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TEXTUAL ANALYSIS

OF A MUSIC VIDEO
Dr Dre Still D.R.E. ft. Snoop Dogg
Genre Rap
Type Performance Music Video
I believe that the target audience for this music video is the youth and adult demographic;
this is because the rap genre is popular amongst the youth demographic and Dr Dre is
one of the first artists to get rap popular, therefore sparking interest in those who
listened to him since he began in 1988. I believe that this song is aimed more towards the
black culture. This genre of music became popular due to black artists such as the
N.W.A., Biggie Smalls and Tupac (Dr Dre was a part of the N.W.A.).
The opening sequence of the music video features wide shots and close-up shots of
multiple low-rider cars bouncing up and down as the music commences. The car itself is
iconography of black culture, particularly relating to rap music and the 90s, thus
conforming to black culture stereotype
Following this a close-up and a mid-shot is used to portray the two artists of the song,
along with the lyrics Still Snoop Dogg and D.R.E. and Guess whos back. This suggests
that these two artists have popularity in the rap genre, which therefore makes the lyric
Guess whos back an enticement for the audience. Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg are both
artists who have represented the rap genre since it began, and have therefore themselves
developed into iconography of the rap genre. This conforms to Andrew Goodwins
theory that The artist may develop their own star iconography, in and out of their
videos. The two shots also conform to another one of Goodwins theories, which states
There is a demand from the record company for lots of shots of the artist.
There is a long-shot of another low-rider that depicts two woman dressed provocatively,
this immediately represents the female gender to be seductive and an object of desire.
Laura Mulveys theory of the male gaze is conformed in this music video. The use of
woman in this way is a generic convention of rap genre music videos, and they help to
increase popularity amongst males.
The lyrics they wanna know if he still got it, they say raps changed, they wanna know
how I feel about it suggests that this song was made by Dr Dre to show to rap genre
that he can still maintain his image. It suggests that Dre has developed into a big name in
the rap community and he wants to prove that how important he is to black culture and
rap. This reinforces Goodwins theory about an artists iconography. The continuous
close-up and mid-shots of the low-riders have been used to convey black culture to the
audience, almost as to let them know the integrity and status of Dre and Snoop to the
rap genre.
These wide shots of woman on the cars again reinforce the seductiveness of the female
gender. It again conforms to the male gaze theory, but also conforms to Mulveys other
theory about scopophilia (the pleasure of looking).
The location of the music video is mostly shown to be a rough, poorer neighbourhood.
This is relevant to the rap genre due to the artists of the early rap genre were brought
up in tough/harsh places, such as Compton. The location suggests that Dre wants to be
true to his image, and therefore he wants to show that he still has consideration for the
black and rap cultures. It further implies reference to the early music videos of artists
such as the N.W.A., therefore conforming to Goodwins theory that states there are
likely to be intertextual references, either to music videos or films and TV.
The lyrics and I still got love for the streets reinforces the fact that Dre wants to
maintain his image from his earlier career, and that he respects the rap genre and the
artists. It further conforms to the stereotype of unity amongst black culture, and Dre
conveys these conventions. The male gender is represented as respectful to their origin
and powerful due to Snoop and Dre. It implies the theme of black empowerment, which
is a big theme that is associated with black culture and the rap genre. The rap genre has
helped black culture to be accepted into society, and not a scapegoat or threat. Artists
like Eminem have diversified the genre, and made it popular amongst white people as well
as black people, creating a unity amongst the demographics.
These mid-close-up shots of both the artist reinforce Goodwins theory of demand from record
company. The music video mainly consists of close-up shots of the artists lip-syncing the lyrics, this is
conventional for a rap music video, particularly in the early rap music videos (80s-90s). This means that
this music video conforms to the conventional style of rap music videos.
The lyrics no more living hard, barbeques every day, driving fancy cars shows that Dre is suggesting that
there is a struggle in the black culture for people to succeed, and afford a richer lifestyle. The lyrics
suggest that white people have it easier than black people, which could further imply the severity of
white supremacy in society, and the issues black culture has in society. Dre is suggesting that audiences
need to understand the struggle of the black community to make a living and survive. This means that the
song has an underline meaning to it, this conforms to conventional rap songs.
Overall Dr Dres Still Dre is a performance (Lynch 1984) music video that represents the
importance of black culture to the rap genre, and the iconography of Dr Dre to the
rap/black community. It represents his integrity to inspire the black culture, but also his
role in black empowerment.