Adolescent Music: Cultural, Moral And Political Messages Free Sample

Introduction

The two songs that I have selected are classified under the hip-hop genre of music. This is a genre that came about as a result of the hip-hop culture. It can be described by four major stylistic elements that define it, and those are rapping, deejaying or scratching, sampling and beatboxing. Looking at the history of hip hop, it started in the 1970s in New York at a place known as South Bronx. Hip hop can be traced from African-American music as well as African music. A community was originally known as the griots from West Africa, hundreds of years back were known to have a culture of singing and reciting poems when traveling with a vocal style that does not differ much from rapping. As earlier mentioned, hip hop started in the 1970s when African-American and Puerto Rican cultures were fused (Crossley 2005).

Another major aspect of the hip hop culture was the turntabling techniques e.g. the scratching technique which is believed to be an invention of Grand wizard Theodore, beat mixing, and juggling that created a base essential for rapping.

Hip-hop dancing styles were influenced by the Latino culture that was seen practiced by the Puerto Ricans that were living in Bronx New York. The Jamaican community also played a role in the development of the hip-hop culture. They influenced the vocal style that was associated with the rapping technique by doing simple rap songs at their public functions that were inspired by their toasting tradition (Crossley 2005).

As hip hop grew, the rappers started incorporating new creative styles on their vocal and systematic delivery by the inclusion of brief rhymes to entertain even better. In the earlier days, hip hop production was done by groups since groups had the stage presence and drama necessary to entertain audiences. With time solo artists that could individually deliver as well as entertain emerged and people started doing solo projects.

Looking at the lyrics of both the songs I have chosen, it is quite obvious that disco has a major influence on this style of music. The lyrics of the song talk about the high and luxurious life the hip hop artists are living, spending lot of money partying and in discos. Listening to the song you also realize the influence of the early European disco beats that is quite funky as the Europeans describe it.

When you take a study of the lyrics you also realize that it offers a platform for lyricists or poets to testify about their life experiences. This can be used positively to encourage hip hop lovers and to advice those listeners on how to handle the highs and lows that are characterized with this world, just as Kid Cudi in his song advices those who grew up with single parents to take heart and define their individual destinies. Another feature that would not go unnoticed is the bragging that largely characterize hip hop songs. In both songs you realize of how much all the artist tend to speak about their incomparable musical abilities as well as their large financial abilities that enable them to live luxurious lives.

The lyrics of the songs also show how much hip hop has embraced vulgar language to an extent that a hip hop song would seem incomplete without incorporating vulgar words and the street language best known as the slang. Hip hop has embraced a culture of disrespecting women, calling them names that portray them as sex tools that are valuable in satisfying men’s daily sexual desires and pleasure.

In marketing hip hop different artists, music labels, music distributors and all the other stakeholders have implemented different strategies. It has come to the notice of many people that most of the hottest and coolest teenage musical, language and fashion trends just as they are fondly described by them; originate in the inner cities of America before fast spreading to the suburbs (Settersten 2005). One of the strategies that the hip hop stakeholders have used to market their music is targeting the teens who are settled in the urban setups. This way information is able to trickle down to the suburbs hence widening their market structures.

In the early days, music and entertainment television stations that were available declined playing hip hop music. Even worse they refused to play anything by black artists. This was until when new television broadcast channels were launched that were courageous enough to change this trend. These broadcast channels have provided a mechanism that recently has been the most popular in marketing hip hop music. Most artists nowadays produce video versions of their hit singles that are entered for chat competitions weekly. Votes are normally gathered from viewers and listeners. This has provided a mechanism for determining popular artistic works as well as the most popular and idolized artists and entertainment individuals.

Teens in America have always shown a tendency of being fascinated by high money and fame scorers, hardcore personalities who are never cowed by social and political strictures such as Tupac Shakur and DMX. As a result of this, many hip hop artists and recording labels have concentrated their energy towards making music that is rebellious and violent to be able to tap this market.

On the cover of the CDs of the music albums I chose together with many other albums, the difference is quite slim. I discovered that it entails a harmonious graphic with high standards of creativity. It is quite obvious that it is influenced by the hip hop culture and specifically the graffiti technique. The graffiti, just as earlier mentioned is one of the major elements that define hip hop. It represented the visual creative art just like the b-boy stance represented the dance as a creative art.

