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NO CHURCH IN THE WILD

JAY-Z, KANYE WEST. FEAT: FRANK OCEAN & THE DREAM



[Frank Ocean]
Human beings in a mob
Whats a mob to a king?
Whats a king to a god?
Whats a god to a non-believer?
Who dont believe in anything?

We make it out alive
All right, all right
No church in the wild

[Jay-Z]
Tears on the mausoleum floor
Blood stains the coliseum doors
Lies on the lips of a priest
Thanksgiving disguised as a feast
Rollin in the Rolls-Royce Corniche
Only the doctors got this, Im hidin from police
Cocaine seats
All white like I got the whole thing bleached
Drug dealer chic
Im wonderin if a thugs prayers reach
Is Pious pious cause God loves pious?
Socrates asks, Whose bias do yall seek?
All for Plato, screech
Im out here ballin, I know yall hear my sneaks
Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy, laid beats
Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out your seats
Preach

[Frank Ocean]
Human beings in a mob
Whats a mob to a king?
Whats a king to a god?
Whats a god to a non-believer?
Who dont believe in anything?

We make it out alive
All right, all right
No church in the wild

[The-Dream]
I live by you, desire
I stand by you, walk through the fire
Your love is my scripture
Let me into your encryption

[Kanye West:]
Coke on her black skin made a stripe like a zebra
I call that jungle fever
You will not control the threesome
Just roll the weed up until I get me some
We formed a new religion
No sins as long as theres permission
And deception is the only felony
So never fuck nobody witout tellin me
Sunglasses and Advil
Last night was mad real
Sun comin up, 5 a.m.
I wonder if they got cabs still
Thinkin bout the girl in all-leopard
Who was rubbin the wood like Kiki Shepard
Two tattoos, one read No Apologies
The other said Love is cursed by monogamy
Thats somethin that the pastor dont preach
Thats somethin that a teacher cant teach
When we die, the money we cant keep
But we probably spend it all cause the pain aint cheap
Preach

[Frank Ocean:]
Human beings in a mob
Whats a mob to a king?
Whats a king to a god?
Whats a god to a non-believer?
Who dont believe in anything?

Will he make it out alive
All right, all right
No church in the wild
No church in the wild
No church in the wild
No church in the wild




















ABSTRACT
This song as a whole is an existential examination of the principles of organized religion, and in what ways
those boundaries are being broken. I broke the song into two parts: the first half begins with the hook and Jay-Zs
verse, and the second half with Kanyes verse. Both verses are in conversation with each other, and as such they
address two sides of the moral dilemma faced in The Great Gatsby. The song itself was included on the album
because of the obvious connection between the text and the theme of the lyrical content, but also because of the
sound remix between modern decadence and the masterpiece of the 1920s revolution of extravagance. As music
director for the movie, Jay-Z writes, The Great Gatsby is that classic American story of ones introduction to
extravagance, decadence and illusion. Its ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist.
The imagination Baz brought to Moulin Rouge! made it a masterpiece, and Romeo + Juliets score wasnt just in
the background; the music became a character. This films vision and direction has all the makings of an epic
experience (Rap Genius). Aside from the experimentation between decadence and desire in the 1920s and in
modern day, the song discusses Fitzgeralds ideas of the era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its
overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure in the 1920s. Jay-Zs verse questions the institution of
religion and its purpose. The verse as well as the hook take a stand on religion and philosophy, asking listeners if
you dont believe in anything, in any of this religious dogma, will it matter? The song argues that we can make our
own destiny because institutionalized religion is a sham anyway. In the hook it follows the chain of hierarchy, a mob
to a king, a king to a god, a god to a non-believer, saying the only reason we are oppressed and cannot live the way
we want is because we believe we are less, therefore we are. The mob believes it cannot overpower the king, the
king believes he cannot overpower the god, therefore he cannot. But the song asks what is a god to a non-believer?
The god is nothing, he does not hold power over the non-believer, so the nonbeliever is free to question, and free to
live openly in this new religion of his own making because there is literally and figuratively no church in the crazy
open wild world of our lives.
Then Kanyes verse comes in. It discusses what this new self-religion of desire and extravagance looks like.
Most of the verse talks about what the religion of desire looks like and how it goes against the norms of monogamy
and organized religion. But thats fine because it is all a ploy to cover up some sort of pain. The end of the verse
provides an interesting twist to the entire song, saying that when we die we cannot take any of our money or earthly
possessions with us, but it does not matter because we probably spent it all anyway trying to cover all the pain we
felt during our time here. No amount of freedom or desire will cover the pain, and that is something teachers and
preachers will not teach you. But was it all worth it? The song leaves this question open, as does the novel, though
the feeling is that a life of sex, drugs and money, though liberating of morality, may not have been worth it because
one cannot take any of it with them when they die, so what was the point? If there ever was one.

