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Otis by Kanye West and Jay-Z

Otis by Kanye West and Jay-Z

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Published by Dale Luck

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Published by: Dale Luck on Aug 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Dale Luck Otis A2 Media StudiesTom Cartwright by Kanye West and Jay-Z Coursework1
Features Observations Examples
Genre Characteristics This is mainly just aperformance video  Kanye andJay-Z sing the song into thecamera interspersed by shotsof them driving a car theymutilate at the beginningRelationship Between Lyricsand VisualsThe lyrics are essentially all lipsynced by the two rappers,even the part of the song thatthey arent actually singing.At the beginning when Jay-Z lipsyncs the other guys voice andthen sings into the cameraSounds so soulful dont youagreeEvery other part of the songRelationship Between Musicand VisualsThe pacing of the song perfectlymatches the pacing of theactual videoThe slow pacing of the videoduring the openingThe car scenes that arent toofast or slow, and the rappingpartsArtist close-ups and star imagemotifsThe stars are often bythemselves in their shots,especially when theyre singing,and theyre the main focusJay-Z saluting the flag whilst lip-syncingKanye walking in front of Jay-Zwhen hes lip-syncingReference to the notion of lookingThe only idea of looking atthings is probably the openingwhere theyre cutting the carand focusing on the toolsThe rest is structured to be liketheyre the ones being focusedon by othersThe openingAll the shots of the car andthem lip-syncing are all as if from a camera, and has thepeople focusing their attentionat the camera as wellIntertextual references n/a n/aVideo category(/ies) Illustration
Dale Luck Otis A2 Media StudiesTom Cartwright by Kanye West and Jay-Z Coursework2
Why did you choose the text you are analysing?
Its a nice example of a straight-performance video with a few elements of creativity, and is actuallya pretty good song as well. The video is also a good example of how a performance video can keepyou interested despite a small number of things actually happening.
In what context did you encounter it?
Dale found it whilst reading an article on digital distribution and counter-acting piracy. The album forWatch The Throne was released online exclusively to iTunes 4 days before the release of its physicalside, and it was also released as a Deluxe Edition with exclusive songs. It was one of the few albumsin recent years to avoid a leak before its release, which increased the number of sales.
What influence do you think this context might have had on your interpretation of the text?
We think it probably made us appreciate the song and video a lot more, beyond just beingsomething entertaining, but really there isnt much there to interpret and we dont think it changedour view of it that much.
Which conventions of the genre do you recognize in the text?
The illustration genre often has the lyrics being a straight performance or having a narrative elementto them  this has both, with the song being sung to the audience directly by Kanye and Jay-Z oncamera, but at the same time showing them driving a car which links to the song where they singabout doing just that (not in the exact same fashion, but its still basically connected).
To what extent does this text stretch the conventions of its genre?
It stretches the conventions of keeping it simple  rather than simply being a performance ornarrative video it takes
creative interpretation with the setting and use of the lyrics, so in thatsense its actually more like amplification than illustration, and yet does enough sole performance tokeep it classed as illustration.
Where and why does the text depart from the conventions of the genre?
It takes a creative view of the lyrics rather than just being a straight interpretation  they sing aboutmore than just their car, and they do a lot more with it in the lyrics than just riding around for fun,but the video chooses to focus on that and their performance alone.
Dale Luck Otis A2 Media StudiesTom Cartwright by Kanye West and Jay-Z Coursework3
What sort of audience did you feel that the video was aimed at (and how typical was this of thegenre/style of music)?
It was probably aimed at people who were already into either the music of Jay-Z or Kanye West, as itsort of plays off the idea that theyre already stars, and Jay-Z has certain lines like I guess I got myswagger back which presumes some knowledge of Jay-Zs previous works.
What sort of person does it assume you are?
It assumes youre the kind of person that is into Kanyes previous works  his music videos and hissongs are often known for being very creative rather than the usual video of this kind of music thatconsists of stuff like being at a party, getting drunk and getting laid.
What assumptions seem to be made about your class, age, gender and ethnicity?
Its safe to assume its aimed more at the male gender, young adults of working class and potentiallymiddle class. The ethnicity isnt really assumed, as this kind of music tends to be enjoyed by a lot of different people. A lot more males than females like this kind of music though, and Kanyes workisnt really something that older people tend to appreciate as much.
What interests does it assume you have?
It probably assumes that youre into their previous work, especially Kanye West  it has that flairthats very specific to his kind of music while at the same time mixing in the style of Jay-Z as well. Itsa pretty fantastic collaboration of the two, but if you werent into either of them before youprobably wouldnt be interested if you heard they collaborated.
What relevance does the text actually have for you?What knowledge does it take for granted?To what extent do you resemble the ideal reader that the video seeks to position you as?
Neither of us represents the ideal reader, as this kind of music isnt the sort that we listen toregularly  thats not to say it wasnt enjoyable, but Tom prefers to listen to rock music and Daleprefers to listen to older music and background music.

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