Sunday, September 27, 2009

Song Comparison Assignment

2nd Comparison - Say You Will by Kanye West vs. Say What's Real by Drake

The song Say You Will was written and sung by Hip Hop icon Kanye West in 2008. This song is about Kanye’s love struggle between himself and another woman. Kanye expresses his frustration and sorrow over this woman in the song and conveys a feeling of isolation from the world. Around four months later, Drake created the song Say What’s Real, with the same beat as Kanye’s song. Similar to Say You Will, Drake vents about his feelings on life. His lyrics and tone of voice express a mood that greatly resembles Kanye’s song. Just like Kanye, Drake conveys feelings of seclusion in Say What’s Real, which can be depicted from the first few lyrics of the song. He begins by saying, “why do I feel so alone, like everybody passing through the studio is in character as if we acting out a movie role.” This theme is consistent throughout the song, much like Say You Will. I believe that Drake chose to use Kanye’s beat for this reason. Say You Will, which was popularized before Drake’s version, conveyed feelings of loneliness and frustration. Drake chose to use the same beat so that his song would be associated with the same feelings.

Song Comparison Assignment

1st Comparison - Daniel by Elton John (1973), redone by Wilson Philips (1991)

The song Daniel was an old classic that was originally made by Elton John in 1973. 18 years later, the same song was redone by Wilson Phillips, a popular female group of the 90’s. Although they have the same exact lyrics, the two songs differ in many ways. For one, the original version seems much more simple and retro. The music video simply features Elton John and his band playing the song, which is dull in comparison to today’s music videos. Although Wilson Phillips’ version does not include a music video, the same comparison can be made regarding the general sound or vibe of the music. The original uses less of a variety of instruments. A guitar, a drum set, and an electric piano are the only instruments used to create the soft and steady rhythm of the song. This makes the beat sound calm and mellow. On the contrary, a wider variety of instruments are used in Wilson Phillips’ version. In addition, computer editing was used to improve the sound of the instruments as well as the clarity of the singer. For these reasons, the beat sounds clear and crisp, resulting in a more exciting sound.

Both versions of the song are about a fictional character named “Daniel” who has passed away. The lyrics of the song can be interpreted as the commemoration of his life. Although Elton John’s original song and Wilson Phillips’ cover share the same lyrics, the moods associated with the songs are noticeably different. Due to the different rhythm of the song, Wilson Philips’ version sounds upbeat and inspirational, as if they are celebrating Daniel’s life. On contrary, the original exudes a calm and placid mood which makes it sound more like a lamenting tribute to Daniel rather than a celebration. These two songs are prime examples of Northrop Frye’s "convention concept". Frye suggests that there are certain conventions or archetypes in the arts that have been consistently used throughout history that will never die out. He goes on to explain how the presentation and the creator's individual twist on the piece of art separates it from its archetype. In this case, both artists sing about a deceased man who has touched their lives. The only way that the songs differ is their presentation, which makes both of them individual and unique.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The Electric Boogaloos
As I have already mentioned this old-school hip hop group, you might have figured out that i admire this dance crew and all their works. The Electric Boogaloos (originally called the Electric Boogaloo Lockers) was one of the legendary dance crews of the 70's. These dancers were the first to establish the unique art of popping and its many variations. They set the stage for all the future hip hop icons and should be credited for many of the classic dance moves/styles that we see today. The group was originally established in 1977 by Tick'n Will Green, Darnell "Twist-o-Flex Don" McDowell and "Boogaloo Sam" in Fresno, California. When Boogaloo Sam left Fresno, California to Long Beach in 1978, he formed the new group and changed the name to "The Electric Boogaloos". After the group's first TV performance in November 1978 on the TV show called "Hot City," the crew "blew up" and entered the spotlight.
Although it is not documented, Boogaloo Sam (often considered the leader of the group) is known to be the original creator of the popping and boogaloo style of dance. By popularizing certain classic moves such as the jerk, the robot, and the puppet, Boogaloo Sam is seen as the "Father of Popping".

BOOGALOO SAM: The creator of popping.
POPIN PETE: Younger brother of Boogaloo Sam.
TICKIN DECK: The other younger brother of Sam.
ROBOT DANE: Joined the team after Sam beat him in a battle.
PUPPET BOOZER: Famous for "the puppet style" that he learned from Sam.
CREEPIN SID: Inspired by the dance group, Sid came all the way from Arkansas to learn how to boogaloo.
SCARECROW SCULLEY: Learned the "scarecrow" style from Sam and perfected it.
DARRYL (KING COBRA): Creator of the style snaking.
GEORGE (KING RATTLER): One of Long Beach's first poppers.

For any more information about The Electric Boogaloos, visit their official website.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Passion

Dancing is my passion. I love to dance. Frankly, everything about hip hop culture intrigues me, but hip hop dancing has always been my number one hobby. I have been dancing for about 5 years now unprofessionally, and i am currently a part of my school's hip hop team. We enter about two competitions yearly and I hope for success during this season. Last year, we set the bar pretty high with our "Freeze" performance, coming first in both competitions, and scoring the highest mark of the day in both. This performance combined a number of different styles of hip hop, including tutting, popping, krumping, and break-dancing. Personally, I appreciate all forms and styles of hip hop, but I have taken a particular liking to popping, (my specialty). I idolize the Electric Boogaloos, the legendary group who made popping mainstream. I hope to one day see myself at their level and possibly bring this style of hip hop back into the spotlight.