Critical Thinking Assignment #6

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1. In at least 3-4 paragraphs

Drawing on Nielson’s articles (and the other readings), how did the state get involved in the “policing” of music, especially rap music? Do you see both moral and political concerns? Can Morone, Deflem, and other scholars help explain the state’s motivations for censoring and policing music? Use textual evidence and lyrics to support your arguments
2. Drawing upon and referencing at least two readings from the presentation, respond to the following questions:
Does violence in rap music, and now drill music, especially the supposed glorification of violence and the outlaw, particularly characteristic of gangsta rap (now drill music as well), limit the ability of rap to have a constitutive effect? Provide an example of a song that demonstrates this glorification of violence or outlaw not discussed in class to support your point. Use textual evidence to support your response
3. Should music be censored? Does the censorship of rap violate the 1st Amendment? What about using artists lyrics against them in court such as in the case of Tekashi 6ix9ine?Use the readings to support your argument!
4. Discuss an additional, specific example of a what the state “does to” rap music (such as censorship, policing, etc) NOT discussed in class (or in the required readings) What does this interaction reveal about the dynamic relationship between music and politics?
5. Drawing upon the Troy, Forman and Suputra readings, in what ways (if any) does Obama transform the relationship between popular culture and American politics/government? Was Obama a hip hop president? What does Troy mean by the ”pop presidency” of Obama? How does Obama use popular music, especially hip hop music? (Here return to Street, Di Mauro, Hart and Tindall, etc) Is this revolutionary? Is he successful? Or is he just manipulating popular culture (think Storey’s definition of pop culture as mass culture or even Laswell’s notion of pop culture as a tool of elite manipulation)?How and why did the hip hop community mobilize for Obama? Did this relationship stay strong throughout his presidency or were parts of the hip hop community critical of Obama? In what ways does music serve a constitutive function during his tenure in office? How does the relationship between rap music and the presidency change under Trump? Use textual evidence to support your response.
6. Discuss an additional example of a politician interacting with rap music/ rap artists NOT discussed in class (so no Obama or Trump!) What does this interaction reveal about the dynamic relationship between music and politics?
7. Again from the reading, In the face of censorship, Childish Gambino’s song This Is America, the lyrics use guns, violence and drugs that happen in his American viewpoint, yet Bryson Gray’s Political music that is pro Trump is banned on social media? Both are black rappers, one uses violent lyrics, while the other does not, so why is one banned and the other is not?
0n Rap and 1st amendment: https://www.jou.ufl.edu/insights/rap-music-and-threats-of-violence-a-case-for-the-supreme-court-to-decide/; .https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1582/rap-music-and-the-first-amendmentLinks to an external site.
On Obama: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/aug/23/why-hip-hop-deserting-obamaLinks to an external site.; https://www.okayplayer.com/news/killer-mike-interview-video-obama-ferguson-rtj2.htmlLinks to an external site.; https://rosaclemente.net/why-president-elect-barack-obama-is-not-the-first-hip-hop-president/Links to an external site.; ‘Obama Dusts Dirt Off His Shoulders’

Perry, “The Glorious Outlaw,” in Prophets of the Hood
https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/5/1488Links to an external site. (interesting study on youth, music, and morals)
”In the face of censorship, can pop music still be political?” https://www.thebigq.org/2018/06/21/in-the-face-of-censorship-can-pop-music-still-be-political/

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