Rant #2– Rap

Listen to Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes. Listen to the first few piano chords. And how they are played. How with every strike of the chord comes a strike of the heart. How each strike sends thrills down my spine. Then the voice of the rapper. Rapping to the beat. The voice, it crackles, like fire, and it warms me. But the beat is also moving me; I’m bobbing my head up and down. Then Adam Levine’s voice, perfect, pristine, but moving. The tune brings me on a roller coaster. It’s not speaking to my intellect, it’s speaking to something deeper. It’s speaking to more than my emotions, it’s speaking to more than my feelings, it’s speaking to my being. To me. To my very existence.

That’s what I feel when I hear music. It’s alive. People think rap is some random cussing and swearing, but no, it’s poetry, but with a beat. People think pop is just some mainstream shit with no value. But no, it’s an art, that gives out a message, no matter how stupid it may seem. I do admit, a lot of people take music for granted. I asked many people why they like “Monster” by Eminem and they say, oh, it sounds cool. It’s as if people nowadays listen to music for some immediate gratification of some sort, and that’s all. Yet, they miss out on what the song is really about– it’s more than just sounding great, it’s about conveying the emotions of a person with hallucinations and suffering from mental illnesses. There’s an inner beast he’s trying to deal with, that he has to compromise with. That itself is what gives value to music.

Before, though, I only listened to music for the pure superficiality of it. I listened to classical because it simply made  me jump up and down, or mainstream pop because it was cool. I saw music as simply music. Just a nice treat for the ears. I remember just listening to “Call Me Maybe” over and over and over, because it simply was, well, awesome-sounding. All that changed, though, with my depression. I started ranting often, about I hated myself, about why this world was so messed up, but then maybe I was messed up for thinking the world was messed up, then ended up cursing at myself, and it went like that over and over in my head. Rant, rant, rant, it was all I did.

Then one of my other depressed friends re-introduced me to Eminem. I had listened to Eminem before and I hated it; it didn’t sound great like Bruno Mars or Kelly Clarkson. It had a rock-genre, harsh, feeling to it, and because it didn’t sound great, I immediately dismissed it. But when I listened to it again, I was shocked. It was just like my ranting, and the message behind his songs I began to see for the first time. They weren’t stupid dilly-dally love bs like “Call Me Maybe,” but dark, melancholy messages that resonated deeply with me in my depression.

Eminem

One of the first songs I heard from Eminem is “When I’m Gone”. It starts off with a ringy tone, with children laughing in the background, kinda innocent. Then it goes straight into a heavy, dark beat, as if all that died. Starts off with about a dad, how he loves her girl so much, but yet, he ignores her, tells her girl “Sorry, daddy’s busy.” Then the dad is suddenly on a stage, and he’s rapping, and he’s getting praise, then he suddenly sees his girl, his girl is like “Daddy, its me, help mommy, her wrists are bleedin’,But baby we’re in Sweden How did you get to Sweden?
“I followed you daddy/You told me that you weren’t leavin’/You lied to me dad, and now you made mommy sad.” Then the girl ditches the dad, and then the dad realizes he’s a bitch, and then he gets sad, then then my favorite image: “How could it be, that the curtain is closin’ on me/I turn around, find a gun on the ground/Cock it, put it to my brain, scream Die Shady! And pop it/The sky darkens, my life flashes/The plane that I was supposed to be on, crashes, and burns to ashes.” And after he dies, he then sees his daughter, and kisses her, and tell he’s sorry.

Not just the storyline itself but the way Eminem raps reinforces this feeling of sadness that I felt, the way the world was being torn apart around me, and I had made the biggest mistake of my life, and that it was too late to change anything. And then the way he raps the chorus– it’s like a sweet motherly tone, saying, it’s ok, go die, don’t feel sad, because I’m still happy.

But I’m getting off track (I’m writing this in Starbucks so it’s hard to focus). The point is, I want to be a rapper. Or a singer. People think I’m joking, they say, face the facts, you ain’t black, you can’t rap. But I will one day. Because nothing, not even the fact that I sing and rap horribly now, will stop me from reaching that goal. To me, music is another way for my words to come alive and take shape. It’s a way for me to cope with my feelings. I’ve written a lot of rap lyrics already, but one day, after I take some vocal and rapping lessons, I’m gonna start rapping those lyrics and topping the charts.

