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30581155 MCC236 42258
Audience Analysis Paper Section 1 draft (5%) Audience Identification & Literary Review Whilst examining audiences of hip-hop and rap music it is hypothesized that upon researching the preferences and opinions of respondents; all of varying gender, race and cultural backgrounds there will be a distinct pattern revealed to reinforce the stereotypical division of opinions between: “that ill tasting rap music” and “those wicked beats and rhymes”. Introduction With the explosion of digital technologies and the globalization of American products, just like so many other cultural creations, hip-hop and rap music were destined to reach all corners of the earth and have tremendous impact on cultures around the world. Today its no longer a matter of dispute that audiences of hip-hop and rap music, do exist outside America and have formed sub cultures in unexpected places like Saudi Arabia. These sub cultures are getting more visible and easily identifiable particularly by the dress code. Across boarders, across oceans and across cultures, hip-hop fashion and language has penetrated the hearts and minds of audiences young and old.
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 Despite the previous lack of academic research, this paper will analyze and address the complex nature of the audience of hip-hop and rap music and their cultures, trends, and furthermore survey some of its perplexing personalities. Perkins (1996, p.10) argued “The force and style of several personalities gave rap the allure of a new and potentially important art form.”, this allows type of audience identification with rap personalities described by McQuail as a Parasocial Relationship, a personal link and tie to a specific characters in the form of individual recognition .(McQuail, 1997, p.117). The notion of parasocial interaction was first introduced by (Horton and Wohl) in their framework they intended to explore the
phenomenon of attachment and identification with a media character experienced by audience.( McQuail, 1997, p.119). This framework has formed one of the corner stones for understanding, analyzing and evaluating hip-hop and rap music audiences and the level of their attachment as one of many important variables to be kept in mind.
Perkins (1996, p.20) argues that what makes hip-hop and rap music appealing to upper-middle and middle-class young males market all over the world is fact that we live in an age of mass media consumption, data smug and the media hype, therefore gangster rap represents a new religion or ideology of authenticity and a new means
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 to relate to media. He adds “So as white-bread America searches for a new identity in a post-soviet, postindustrial, globally interconnected new world order, hip-hop speaks to youth’s desire for identity, for a sense of self-definition and purpose, no matter how lawless or pointless” (Perkins, 1996, p. 20). Hip-hop is a loud and intense from of music that most of time features profanity, drugs, and murderous lyrics where artists glorify
materialistic objects and degrade women. The lyrics vary from political to gangster to just plain perverted sex lyrics.
The commercial success of rap and, more generally hip-hop music in the mid-1980s led by few talented artists such as Run-D.M.C., the Beasty Boys, LL Cool J, verified to the music industry that this type of music have a substantial market appeal. Forman (2002, p.146) argued that the evidence of hip-hops influence was easily detected in the style, personalities and emotional response of participants of hip-hop culture who where manly urban youths from across the racial spectrum males and females of varying age spectrum from 12-33 years of age. Hip-hop and rap is a fusion of different musical styles, which was pioneered by minor ethnic groups for their own consumption, but with the communication technologies ever advancing hip-hop was exported around the world and soon enough millions of youth across the
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 universe tuned in to listen to the latest hip-hop record. Audience has ranged in gender, age and social class. This is attributed to the different genres in rap and hip-hop music which ranged from gangster rap, to political rap.
Characters in rap music create an appeal to a wide range of audience and personalities some of the audience identifies with gangster rappers others might participate by relatively dressing up like his favorite artist. Forman ( 2002, p. 146) elaborated on the issue and stated that “Even though the images and essence of the hip-hop scene where frequently diluted, the basic elements (music and dancing) reached white and black youth outside the relatively close confines of New York’s boroughs, where hip-hop was regarded as a way of life rather than a series of unconnected practices” this was due to the extreme level of attachment the audience experienced. According to (McQuail, 1997, p.120)”The extreme case of attachment to media occurs when a high degree of interaction coincides with a high degree of identification” the hip-hop audience is quick to identify with their favorite rapper few indicators of “capture” and identity loss could be observed in the audience, signs could include dressing up in a certain way, walk or even behave like his favorite rapper.
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 Research will provide evidence that audience of hip-hop are males, females of middle and upper class, they would be teens and adults, blacks and whites alike.
The study is conducted as a part of an academic course required by Murdoch University to prove of disproves the negative influences of popular rap music on youth. Music’s importance to youth can be measured by the amount of time they spend listening to it. One sample of KDU college Damansara Utama students spent an average of three hours per day listening to rap music. According to Charles Duncan; “There are certainly lyrics in the rock world which are not appropriate and teach violent behavior. However, rap has the dubious distinction of being the music of the thug masses. It has become a sub culture unto its own, and left unchecked will only cause an increase in the behavior problems and violence of many youths in America” (2007). Whilst examining audiences of hip-hop and rap music it is hypothesized that upon researching the preferences and opinions of respondents; all of varying gender, race and cultural backgrounds there will be a distinct pattern revealed to reinforce the stereotypical division of opinions between: “that ill tasting rap music” and “those wicked beats and rhymes”.
