Meaning Of A Classic Song Essay

1278 words - 5 pages

“A great song doesn’t attempt to be anything – it just is.” (Carter). This is a quote from an essay written by Jay Z in a Rolling Stone article in 2011. Jay Z is a multi-platinum recording artist with many hit songs, including a few that are in Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs list. Because of Jay Z’s accomplishments, Rolling Stone felt that he would be a good person to ask about how to make a classic song. Jay Z references different songs and ideals on what he thinks makes a classic song, but is he really the right person to ask for insight on this topic? Jay Z is just a rapper, and we live in a time where it is more important for an artist to sell records than present a legitimate message, and the best way for one to that is to gain popularity.
Jay Z may be one of the most popular rappers ever, but other than his business ventures he is only a rapper. Jay Z may have worked with many different kinds of artists and producers but he has no personal experience doing solo work outside his genre. Looking beyond the fact that he is solely a rapper, Jay Z has in fact sold millions of records. Two of his solo songs, “99 Problems” and “Big Pimpin” are on the Rolling Stone top 500 list. However, Jay Z himself has admitted that his most popular song are not necessarily his best. “Some of my best songs aren't the biggest ones.” (Carter). Everybody has a difference in opinion and musical tastes, so one man, even if it is Jay Z, should not determine what makes a classic song. Especially if the person trying to determine is not skilled in more than on aspect of creating a song. By having a wider range of skills in music, one can better understand and pick apart a song and see if the pieces match those of a song that is widely considered a classic by many such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. There simply might not be another classic song that is like “Bohemian Rhapsody” because to many artists try to please the radio.
Today, songs have to be able to appeal to the demographic that primarily listens to those radio stations that play the top songs in the country or the world. That is the main way for an artist to gain popularity and get the rest of their music out there. The problem with that philosophy is that artists more often than not have to give up some kind of creative control to achieve their goals. Which means they must follow certain trends in the music industry at any given time in order to gain or sustain their popularity. Just because songs get a lot of air play on the radio, does not mean that they are always the best song when it comes to quality and meaning in the lyrics. Jay Z attested to this in his essay in Rolling Stone. “A song like "Can I Live" is so full of emotion to me — it was better than "Hard Knock Life" or "Empire State of Mind," but it lacked that accessibility.” (Carter). That is saying a lot considering “Empire State of Mind” alone has gone platinum five times since its release in 2009. People overall want to hear songs that make...

Find Another Essay On Meaning of a Classic Song

Song of Solomon: A Bildungsroman of Milkman

1089 words - 4 pages It can be said that Song of Solomon is bildungsroman which is defined by The Encyclopedia Britannica as “a class of novel that deals with the [coming-of-age or] formative years of an individual”. Furthermore, in a bildungsroman, a main protagonist usually undergoes some transformation after seeking truth or philosophical enlightenment. In Morrison’s novel, the plot follows the main protagonist Milkman as he matures within his community while

Analysis of A Modern American Song

825 words - 4 pages In today’s society, there are many songs that employ the use of literary elements for purpose to attract an audience for any reason. There are, however, few songs that are filled with literary devices, and imagery due to the fact that the meaning cannot be expressed without them. One song that portrays these qualities exactly is “Car Radio” by Twenty One Pilots. Some ideas that are expressed are so deep, and rooted in only a certain, some

The Pitiful Prufrock. Speaks of T.S. Elliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' a melancholy poem of one man's frustrated search to find the meaning of his existence

1278 words - 5 pages T.S. Elliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' is a melancholy poem of one man's frustrated search to find the meaning of his existence. The speaker's strong use of imagery contributes to the poems theme of communion and loneliness.The Poem begins with an invitation from Prufrock to follow him through his self-examination. The imagery of this invitation begins with a startling simile, 'Let us go then you and I/ When the evening is spread

"The Yellow Wall-Paper": A Classic Piece of Gothic Literature

1436 words - 6 pages According to the definition provided in Literature and the Language Arts: The American Tradition, Gothic fiction is a style of fiction characterized by a murky atmosphere of horror and gloom and grotesque, mysterious, and violent incidents (229). A setting that evokes strong feelings of foreboding or fearful anticipation is also essential to this genre. Based upon these criteria, "The Yellow Wall-paper" is a classic piece of Gothic literature

The meaning of a language learner

772 words - 4 pages interact with others and with their environment, are considered communicators because they impart information, ideas, or feelings with the use of language. However in order to communicate effectively, one must explore the parameters of language and learning. These parameters unlock the meaning of a language learner who is a person who communicates effectively by the use of a standard language and learning how to use that language. A notable example of