Ok, I’m probably dreaming too much again. But when I dream my dreams, a fire forms within, fueling, consuming, perspiring, bleeding like the ink from a pen. and I watch it bleed onto blank white paper, but the words that it bleeds reach the heights of skyscrapers. And I’ll climb that skyscraper and be at the top, and say, hey y’all, those who said I couldn’t do it,just fucking stop. and look at me, I’m up here, I rapped my way from the bottom, and now I’m in the air. this is my fucking kingdom.

 

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My 2nd Love Poem Part 2

If you haven’t checked out my last post yet, do so. In that post, I briefly explained the background of the poem in which I was writing it. Today, however, I want to go further in-depth, and then perhaps maybe get into a theoretical aspect of writing poetry.

One thing I want to first note off is that for this poem, unlike any others I have written, is that I actually get quite literal. In my first line, I say “she’s looking at me”, then later on I continue on with “Her head turned/ From the corner of her eyes”, and soon I have another “Her eyes scan over me,”, and I end the poem with a “And I solemnly realize/Even if she does like me and even if I like her back/We will never be together.” All of these are literal descriptions of what I saw from her while I was writing this poem or what I was thinking.

The second big difference is that I did not attempt to put any fancy smancy literary devices like I usually do. For those who have read my past poems before, you might have noticed a ton of symbolism in those poems. I actually made an effort to put those in, because I had a belief that symbolism was the ultimate essential piece of literature and was what made things beautiful. I HAD that belief. As you can see in this poem, I made no attempt. I just wrote what I automatically felt.

So what made me shift from symbolic to more literal? Music. Nowadays, there is the general gist that contemporary music is not deep, that it is dirty, that it is just people singing and rapping out shit. And as a child, I totally agreed with that. I barely saw any symbolism or any of that stuff in say, Ariana Grande’s music. Her songs oftentimes are just a repetition of  the words “I love you” in various forms.

Take this sample from Ariana’s “Right There”-

You know what I need (aye)/I know what you like, (aye)/Put it all together baby/We could be alright (hey)/How could this be wrong/When it feels so right/Yeah, I really love you/I really love you (oh)
And I’ll never let you go…

Here, the lyrics are seriously just like literal talking, and I don’t see any artsy kind of stuff. There’s no symbolism I see or any literary devices I see. Yet guess what? I still like the song.

And why is this? Because sometimes people don’t get your symbolism the way you see it. The saying “as big as a rhino” can be perceived differently. I might see it mostly in terms of size, while another guy might see it mostly in terms of roughness, etc. Sometimes, people don’t even catch it or get it at all. But with literal words like “I love you,” people understand what one is talking about.

Another good thing about being literal is that people can relate to it more. Whereas symbolism and literary devices seem to be relegated to poets, authors, and literary artists, being literal is what people do in everyday life. Therefore, people understand it more. When a guy asks a girl out, he usually doesn’t say, ” Will you float with me above the clouds and bathe with me in water?” etc. He will simply say. ” Will you go out with me?”

And then this concept of writing poetry without thinking but just feeling. Just doing so, I feel it captures the emotion more- the way my heart leaped and the way I felt scared when she looked at me. Whereas if I had thought too much about how to incorporate symbols and other stuff, I would have gotten lost in the thought and forget about the initial feeling that propelled me to write the poem. This is perhaps a new concept that I would have to explore more.

But overall, I realize that today’s music is not less deep. Just more relatable.  Yet, I believe the best way is to achieve a balance between this literal-ness and symbolic-ness. In my next post, I will shift away from art and move into something more science-related.

What K-Pop Taught Me

K-pop– I listen to it every day, but there was a time when I did not. Not just that, but I absolutely despised it.

