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Music videos and Social Conflict (#3)

Music videos have been around for a while, usually being less creative but still resourceful in terms of the times. An example being, "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen's music video of just having him perform and inviting a girl from within the crowd to dance, yet, this video remains a cultural milestone. Today's writing will mainly talk about videos made to not only appeal but to make an impact on the audience.

The first case in point is Jay-Z's "The Story of O.J", a song talking about how it doesn't matter whether a black person is rich or poor, face value will still prevail and stereotypes will be in use. The music video is animated with Jay Z shown in many different scenarios as the hook plays them out, he is shown as every black stereotype ever, he's shown as a field worker picking cotton, shown as a gangster and drug dealer, shown as a rich businessman, like he is, and then shown as O.J Simpson, the defamed Football player who murdered his ex-wife. The whole point is that O.J Simpson was a "black man" through his trial and not "O.J", so people looked at him as a representation of his race. This is what Jay-Z wanted to tell all of us, all people are not the same.

Next, we move onto "The Blacker the Berry" by Kendrick Lamar from his critically acclaimed "To Pimp a Butterfly", an album in its existence shown to be the best breakdown of racial struggles there is. Kendrick's music video, unlike every other video in the album, is a combination of famous news flashes and incidents in the history of black struggle, sort of showing that there really hasn't been a change made.

There are many more like the same, but amazing social messages and brilliant minds working like these 2 are very rare.


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