① Rhetorical Analysis: Why I Went To The Woods

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Rhetorical Analysis: Why I Went To The Woods



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Rhetorical Analysis Essay (Definition, Thesis, Outline) - EssayPro

Examples of epideictic rhetoric would include a eulogy or a wedding toast. India has a deep and enriching past in the art of rhetoric. In India's Struggle for Independence , Chandra et al. A newspaper would reach remote villages and would then be read by a reader to tens of others. Gradually library movements sprung up all over the country. A local 'library' would be organized around a single newspaper. A table, a bench or two or a charpoy would constitute the capital equipment. Every piece of news or editorial comment would be read or heard and thoroughly discussed.

The newspaper not only became the political educator; reading or discussing it became a form of political participation. This reading and discussion was the focal point of origin of the modern Indian rhetorical movement. Much before this, ancient greats such as Kautilya , Birbal , and the likes indulged themselves in a great deal of discussion and persuasion.

Keith Lloyd in his article "Rethinking Rhetoric from an Indian perspective: Implications in the Nyaya Sutra " said that much of the recital of the Vedas can be likened to the recital of ancient Greek poetry. Sutra is also a Sanskrit word which means string or thread. Here sutra refers to a collection of aphorism in the form of a manual. Each sutra is a short rule usually consisted of one or two sentences. An example of a sutra is: "Reality is truth, and what is true is so, irrespective of whether we know it is, or are aware of that truth.

It is the foundational text of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy. The date when the text was composed, and the biography of its author is unknown. It is estimated that the text was composed between 6th-century BC and 2nd-century AD. Zimmer has said that the text may have been composed by more one author, over a period of time. Radhakrishan and Moore placed its origin in the "third century BC Vidyabhusana stated that the ancient school of Nyaya extended over a period of one thousand years, beginning with Gautama about BC and ending with Vatsyayana about AD. Nyaya provides significant insight into the Indian rhetoric. Nyaya presents an argumentative approach that works a rhetor how to decide about any argument. In addition, it proposes a new approach of thinking of a cultural tradition which is different from the Western rhetoric.

It also broadens the view of rhetoric and the relationship among human beings. Nyaya proposes an enlightenment of reality which is associated with situations, time, and places. Toulmin emphasizes the situational dimension of argumentative genre as the fundamental component of any rhetorical logic. On the contrary, Nyaya views this situational rhetoric in a new way which offers context of practical arguments. The Five Canons of Rhetoric serve as a guide to creating persuasive messages and arguments. These are invention the process of developing arguments ; arrangement organizing the arguments for extreme effect ; style determining how to present the arguments ; memory the process of learning and memorizing the speech and persuasive messages , and delivery the gestures, pronunciation, tone and pace used when presenting the persuasive arguments.

In the rhetoric field, there is an intellectual debate about Aristotle's definition of rhetoric. Some believe that Aristotle defines rhetoric in On Rhetoric as the art of persuasion, while others think he defines it as the art of judgment. Rhetoric as the art of judgment would mean the rhetor discerns the available means of persuasion with a choice. Aristotle also says rhetoric is concerned with judgment because the audience judges the rhetor's ethos. One of the most famous of Aristotelian doctrines was the idea of topics also referred to as common topics or commonplaces.

Though the term had a wide range of application as a memory technique or compositional exercise, for example it most often referred to the "seats of argument"—the list of categories of thought or modes of reasoning—that a speaker could use to generate arguments or proofs. The topics were thus a heuristic or inventional tool designed to help speakers categorize and thus better retain and apply frequently used types of argument. For example, since we often see effects as "like" their causes, one way to invent an argument about a future effect is by discussing the cause which it will be "like". This and other rhetorical topics derive from Aristotle's belief that there are certain predictable ways in which humans particularly non-specialists draw conclusions from premises.

Based upon and adapted from his dialectical Topics, the rhetorical topics became a central feature of later rhetorical theorizing, most famously in Cicero's work of that name. For the Romans, oration became an important part of public life. Cicero —43 BC was chief among Roman rhetoricians and remains the best known ancient orator and the only orator who both spoke in public and produced treatises on the subject. Rhetorica ad Herennium , formerly attributed to Cicero but now considered to be of unknown authorship, is one of the most significant works on rhetoric and is still widely used as a reference today. It is an extensive reference on the use of rhetoric, and in the Middle Ages and Renaissance , it achieved wide publication as an advanced school text on rhetoric.

Cicero is considered one of the most significant rhetoricians of all time, charting a middle path between the competing Attic and Asiatic styles to become considered second only to Demosthenes among history's orators. Cicero also left a large body of speeches and letters which would establish the outlines of Latin eloquence and style for generations to come. It was the rediscovery of Cicero's speeches such as the defense of Archias and letters to Atticus by Italians like Petrarch that, in part, ignited the cultural innovations that is known as the Renaissance. He championed the learning of Greek and Greek rhetoric , contributed to Roman ethics, linguistics, philosophy, and politics, and emphasized the importance of all forms of appeal emotion, humor, stylistic range, irony and digression in addition to pure reasoning in oratory.

