blog 6

More music! write about early nineties rap or the rise of britney.

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18 Responses to blog 6

  1. Robyn Rothman says:

    The rise of Britney Spears and subsequently of female pop singers and boy bands, was an interesting progression in 90s music. The early 90s had seen genres of music such as a small revival of punk music, the introduction of grunge music, and also hip-hop music, mainly gangster rap. Whereas all these genres of music had a deeper meaning, grunge being a form of teenage rebellion against music like what Britney Spears was producing (except it was New Kids on the Block and Madonna), and gangster rap was a form of expression for inner city African Americans dealing with rampant drug use and dealing as well as extreme police brutality. Both forms of music were an expression of ideas and bringing misfortunes of these respective groups to light. However, when Britney Spears came out, it saw a reversal of this trend of deep expression through music. Here, music was artificially made unlike grunge where interments were used, and lyrics written by music executives, not by the artists as well, unlike rap and grunge. Even more, was that now women, or teenage girls were being sexualized, for the purpose of record sales. The ideas that grunge and rap had built and tried hard to express to the masses, Britney Spears and “sugar pop” overpowered that, resulting in a new generation where anyone can become famous by showing skin and having perhaps a semi-decent voice that can be altered by technology. Although the introduction of Britney Spears did pave the way for female artists, mainly because it gave them an outlet to produce their music, the music of Britney Spears stopped the production of more meaningful music, and it became harder for bands and artists to grab attention through more meaningful sounds and lyrics.

  2. April Pratt says:

    Growing up in the 90’s as a little girl, I guess you could say it’s obvious that I wanted to be Britney Spears, and was obsessed with The Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. I bopped around in my room listening to Hit Me Baby One More Time, As Long As You Love Me, I Want You Back, etc.
    Britney Spears started in 1997 after the Mickey Mouse Club closed and she signed with Jive Records. She started by opening up for The Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. By 1998, Hit Me Baby One More Time was released and her fame boomed; she was number one on the top 100 charts and her music video was all over MTV (when it actually played music videos). By 1999 her debut album was number one and she became THE Pop Princess.
    I discovered Biggie, Tupac, and Dr. Dre as I got older, and like most other people in this world, I loved them. Tupac (west coast) and Biggie (east coast) both rapped about the violence and hardships they faced growing up, racism, and social problems, such as, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry. In 1996, Tupac was shot 4 times in Vegas and died a few days later. In 1997, Biggie was murdered in L.A. in a drive by shooting.
    Dr. Dre started in a rap group known as N.W.A (Death Row Records) where they too rapped about street violence. Dr. Dre and N.W.A made using explicit lyrics popular in rap songs. A few years later, Dre left Death Row to start his own record company, Aftermath Entertainment.

  3. Anthony Scattaglia says:

    As we proceed….the rise of gangsta rap in the mid 1990’s was the result of African-American’s disillusionment with their government. The neo-conservative movement of the 80’s and early 90’s under the Reagan and Bush administrations caused many in the black community to introspectively question their status and the governments impetus to ensure equal treatment before the law. Under Reagan, the safety net for the poor was gutted in an effort to reduce government expenditures but this policy disproportionality effected the black community. As a result, gang violence and drug trafficking exploded under Reagan causing descent in the African-American community, further crippling their collective chances to raise from poverty, obtain de facto equal status with whites, and abolish prejudice from our hearts and minds.
    Gangsta rap was initially an attempt to articulate the struggles of the African American community through song and unite them in the face of injustice. However, this quickly devolved into a competition between the west and east coasts as a way for the belligerents to garner press and sell records resulting in a deepening of the schism formed under Reagan. Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, from the east and west coasts respectively, become the ambassadors to rap by elevating their artform to an unprecedented level of quick, witty, and derogatory lyrics with a dynamic beat. One time friends, they became arch-enemies coming to represent the soul and musical ability of their respective coasts. Suge Knight, the President and CEO of Death Row Records, the premiere west coast producer and Diddy, the President and founder of Bad Boy Records, the premiere east coast producer caused the death of their artists in an attempt to sell records. Suge Knight is a person of interest in both murders, which still have gone unsolved. This might seem shocking in the case of Tupac, his own artitst, but he was worth more dead than alive to Death Row since they had dozens of unpublished recordings by him. Death would have ascribed a level of martyrdom, elevating him to a quasi-deified status, which we certainly can attest to now
    Their impact on the hip-hop industry is indelible and impossible to deny. Tribute and an outpouring of affection is for these artists is always paid on the anniversary of their death. They were true pioneers in this art form which has come to dominate the music industry nearly twenty years since their untimely death… give you what you need!

