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May/Jun 18 The Hate/Radium Girls > The Hate U Give: Rap Music

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message 1: by Pam (last edited May 07, 2018 04:11PM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Given the importance of music as a theme for The Hate U Give, I thought we could start this topic.

I would love it if we could discuss influential rap:
- how/why it's shaped history
- how does it hold up to today's issues
- what does it mean to you.

Anyone see Childish Gambino's latest music video for "This is America"?

message 2: by Jordan (new)

Jordan E | 7 comments I have watched "This is America" about 9,000 times and am blown away each time! I think it should be required viewing and everytime you don't understand something you have to watch it again. It's SO good!

message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate Griffiths (katemarie7griffithsgmailcom) | 73 comments I agree the ‘This Is America’ video is so good. I highly recommend it as well. Please check it out! 😊

message 4: by Winston (new)

Winston | 180 comments I'mma pulla quick hipster move, please ignore me.

I've been a Childish fan since Camp, and a Donald Glover fanatic since his brain wrinkling on Community.

The guy is a genius, an actual renaissance man. He's going to be an EGOT, and he's been saying as much since 2008.

Also Hiro Murai is the director who's been doing a lot of his directorial work including many of the music videos and Atlanta.

If this is the first time you've been taken back by Glover's genius, you're way late to the train.

But no. Love him. Love his work. Highly recommend watching Atlanta with the same, if not more scrutiny applied to "This is America"

message 5: by Elyse (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) "This is America" is AMAZING.

message 6: by Sierra (new)

Sierra | 42 comments While I agree "This is America" was really great! I'd love to hear other thoughts on the post's original questions.

I truthfully don't listen to much rap (but have been pretty hooked on the Black Panther soundtrack recently).

Reading this book has definitely made me more interested in learning and listening to more - specifically by Tupac.

I think mainstream music has gotten away from politics, which is a shame, because music can change so much (I know rap has historical significance, but I don't feel comfortable speaking about it with my limited knowledge. The first music that comes to mind is from the 1960's anti-war movement).

The only reason I have seen "This is America" is because of it's societal critique of the US - and I hope to see more music, videos, movies, and media make bold statements as well.

message 7: by Leanne (new)

Leanne (leanniefae) | 3 comments I've been aware of Childish Gambino for a while, but rap doesn't usually speak to me. I love Glover on Community and intend to watch Atlanta one day soon. The song and video for This is America is fantastic.

A few music genres are still very political. I listen to punk and post hardcore and they're both very in your face and anti establishment and government overlords. check our Starset and Dance Gavin Dance.

I have been meaning to listen to Tupac after reading THUG. That book/audio is so so good.

message 8: by Britt (new)

Britt | 123 comments I don't really listen to rap music, but a colleague recently pointed out Childish Gambino's video for "This is America". While I don't really like the song, I think the video is awesome indeed and I see why it gets people talking so much.

As for the initial questions you asked Pam, I can't really answer them because like I said, I'm not much into rap music and I wouldn't even know where to start... I think this is a great subject for discussion, though, so I hope people who know a bit more about and regularly listen to rap engage in it! :)

message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Ostroski | 2 comments Tupac had a very short career and his songs are still very relevant today. Two of my favorite songs are keep ya head up and changes. His music has so many topics that are still relevant: woman rights, gun violence, drugs, police violence and much more.

Brenda's got a baby is also a good example of him shedding light on some painful topics. He read a news article about a 12 year old girl who was pregnant by her cousin and trying to throw the baby in a trashcan.

message 10: by Pam (last edited May 25, 2018 01:43PM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Thanks Sierra and Rebecca!

