As referenced in the syllabus, the response papers, entitled Soundtracks, requir
As referenced in the syllabus, the response papers, entitled Soundtracks, require you to offer analysis and insights into several songs affiliated with the assignment. In completing the Soundtrack assignment, you will be responsible for listening and responding to questions and research items that are attached to each question. In your response, you may reference any of the music, films, readings, and other texts that we have engaged in class, but your response should include direct analysis of the song(s) mentioned in the question. Your responses should be at least a total of 1,000 words between the two questions below (500 words per question), though you may certainly write more if you deem it necessary. Once complete, upload your response on Canvas. Your first Soundtrack is due on Thursday September 23, 2021 by 11:59pm. The questions are below.
In the fall of 2018, Lil’ Nas X released his infectious single Old Town Road. The song, which features production from YoungKio, set the record for the longest streak of consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 100 chart. Old Town Road contains a sample from Nine Inch Nails’ 34 Ghosts IV, along with TR-808 drums and bass, which are most commonly associated with trap music, and has officially been remixed four times with featured appearances by Mason Ramsey, RM, Diplo, Young Thug, and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Lil’ Nas X initially released Old Town Road independently, and it garnered significant popularity on the social media sharing app TikTok. This popularity eventually landed the song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts simultaneously in March of this year. Billboard subsequently removed Old Town Road from its Hot Country chart because it found the song did “not [embrace] enough elements of today’s country music.” This spawned significant controversy, and ironically catapulted the song to further commercial success. Since the controversy stemming over the Billboard Country chart’s disqualification of the song, publications and consumers alike have struggled as to what to describe the song, at times referring to it as country rap, country trap, Southern hip-hop, etc. Would you consider this selection a good example of hip-hop music? Why or why not? What elements of the song, if any, could be considered components of hip-hop music? What components of the song are not good examples of hip-hop music? Your answer should include a definition of hip-hop, accompanied by explanation as to why this song falls within it, or should be excluded from it.
You may hear Old Town Road feat. Billy Ray Cyrus by clicking here:
Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (Official Movie) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
Amazing Grace, a treasured Christian hymn written in Olney, England by former slave trader John Newton, is perhaps the most well known song in world. Music journalist Steve Turner describes it as “America’s most beloved song.” Performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI collectively list 972 separate arrangements of the song. The version of Amazing Grace performed by Judy Collins, released in December of 1971, soared to the top of the best-seller charts in the US and UK, and helped re-popularize it.
Please listen to Judy Collins’ rendition of the song. You may do so by clicking here:
Judy Collins – Amazing Grace (Best Version)
Another popular rendition of Amazing Grace was performed by Aretha Franklin during a live recording at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Please listen to the Aretha Franklin rendition of the song. You may do so by clicking here:
Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace (Official Audio) (Links to an external site.)
Though the two women sing the same words, at times the two renditions could be no more different. Judy Collins’ rendition covered four stanzas and repeated the first stanza in four minutes and four seconds. Aretha only sung two stanzas in the period of fourteen minutes. How does Aretha Franklin’s rendition incorporate elements unique to African musical expression? How does the difference between the Collins’ rendition and the Franklin rendition illustrate the difference between the Eurocentric style of musical expression and the African style of musical expression as described Ortiz Walton100