Examples of Graffiti Art 1
Fig. 1: Examples of Graffiti Art.

Examples of Graffiti Art 2
Fig. 2: Examples of Graffiti Art.

One of the most discouraging and discrediting element of these songs when you listen to them or maybe have a look at the lyrics is the negative message it conveys about the ladies or rather the women in our society. The artists have used names that merely describe the women as sex equipments that they use to quench their sexual desires. This is a very dangerous trend that is having negative effects on the lives of the teenagers all around America.

A lot of study research on the sexual and moral effects especially on the black community has shown that hip hop is having a very negative effect on the sexual lives of the black teenage community. The two hip hop songs that I chose as well as several others have greatly influenced teenagers to become sexually active at very tender ages. The studies also show that they are being infected by HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases at a much higher rate than the other ethnic groups. Kid cudi in his song talks about having 99 problems and they are all “bitches”, this show you how many women Kid Cudi would comfortable engage with sexually and still find it normal. Many teens who idolize this artist and the hip hop culture would therefore do the same without seeing the challenge this actions come with. Studies have shown that the more the partners you engage with sexually, the more your chances of infection increases.

I would be dishonest not to say that this music has a negative effect on the youth community of the current society. According to research carried out by Dr. Cynthia Winston, an assistant professor of psychology at Howard University, this music promotes drug use which at the same time is a major cause of youths engaging in violent activities and behavior. The lyrics and the personality of the artist as portrayed by the pieces of music influences or rather subject the teens to the negative views of the society (Winston 2005).

The lyrics that accompany these songs are very dissolute and misleading. For a long time now, music has acted as a means of expressing ones emotions in different ways and perspectives. On top of that is also been used to influence, to pass information and to teach. Hip hop for a long time on its side has been associated with lyrics that convey negative messages, promote and advocate for the abuse of illegal drugs and substances. These songs just like their genre describes them are not an exception to this trend. As these songs talk about substance use, “I’m this close to going and trying some coke”, it does not subsequently inform its listeners of the negative effects of substance abuse. This trend is therefore a dangerous one considering that studies show that most young people are idolizing these artists and are easily being influenced by them.

Conclusion

Hip hop has contributed largely to the decline of the moral standards practiced in our modern society today. It has set a bad trend to the young people of its generation, promoting violence, drug abuse, and sexual immorality.

Young black members of the American society are already feeling the negative effects of this influence. HIV/AIDS and many other sexually transmitted diseases have become rampant among the black population. Something has to be done and done quickly to salvage the situation.

Reference list

Crossley, S. (2005). Metaphorical Conceptions in Hip-Hop Music: African American Review. Louisiana: St. Louis University Press, pp.501-502.

Settersten, R. (2005). On the frontier of adulthood: theory, research, and public policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Winston, C. (2005). Biological anthropology and ethics. Arizona: Sunny press.

Different Aspects Of Social Webbing

Currently, accessing social websites has turned out to be extraordinarily popular amongst all kinds of people. For example, sites like Face-book, my space, tagged and twitter have had most people acquire accounts there. These sites require regular status and profile updates together with constant communications with friends. Because of this, many people are stuck in front of their computers and internet enabled devices for hours. In a way, this is detrimental as it wastes time that could have been directed to more productive undertakings, and is also addictive. The problem has been seen to impact most on students. Nowadays, wireless-network connections are available in learning institutions 24 hours all week. A student could spend a lot of hours on net, and this includes access to social websites. Research has shown that, this addictive habit of accessing social websites mostly affects students’ academic performance, and consequently results to decrease in overall grades and scores. It is true that these websites are fun and educative to some extend; but he above information brings forth a very critical concern; what should be done to moderate the issue of social webbing, and especially among students. Therefore, this paper will be discussing on the issue of social webbing.

“The social web is a specified term for the World Wide Web as a kind of Social Media” (Berslin, 2010). This expression is presently used to portray how individuals socialize and network on the Web. Social webbing generally refers to social-networking, myspace and facebook for example, and content sharing sites on the internet that present social networking functionalities within Web-2.0.