  4. Nazema Haniff says:

    Britney Spears’s rise to fame captivated the attention of the American public and then took to another level as we watched her fall. She built her career on image, sex and provocative dance moves. It seems like Britney Spears is covered in every gossip magazine and show and sometimes even in more serious news segments.

    Britney Spears’s wave and fall was highly publicized. She started out as the southern girl next door and her song Baby One More Time became an instant hit. But her hit songs didn’t seem to be the reason why she became such a sensation, it had a lot more to do with how she used sex and controversy to sell her self to America.
    Her music videos and provocative dance moves on stage made her the celebrity she is today. From her flesh colored costume at the MTV awards to her infamous kiss with Madonna, she pushed the envelope time and time again. However even when Britney Spears gave a horrible performance at the MTV Awards, the song still became a hit. For Britney, any publictiy was good publicity.

    Along with the Backstreet Boys, and NSYNC, Britney Spear, was definitely one of my favorite artists. Analyzing her rise to fame definitely made me look at her in a different way. I never realized that all she was doing was promoting sex and creating an image of a woman that no real girl could be. How could our parents even let us watch her videos? She dresses in innocent outfits like the catholic school girl outfit but she turns it into something that is sexually charged .

  5. Amanda Deokinanan says:

    Well, since I grew up in Brooklyn I was surrounded by rap music especially music by the famous B.I.G and Tupac. They are two of the most popular rap singers and everyone knew their songs once it came on. These artists write and sang songs that dealt with more than just about sex, drugs and money. They wrote about their lives, their obstacles and their fame. One thing I could say is those even after years have passed you still find and hear Biggie and Tupac songs playing on the radio and in everywhere. Biggie and Tupac definitely started the rivalry of East Coast versus West Coast. These two singers have influenced many of the rappers we hear and know about today. On the other hand, in class when we discussed how the buyers are mostly white males is ironic. I believe white males tend to buy rap music more because of what it talks about and is a source of rebellion.

  6. Nadem Choudhury says:

    Rap is my favorite genre of music. I remember all of the Westside versus eastside rivalry during my childhood. I vividly remember Tupac’s Hit Em Up because the way the song starts of and have it on my Ipod. Dre’s song showed a picture of the lifestyle they lived and the hood they represented. It gave other people to see for themselves the lifestyle and other to represent it with them. As we discussed in class, mostly white people bought these rap songs. It let them see into their lives and easy way to rebel and the explicit lyrics alone will make parents cringe. But the songs gave a people something to represent and the rivalry started especially after Tupac being shot. I can understand why many people especially adults did not like rap. In general they were very explicit, but I found something else in them. I grew up in Ny so I could relate to some song. Also many artistes rapped about actual topic and expressed it in their ways. The 90s is my favorite for rap music because now a day the mainstream rap just sounds the same to me. I have to really dig to find rap that was like the 90s with meaning to the songs because they never get airtime on the radios.

  7. Samantha Casaburi says:

    Growing up in the 90’s Britney Spears, was on of my favorite singers. I had her poster on my bedroom wall and had her singing Barbie Doll. This week in class, while we were discussing Britney in class it made me realize that I never realized that she was not this strong, girl power girl. She was really just promoting sex and catering to what the men really wanted her to be. Her clothes were skimpy and her dance moves were inappropriate for young girls to even be around. In class when we discussed her Pepsi commercial, I remember seeing it on television, but never realized how much hidden sexual references were involved in that commercial and now understand why the commercial was banned. I had no idea who Bob Dole was or that he was famous until we talked about it in class. In her first music video she was dressed up as a school girl and acted innocent and bored. Even though she was in costume as an innocent girl, all of her costumes were skimpy in fact were not actually innocent. She uses her body to get what she wants in all of the music videos. In Oops I did it again, she dresses up as an outer space sexual deviant, where she controls the men through her women powers, which really was just another sexual reference, and an excuse for her to dance around more provocatively. As Britney continues to become more popular her songs are more about sex and her dance moves and costumes become more provocative and targeted toward for male enjoyment.