Keep Your Head Up Lyrics
Little somethin' for my godson Elijah and a little girl named Corinne
Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots
I give a holler to my sisters on welfare
Tupac cares, if don't nobody else care
And uh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot
When you come around the block brothas clown a lot
But please don't cry, dry your eyes, never let up
Forgive but don't forget, girl keep your head up
And when he tells you you ain't nuttin' don't believe him
And if he can't learn to love you, you should leave him
'Cause sista you don't need him
And I ain't tryin' to gas ya up, I just call 'em how I see 'em
You know it makes me unhappy (What's that)
When brothas make babies, and leave a young mother to be a pappy
And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it's time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don't we'll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can't make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
So will the real men get up
I know you're fed up ladies, but keep your head up
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things'll get brighter
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things'll get brighter
Aiyyo, I remember Marvin Gaye, used to sing to me
He had me feelin' like black was tha thing to be
And suddenly tha ghetto didn't seem so tough
And though we had it rough, we always had enough
I huffed and puffed about my curfew and broke the rules
Ran with the local crew, and had a smoke or two
And I realize momma really paid the price
She nearly gave her life, to raise me right
And all I had to give her was my pipe dream
Of how I'd rock the mic, and make it to tha bright screen
I'm tryin' to make a dollar out of fifteen cents
It's hard to be legit and still pay your rent
And in the end it seems I'm headin' for tha pen
I try and find my friends, but they're blowin' in the wind
Last night my buddy lost his whole family
It's gonna take the man in me to conquer this insanity
It seems tha rain'll never let up
I try to keep my head up, and still keep from gettin' wet up
You know it's funny when it rains it pours
They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor
Said it ain't no hope for the youth and the truth is
It ain't no hope for tha future
And then they wonder why we crazy
I blame my mother, for turning my brother into a crack baby
We ain't meant to survive, 'cause it's a setup
And even though you're fed up
Huh, ya got to keep your head up
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things'll get brighter
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things are gonna get easier
Keep ya head up, ooh, child, things'll get brighter
And uh
To all the ladies havin' babies on they own
I know it's kinda rough and you're feelin' all alone
Daddy's long gone and he left you by ya lonesome
Thank the Lord for my kids, even if nobody else want 'em
'Cause I think we can make it, in fact, I'm sure
And if you fall, stand tall and comeback for more
'Cause ain't nothin' worse than when your son
Wants to kno' why his daddy don't love him no mo'
You can't complain you was dealt this
Hell of a hand without a man, feelin' helpless
Because there's too many things for you to deal with
Dying inside, but outside you're looking fearless
While the tears, is rollin' down your cheeks
Ya steady hopin' things don't all down this week
'Cause if it did, you couldn't take it, and don't blame me
I was given this world I didn't make it
And now my son's gettin' older and older and cold
From havin' the world on his shoulders
While the rich kids is drivin' Benz
I'm still tryin' to hold on to my survivin' friends
And it's crazy, it seems it'll never let up, but
Please, you got to keep your head up

Come on come on
I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself
Is life worth living should I blast myself?
I'm tired of bein' poor and even worse I'm black
My stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
Pull the trigger kill a nigga he's a hero
Give the crack to the kids who the hell cares
One less hungry mouth on the welfare
First ship 'em dope and let 'em deal the brothers
Give 'em guns step back watch 'em kill each other
It's time to fight back that's what Huey said
Two shots in the dark now Huey's dead
I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere
Unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin' changes
Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers
And that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
But things changed, and that's the way it is
That's just the way it is
Things will never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
That's just the way it is
Things will never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
I see no changes all I see is racist faces
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
One better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'Cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
And only time we chill is when we kill each other
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
The penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
Try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
Bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way
Sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid, "
Well hey, well that's the way it is
That's just the way it is
Things will never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
That's just the way it is
Things will never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
We gotta make a change
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
And let's change the way we treat each other.
You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do
What we gotta do, to survive.
And still I see no changes can't a brother get a little peace
It's war on the streets and the war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs
So the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the blacks givin' it back to you
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up,
Crack you up and pimp smack you up
You gotta learn to hold ya own
They get jealous when they see ya with ya mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool you say it ain't cool
My mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped
And I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs
Some buck that I roughed up way back
Comin' back after all these years
Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat that's the way it is uhh
That's just the way it is
Things will never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
That's just the way it is
Things will never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
Some things will never change

message 11: by Allie (new)

Allie | 3 comments Hip hop was created in the Bronx by marginalized people of color. It is and has been from its creation an outlet for POC to comment on their circumstances.

The Hate U Give is about Starr finding her voice and fighting against the injustices she and the people in her neighborhood face every day. Its no surprise at all that rap plays such a big role in this book. Rap and THUG deal with finding your voice and using it to push back against systems of oppression. This Is America, specifically, goes hand and hand with this novel. Both, Starr and Gambino are using their voice to call attention the unjust killing of black people.

Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole are all examples of artists who use hip hop as social commentary. I think hip hop was important in the past, important in the present and important in this story because it is a form of protest and it lets often unheard voices be heard.