Song Breakdown:
First half discusses religious corruption and its connection to humanity
First half questions the dichotomy of god vs. man, and which has a heavier hand in formulating destiny
o God helps those who help themselves
First half takes a very humanistic look at the way destinies are formed and questions the need for an all
powerful god who has already made all decisions for us
Jay-Z questions this god and his place in our lives. It should not be up to an all-powerful being to formulate
our destinies, we must create our own destinies
First half also discusses philosophical dogma of Socrates and Platos Euthyphro: a conflict between two
biases and two opinions
Second half explores the idea of love replacing religious dogma
It also explores the idea that people will make up their own rules and live by desire (free will)
Two tattoos: one read no apologies / The other said love is cursed by monogamy signifying Kanyes
refusal to apologize for wanting to live by his desires and his love affairs; not being tied down to one belief,
like institutionalized monogamy, as major religions would have it
But by the end of the song all forms of self-preservation and desire in the new religion are earthly bound
things we cannot take with us into the next life
The need to live by desire was a coping mechanism to get what was wanted in the here-and-now, and we
can debate on whether it worked or not, but in the end of the novel and the song it ends up not being worth
it
HIP-HOP UNIT

UNIT TITLE: THE GREAT GATSBY

FOCUS OF THE UNIT: READING AND EXAMINING THE GREAT GATSBY


Overarching Unit Objective(s)

Summative Assessment Strategy(ies)
To read F. Scott Fitzgeralds canonical
novel
To do a close reading of the text
To explore themes in the novel
To make textual connections (text-self,
text-society, text-text, text-world, etc)
To explore The Great Gatsby through a
multimodal lens

Cumulative talk show group project that
measures student knowledge on the central
theme of morality
Talk show also measures writing, design,
group work skills
Worksheets
Participation during in-class discussions
Theatre games: creativity reflective of
class knowledge
Summative portfolio

A. RELEVANT LEARNING STANDARDS

- COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS (IDENTIFY GRADE LEVEL):
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development,
organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning,
revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most
significant for a specific purpose and audience.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish,
and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technologys capacity to
link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.7 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums
(e.g., a persons life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized
in each account.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over
the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details;
provide an objective summary of the text.
o CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse
media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of
each source.

B. CONTEXT FOR LEARNING

- AUDIENCE: High School classroom (grades 9 or 10); urban public school setting

- PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE:

o Students are in the midst of a unit on The Great Gatsby so they have already read the book
o They have already done a close reading of the text to examine the tone, metaphor, symbolism, and
allusion in the text
o The students have already done an in depth study on character analysis from the book so they are
very familiar with the characters, their back stories, their motivations, their tone of voice, and their
personal styles as shown in the text
o Students have also already watched the new movie and discussed it in class
o Students have done minor theatre work in the past so they are familiar with theatre games and
performing in front of the class
o Students have done essays in class before so they are familiar with the essay structure we as a
class agreed on