  8. Jonathan Ching says:

    The early nineties rap revolved around the idea of representing the area you were from. The specific rappers involved, Biggie and Tupac, were the forerunners in the East vs West rivalry. I have actually listened to these rappers before the assignment, and I believe that other than their diss raps against each other, they rapped about important things, especially Tupac. Tupac had many songs that promoted good things and chivalry to women. There was a song called Changes that promoted good intentions and talked about the present time flaws. Another song that really had an impact on me was Dear Mama, also by Tupac. Biggie was also influential in many lives because of the past that he had. It gave hope to people from the same background, and gave them a hero to look up to and see that he “made it”.
    I feel that the content of the early rap songs were much more meaningful, and had much more of a lasting feeling than the songs of the present. The hip-hop artists of today usually only have a couple of main ideas that they rap about: sex, drugs, parties and girls. I also feel that part of the rivalry was due to make more money, and to sell more CDs, but that is just an assumption.

  9. Jaclyn Zauderer says:

    Whenever I hear of Britney Spears I automatically think of when I was a little girl and was obsessed. Every girl growing up in the 90’s, probably had every CD of hers and knew every dance and song by heart. Every music video became the biggest hit and her CDs sold millions. I am not really against any of her videos, nor do I look into any of them feeling she is portraying anything negative. Yes, I can see why people would feel she was projecting how pretty and skinny girls are the best hottest thing, and i see why people feel she is not a great icon for young girls considering the lack of clothing she wore and the things she sang about. I do not look at it that way and I just feel she was a great singer who was and still is very talented and successful. She sang songs with or without a purpose and she just wanted to do what she loved and create catchy music that people would enjoy. She knew how to attract young girls attention and love and she accomplished that by being one of the biggest things in the 90’s. Her music got her so popular and she starred in movies and hosted many events as well. A lot of the Pop and Hip-Hop artists today are very similar to Britney. People condemn and feel harshly on those artist and what they sing about and how they act. Nobody should look so deep into these artists actions. They just sing because they love it and some are not trying to relay or send out messages that certain people assume. They want to create catchy songs that everyone will love and buy. They love what they do and the people who love their songs support them and keep them popular.

  10. so posting twice because the links i added did not show up, or if they did i dont see them so ill add them here

  11. Britney spears was a very big part of the 90’s, especially on my childhood. I remember having sleep over’s with my friends, we were completely engrossed with everything that she did in her videos. All we wanted was to be her, and this was probably a similar feeling for young girls who listened to her music.

    As I re-watched her videos, I was not able to see her in the way that I had when I was younger. Looking at the breakdown Britney had in the 2000’s, it seems to me that the person she had been portraying herself as was not the person she may have wanted to be. Going back to what was said in class, to break into a male dominated world, she had to portray herself in a way that men would want to see. As we can see in bands like bikini kills or team dresch, they may have made good music, but to a record label, their image was not sellable. Going back to her breakdown, when Britney showed a side of herself that showed feelings, the American public was not even concerned with how she could have been feeling. Instead, we cared more about what crazy think she was doing next, or instead how “fat” she was getting. Now because I am a huge south park fan I feel I have to bring this in, but I feel that this episode captures how, as a country, we view people who have gained a fame that we are not able to. As Britney went crazy, we stopped seeing her as an artist, but as a spectacle. The people were no longer interested in her music, because she was no longer a person anyone wanted to look at. Despite South Park making fun of everyone and everything, I feel they were able to show how we all felt.

    Britney it seems was an artist who sold herself on sex and image, even if that may not have been what she wanted. Even though young girls who listened to her were not able to see this, the parents, especially the dads did. However, this may not have been why she dressed like that. Looking back on any type of music or movie from the mid 90’s, that was how everyone had dressed. To me I feel that that was the 90’s. With Britney, we can see how that fame is blown up and treated by people. Because she gained that status and image, even today it is one that she has to keep.

    Although I do not appreciate her recent music, I still feel that I will always enjoy the album that I grew up on. As with other things that I listened to I do not think I will ever forget them, or ever hate them. Sometimes I find that, for some reason, I have a backstreet boy’s song stuck in my head, despite not even truly liking their music as much as I used to. The music I listen to now is much more guitars heavy and rock influenced, and even bands like that appreciate Britney. The album, punk goes pop features artists that took pop songs and gave them a rock twist. I bring this up because one of the bands, although I am not a big fan of this, did a really neat cover of a Britney song.

    Overall, Britney made up the 90’s and despite whether you hated or loved her, nothing is going to change the past. Britney Spears was a dominating force to young girls and how they were influenced.

