Homework12

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1. How does Norfleet distinguish between hip hop culture and rap music? (2-3 sentences)

2. Based on the readings, what role(s) does technology play in hip hop?
a. Does this seem similar or different to past black music genres? Why or why not?

3. How does “The Message” speak to the impact of deindustrialization in the Bronx?
a. How does the song describe the physical environment?
b. What kinds of people appear in the song? Who are the characters?
c. What is the tone of the lyrics? Does the speaker seem optimistic or pessimistic?
How can you tell?

4. Now think about “Rapper’s Delight” in relation to “The Message.”
a. What is the subject matter and how is it distinct from the previous song?
b. What economic circumstances are represented?
c. What is the speaker’s tone?
d. Given its commercial success, what might it mean for this song to be one of the
first hip hop pieces to circulate widely?

5. What resonances do you find between hip hop and protest music of the Civil Rights Era?
What distinctions do you find? (3-5 sentences)

Now let’s look at the “Rosa Parks” case. For this part of the homework, you are going to do a
deep analysis of the song and use it to make a determination in the lawsuit. Your analysis
should help you come to your conclusion and, ultimately, serve as evidence for your “ruling.”

Start by outlining the main aesthetic contours of the song:

6. What are ten distinguishing elements of note in the video for “Rosa Parks”? What
musical, lyrical, or visual elements are present? What elements can you connect to
course material? What elements seem significant even if you don’t know what they are?
This is about noting your first impressions and associations. Make a brief list of elements
to possibly explore further.

7. Describe the “Rosa Parks” instrumental track in three sentences. Include the
genre(s), major instruments, features, form, texture, or whatever else would help explain
the general portrait of the song to someone who had not heard it before.

8. Describe the “Rosa Parks” lyrics in three sentences. Include what the song is about,
subject matter, themes, major images, point of view, and/or style of delivery. You can
briefly quote key lyrics to support your description.

Now, drawing on your knowledge of the Civil Rights Era and the reading and lectures from this
module, discuss in 3-5 sentences each:

9. How does the song reference Rosa Parks?

10. How does the song reference other people, events, or ideas about the Civil Rights Era or
African American Civil Rights Movement?

11. In what manner does OutKast treat these topics? Represent them? Comment upon
them?

Now look closely at the lawsuit claims. Respond to each claim in 2-3 sentences by noting your
agreement or disagreement and stating why. Make sure to use evidence from the song,
historical events, Parks’ biography, etc. to back up your opinion.

12. Constituted false advertising. Even though Parks is not named in the lyrics, what ways
might they point to her or events she is associated with? Is this enough to warrant her
name being used as the title? Is there a difference between using someone’s name
alone versus including more biographic information about them?

13. Infringed on her right of publicity. Should OutKast have the right to use Parks’s image
since she is a public figure? What control should Parks have over how her image is used
and circulated?

14. Defamed her character. Is there content you find lewd or objectionable in the lyrics?
Why so or why not? What are possible negative outcomes of Parks being associated
with the content of the song?

15. Interfered with an ongoing business relationship. What business is Parks in? How
does her image impact the work she did/does? How might association with the song
impact her social justice work or legacy?

Finally, given all you have explored above, how do you think the suit should be settled?
Respond in 3-4 sentences.

16. Did OutKast misuse Parks’s image? Why or why not? Is this song a tribute,
appropriation, both, or something else?

17. Based on your analysis of the case, what should be done to rectify the situation?

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