The social webbing sites are typically shaped on connections of individuals having same interests, although there are some theories specifying precisely how the kind formation works. “There are for example said to be “people focus” websites such as Bebo, Facebook, and Myspace that focus of social interaction, often by making the user create an online identity (and a profile)” (Kraut et al, 2002). There is again social webbing on internet which is personified by “hobby-focus”. “For example, if one is interested in photography and wants to share this with like-minded people, then there are photography websites such as Flickr, Kodak Gallery and Photobucket” (Kraut et al, 2002).

Mostly when referring to social-webbing, collective-intelligence is mentioned. Collective-intelligence describes the phenomena of internet-users coming together, sharing content, for the reason of creating something larger than a single individual could possibly do. Occasionally, it is referred to as Wisdom-of-Crowds. Wikipedia seems to be an ideal example.

As much as social webbing seems to be fun it has its own detrimental effects and particularly on students. The modern generation of students has been partnered with the internet as a fundamental, centralized and normal part of their daily life. “A lot of student’s access PC at home long before joining learning institutions, and many had their own personal computers before attending school” (Kraut et al, 2002). As shown by Kraut e al again, “in coming of age concurrently with the internet and in confluence with the economic boom of the nineties the student group that now dominates the majority of social websites commands both a native and latent understanding of these technologies” (Kraut et al, 2002). Because of the current situation, there has been ongoing research on the negative impacts of social webbing, and a lot of it has been centered on unreservedly behaviorist assumption. Overuse of the internet has affected student perceptions and aspects of socializing in regards to personality, family, real-communities, and virtual-communities. “New forms of media enact as a conduit to understanding, an altered form of language, and a robust platform for both personal and cultural development” (Kraut et al, 200). Social webbing sites have their own kind of languages that are often absorbed into the academic environment. In social sites students mostly use short words which have brought forth another form of language being used in classes. Many students have been found using these words when writing in class.

The major detrimental effects arise as a result of time wastage which could have been used for studying and other academic activities. Social webbing is addictive, and thus many students spend a lot of time surfing instead of reading, this often results in poor performance. Learning institutions act as centers for academic activities, and that is why they center on the maintenance and increasing student’s academic achievement. Because of the phenomenon diminishing students’ grading, it in turn drains a big attention of stakeholders. It is again evident that most social-website users do maintain their accounts generally with worthless stuff, like impractical updates, making short term friends, gossips, etc. This is most probably the reason these sites could be responsible for students’ decrease in academic performance, brought about by loss of the ability to manage time stimulated by the addictive outcome of social-webbing. Research has also proved that social-webbing does not offer good styles of interaction psychologically. “Direct interaction is still known to be the best way in developing healthy way of interacting. Psychologists believe that people tend to have less attention to others and focus more on themselves once they live in social webs environment” (Gruber, 2007). In a synopsis, social webbing serves a high-risk of diminishing a consumer’s quality of life. This does not only apply on hard-skills, but also on a consumer’s soft skills. As a result of this, learning institutions should put up strict measures governing the use of social webbing.

Off late there are numerous social-webbing network sites, it is just about impracticable to stay active on them. Many addicts do hold had accounts on most of them. To say active on most of these sites one must allocate sufficient time. In these sites, one often gets friend requests of people he/she does not know. When following the links to their profiles you find that, they only request friendship for the sole-purposes of stuffing their friend count or to eventually send advertisements or videos sometimes later. Many people spend a lot of time on social-networks doing this, and not essentially being in touch with people who matter.

With a site like Facebook for example, one obsession with the leading capability to waste ones time is the substantial amount of third-party applications made available. “Individuals do rate movies, rate friends, movie quotes and surveys, before they know it they have spent two hours telling people how much they loved the movie Weekend” (Gruber, 2007).

On the other hand, social-webbing also provides a number of useful functions. Social sites are communication-tools, they allow individuals to make and keep in touch with friends effortlessly. They are also quite efficient, contemptible, and uncomplicated media of publications. “Some use social webs as media for publishing free ads, while others simply do transactions of motivating words. Social webs let students share and gather information related to their study, even some have established an academic network using social webs” (Gruber, 2007). In some instances, social-webs are shown to be really useful. Many students are currently spending a lot of time in learning, institutions meaning that ruling out the access could lessen productivity. Therefore misuse is detrimental and proper use is beneficial.

