Thursday, February 27, 2014

Self-Consciously Made (Extended)

J. Cole-
     Rapper J. Cole has made previous songs referring to imperfection in a person's character. He himself has noticeable flaws he addresses, such as his crooked teeth to his thick eyebrows. J. Cole says that nobody is perfect. We all have our crooked smiles. 
Listen to Crooked Smile

What are the lyrics saying:
They tell me I should fix my grill cause I got money now/I ain't gon' sit around and front like I ain't thought about it/A perfect smile is more appealing but it's funny how/My shit is crooked look at how far i done got without it
-J. Cole starts the song by confronting one of his majors flaws, which are his teeth. His teeth were something that he would worry about back in high school but now that he has become well-known, others are beginning to bring up his teeth and that makes him think about that flaw again. Though he thinks about it again, he is not worried about his teeth anymore. J. Cole's teeth are a part of him. They make his character unique.

I feel for you/Killing yourself for a man that'll kill for you
-The 'I feel for you' line refers to him knowing what it's like to be self-conscious. To have your faults bother you. 
'Killing yourself for a man that'll kill for you'. Some are going to extreme measures to meet social dogma, yet they are looking for someone who is loyal and real when they themselves are not loyal and real themselves.

No need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on
-I'm not very religious but this line is truly impulsive. Belief goes that God created man. Paintbrush is used in place of created. More than that, the way this is worded refers that God made a piece of art with his paintbrush. One spoils that art with cover-ups.

     Women are now more focused on their faults than ever before. They focus on their imperfections and rarely notice their beautiful qualities that make them attractive.
     Now, we have to admit, when we find our partners we do notice their appearance. It's part of it, but once you get to know that person more, their appearance means less and it becomes more of what is in the inside. When that occurs, one finds nearly everything about that person beautiful. 

Meanings in Hip Hop: Self-Consciously Made

Every two weeks I will be typing an essay regarding hip-hop/rap. This week is focused on how society and media has made even the most beautiful women self-conscious.

     Humans. There truly is no ideal human being. We all have skills that make us who we are. Minds that make us who we are. Looks that make us who we are. Behavior that makes us who we are. Most of all, we have flaws that make us who we are. Nobody is perfect. With that note, what does make a someone perfect? It's something we should accept with ease but the media weighs a great amount of people down. We are all self-conscious to a certain degree but the media more-than-often emphasizes the beauty of women than the appeal of men. This puts pressure on the female population.
     Kendrick Lamar-
     Rapper Kendrick Lamar believes women do not need make-up to seem more attractive. His song No Make-up (Her Vice) addresses his view on women's insecurities. The song contains his point of view on a more general sense in the first verse. The second verse goes a little more in depth in a direct sense.
Listen to No Make-Up (Her Vice)
    What are the lyrics saying:
     You about to blow your cover when you cover up/Don't you know your imperfections are a wonderful blessing/From heaven is where you got it from
-Kendrick Lamar is saying that she wears make-up to 'cover up' and this admits to the world that she is not naturally beautiful. She blows her cover. Kendrick said he is not the most religious person out there but will quote-unquote religious songs. In the last two lines, he says that women are messing with God's work. God gave them those flaws for a reason and those imperfections should be seen as a blessing since they are from heaven/God.  

It's as if girls are losing a sense of individuality. Imperfections on a girl make them different, unique. When girls put on too much make-up, they cover that uniqueness. That uniqueness that is being covered up may be considered as an asset by others.

It's the beauty in her but when the make-up occur/I don't see it, all i see is a blur
-Kendrick believes that true beauty is in the inside but once the make-up gets in the way, it becomes a distraction from her person. Her true beauty is blurred by the make-up.

The second verse goes more direct and speaks about certain women using make-up to cover bruises or any other marks pertaining to abuse.