But perhaps his most significant contribution to subsequent rhetoric, and education in general, was his argument that orators learn not only about the specifics of their case the hypothesis but also about the general questions from which they derived the theses. Thus, in giving a speech in defense of a poet whose Roman citizenship had been questioned, the orator should examine not only the specifics of that poet's civic status, he should also examine the role and value of poetry and of literature more generally in Roman culture and political life. The orator, said Cicero, needed to be knowledgeable about all areas of human life and culture, including law, politics, history, literature, ethics, warfare, medicine, even arithmetic and geometry.

Cicero gave rise to the idea that the "ideal orator" be well-versed in all branches of learning: an idea that was rendered as "liberal humanism", and that lives on today in liberal arts or general education requirements in colleges and universities around the world. Quintilian 35— AD began his career as a pleader in the courts of law; his reputation grew so great that Vespasian created a chair of rhetoric for him in Rome. The culmination of his life's work was the Institutio Oratoria Institutes of Oratory, or alternatively, The Orator's Education , a lengthy treatise on the training of the orator, in which he discusses the training of the "perfect" orator from birth to old age and, in the process, reviews the doctrines and opinions of many influential rhetoricians who preceded him.

In the Institutes, Quintilian organizes rhetorical study through the stages of education that an aspiring orator would undergo, beginning with the selection of a nurse. Aspects of elementary education training in reading and writing, grammar, and literary criticism are followed by preliminary rhetorical exercises in composition the progymnasmata that include maxims and fables, narratives and comparisons, and finally full legal or political speeches. The delivery of speeches within the context of education or for entertainment purposes became widespread and popular under the term "declamation". Rhetorical training proper was categorized under five canons that would persist for centuries in academic circles:. This work was available only in fragments in medieval times, but the discovery of a complete copy at the Abbey of St.

Gall in led to its emergence as one of the most influential works on rhetoric during the Renaissance. Quintilian's work describes not just the art of rhetoric, but the formation of the perfect orator as a politically active, virtuous, publicly minded citizen. His emphasis was on the ethical application of rhetorical training, in part a reaction against the growing tendency in Roman schools toward standardization of themes and techniques. At the same time that rhetoric was becoming divorced from political decision making, rhetoric rose as a culturally vibrant and important mode of entertainment and cultural criticism in a movement known as the "second sophistic", a development that gave rise to the charge made by Quintilian and others that teachers were emphasizing style over substance in rhetoric.

After the breakup of the western Roman Empire, the study of rhetoric continued to be central to the study of the verbal arts; but the study of the verbal arts went into decline for several centuries, followed eventually by a gradual rise in formal education, culminating in the rise of medieval universities. But rhetoric transmuted during this period into the arts of letter writing ars dictaminis and sermon writing ars praedicandi. As part of the trivium , rhetoric was secondary to the study of logic, and its study was highly scholastic: students were given repetitive exercises in the creation of discourses on historical subjects suasoriae or on classic legal questions controversiae.

Although he is not commonly regarded as a rhetorician, St. Augustine — was trained in rhetoric and was at one time a professor of Latin rhetoric in Milan. After his conversion to Christianity, he became interested in using these " pagan " arts for spreading his religion. This new use of rhetoric is explored in the Fourth Book of his De Doctrina Christiana , which laid the foundation of what would become homiletics , the rhetoric of the sermon. Augustine begins the book by asking why "the power of eloquence, which is so efficacious in pleading either for the erroneous cause or the right", should not be used for righteous purposes IV. One early concern of the medieval Christian church was its attitude to classical rhetoric itself. Jerome d. Rhetoric would not regain its classical heights until the Renaissance, but new writings did advance rhetorical thought.

Boethius ? A number of medieval grammars and studies of poetry and rhetoric appeared. Late medieval rhetorical writings include those of St. Thomas Aquinas ? Pre-modern female rhetoricians, outside of Socrates' friend Aspasia , are rare; but medieval rhetoric produced by women either in religious orders, such as Julian of Norwich d. In his Cambridge University doctoral dissertation in English, Canadian Marshall McLuhan — surveys the verbal arts from approximately the time of Cicero down to the time of Thomas Nashe —? As noted below, McLuhan became one of the most widely publicized thinkers in the 20th century, so it is important to note his scholarly roots in the study of the history of rhetoric and dialectic.