  12. Jessica Klett says:

    Britney Spears has and probably always will be an iconic figure in the celebrity world, but for reasons I don’t understand. Even though I was a huge fan of hers when I was growing up in the 90s I was definitely not mature enough to see that she was portraying herself in extravagant ways. As a young girl I saw Britney as the preppy blonde singer that every girl dreamed of becoming. I had her first cassette tape (does anyone even remember what that is?) as well as posters, dolls and notebooks with her face on it. When I listened to the songs for class, I was surprised to see that I remembered all of the words and most of the parts of the videos. Talk about a blast to my childhood past. As nice as that was, it only lasted a few seconds because my analytical, 19 year old self took over and broke down Britney.
    The first thing I noticed was that the title “Hit Me Baby One More Time” could be a sexual reference in addition to giving the impression that the boy she was feeling so lonely about either used or abused her. The second thing I realized was that the outfits I used to love seeing Britney wear are extremely provocative and too exposed for young girls to be admiring. However, I don’t feel that this was completely Britney’s fault. It’s pretty well known that music producers and managers influence their client’s style and wardrobe based on what they know society wants to see. Britney was most likely forced into a lot of the situations she was placed in, but even so with all of the flouncing around and flaunting she did, that was all that made her famous at the end of the day. I don’t ever remember hearing that she was a supporter of any causes or organizations and eventually she became a spectacle. I only see her now as someone who tried way too hard to get the wrong kind of fame.

  13. Katelyn Najdek says:

    I have loved Britney Spears since she came onto the scene in the late 1990s. I had every cd, doll, clothing, etc. She was my idol and even though she gone a little off track, I still love her. I will never forget my first concert of Britney Spears and being the happiest I had ever been in my young life. Spears is a worldwide known pop icon and there is truly nobody like her. Her combined dancing, singing, and ability to work the audience is unmatched. At only age eighteen, Britney Spears released her second album in 2000, “Oops! I Did it Again,” which topped the singles chart for weeks. Her songs “Stronger” and “Lucky” followed but then Britney was beginning to raise a few eyebrows and received some backlash. It seemed some people were not too happy with the message she was sending their easily influenced children. On one hand, Spears was the perfect picture of innocence. She even claimed herself a Virgin until marriage and on the other hand, she danced and dressed extremely sexually and provocatively with performances such as the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000, when her costume made her appear almost naked. As Britney Spears was growing up, it seemed there was a large conflict between her, her manager and her mother, all pulling her in different directions. However, in the end the image the public saw was just a beautiful and fit young woman, often labeled the “Pop Princess” around the world. In her famous single “Piece of Me,” she starts the song with “I’ve been Miss American Dream since I was seventeen.” She has and always will be a pop icon around world.

  14. Alon Aharonof says:

    The Nineties brought us into new era of time. The development of technology such as computers, internet, cell phones and etc. was very fast. We can say that in the last twenty to thirty years the humanity moved forward a big and tremendous step with technology. This development causes other changes such as music and the influence on the society.
    One of the main figures or should I say the main one for some of us is Britney Spears. This singer broke all records of young singer for that time. Nevertheless, she took part in a commercial for Pepsi. The fact that Britney Spears held Pepsi bottle and drank it probably made many teenagers to do the same. This is exactly what the producers of this commercial thought about when they gave the role to Spears. They thought that if Britney will dance half naked in a sexy way, it will carry away all of her fans to go and buy bottle of Pepsi and be ‘cool’ like her. Is it okay to use famous figures to influence teenagers to buy their products? And if it is where is the limit?
    I personally believe that this is wrong to do so. I believe that the role of a singer is simply to sing and to perform in commercials to convince other people to do something. It is exactly if we want to know how an actor will act in his personal life. I really don’t want and it’s irrelevant to their role. So let them sing and let us drink what we want to without any ‘famous and cool’ influence!

  15. Ebenhaezer Alwi says:

    Rap in the early nineties, in my opinion, is all about either representing where you came from or expressing your feelings on life. An example of that would be Biggie Smalls, who in the video talks about his life moving from the projects (housings) to life in the mansion with money not being an issue. Rap, back in the day, had more depth, and more meaning. Taking pride in who you were and where you came from or what you stood for was what Tupac Shakur was expressing in the video posted online. How Tupac Shakur expressed himself about the East Coast could have been less vulgar, but taking the lyrics of Tupac and comparing that to rise of Young Money which consists of Lil Wayne, Drake, Nikki Minaj, Tyga, Gudda Gudda, and others, it is without a doubt that Rap in the nineties had more depth or meaning. Today’s rap just talks about drug, sex, or money, and it is shallow. Other than rap, the rise of Britney Spears I believe is also an interesting topic to follow because, the changes that she went through is a reflection to how music and “entertainment” is collaborating. Britney went from a “conservative” schoolgirl to an out-going “look at me” performer, which I believe is just a form of how music is portrayed in the music industry. Overall, the changes Britney Spears went through is an image of how women are expected to be and that is to be explicit and entertaining to men.