- PRIMARY/SECONDARY TEXTS:

o THE GREAT GATSBY: F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
o NO CHURCH IN THE WILD: JAY-Z AND KANYE WEST FEATURING FRANK OCEAN
o THE GREAT GATSBY: BAZ LUHRMANN
o NO CHURCH IN THE WILD (MUSIC VIDEO): ROMAIN GAVRAS



HIP-HOP EDUCATION LESSON PLAN (INDIVIDUAL/45-MIN. MINIMUM)

Lesson Title: Was it Worth it? Comparing Morality in The Great Gatsby


Lesson Objectives/Goals

Assessment Strategy(ies) /Students will know
Language skills: vocabulary, discourse, compare
and contrast text/song/video, syntax


Answering scaffolded worksheets fully
Short writing assignment paraphrases answers in
worksheets
Writing questions and answers for talk show
Q & A worksheets for talk show will be
transformed into script for talk show
Class/group discussions
Content Objective:
Students will compare and contrast
multimedia forms of The Great Gatsby
Students will make connections between
morality and desire in The Great Gatsby
and No Church in the Wild
Students will analyze the lyrics as text of
No Church in the Wild
Students will write and perform a script for
a talk show about The Great Gatsby


Final project portfolio that includes all papers
and written responses from the weeks work
Student participation in class discussions
Student participation in group discussions based
on peer review
Written assignments
In-class performances
Blog posts
Frameworks/Citations from our class used
Rose, Tricia. Introduciton. Hip Hop
Wars. pp 13.
Alim, Samy. Critical Hip Hop Language
Pedagogies. pp 161-176.

The art of class discussion combats what Tricia
Rose discusses in her article regarding the lack
of academic conversation on Hip Hop. Having
academic class discussion where hip hop is a
form of literary study assesses this
Writing prompts asking students to look at rap
lyrics as academic literary theory against a
canonical text like The Great Gatsby
Writing a script that mimics the language of rap
greats Jay-Z and Kanye explores their voice and
language usage



Spatial Organization: Class will be set up with desks in a circle for discussion and performance purposes, but
chairs will be moved around the room for various group activities and games. It is also up to students to decided
how they want to set up the room when they perform their talk shows. The room is their set and they can set it up
however they want.

Materials Needed:
Copies of appendix A-G
No Church in the Wild lyrics
Students copies of The Great Gatsby
Copy of The Great Gatsby movie
No Church in the Wild music video download
iPod/speakers for music

PROCEDURES

Focus Question: Is it worth it to abandon morality for the freedom to live by desire and luxury? As shown
through The Great Gatsby and No Church in the Wild

Time allotted: Approximately six 50 minute class periods, but can be adjusted for more time.

Day 1:
Watch movie scenes: Introductory scene; First party scene
Watch music video for No Church in the Wild
Examine song lyrics and have teacher-guided discussion to deconstruct the song lyrics.
o Teacher will guide students on deconstructing song lyrics based on abstract and song analysis in
the introduction of this lesson
o Themes for discussion: presence of morality; extravagance; desire; religion/philosophy
After deconstruction of song lyrics students will be split up into predetermined groups of five by the
teacher based on skill level and propensity for cooperation and good work
Students will be instructed to search for five book passages they feel match the themes discussed in the
deconstruction of the song lyrics
Students will most likely not finish searching for book passages during the class period so they will finish
this for homework
Homework Day 1: Each student will find one passage from The Great Gatsby that compares to a lyric from No
Church in the Wild. Students must be sure to give the line number of the song lyric and the page number of the
coinciding passage from the book. Students must be prepared to explain why these two texts connect for class
tomorrow.