The True Meaning Of A Religion

1658 words - 7 pages The True Meaning of a Religion Religion can be found almost everywhere around us, influencing ones lifestyle and surroundings much more than we are aware of. Often becoming a huge element of society in several areas of our lives. Though some argue one is born already knowing their religious faith, classifying religion as something that cannot be learned but more as an inner spirituality present at birth. Other would say there is no doubt

The Meaning of A White Heron

1120 words - 4 pages The Meaning of A White Heron Through life experiences we learn that some things in life are more important than money. By using the "Archetypal Cycle of Human experience" I will be able to explain the importance of each stage in the story " A white Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett. The story " A white Heron" is about a nine-year-old girl named Sylvia. The author starts the cycle/framework by implying through the character's age that Sylvia

A Study On Okot P'Bitek's Works ''Song Of Lawino And Song Of Ocol''

2852 words - 12 pages Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1 Okot p'Bitek worked as anthropologist, poet, novelist an even footballer which led him to go and being educated in England on law and anthropology and later literature. He differed himself from other African writers who wrote in western styles and in western point of view. He has chosen an African tool to express himself, a tool associated with oral tradition of Africa. He called it ''song

His song to Us (a critique of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself, quotes included)

741 words - 3 pages displays these elements is Song of Myself. Just a single section of this poem will contain all the elements listed. The dominant theme of this poem is Whitman's dedication to nature and animals. Every stanza in this poem is talking about either his love for animals or his involvement with nature.One aspect of Whitman's character that any reader can admire is the way he uses free verse and doesn't adapt rhyme scheme and meter, which was the most popular

Values of A True Lord in The Song of Roland

1424 words - 6 pages an honor to themselves as well as their country. As Roland states when addressing the Frankish armies, “May God grant it to us/It is our duty to be here for our king. . . now let each man take a care to strike great blows/ So that no one can sing a shameful song about us” (Roland, 61 ll 1005-1011). As a tragic hero, Roland serves as an excellent model of a chivalrous behavior. Even when Charlemagne finds Roland dead he notices that he is still

"Like A Rolling Stone", analysis of Bob Dylan's song

1439 words - 6 pages " changes through the course of the stanzas. Sometimes the lines are iambic, sometimes they have no meter at all, and are free verse. For the most part they are free verse. "Like a Rolling Stone" is a classic folk song in American culture, and instills in the listener the notion of falling from grace, while incorporating many literary devices to help prove a point and make the song's statement more powerful. Many would argue that Bob Dylan is only a songwriter, not a poet. In time however, Bob Dylan will be honored, as he rightly should be, as a robust wordsmith who helped shape America with songs such as, "Like a Rolling Stone".

Similar Essays

The Meaning Of Life In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

1009 words - 4 pages The Meaning of Life in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself Our culture seems to be fascinated by the unknown and specifically that which pertains to things of an eternal nature such as Heaven, angels, God and the meaning of forever. These things cause us to think about what we can't see and even allow us to engage ourselves in questioning the meaning behind our existence and what our purpose is here on earth. Some of these may be humorous and

Meaning Of A Word Essay

1146 words - 5 pages , this phrase is a physical impossibility. Obviously, he who wields the bigger, stronger sword would triumph over he who brings a flimsy pen to the fight, unless by some slim chance it was some sort of new, unbreakable pen. What, then, is the meaning of this saying? The answer lies not in comparing the physical appearances of these two objects, but in considering what they can do. A sword, when used by a master of the blade, can kill maybe a dozen

Of Mice And Men: A Timeless Classic

993 words - 4 pages an American classic because it explains timeless themes such as: loneliness, companionship, the human tendency towards cruelty at moments of vulnerability, and the American dream. Nearly all characters in Of Mice and Men are lonely, seeking a connection or bond with other characters. Through these characters, Steinback asserts the basic human need for companionship. Although George won’t often admit it, he seems to be grateful for the

Description And Meaning For The Song "The Ballad Of John And Yoko."

1585 words - 6 pages John Lennon wrote the Ballad of John and Yoko on April 14, 1969, just twenty-five days after he had married Yoko Ono. He was in such a hurry to record the song that he could not wait for George Harrison or Ringo Starr. Both were out of the country and unavailable. Only Paul McCartney was available on such short notice. (Harry, 579) Consequently, the two of them recorded, mixed, and edited to completion this song in less than nine hours. John