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Yeezy Rising

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Emily Greer

on 7 December 2014

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Transcript of Yeezy Rising

Yeezy Rising
Thesis: Kanye West has pioneered a shift in rap music away from racially harmful cliches by consistently producing socially, musically, and rhetorically conscious music. These qualities increasing incrementally along with his career thus far.
Breaking Conventions
Interpretive Stance
Rhetorican VS. Rapper
-Break Conventions

-Challenge Hegemony

-Change the Conversation
-Showing emotional sensitivity

-External references

-Social Capital

-Delivering message via music
Case Study: "Jesus Walks"
Album: "The College Dropout"
Year: 2004

"We at war
we at war with terrorism
with racism
but most of all
we at war with ourselves"
Meaning made:
" They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus.

That means guns, sex, lies, videotape,

but if I talk about God my record won’t get played?

Psychoanalytic Analysis

Figured Worlds

Identities Building

-Reverse Psychology

-Endorsing spirituality

-Intertextuality within song
Hegemony Challenging
Case study: The ARC Choir sample

-ARC choir "Walk With Me" affirms song narrative
-Samples are intertextual by nature, Kanye creates his own
Cohesion Tool: Unites them, announces Kanye's literacy in music history.
-Expressing relevant & honest opinions through raps

Conversation Changing
-"Jesus Walks" won the Grammy for best rap single of the year
-Recognition from the music industry translates to much more social capital. Right off the bat, cracking open the rap game to proclaim it doesn't have to be crude & violent, it can be thought-provoking, poetic, powerful.
-Just one exemplary song. Trajectory continues throughout career, building and repaving upon the ideals established in the "The College Dropout", specifically "Jesus Walks."
-Simultaneously subversive and hugely popular
"A claim that violence, materialism, brutality and so forth is the main African American reality is but one of many falsehoods perpetuated by the genre” -Barry Brummett

-Kanye has expanded the rap cannon to include a great deal of the human experience, combatting the above claim and choosing to participate in larger conversations.
“Any amount of familiarity with many of the themes repeated in gangsta rap gives one to understand that it is not “real”
-Kanye departs from this trope. Basing his rhymes in honesty. Continually promoting his message as the truth.
“Rap generally could be an effective weapon against racism if it chose to be and it often does choose to be”
-Kanye has certainly chosen. Making his ascent to 'Yeezus' the album is a culmination of his accumulated skill and awareness.
"Respark the soul and rebuild the energy. We stopped the ignorance, we killed the enemies”

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