Also, Angie Thomas herself is a rapper. So she has clearly been moved enough by hip hop music to become involved in it herself. Protest is at the heart of the genre so it only makes sense that the genre is at the heart of this story.

message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate Griffiths (katemarie7griffithsgmailcom) | 73 comments I really love ‘Django Jane’ by Janelle Monáe I really like the lyrics to the rap.

Wretch 32 is also a rapper that I like! ‘Growing Over Life’ is one of my most replayed albums other than ‘Lemonade’. I love all the songs on there!

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello! I'm from Brazil, and I loved her new album ‘Dirty Computer’ she express the pansexuality very well, I'm pansexual and I felt very represented by her.

message 14: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (itsashleychristine) Allie wrote: "Hip hop was created in the Bronx by marginalized people of color. It is and has been from its creation an outlet for POC to comment on their circumstances.

The Hate U Give is about Starr finding h..."

Can we talk about how many genres of music in America were started by black people and also used as social commentary? For instance, the phenomenal jazz singer Billie Holiday sang "Strange Fruit", which talks about lynching.
Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Another artist that I like is a guy named Michael Franti... an earlier album he did, "Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury" is an interesting album with a lot of social commentary.

message 15: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
I love Nina Simone's cover of Strange Fruit. It's haunting.

I'll check out Franti. Thanks.

And Janelle Monae is amazing. Tightrope is such a beautiful song on code switching, being a woman, kicking butt. It's ah+mazing. Django Jane... perfect for right now

message 16: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Michelson I think that Rap is a reflection of society. Look at songs like NWA's F**K the police. Released in 1988 it is still relevant and powerful today.

message 17: by Allie (new)

Allie | 3 comments Ashley wrote: "Allie wrote: "Hip hop was created in the Bronx by marginalized people of color. It is and has been from its creation an outlet for POC to comment on their circumstances.

The Hate U Give is about S..."

So true! I feel like most modern genres of music can in some way shape or form be traced back to African American roots.

message 18: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (itsashleychristine) Allie wrote: "Ashley wrote: "Allie wrote: "Hip hop was created in the Bronx by marginalized people of color. It is and has been from its creation an outlet for POC to comment on their circumstances.

The Hate U ..."

I mean, rock evolved from the blues, which was distinctly African-American. It was pioneered by black artists such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Little Richard, and most notably by Chuck Berry. But when white kids started liking the music, and white artists became influenced by black artists, and rock and roll sort of became... whitewashed, if you will. Rock is attributed to mostly white artists today. I'm not a big fan of the whole cultural appropriation complaint, and white artists such as Elvis often gave black people a lot of credit for helping to start the genre. But until I started in music history, I had no idea that rock started as a black genre, and I could only name Chuck Berry as an African-American who was a big part of rock.

I don't think you see as much of this today with other genres. Jazz and Hip-Hop are still largely understood as black in origin, even though white artists participate in them.

message 19: by Pam (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
There are still some complaints.

Looks at Eninem, Macklemore, and Iggy A. Dre practically had to be in almost every Eminem video to give him credibility from one audience and backup from the other.

message 20: by Pam (last edited Jun 13, 2018 07:35AM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise (1995)(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPO76...). (Dangerous Minds) Very powerful song that pulled from Tupac's messages (Am I going to live to see 23?).

Enter Weird Al Yankovic. (White and Nerdy, Like a Surgeon). Under fair use acts, parody's do not require permission from song owners to be used. Weird Al created "Amish Paradise" a play on Coolio's version that was really well received and may or may not had express permission to use Gangsta's as the base. Coolio voiced displeasure at the song and felt that Amish took away from the seriousness of his.

To date, Weird Al has since apologized. And in 2014 Coolio mentioned that his feud was silly.

Using today's optics (Black Lives Matter) and theme of having a voice in The Hate U Give, does this seem ok? A white guy comes in, uses your masterpiece that moves the words of Tupac and street issues into the mainstream audience and changes it into a paradody.

- Was this OK? (It should be noted, Coolio did receive a royalty check for the parody)
- Did Amish Paradise help more people look into Gangsta's Paradise? Making the rap song even more accessible as a typical white audience became more familiar to it through Weird Al's song?
- As Ashley stated, Black music has been compromised or subsumed under a white genre in the past. Is this just another piece of that history?
- If the roles were reversed: A white guy creating a emotional song about serious issue and a black man came in and used it to poke fun at something... would the public reaction be the same or different?

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