Don T Shoot Analysis

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Rap music is a constantly evolving art form that has historically given marginalized American minorities an outlet for emotions and an avenue to comfortably speak out against social injustice. Fernando Orejuela describes the aggressive style of rap that began in the late 1980s as the “Hardcore” era of rap music, which is characterized by popular artists creating aggressive and lyrically obscene music in response to racism. In order to understand the social utility of rap music, it is important to view racism from the perspective of the group being victimized. The rebellion against racism that has historically fueled rap music continues today with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which was created in response to the death of unarmed black …show more content…
The toast closes with the statement, “Rest in peace Mike Brown, and all the young soldiers out there, God help us.” This statement metaphorically positions the black community against racism in terms of battle. The chorus, which immediately follows the opening toast, utilizes a call-and-response technique, starting with the call: “Time to take a stand and save our future” followed by the response: “Like we all got shot, we all got shot.” The response is a compilation of several singers’ voices together, which creates feelings of unity and sincerity in listeners. The beat then drastically slows down, and the same compilation of voices innocently exclaims, “God ain’t put us on the Earth to get murdered, it’s murder [repeat] Don’t point your weapons at me.” The decision to soften the beat for the second half of the chorus uses a strategy that artists such as Dr. Dre and DJ Screw used in the 1980s when aggressive, “hardcore” rap first gained its popularity. Fernando Orejuela explains this strategy stating, “In the later years of hardcore’s “incubation” period, producers like Dr. Dre and DJ Screw slowed down the tempo considerably… P.E. supported the party orientation of rap music of the day but also demonstrated that rap lyrics could be taken seriously and serve the community that created them” (Orejuela, 115). These artists, along with the artists featured in “Don’t Shoot” are known for their aggressive rap styles, but learned to calm their aggression when necessary, which influenced the artists that are featured in “Don’t Shoot,” who alter their pace to emphasize their sincerity about the #BlackLivesMatter

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