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Write a comparison of the music videos Lean back(TM) by Terror Squad and Jesus Walks(TM) by Kanye West. Explore the similarities and differences between the two.(TM)(TM)

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Introduction

Coursework: Hip-Hop Comparison Deadline: 02-05-08 "Write a comparison of the music videos 'Lean back' by Terror Squad and 'Jesus Walks' by Kanye West. Explore the similarities and differences between the two.'' After watching two hip-hop music videos, I would like to talk about the different messages represented in both. I am going to look at 'Lean Back' by Terror Squad and 'Jesus Walks' by Kanye West. Although both videos are of the same genre they are quite different in the messages they send out. 'Lean Back' glamorizes the ghetto and portrays a negative message of empowerment and encourages materialism as the only way to success. Women are used as sex idols and treated as objects. 'Jesus Walks' on the other hand portrays the ghetto in its raw and natural state. It sends out a religious picture, stating religion is the best salvation and disapproves of the sexual manipulation of women. There is no story behind 'Lean Back' instead just a message-using images, incessantly emphasizing that wealth and money give you authority and a high status. There are a number of images used to show this, I would like to point out just three. The first that caught my attention is that of lead singer 'Fat Joe' and a female dancer. ...read more.

Middle

This is a constructive point of empowerment and is rare in most hip-hop songs. 'Lean Back' is set in the ghetto and also in Fat Joe's house which was transformed to look like a club. There is a panning shot of a range of extravagantly priced alcohols, for instance Cristal Champagne. But you can tell it is actually his house by the panning shot of his trainer collection and his portraits on the walls. It appears that Terror Squad grew up in the ghetto and maybe had a rough time growing up and now appreciates the ghetto for getting them where they are today. They're famous now and probably believe the ghetto life is why they made it through. That's probably why they give this counterfeit 'ghetto fabulous' portrayal of the ghetto and encourage it as the best route to empowerment. It is a dangerous message for the inner-city folks who live in these areas and can't afford it, as they might turn to crime to be like 'Terror Squad' and to reach their status. 'Jesus Walks' is set in various places- including the ghetto, a church and a prison. You can work out that it's a church by the choir and the stained class windows. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think 'Jesus Walks' is a truly inspiring video. The stereotypes are negative and the roles are sinful, but the messages and values to be learnt are essential to leading a respectful life. Whether you're religious or not, the video acts as a real guide in the beginning of leading an immaculate life. The video is not divided up into class or race. All races contain sinners and all are welcome to repent in the church. Race or class is not the issue or how many designer outfits you have- just sin. The journey to reach the church appears also to be a search for identity, which was found and recognized by the three sinners. 'Lean Back' shows a different aspect of the hip-hop culture, showing that where they ('Terror Squad') come from and all the stuff around them i.e. the champagne and money are part of their background- their identity. I personally do not agree, neither do I respect the messages brought out in 'Lean Back'. I believe they contain terrible influences for the youths of today. I also think songs/videos like these are the motives behind crime and violence. Or at least one of the things that provoke it. These songs/videos deserve all the criticism they face by journalists and other media critics. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hip-Hop-Comparison Jade McIntosh 10M ...read more.

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