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I could go for a really deep anylsis, but that might break it. (Part 1)

A Kinda Deep Analysis of Modern Pop Music: Jay-Z's The Black Album

In-tro-duct-ic-shon
In a way, I almost feel tricked into listening to this album. I don't listen to that much rap and don't like a lot of it, but when I heard of the Gray Album I thought it would be cool to try it out. For you see, the Gray Album is a remix of the Black Album with the White Album by the Beetles. It's such a random idea, but it made quite possibly the bast rap album I have ever heard. Thats not saying much, yet I still recommend listening to it (see bottom for how).

Anyway, even though the Gray Albums beats are infectious, the lyrics of Black Album live up to rap's reputation for idiotic lyrics. Here are a few examples.

The Definition of Pretension (From: Interlude):
"Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation."

It seems appropriate to begin this article for the first words of the album, which sets the egotistical tone of the whole album. Most of the songs on the following album are about Jay-Oz's own personal experience; hard to call that the history of our generation. That's like calling this article a scholarly study that will be mentioned in textbooks as a defining moment of pop culture study.

Also notice how literate and normal sounding these lines are. Now look at the next part of the song:

Allow me to re-introduce myself
My name is Hov', OH, H-to-the-O-V
I used to move snowflakes by the O-Z
I guess even back then you can call me
CEO of the R-O-C, Hov'!


Deep Man, Deep (from: December 4th):
They say, "they never really miss you till you dead or you gone."

If someone is neither dead or gone then what are they?


This one I like (From: Brush Your Shoulders Off):
If you feelin like a pimp n---a, go and brush your shoulders off.

It's not that good, rather nonsensical really, but there is one thing that I really like about it. He uses the word feelin instead of being. The word pimp really doesn't mean what it used to mean, you know, a master of prostitutes. Wane Brady if you will. But it has lost this meaning to the point where the show Pimp My Ride can have the word in the title and not have a single thing to do with hos and the like. The show even sometimes goes for that sentimental, this is a great person and we're doing something for him vibe. In other words, the exact opposite of what a pimp is.

So, yea. Many people can feel like pimps even though very few are pimps. And that is that.

(part 2 2morrow)

How to get the Gray Album:
1. Download BitTorrent from here.
2. Go to here to find the torrent link at the bottom of the page. Click and wait through download.
3. Because it's in a zip file you may have to download a program to unzip it, you know, a program like this. Anyway, you probably already can.
4. Play the damn music!

Posted on 20 June, 2005 | E-mail this post

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