A site like twitter for example has some useful applications especially for people who have photography as a hobby. There is an application where one can be able o follow somebody’s tweets where one can get photos to follow. “On following these you can get more twitter profiles where more links to photo blogs are presented” (Gruber, 2007). Most of these are extremely amazing which can be downloaded or personalized in a way that, when a post, tweet or blog is posted, the information will reflect on ones account. Information about how to develop as a photographer is also presented. These applications are sometimes better than if one was to take classes on a specific subject, and they are also absolutely free.

Therefore as shown in this paper social webbing is both beneficial and detrimental. Social webbing is detrimental in the sense that, it consumes a lot of time sometimes on worthless applications and contents. On the other hand, it is beneficial and educative because an individual can easily communicate with family and friends or learn a lot of information from the data being relayed. As a result of this, individuals are supposed to make sure social-webbing does not consume time on unproductive applications and content. Time is a resource and needs to be utilized to the maximum.

References

Berslin, J. (2010). The Social Semantic Web. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gruber, T. (2007) Social webbing. Journal of Web Semantics 6 (1), 4-13.

Kraut, et al. (2002). “Internet Paradox Revisited”. Journal of Social Issues 58 (1), 49–74.

Segmentation, Targeting And Positioning

Summary of chapter

Segmentation, targeting and positioning are all marketing strategies that can be used by manufacturers of a product to survive in the marketplace and stay above its competitors. As the market tightens up and consumer tastes change, manufacturers use these techniques to make profits. Segmentation refers to the division of the market by geography, the behavior of consumers and sometimes the consumer’s economic class. Demography has also been used during the segmentation of the market (Grewal & Levy, 2013). Different segments have various needs and hence dissimilar motivations to buy certain products. The segmentation involves both position and targeting.

Positioning, as an element of segmentation, is very important to marketing. It refers to making a company product unique in some ways so that consumers prefer it to those that are offered by competitors. Consumer perception of a brand or product is very vital in marketing. For example, Volvo has been perceived to be the safest on the road. This perception keeps the brand ahead of its competitors.

The segmentation of the market is important in identifying which segment to target when marketing a product. For example, Coca-Cola Company introduced Coca-Cola Zero so as to maintain its consumer base that was health-conscious. It also introduced Diet Cola, which targeted the women market. This strategy is very useful for attracting new customers. The segmentation can be used to increase sales in the dynamic market (Grewal & Levy, 2013).

China has been manufacturing cars particularly meant for low-end consumers while manufactures in other countries have concentrated on cars targeting the wealthy population. This strategy has made China one of the leading exporters of cars. Targeting low-end consumers by the Chinese car manufacturers translates into a large customer base. It, therefore, means that a company can target other segments of the population to promote its products when the competition is tightening. Some companies always come up with different sizes of a product so as to cater to all the segments of the market. If nearly everyone is able to afford a particular product, there will be an upsurge in the sale of that particular product.

Importance of segmentation, positioning and targeting

In order for these strategies to succeed, a manufacturing company needs to apply more than one method of segmentation. Therefore, a company can use geographical location to segment the market and then use other methods of segmentation, such as behavior or demographics (Grewal & Levy, 2013).

Positioning of a company is important to the marketing of products because it enables consumers of a product to have a clear, desirable and distinctive understanding of the product being sold. Positioning enables consumers to understand the differences that exist in competing products and brands. Symbols and silent attributes of a product are some of the positioning methods that are useful in marketing.

Many organizations have applied these marketing strategies to ensure success in their sales. However, it is worth noting that no strategy can be deemed to be better. Once an organization identifies its target group, it can survive even in times of market constraints. For example, most companies manufacturing Mercedes target-rich consumers but they still make profits. People still buy such cars because they believe in their quality. Even when cheaper cars are produced, they are not likely to buy them. For such consumers, price is not the only consideration in purchasing a car.

Reference

Grewal, D. & Levy, M. (2013). M: Marketing (3d ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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