My first contact with K-pop came during one of my summer vacations to Taiwan. Unfortunately, my cousin in Taiwan was a K-pop fan, which probably made me cringe at K-pop even more. When he first showed me a K-pop music video, my eyes bled only after the first few seconds, and I told him to shut it off. To me that time, K-pop was just a bunch of weird freaking guys with make-up on, singing some random jargon in Korean along with very weird dance moves.  It was unimaginable for me as to how anyone could love this malarkey. No matter how much my cousin pleaded me to listen to K-pop, I refused. It was just purely disgusting.

Zoom forward to last May, and a bunch of girls are talking about how awesome K-pop is while I’m just sitting there rolling my eyes. Just a few months back I still had the same opinion of K-pop: weird and barbaric. Until one day, while browsing Facebook, I saw a K-pop music video. I accidentally clicked the play button, and the K-pop started blaring out. Whether it was destiny or not, it also happened that my computer wasn’t functioning properly that day, so I could not shut off the music. All I could do was stare and listen helplessly at the music video.

As a result, for the first time in my life, I was forced to listen to K-pop for more than three seconds. I ended up watching the whole music video. Not with disgust, but with awe. Before I knew it, I was contacting other K-pop fans at school—the same people who I once thought crazy—and listening to more K-pop. I had just become the K-pop fan that I didn’t want to become.

I learned, though, that not all K-pop had dancing boys with make-up, and through that, I realized that I had been unfairly stereotyping the genre as a whole just from three seconds of a music video. Even then, I became gradually accepting of the common use of make-up by K-pop males—I realized it was just a different culture, however alien it may be to me. It also wasn’t jargon as I thought it was before. Most importantly, I discovered that K-pop was simply American pop, just in Korean. It was only because of that forced experience of watching an entire K-pop music video that I was made conscious of the unfair prejudice I had for K-pop.

This problem was not confined to just me but applied to many others as well. These days, when I try to introduce K-pop to my friends, I find the tables turned on me. I see them making the same false assumptions I made and applying the same stigma that I applied to K-pop. They do this despite having never even touched K-pop at all. It saddened me that everybody was repeating the same mistakes as I was.

It’s because I grasped the fact that this is not a K-pop problem at all. It is, more generally, the issue of prejudice, a problem that stems all the way back to the Jim Crow Era and exists to this very day now. We constantly judge things even before we delve into them, and as a result, harm is inflicted. There is harm in the aspect of the person prejudiced being emotionally hurt, but even worse is harm done unto ourselves, the one doing the prejudicing. If I had never accepted K-pop, I would right now be losing out on so much beautiful music. Similarly, if society prejudices constantly, it would be closing its doors to so much opportunity. We must all learn to be more open and accepting of new ideas, no matter how bizarre they may seem initially, for it is beneficial to us all.

My Experience With Music Remixes Feat. Yeab Guracha

Yeab Guracha’s avatar

Yeab’s Avatar

Of all the types of music out there, there a few controversial types that are still to be considered whether it’s really music or not. One of them is rap- can really just saying out stuff be considered music? The other is remixes- can getting a piece of music that already exists and shuffling and editing it around be considered creating music?

To be honest, I don’t really listen to these two types of music much. But I have a friend here named Yeab Guracha whose whole life revolves around it. I’m pretty sure he listens to rap daily and not only that, he even does his own remixes. Just check out his SoundCloud: Yeab Guracha SoundCloud

What Mr. Guracha does is actually pretty cool. For instance, one time he went to the LAX Airport and pretty much recorded random sounds happening around the airport. Then, he went back home and with a couple of friends edited it. He took out sounds he liked and rearranged them so that it actually sounded like music. Perhaps maybe one downside was that it took months to complete but I am pretty sure it was worth it for him.

When he asked me to check out his music, I have to be honest- at first I was pretty reluctant. Again, I don’t listen to these music that often. But being a friend and all, I forced myself to listen, and here’s something about this music that I realize is unique. It’s not catchy at first “glance.” I mean, it’s almost pretty monotone much of the time, almost as if someone was just droning on. However, if you listen closely, there seems to be a sort of hidden beauty- for instance the places where it’s edited and also the instrumentals being used. Basically, the beauty is hidden- and sadly, for a short-attention-span world like ours today, most of this beauty won’t be appreciated and will be missed out.