Day 2:
Students will begin the day by meeting with their groups and discussing the passages they found that
compare to a theme from the song lyrics.
o Students will compare and contrast their passage choices and they will be asked to discuss and
defend their choices to their group members
Short writing assignment: Compare and Contrast (Appendix A)
After completing the short writing assignment, teacher will engage students in discussion based on the
short writing assignment
o Class will discuss whether the song and the book passages agree or disagree with each other in
what they say about their given theme
Ex) In his verse, Kanye talks about how his morality is based on this new order religion
of desire where a person can do and live how they want. F. Scott Fitzgerald also talks
about this when he describes the elaborate parties Jay Gatsby gives. At the parties there is
sex, money, gambling, drinking, drugs, every type of vice one can imagine, but they are
living in the roaring twenties when this type of moral abandon is acceptable. But in both
the song and the book the need to be free and live by desire does not work out for them.
In the book Gatsby ends up dead and all the work and money he put into maintaining his
life style never got him what he truly wanted, a life with Daisy. And in the song, Kanye
says in the final line that you cant take your earthly desires with you when you do so it
may not be worth it to live such an extravagant life style.
After having the discussion on the agreeance or disagreeance between song lyrics and text, the teacher will
ask the students to think like the characters and songwriters do, and imagine what they would say to each
other if they could.
o What conversation would the characters have? What advice would they give one another?
o What would Jay Gatsby and Nick Carroway say to Kanye and Jay-Z about morality and desire?
o Would they agree with Kanye and Jay-Z or would they disagree with what they write about in the
song?
o What advice, if any, would Kanye and Jay give to Nick and Gatsby, and vice versa?
This conversation will carry over into the activity for tomorrow
Day 3:
Day 3 will begin with a Do Now to help students recall the information from the previous days discussion
o Do Now: If Gatsby and Nick Carroway met Kanye and Jay-Z to do research on the script for the
new Gatsby movie, what would they say to each other about how morality is represented in
Gatsby and Nicks book and Ye and Jays song? Be sure to reference your song lyric/book
passage theme we discussed earlier in the week.
Teacher will have students briefly discuss their responses to the Do Now as a refresher from the previous
days of discussion
Students will then split up into their groups from the previous days of activities
The teacher will explain the next portion of the lesson: the talk show project (Appendix B)
In their groups students will assign characters and begin the writing process for the talk show (Appendix C)
Have students continue writing process for homework
Homework Day 3: Students will finish their first draft writing worksheets on their character for homework

Day 4:
Day 4 will begin with a theatre game to get them warmed up to the idea of performing the talk show for the
class
o Theatre game: Questions balls gamepurpose of the game is to get students used to asking and
answering questions with several distractions happening, like in a real interview on a talk show
Students stand in a large circle with one red ball
One student begins by tossing the ball to another classmate across the circle
When the first student tosses the ball he asks the person he is tossing the ball to Whats
your favorite color? When the next student catches the ball he responds blue (or
whatever the color is
The second student will then throw the ball to another student and ask the same question
and the receiving student will answer the color question
The game will continue in this manner until everyone has gone
To scaffold the game more balls will be added to the pattern. Whatever pattern the balls
are thrown in will remain the same for all colored balls, but the different colored balls
will represent different questions and answers:
Red=fav color
Blue=fav book
Yellow=fav movie
Green=fav rapper
After the theatre activity students will get back in their groups and continue working on their talk shows
which they will perform on days 5 and 6
Students will be given a second hand out to further help them focus their questions and responses for the
talk show script (Appendix D)
Students will also be told to focus on the design aspects of the talk show (Appendix E)
Day 5:
Performance day
HW: students will pretend to be critics and write reviews for talk show episodes (Appendix F)
Students will be taking notes on the other performances for their blog posts
Day 6:
Performance day
HW: students will pretend to be critics and write reviews for talk show episodes (Appendix F)
Students will be taking notes on the other performances for their blog posts

Final Reflection: Students will assemble their final portfolios based on the checklist (Appendix G) and also write a
one-paragraph reflection piece on the project as a whole.
Appendix AShort Writing Assignment

Name____________________________________________________ Date_________________

Compare and Contrast

Directions: You are to write a one-page compare and contrast essay that explores one theme we discussed in class
yesterday. Based on your homework and your group discussion, take one song lyric and one quote from the book
you discussed and compare/contrast them using one of the themes as a lens. Keep in mind that you are trying using
one theme we discussed and comparing how that theme is represented through both the book and the song.