  16. Michael Franceschetti says:

    I remember when Britney Spears had first come onto the scene in the late nineties. I also remember her first hit song “Hit me Baby One more Time” and watching it as a young guy. Looking at it now as a young adult, I am able to see when she was starting off; she had made some very distinct impressions. From the beginning of the video, she is shown wearing a skimpy school uniform with a bored look on her face. She then proceeds to dance around in the video in a very flaunting manner at her audience in the video who of course happen to be guys. Her target audience where to be males where the impression intended to be left on them was this sexy girl dancing for them. She pretty much sent out the idea that education means nothing at all and you don’t need to be smart to get a guy’s attention, you just need to use your sex appeal to get their attention. The same sort of image was also present in her later song called “Oops I did it Again” where once more the audience where only guys and her body is what catches an astronaut’s attention and not her smarts. The female gender got a very negative appeal for women. For example, one negative appeal was that women would use their bodies as a way to get a guy’s attention and nothing else. In 2002, just a couple years later, she had done a Pepsi commercial which was later banned for using the Coca-Cola image. Now it can be argued that it would have probably made more sense that the reason it was even banned in the first place was because the way she dressed, her dance moves and her sex appeal which was exaggerated in the video by means of a fry cook being mesmerized by her performance and being oblivious to everything else.

  17. Kristen Noy says:

    Throughout history there has been many rises and falls to certain music. In the 90’s when Britney Spears came out as a pop singer she instantly became an icon. Being born in the 90’s, I grew up listening to singers like Britney Spears and pretty much all her other fellow Mickey Mouse Club friends like Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. Watching the videos and listening to the music that I used to hear nonstop when I was little is sort of surprising. I honestly never thought what the music and videos of the songs symbolized, I just thought that they sounded good and that their dance moves were cool. Britney Spears brought a different image to the music industry and society. Sure some songs that artists sung before Britney Spears were rude but they did have some sort of message that they wanted to show everyone. Instead Britney Spears brings out her girly girl and sends out a message that tells women that being sexy is all you have to do to get attention from others. As we see to this day, Britney Spears is still sending out the same message with all her “sex craved” songs with her new album.

  18. Frances says:

    After reevaluating my childhood experience with pop music, I’ve come to the conclusion that I had a great relationship with it. As a child listening to Z100 with a combination of 101.1 CVS FM radio, I had the perfect balance of “modern” day music mixed with the oldies. Britney Spears took up a lot of film reel on my collection of cassette tapes- she was clearly a big part of my life. However, I could never say I felt that Britney Spears was something I was supposed to be, nor did I feel that she was something every girl should aspire to be. I always just enjoyed the sheer sound of her music, the cool lyrics and awesome moves she executed in her music videos. It’s interesting to note that within many of her early videos there are a number of dance moves she performs that are ballet moves or acrobatic moves- revealing other talents besides her musical ability. That was a very prominent effect that Britney Spears’ videos had on my personal life, as a result of watching her videos, I desired to do acrobatics and ballet- is that so bad? I understand that not every girl winds up desiring this, but being able to do flips (for a woman) is empowering. It shows the physical aspect that the female body is capable of enacting. Other female role models of mine were Xena- another sexual figure- who pushed the female body to extreme levels, allowing her to fiercely catch a chakra and not get cut. True, both Britney Spears and Xena did dress skimpily and appealed to men, but what they did in their performance also appealed to young girls. As an adult, watching Britney Spears’ first two videos “Oops I Did it Again” and “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” didn’t make me feel disgusted or ashamed or angry about what she was singing about or how she was performing- it gave me this nostalgic feeling of wanting to do acrobats. Even in the Pepsi commercial, I was impressed with her muscular definition in her abs and arms. While I am more against the Pepsi commercial because of its health defects rather than Britney Spears’ performance, I was really impressed with the strength in her performance. What is commonly viewed as sexy for women is not strength, rather, it is a woman with barely any meat on her, who is incredibly tall- Britney Spears was neither. In terms of physicality, I think she used her body to its full potential in her music videos; as far as her lyrics and the meaning behind her music goes- I don’t think signing about female oppression and political controversy appeals to young girls or boys, it just makes people sad. While it is absolutely necessary to be aware of such serious impacts however, one must realize that much of the young population desires to listen to arbitrary relationships, boys and girls, because that’s less harmful than listening to the problems going on in the world.

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