Duchamp’s Fountain

And I also want to make a comment on remixes- it reminds me of Marcel Duchamp’s anti-art. Marcel Duchamp came up with the concept of a ready-made — where he took say a urinal, turned it upside down, and called it art. Duchamp wanted to rebel against the fact that art is something that’s visually appealing by creating art that provoked thought instead of visual pleasure. And more specifically, he wanted to provoke the thought of what art really is.

This is what I feel from remixes- they challenge the thought of what music really is. But with Yeab, I feel he takes it a step farther, cause his music is not that auditory appealing initially. However, the lyrics in it and the instrumentals involved and even the editing involved provokes some thought. In a sense, Mr. Guracha is rebelling against the popular mainstream meaning of good music being nice to hear, as I can see also when he tells me he doesn’t like Macklemore, Rihanna, or other famous popular musical artists that much.

And I asked Yeab once why he makes music such as these remixes, and his response:

So why do I make music? I make music because it satisfies some fundamental desire to find patterns in the chaos of our everyday existence. The harmonic movement of musical sounds through space in a uniquely familiar way is pleasing to both my mind and body. It’s a little pretentious, but I think I have something interesting and worthwhile to say with music. Its easy expressing myself through it because it’s a universal language that brings people together, and I’m totally into all of that hippie shit… just kidding… but anyway, when I sit down and write a song, I am pouring my soul, my thoughts, and sometimes my secrets into it. Music has always been a great release for me, and needless to say, one of my biggest passions in life. I don’t mind if other people listen to my music, but if they like it or hate it, is of no concern to me; as long as I can fix whatever is flawed in the making and I am happy with it. The music industry, like so many others, is filled with people wanting money, fame, or whatever. This leads to people making music for the wrong reasons. Real musicians, in my opinion, don’t care wether they are playing in front of an arena, or in an empty bedroom- they do it for the sake of the music. That is what I think. Some people want me to go and make a name for myself but I’d rather not. If I ever sell an album, great. If I NEVER sell one, great. I love music with all my heart; I would be ashamed to cheapen it, by pursuing it for the wrong reasons. Now that I’ve poured my heart and soul upon YOU, I’d like to end with a quote from one of my favorite musicians and artists.

“When we started the band, it was because we were waiting for a sound that never happened. We got tired of waiting, and we decided to just do it ourselves.” – Mike Shinoda

An Avant-Garde Musician

Avant-Garde. Things that are way out into the future, way ahead of their time. People like Picasso, whose invention of Cubism stood out starkly with all the rest of art. Or Marcel Duchamp, whose upside-down toilet shocked and forever changed the meaning of art. James Joyce, with his new style of literature- stream of consciousness.

But when it comes to music, not that many avant-garde musicians come into mind. I mean, you could say the Beatles and Stravinsky were avant-garde, but you have to remember that they didn’t do anything totally out of the ordinary. Their music still stayed within the boundaries of their time, even though it did breach traditional boundaries occasionally. And if you think about it, if we were to play music like theirs today, it wouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary.

A

Arseny Avraamov

But there is one avant-garde musician whose music, if you were to play it today, would still be considered bizarre. It is music totally out of the world, and definitely something I would have never thought of on my own. This man was Arseny Avraamov.

Avraamov was a Soviet composer. During his time, Stalin had decreed a rule that all art forms had to confine to Socialist Realism. In other words, all art had to be dedicated to the USSR and made the way the USSR wanted them to be made. As a result, many musical pieces produced in Russia were dedicated to events like the October Revolution or the triumphs against the Nazis in World War 2. However, the downside to this was that many talented musicians felt they were being restricted too much, and therefore left the country. It was one of the largest intellectual drains in Russian history.

But to people like Avraamov, this was a wonderful thing. Avraamov hated the traditional type of music, such as that of Beethoven and Mozart, and was glad that the USSR was ridding of them. He wanted to radicalize music and make it everything but traditional. This sense of rebellion was very apparent early on. He was a pioneer on film techniques, and even invented graphic-sonic art. Arseny created an “ultrachromatic” 48-tone microtonal system, something definitely not in traditional music boundaries. He also refused to join the army in World War One and fled Russia for some time.

