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Halloo! When I found out I could go to med school with a Humanities degree with an Ethnomusicology emphasis, I almost peed myself. Here's to me holding it in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Annotated Source


27 October 2004 Jay-Z interview, Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose has interviewed Jay-Z 3 major times. This interview from 2004 was the first.


Here are some of my notes from the interview.

Roc-a-fella brand name came (obviously) from Rockefeller, but why? Rock and roll, in many ways, discouraged monetary success, or the appearance of it. You have to stay grungy, keep wearing the leather jackets and smoking the cheap cigarettes (this is a sweeping statement, and not true in all cases). Hip-hop, from the beginning, has been about an aspiration to affluence. The dream of the kids from the projects is to get money, pay for their parents' houses, keep their friends fed and happy, etc. I think this is part of why hip-hop is popular among most minorities - there is an unabashed drive to get paid and get comfortable. Rockefeller represents all of that, and Roc-a-fella strove for that too.

"Hip-hop is what you live. Rap is what you do."

99 Problems (famous song - I'm sure most of you know it)

is not about women at all. The first verse is about the industry and its problems, the second verse is about a K9 unit (play on words in more than one way, if you know which problem Jay doesn't have), and the third verse is about getting punked and played. It goes into race relations, about good people who do bad things (who make a living doing bad things), etc. It is a great example of a song that seems, on the surface, to be about misogyny and braggadocio, but turns out to be much deeper. In analyzing hip-hop verse, it is essential to understand context and the truth that the hip-hop artist has to hide deep issues beneath a rough surface, or else it won't sell well enough to reach the audience the artist wants to affect.

This last one is for Charli.

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