces on a time in campus when her peers set aside their final paper studies just to listen to Beyonces song Drunk in Love. Beyonces music has been at the forefront in the fight for gender equality and feminism. In her song Flawless, she talks about woman empowerment and how women should be appreciative of themselves.
An artist with great lyrics and influence deserves catchy melodies. A catchy melody would make a song more memorable and likeable. An artist with Jay-Zs lyrical ability, Beyonces influence and Kanye Wests melodies is just what the US society needs. Kanye West perfected the art of creating catchy melodies for his songs which has made his music more appealing. Kanye West was born on June 8, 1977, in the city of Atlanta. He later moved to Chicago with his mother where he spent the better part of his adult life. He started creating melodies while still living in his mothers house then, later on, moved out to pursue a career in music. He teamed up with Jay Z and together they made several successful records (Biography.com, 2017).
The rise of Kanye West as a musician serves as great motivation for anyone who is hungry for success. He dropped out of college and spent several hours perfecting his craft until it finally paid off. The path he took was risky and not many people would have the guts to do what he did. His struggle demonstrates the fact that resilience and focus can lead to success. Many individuals in society are quick to give up when things fail to work out. Kanye Wests success story could teach society the importance of resilience. During his first years as a musician, he was involved in a terrible accident that almost took his life. Prior to the accident, he had been working round the clock with little time for rest. The accident terribly disfigured his face and his jaw was wired shut. However, despite the ordeal, he managed to record a song that went on to become a huge success. He did it all while still in the hospital. His story should motivate everyone in society to never let anything stand in the way of ones dreams.
Sometimes even the greatest musicians or lyricists come under heavy criticism. A good example is Jay Z. The lyricist has been accused of promoting violence in one his songs. Such claims might be true but in most occasions, the artists words are usually taken out of context which creates a lot of controversies. A section of critics have argued that his song Drunk in Love condones domestic violence (Rothman, 2014). The critics particularly caught issue with the line Eat the cake, Anna Mae. Even though the line is troubling to some people, the rest of the song provides more meaning and explanation. Even the greatest lyrics can be taken out of context. An individual should make an effort of looking for clarification before reaching a conclusion. An artist with Jay Z lyricism, Beyonces influence and Kanye Wests melodies can still be criticized.
In conclusion, an artist with Jay-Z's lyrical ability, Beyonces influence and Kanye Wests melodies has all the tools to address issues which affect the American society today. Issues such as financial freedom, marriage, drug abuse and violence need to be addressed and an artist with the three qualities would do a great job in talking about these matters. Almost every individual listens to music which makes it the perfect medium for reaching wide audiences. Many young people lack the proper direction and it is upon musicians to pass the right message to them. Music has the power to change the world.
Baquet, D. (2017, November 29). Jay-Z Discusses Rap, Marriage and Being a Black Man in Trump's America. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/29/t-magazine/jay-z-dean-baquet-interview.html
Biography.com. (2017). Https://jay Z. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/jay-z-507696
Biography.com. (2017). Https://kanye West. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/kanye-west-362922
Gavilanes, G. (2017, June 30). Inside JAY-Z's 4:44 Album: The Rapper's Most Revealing Lyrics About Beyonce, Their Twins & More. Retrieved from http://people.com/music/jay-z-444-album-secrets-details/444-he-confirms-his-infidelity
Knight, H. (2015, April 15). Why Beyonce speaks for a generation. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150415-beyonc-voice-of-a-generation
Rothman, L. (2014, January 30). A Sobering Look at Beyonce and Jay Z's Sexy Song "Drunk in Love". Retrieved from http://time.com/3090/drunk-in-love-controversy/
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