But perhaps his greatest sign of rebellion and avant-garde-ness was his work “Symphony of Factory Sirens.” The fact that we cannot find a score or a recording of this work today is reflective of the type of work it was—for it would have been impossible to produce either. Yet, below is an audio of what it would have been like- a reconstruction made in 2003:  (and a picture of him conducting the actual thing)

 

You hear this, and you ask so what? Well, if you think about it, where do these sounds come from? They definitely don’t sound like typical musical instruments. It’s because they aren’t. Rather, the music is made up of a huge cast of choirs (joined by spectators), the foghorns of the entire Soviet Caspian flotilla, two batteries of artillery guns, a number of full infantry regiments (including a machine-gun division) hydroplanes, and all the factory sirens of Baku.  A central “steam-whistle machine” pounded out “The Internationale” and “La Marseillaise” as noisy “autotransports” (half-tracks) raced across Baku for a gigantic sound finale in the festival square. Conductors posted on specially built towers signaled various sound units with colored flags and pistol shots.

Basically, Arseny Avraamov had the avant-garde genius idea of conducting a symphony across an entire city for a Russian Festival dedicated to the October Revolution. I mean, wow. This is just such a creative idea. Just the very idea of it surprises and awes me to the very core. Who else besides Avraamov would have thought of that?

As you have seen, Avraamov had decided to expand music onto a larger scale. Instead of the typical orchestra, he decided to make it the whole city, a very radical idea, even to this day. But now I’m thinking: if he made music bigger, can I not make it smaller? Maybe I should have a symphony within a human body, where the heartbeat is like drums, the tiny sounds of cell moving could be the melody, etc. Maybe that’s what I can do. Who knows, it might make me the second Arseny Avraamov.

“I Would” – Justin Bieber

Just now, I realized two things. The first one is that I haven’t posted up a music post for such a long time. So I decided to post one up today. The second thing I realized is that Justin Bieber is not a bad singer at all.

Of course, that is NOT to say I like him. I still dislike his personality traits, such as partying every time and doing drugs. However, I have just admitted that he does have considerable musical talent. Of course, the question now is: why does his music suck so much then?

Take for example his song “I Would.” First, listen to the original song on Grooveshark or something. (The reason is that I am not going to post his music here- it sucks too much.) Now, after that, check out the music video cover below by Tiffany Alvord and Hollywood Ending:

Which do you think is better? Unless you are Bieber yourself, I would say you would most likely choose the music video cover. Or at least I would. Some of you might choose the cover as the better version simply because Bieber’s not singing it. However, I actually have a legitimate reason why the cover is better.

You see, here’s the situation: Justin Bieber’s musical talent is not being revealed to its fullest potential, mostly because of the way he does his music. And sadly, music video covers are doing this job for him. One instance is the variety. Take Justin’s voice, and here’s another thing I have to admit: I envy him for his voice because he actually sings pretty good. However, once you have to listen to his voice for a full four minutes, it starts becoming a little bit boring, especially when the lyrics start repeating over and over again. Now look at the cover video: is it just one person singing? No, rather it is mainly three people singing it. Thus, there is more variety. There is variety in terms of pitch, in which no matter how girly Justin seems, he can never reach Alvord’s beautiful high voice. There is also a variety in terms of hearing different voices alternating instead of the same voice the whole time.

Another thing besides the variety are the instrument involved. If you hear the original, it’s just mostly drums. Not saying that it sounds bad, but it does sound inferior compared to the guitar-playing in the cover video. The guitar-playing in fact made the whole music sound so much uppity and so much better. Plus the singers’ dance movements. 🙂

Justin Bieber

Overall, my basic message is that if Justin had done his music the way the cover videos such as this one are done, he would be so much more musically appreciated. Especially by me. Perhaps one step he can take first is to sing more duos with other singers (and please no more rappers). In fact, he should do that. Enough of the criticizing, by the way. I think I should start praising Hollywood Ending and Tiffany Alvord now. One remarkable task is the way they decided to split who sang what. For instance, Tiffany would sing “I, I, I…” and a boy would sing “know it’s never gonna be that easy.” That’s just a beautiful combo right there. Another wonderful thing is perhaps the music video itself. I loved how they put themselves into iPhones. Seems very homely and familiar. And of course, the guitar playing and the dance movements rocked.