Ex) Have you got a church you go to sometimes, George? Maybe even if you havent been there for a long time?
Maybe I could call up the church and get a priest to come over and talk to you, see? (Fitzgerald Ch 8)
Drug dealer chic, Im wondering if a thugs prayers reach Is Pious pious cause God loves pious? (Jay-Z)
--In both these quotes the writers are talking about the place of religion in the face of tragedy.


































Appendix BTalk Show Project

Name___________________________________________________

Talk Show Project

What you will be doing: You and the four other members of your group will be putting together a ten minute talk
show to discuss issues addressed in No Church in the Wild and The Great Gatsby. Based on what we have already
discussed, and what you wrote about in your compare and contrast essays, you are going to script a talk show that
addresses one of the themes from both the song and the book. You will be writing the script/questions for the show,
designing it, and performing it for the class. The performances will be taped and edited by me like a real talk show
would be, and it will go up on our class blog.

The Characters: Each group of five will have 5 characters, one for each member, and everyone MUST participate.
All the characters will be conversing with each other like in a normal talk show, but how they talk to each other and
what they will say is up to you. The characters are:
Jay Gatsby
Nick Carroway
Kanye
Jay-Z
The Host

The Catch: The catch is that we will be addressing the Was it worth it? question we have been focusing on in
class. All four book characters MUST converse with each other, and the host will be the moderator of that
discussion. All characters must interact with each other at one point, and they must all interact with the host. Each
group member will be playing one role, so it is important to remember this is a performance and you will want to
take on the personality traits of the character, and answer the hosts questions as your character would answer them.

Design: There is also a design aspect to the performance. Like any talk show, you must name your talk show, design
the classroom space like you would a studio, discuss lighting, music, costumes, etc. to make this like a real show.
Again, this will be up to you and your group members to create atmosphere you want for your performance.





















Appendix CCharacters & Writing Intro for Talk Show

Name___________________________________________________


Talk Show Script Writing/Character Introduction

You do not have to have your script memorized, and you do not have to have a formally written out script, but you
will be writing down the central questions for each character and handing that into me. Each character is responsible
for answering three questions, and the host is responsible for writing questions for each character. Here are some
guidelines to help you begin writing and thinking in character.

Host is responsible for:
Introducing the talk show and welcoming the audience
Explaining what todays talk show discussion will be about
Introducing the guests
Asking the guests questions
Keeping the conversation moving and keeping the guests on topic

Jay Gatsby:
Must discuss his position on the topic for the talk show discussion (morality, desire, extravagance, religion,
etc)
Must ask the writers of No Church in the Wild how they think their song relates to his book
Must respond to questions from the host and other characters
Must stay in character
Must have back and forth dialogue with other talk show characters

Nick Carroway:
Must discuss his position on the topic for the talk show discussion (morality, desire, extravagance, religion,
etc)
Must ask the writers of No Church in the Wild how they think their song relates to his book
Must respond to questions from the host and other characters
Must stay in character
Must have back and forth dialogue with other talk show characters

Kanye:
Must discuss his position on the topic for the talk show discussion (morality, desire, extravagance, religion,
etc)
Must ask the characters of The Great Gatsby how they think their book relates to his rap/hip hop song
Must respond to questions from the host and other characters
Must stay in character
Must have back and forth dialogue with other talk show characters

Jay-Z:
Must discuss his position on the topic for the talk show discussion (morality, desire, extravagance, religion,
etc)
Must ask the characters of The Great Gatsby how they think their book relates to his rap/hip hop song
Must respond to questions from the host and other characters
Must stay in character
Must have back and forth dialogue with other talk show characters

Appendix DTalk Show Project Script

Name___________________________________________________

Talk Show Script Writing Guide

To make sure everyone is on the same page and includes everything they need to include in this talk show, here is a
guide to help you better formulate a script for the show.

