Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Music Videos, N.W.A and Kendrick Lamar - Clean Version of Straight outta Compton - Dirty Version Straight Outta Compton

 In 1989, NWA released the music video for the song "Straight Outta Compton." This video and album, was controversial, as it 'provoked' the LAPD in particular, and led to riots (more related to Fuck the Police).
 The video to this song features Ice Cube and Ren getting chased by the Police and arrested and put in a holding van. Meanwhile, Eazy-E's verse features him in a convertible shouting at the driver of the Van while being ignored. The Van is then pelted by Rocks thrown by residents. This is an important part of the video, the perception of Racial Tension, and the rather overt suggestion that the Police are overly aggressive and hostile with members of the Black community, especially those that seem willing to stand up for themselves. By implying institutional racism amongst the Police department, the real Police felt offended and even called out for their actions. The 80s were a time of tension between White and Black people, but many White people were on NWA's side, deeming police behaviour to harsh, severe and were confounded when their actions went unpunished.
 A couple of years later, the Rodney King incident would ignite the spark once again, especially after the verdict, and this led to the LA riots. NWA would become the centre of attention once again with music videos such as Straight Outta Compton and Fuck the Police.
 This goes to show the cultural impact of these songs and the videos themselves. Part of their success was their honest attitude to what was going on, and willingness to confront the Police.

Kendrick Lamar - Alright - Alright - Song Used in Protest - Article about Alright. - Chant at Million Man March.

Alright is a song from the album "To Pimp a Butterfly" by Kendrick Lamar. It has been adopted as a protest song, specifically the chorus, and performed at the Grammy's. Much like Straight Outta Compton, it speaks to people that have witnessed or experienced Police Brutality. It's not a question that it is a powerful song, and a powerful video, with the chorus of "We gon' be alright" being adopted by protesters protesting the same thing that NWA was protesting 26 years ago. This shows the lack of progress that has been made, that songs like this are still needed and still used in this fashion.

 Each of these songs calls out the Police and sends an inspiring message.

This screenshot of the music video for the song shows 3 kids dancing on top of a Police Car, with Kendrick doing rings around the outside throwing money out of the Window. This relates to the Police clearly and appears to reduce to authority that the vehicle is supposed to have.

This one shows Kendrick and his "homies" in a Car, with Kendrick rapping, although being carried by the Police, this shows that the Police are in control and Kendrick and everyone else seems to have no control along the way.

I feel like this will be a good representation of the contemporary in 30 years, not only because of the success of the song and album, but because of the message that it sends, and the shockwaves that it sent through certain "news" groups, such as FOX. The reception that it received was very positive for the most part and it's widespread support shows the power that it has. It shows that while things may appear to be, or are, bad right now, things are going to be alright. What's more is that it was chanted at the Million Man March. The protest song that it has now become is something eerily similar to what NWA achieved, and it will continue to be used because it represents the way things are for Black people in certain areas, such as Compton.

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