Good job, Hollywood Ending + Tiffany Alvord. (Check out their Youtube channels, too.) And better luck next time Bieber.

A Better “Beauty And A Beat”

For all you Bieber fans, there is one thing you should know about me- I absolutely am disgusted with Justin Bieber. All her- sorry, his- still should be her- music is lame and lacking meaning. I guess the only reason why he seems to be popular among girls is not because of his music, but more of his body. In fact, I remember back in sixth grade in which this girl was always talking about Bieber’s body, not his music.

For, instance, take one single by Bieber called “Beauty And A Beat.” 

Oh my god. My ears are already bleeding to the extent that I even regret putting up this music up on my post. First of all, one disgusting thing that stands out- Nicki Minaj. Honestly, a little bit of rap is okay, but her type of rap here makes me want to barf. Let me tell you, if Bieber had eliminated her from the song, this song would sound much, much better.

Another thing- it seems too repetitive. All I’m hearing is the same old tune and the same disgusting voice. By the end of the song, I would have already been oblivious to it. Perhaps maybe even snoring. All in all, here’s the basic truth: Bieber makes me cry. And another even sadder truth: Bieber’s songs are better sung by other people than by himself. Take this cover version of the same song by Alex Goot, Kurt Schnieder, and Chrissy Costanza.

Ahhh… this is heaven compared to Bieber’s hell. Like I said, I consider this superior to the authentic version of the song. First of all, no Nicki Minaj and no rap. Wonderful. Second, there is variety. Instead of just hearing only Bieber’s voice most of the time, we hear both Goot’s and Costanza’s. I like the fact that I am able to hear a blend of both a man and a woman’s voice; it seems much more refreshing then hearing Justin’s torture.

I also somehow find it touching that these three people just decided to band up and do a cover version of this song. Very unlike Bieber, in which he has tons of money, support, and fame. I don’t know if Bieber did this song just for the money (although I’m pretty sure he did), but I do know that Alex, Kurt, and Chrissy sang this just for the fun of singing. Good job, you three.

And by the way, you guys should check Alex, Kurt, and Chrissy out in Youtube. They are absolutely wonderful.

Carry On & The AMC Process

Yesterday, I talked a little about the American Mathematics Competition. After looking over yesterday’s post, I realized that I probably rushed into it too much that one would not even know what the AMC really is.

So what is the AMC? The AMC is the first test of a number of tests in America that determines the final six contestants who will go represent the USA for the International Mathematical Olympiad. If you happen to test out as the top 2.5% – 5% of the whole nation on the AMC, you are qualified to test on the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME). As I mentioned yesterday, the AMC is multiple choice. The AIME is harder: for all questions you have to write the answer in. After testing the AIME, your AMC score is somehow converged with your AIME score to determine whether or not you can take the USAMO (or the USJAMO, if you take only AMC 10). The USAMO, short for United States American Mathematics Olympiad, in much much harder than the AIME. The AIME is writing in the answer; the USAMO is writing in a full-out proof. And no, not those basic geometry proofs. It’s advanced-level mathematics proofs. If you luckily make it to the top five contestants, then you’re in for the IMO. (see my Dec. 18 post)

Here’s the basic summary: AMC 10/12 → AIME → USAMO/USJAMO→ IMO.

Anyway, like I said yesterday, I was feeling frustrated over practicing the AMC. I almost wanted to give up, but then my morale improved upon hearing a song by fun. called “Carry On.” Hear it below:

I like this song; it’s perhaps the best pop song I’ve ever heard. The chorus tune is my favorite, because it seems to me a little bit like old folk music, with the tone starting low and getting “exponentially” higher. The music video is also pretty nice, which is way better than the video for “We Are Young.” It shows scenes of dimness, sadness in a sense, and idleness, but later with the tune “carry on” shows scenes of happiness and jolliness. Again, this song got rid of my anger over the AMC, because I had this same sort of feeling. I was feeling sad, but this tune later made me happy.