Things to remember:
You do not have to have a formally written out script.
The host should have all his/her questions written on note cards but having anything else written out is up
to you (besides what you have to turn into me for your portfolio.)
You can use queue cards for the host or any of the characters, but remember it is hard to read off of them
and they can be very distracting
Lines do not have to be memorized
The host must provide the characters with their questions ahead of time so they can formulate answers for
them in the tone/voice of their character
Like any talk show, sometimes things go crazy and people go off script, that is ok. There can be some free
dialogue and unscripted responses like in any conversation, but make sure to stay on topic.
One topic must be chosen from our list of themes as the topic of discussion for that days talk show
The talk show is ONLY TEN MINUTES and it will be timed so be sure to rehearse
ALL HOST QUESTIONS AND CHARACTER ANSWERS (3 for each character) (12 questions for the
host) WILL BE WRITTEN/TYPED OUT AND SUBMITTED TO ME IN THE FINAL PORTFOLIO

What each character needs to include in the script:

Host:
Must have three questions written for each guest asking them either about the topic or about themselves in
relation to the book or the song.

Gatsby:
Must have answers to all the hosts questions, and must converse with Kanye and Jay-Z about their
opinions of the discussion topic (Was it worth it?)
Nick:
Must have answers to all the hosts questions, and must converse with Kanye and Jay-Z about their
opinions of the discussion topic (Was it worth it?)
Kanye:
Must have answers to all the hosts questions, and must converse with Nick and Gatsby about their
opinions of the discussion topic (Was it worth it?)
Jay-Z:
Must have answers to all the hosts questions, and must converse with Nick and Gatsby about their
opinions of the discussion topic (Was it worth it?)

Everyone:
Everyone will help write the show introduction, the introduction to the guests, and any other little
transitions or tid bits the group wants to add into their talk show




Appendix ETalk Show Design

Name___________________________________________________


Talk Show Design Aspects

Like any talk show, a great deal of planning and designing goes into the production of the show. With your group
members, figure out how you are going to design the following aspects of your talk show to make it as interesting
and fun as possible.

Name of the talk show:




Studio design (classroom setup; how will I arrange the classroom to transform it into my talk show?):







Lighting design (how will I light my talk show?)







Music selections (what music will I play at my talk show?)







Show schedule (what is the schedule for the show? Will I introduce the show first, then play music, then introduce
the guest, etc?)







Costumes (What will the characters be wearing?)


Appendix FReview for Talk Show Groups

Name___________________________________________________

Talk Show Review Form

During each groups talk show performance, you will be taking notes on this sheet and for homework you will
pretend you are a TV critic and write a review for the talk show. The reviews for the talk shows are homework each
night and they only to be one paragraph posted to the discussion thread on our class blog. In your review be sure to
include the following information:

What did I like/not like about the talk show?
What was one thing the talk show did well?
What was one thing the talk show could improve on?
How well planned and designed was the talk show? Explain.
How well was the topic discussion carried out? Explain.
Would I recommend this talk show to other people? Why or why not?

Notes for each group:

































Appendix GPortfolio Checklist

Name_______________________________________________ Date_________________

Portfolio Checklist

Be sure to include everything on this checklist in your final portfolio. Keep all
papers and responses together, with your name on each page. Use a binder clip to
put everything together, and make sure this checklist is the FIRST PAGE of the
portfolio.

_____________ Portfolio checklist (first page)

_____________ Appendix A: Short writing assignment

_____________ Appendix D: Talk show script

_____________ Appendix E: Design aspects

_____________ Appendix F (all copies with all notes): Review form

_____________ Final Reflection

*The final reflection is a short summary telling what you learned in doing this
project; telling why or why not you think you succeeded in your project; whether
or not you think your group worked well together; one thing you like about the
project; and one thing you would change about the project.