Musaab Mohamed adam Media audiences and the public Ms Shelia Yvonne Exercise Methods Survey
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This part of the research exercise the study will conduct a survey with a total of 17 questions involving 21 participants to find out the extent of influence and the degree of acceptance of values promoted in rap lyrics to the participants. In addition to this it will measure the degree of social acceptance this type of music has. Furthermore this survey is designed to explore the parasocial relationship that KDU college student’s developed overtime with their favored rappers. According Duncan the intense impact of rap music can be observed almost everywhere he elaborates “Visit almost any public school high school in America and the impact of rap music is instantly visible. From young men dressing to emulate their favorite rap artist to young women dressing to match the women and dancers featured on the videos. Rap music had an impact on the fashion of many young individuals, however the influence does not stop with clothing and jewelry”(2007) this study is conducted as a part of an academic course required by Murdoch University to prove of disproves the negative influences of popular rap music on youth. Music’s importance to youth can be measured by the amount of time they spend listening to it. One sample of KDU college Damansara Utama students spent an average of three hours per day listening to rap music.
Musaab Mohamed adam Media audiences and the public Ms Shelia Yvonne The survey conducted in this
30581155 MCC236 42258 research concluded that most of the
participants accept values promoted in the lyrics of Rap music. However few of the participants have deplored the lyrics labeling them as sexist and disrespectful to women, it was also evident that most of the participants have developed some sort of connection between themselves and rap performers, which is a clear reflection of McQuail`s parasocial relationship that was developed between the audience and their artists, to the sample its more than just music, its referred to as a way of life. In addition to this the results concluded that the audiences of Rap music are self aware of their media use interests and motives, this was evident in the contradicting answers some expressed. For example only eight of the participants perceived the lyrics as violent but yet fifteen of them claimed they would still purchase a Rap music CD. Furthermore seven of the fifteen participants that labeled themselves as fans still thought some of the lyrical content should be censored. In addition findings from the survey concluded that 10 of the participants who enjoyed listening to Rap music on a regular base possessed higher levels of tolerance to violence against women (refer to table1.0). Most of the subjects who enjoyed the lyrical content of the music did not agree that it was disrespectful towards women. After extensive research the findings shall conclude in support of the hypothesis that:
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 Hip-hop and rap fans exhibit signs of being affected by the lyrical content Interview In-depth Interview immature rapper In this section of the research the method most suitable for the task of acquiring information regarding deciphering the meaning behind the attitude of my audience is conducting a qualitative interview. The basic objective is to conduct an in-depth interview with a 28 year old male college student. The basic structure of the interview is to ask as many open ended questions as possible for a proper in depth analysis of the script in latter stages. Out of the three research exercises conducted the interview provided evidence that gratification and use of media is marginal in comparison with other social factors, the audience are very selective in the type of exposure they get, the reason for this is called demassification or “the ability of the media user to select from a wide menu”(baran& davis,2003,p.263). at a point in the interview my subject expressed clearly that some of the Rap lyrics are extremely tainted and disrespectful but he reckons people can simply avoid what offends them, in another word everyone have the option of what they listen to. (Y): Male, 28 yrs, KDU college student/
Musaab Mohamed adam Media audiences and the public Ms Shelia Yvonne Findings
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Findings from the interview reviled that there is a connection between Rap music and changes in mode and possible aggression. TJ the subject of the interview expressed that he feels hyper and more active when he listens to rap music. He thinks the music hypes him up at the gym please refer to table 1.2.further findings from the interview provide evidence that audience are active and selectively expose themselves to desired channels. Rhetorical Analysis This rhetorical analysis involves critically analyzing the messages within the lyrics and visuals in the rap music video “Tip Drill” by an artist called Nelly. The analysis involved listening to the video with lyrics and latter watch the video without the lyrics, the reason for doing so is to better separate the elements of appeal to the audience. In the chorus Nelly says “I said it must be ya ass cause it aint yo face i need a tip drill i need a tip drill” the artist here is sexually objectifying women by mentioning the reason for his interest is her buttocks and not her face or personality. The attitude towards women is rather disrespectful. The theme of the video unlike other types of Rap that do not have a negative effect on the perception of women this video is extremely misogynistic consequently creating misogynistic attitudes and greater acceptance of violence against women. However watching the video
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 without the lyrics proved to be as degrading to women.one scene displays a half naked dancer posing motionless until Nelly swaps his visa card on her buttocks so she can start dancing for him, nonverbal behavior like throwing money on girls to dance and entertain fills the footage and it holds destructive values, previous studies suggested that young female audience who watch such behavior will have a level of acceptance to sexual objectification. Rhetorical messages that consists of Pictures of girls dancing around luxury cars is evident throughout the video which further suggests to youngsters that women are objects that can be obtained through financial means. According to Charles Duncan (2007)” Rap music tends to focus on wealth. The wealth is attained by being a thug and participating in such activities as gangs, drug dealing, and larceny. The message all too often is crime pays, and pays in a very big way”(2007) This section of the exercise involved rhetorically analyzing a rap music video of violent nature. The video is called “Many Men” by an artist called 50cent, in the video 50cent depicts his real life story of being shot several times while leaving his grandmother house somewhere in New York slums for which he will acquire revenge. In the video the Rapper get shot five times including once in the face. Visual effects perfected the gruesome images of his face blown into pieces. In addition analyzing metaphors is of little concern when Verbal threat
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 appeals are the center of the song, he vows kill all his enemies and everyone who stands on his way. However according to (Gerbner, 1995) “television violence has both utility and consequences other than those usually considered in media and public discussion. And it is driven by forces other than free expression and audience demand”(p,548). Therefore this research suggests that television violence should be understood as a complex phenomenon and an indicator of social relationships.