I would say this song truly boosts someone’s happiness in times of despair and hopelessness. It reminds me, at least, that I should forget about all my past misgivings and just “carry on.” Speaking of that, I also liked the lyrics, too. One quote: “May your past be the sound/ of your feet upon the ground.” Isn’t that beautiful? Another one: “My head is on fire/ But my legs are fine/ After all, they are mine.” Rarely does one find this kind of symbolism and deep meaning in modern songs today. Here, this quote is trying to say that even when things torment our mind or “head” we should still keep on walking aka going on with life since “our legs are fine.”

Well, hoped you liked this song.

We Are Young

Normally, I’m not that much of a big rock fan. I think rock is too noisy, rowdy, and uncivilized. Yet, I will have to admit that I am one big fan of one rock song, which is “We Are Young,” by Fun.

Nate Ruess

This song, sung by Nate Ruess and featuring Janelle Monae, became one of the top five pop songs of 2012. Despite its wonderful success, the song had humble beginnings. It started from a meeting between famous Jeff Bhasker, who decided to give just ten minutes to Nate Ruess. He had already canceled two meetings with him. (Perhaps Jeff thought Nate was simply a singer wannabe.)  There, they went to a bar and had a drink. They started talking about music, and Jeff was intrigued by Nate’s desire to “merge hip-hop beats and electronic effects with pop rock.” Jeff later invited Nate to his hotel room, and Nate, who was feeling a little bit drunk, suddenly blurted out the chorus of the unfinished “We Are Young.” Later, Jeff reacts with an “OMG” and demands Nate and his group to show up and perform.

The fact that this was all at a bar is in fact relevant to the song’s context. Here’s the song: 

The song’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? Well, right now I will focus on the composition of the song. In the first part, which is all the lyrics before the first chorus, the musical tone seems to be a little bit carefree. Well, not exactly carefree, but as if the singer was drunk. The lyrics are pretty good; I like the ”
getting higher than the Empire State” quote the best.

And now onto the chorus, which is what makes this song so popular. The tone here is not drunk. It is more than drunk. The tone seems to me as if one is tired of this world and wants to do anything he wants to do. This kind of tone, I am pretty sure, resonates not only with me but a lot more other people tired of their lives. Again, many of us would like to “set the world on fire” (not literally of course) so as to get rid of all our troubles. Thus, to us, it seems as if it is a much more “brighter” world.

A noticeable feature of this song includes the “na…na…na..” chant. I don’t know why, but I feel as if this chant is telling me, “Whatever, Titus, who the %&#$ cares about this world.” Also noticeable is Monae’s voice, in which the reason I found this attracting was because I liked how her lyrics matched up with na..na..na chant. The match-up was just beautiful. Nate’s voice was also cool, too.

Some notes from Wikipedia: “We Are Young” is a power ballad that combines the genres of indie popalternative rock, and power pop. The song is written in the key of F major, based almost entirely on the 50s progression (I vi IV V) with the exception of its bridge, and follows a tempo of 116 beats per minute, changing to 92 bpm from the pre chorus to the end. The song has a slow hip hop groove from the first chorus onward, and the song in its entirety is in common time. In the song, “careful arrangements layer sharp, bright piano melodies with big, booming drums and multiple vocal harmonies.” Ruess shifts from “vulnerable verbal tumbling in the song’s sonically sparse intro to the grandiose declaration, ‘Tonight, we are young..’

I usually sing this song when I’m feeling angry or sad. Either way, I still just enjoy listening.

Some Music To Pass The Time By

Greetings. For today, here are 7 songs that I have been listening too.

You should notice that these songs are not that mainstream. There’s no rock, no rowdiness, just pure calm music. I like to call these kind of songs “pure.” Well, that’s just my taste for songs. Whether or not you enjoy my taste, at least enjoy the music.