Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bruce Springsteen v Eminem

The two artists/videos/songs that I believe represent each era the most adequately, while both being similar in their lyrical meaning are Bruce Springsteen (1980') and Eminem (2000's-present). These artists are polar opposites in most aspects, although these two particular videos carry a similar meaning; Bruce Springsteen's song protesting the Vietnam war and Eminem protesting the Iraqi war.

Bruce Springsteen's video 'Born in the USA' written in 1984 represented his opposition towards the Vietnam war; what it had cost him personally, as well as both countries as a whole. It also tells of his own personal experiences with the war (i.e. friends experiences) and the hardships that Vietnam war veterans had faced as they returned to the US, on the back of the defeat in Vietnam. The fact that Springsteen was revered by many in the US, gave his opinion extra emphasis, allowing others to hear and relate to him  and the Vietnam war as a whole much easier. It was an example of the opposition against the US government (against the Vietnam war) that had been practiced almost 20 years previously via protests and marches during the 1960's and 70's. The song deals with the negative effects of the Vietnam War on Americans, but is often misunderstood to be a patriotic or nationalistic anthem. The misunderstanding of the lyrical content might have increased Springsteen's number of fans.

The song represents the 1980's in America due to it's reflection upon the Vietnam War. As the war had been over for nearly 10 years when this song was released, the memorials had been built, and the stigma attached to veterans that had served was beginning to lessen, this song was a perfect representation of that time. A time of 'anti-establishment' agains the government, summarised with lyrics regarding the countries' mistakes and poor care for their population/veterans. 

The success of Eminem during the early 2000's was unprecedented. Hip Hop/Rap music had been created and performed predominantly by black people over the previous 20 years. Being white, Eminem broke the stereotypes surrounding this genre of music, meaning any individual could perform this type of music regardless of colour. The reason I chose this particular music video/song was because of the message put across in it, namely; to encourage young people to vote to defeat George W. Bush. While the song is a generalized attack on the Bush presidency, most of the specific complaints are related to the Iraq War. Here are an example of the lyrics:

"Let us beg to differ
As we set aside our differences
And assemble our own army
To disarm this Weapon of Mass Destruction
That we call our President, for the present
And Mosh for the future of our next generation
To speak and be heard"

The comparisons between both songs between two generations is similar, both referening their unhappiness over the wars that are being fought by the US (both in the past and present). 
Eminem will be looked back on in 30 years time and seen as a pioneer in the musical industry. Breaking down 'barriers' and stereotypes associated with genres of music, allowing a different 'American Dream' for white men wanting to produce hip hop/rap music. 

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