Analysis The study is conducted as a part of an academic course required by Murdoch University to prove of disproves the negative influences of popular rap music on youth. Music’s importance to youth can be measured by the amount of time they spend listening to it. One sample of KDU college Damansara Utama students spent an average of three hours per day listening to rap music. Triangulation of the three research exercises conducted supported the common misconception that rap and violence are so intertwined as to be synonymous twelve participants identified Rap lyrics as aggressive in nature, however the results reflected that misconception about Rap music might be a result of media propagation. According to (Stanley & Davis)the power of probagenda was not a result of the substance or appeal of specific messages but, rather, the result of the vulnerable
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 state of mind of average people”(p.78), this is not to say that the bad reputation of Rap music stems from media propagandas alone but rather the result of faulty generalization and the ignorance paid to Rap music themes eight of the participants . Findings of the three exercises reflected on the selective process theory or cognitive consistency according to (Stanley & Davis, 2004) people seek out media messages consistent with the values and believes of those around them (p.145) which implied that people tried to preserve their existing views by avoiding messages that challenged them. For TJ the subject of the interview in retrospect it was a matter of selective exposure. He stressed out the fact that people choose what they can listen to or avoid it as they wish. “Selective exposure is people tendency to expose themselves to or attend to media messages that they feel are in accord with their already-held attitudes interests and the parallel tendency to avoid that which might create dissonance”(p.146). However according to (George,1995)”the majority of network viewers have little choice of thematic context or cast of character types and visually no-chance of avoiding violence nor has the proliferation of channels led to greater diversity of actual viewing”(p,550). This results of this research exercise defied this notion by demonstrating that audience are able to choose what they wish to watch or listen to, the subject of the interview TJ stressed that
Musaab Mohamed adam 30581155 Media audiences and the public MCC236 Ms Shelia Yvonne 42258 fact that he is not obligated to view or listen to any undesired media materials. Most of the survey participants who were aware of the lyrical content of Rap and didn’t approve it, avoided it or answered negatively when asked if they were going to listen to Rap in the future. In addition to this the subject interviewee TJ expressed his relationship with Rap artists described by McQuail as a Parasocial Relationship, or a personal link and tie to a specific characters in the form of individual recognition .(McQuail, 1997, p.117). He is trying to mimic the way they dress and behave, it is like a culture to him according to (Tricia Rose) “Rap music and hip hop culture are primarily cultural, sonic, and linguistic windows on the world.”(p.19) Although much of the debate about the effects of media on youth revolves around television, music is also a very important medium that affects both adolescents and children alike. This study is designed to examine whether the lyrics of hip-hop and rap music have an effect on the mood, aggression levels, behavior and other forms of non-verbal communication such as the style of dressing in young males and females participants. Hip-hop and rap videos have been blamed for an increase in youth aggression however the studies conducted so far have only suggested a slight correlation between the music and ill youth behavior. Final results of the survey reveal very contradicting but rather interesting results.
Musaab Mohamed adam Media audiences and the public Ms Shelia Yvonne
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Reference list Duncan C. (2007, September, 25th). The influence of rap music upone youth. Retrived may 1st,2010 from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/386184/the_influence_of_rap _music_upon_youth.html?cat=9 Forman, M.(2002). The 'hood comes first: race, space, and place in rap and hip-hop (1st edition) Wesleyan University Press George G. (1995). Gender, race Reader.california,USA: SAGE and class in media: A text
McQuail, D. (1997). Audience Analysis. California, USA: Sage. Perkins, W. E . (1996). Droppin' science: critical essays on rap music and hip hop culture (1st ed). Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Stanley J.B. &Dennis K.D.(2003). Mass Communication Foundations, Ferment and Future. Belmont: Wadsworth Theory
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