Another interesting record of medieval rhetorical thought can be seen in the many animal debate poems popular in England and the continent during the Middle Ages, such as The Owl and the Nightingale 13th century and Geoffrey Chaucer 's Parliament of Fowls. Walter J. Ong's article "Humanism" in the New Catholic Encyclopedia surveys Renaissance humanism , which defined itself broadly as disfavoring medieval scholastic logic and dialectic and as favoring instead the study of classical Latin style and grammar and philology and rhetoric.

One influential figure in the rebirth of interest in classical rhetoric was Erasmus c. His work, De Duplici Copia Verborum et Rerum also known as Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style , was widely published it went through more than editions throughout Europe and became one of the basic school texts on the subject. Its treatment of rhetoric is less comprehensive than the classic works of antiquity, but provides a traditional treatment of res-verba matter and form : its first book treats the subject of elocutio , showing the student how to use schemes and tropes ; the second book covers inventio.

Much of the emphasis is on abundance of variation copia means "plenty" or "abundance", as in copious or cornucopia , so both books focus on ways to introduce the maximum amount of variety into discourse. For instance, in one section of the De Copia , Erasmus presents two hundred variations of the sentence " Semper, dum vivam, tui meminero. Its orations in favour of qualities such as madness spawned a type of exercise popular in Elizabethan grammar schools, later called adoxography , which required pupils to compose passages in praise of useless things.

Juan Luis Vives — also helped shape the study of rhetoric in England. His best-known work was a book on education, De Disciplinis , published in , and his writings on rhetoric included Rhetoricae, sive De Ratione Dicendi, Libri Tres , De Consultatione , and a rhetoric on letter writing, De Conscribendis Epistolas It is likely that many well-known English writers were exposed to the works of Erasmus and Vives as well as those of the Classical rhetoricians in their schooling, which was conducted in Latin not English and often included some study of Greek and placed considerable emphasis on rhetoric.

See, for example, T. University of Illinois Press, The midth century saw the rise of vernacular rhetorics—those written in English rather than in the Classical languages; adoption of works in English was slow, however, due to the strong orientation toward Latin and Greek. During this same period, a movement began that would change the organization of the school curriculum in Protestant and especially Puritan circles and led to rhetoric losing its central place. In his scheme of things, the five components of rhetoric no longer lived under the common heading of rhetoric.

Instead, invention and disposition were determined to fall exclusively under the heading of dialectic, while style, delivery, and memory were all that remained for rhetoric. See Walter J. Ramus was martyred during the French Wars of Religion. His teachings, seen as inimical to Catholicism, were short-lived in France but found a fertile ground in the Netherlands, Germany and England. This work provided a simple presentation of rhetoric that emphasized the treatment of style, and became so popular that it was mentioned in John Brinsley 's Ludus literarius; or The Grammar Schoole as being the " most used in the best schooles ".

Many other Ramist rhetorics followed in the next half-century, and by the 17th century, their approach became the primary method of teaching rhetoric in Protestant and especially Puritan circles. Ramism could not exert any influence on the established Catholic schools and universities, which remained loyal to Scholasticism, or on the new Catholic schools and universities founded by members of the religious orders known as the Society of Jesus or the Oratorians, as can be seen in the Jesuit curriculum in use right up to the 19th century, across the Christian world known as the Ratio Studiorum that Claude Pavur, S. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, If the influence of Cicero and Quintilian permeates the Ratio Studiorum , it is through the lenses of devotion and the militancy of the Counter-Reformation.

The Ratio was indeed imbued with a sense of the divine, of the incarnate logos, that is of rhetoric as an eloquent and humane means to reach further devotion and further action in the Christian city, which was absent from Ramist formalism. The Ratio is, in rhetoric, the answer to St Ignatius Loyola's practice, in devotion, of "spiritual exercises". This complex oratorical-prayer system is absent from Ramism.

However, in England, several writers influenced the course of rhetoric during the 17th century, many of them carrying forward the dichotomy that had been set forth by Ramus and his followers during the preceding decades. Of greater importance is that this century saw the development of a modern, vernacular style that looked to English, rather than to Greek, Latin, or French models.

Francis Bacon — , although not a rhetorician, contributed to the field in his writings. One of the concerns of the age was to find a suitable style for the discussion of scientific topics, which needed above all a clear exposition of facts and arguments, rather than the ornate style favored at the time. Bacon in his The Advancement of Learning criticized those who are preoccupied with style rather than "the weight of matter, worth of subject, soundness of argument, life of invention, or depth of judgment".

On matters of style, he proposed that the style conform to the subject matter and to the audience, that simple words be employed whenever possible, and that the style should be agreeable. Thomas Hobbes — also wrote on rhetoric. Along with a shortened translation of Aristotle 's Rhetoric , Hobbes also produced a number of other works on the subject. Sharply contrarian on many subjects, Hobbes, like Bacon, also promoted a simpler and more natural style that used figures of speech sparingly. Perhaps the most influential development in English style came out of the work of the Royal Society founded in , which in set up a committee to improve the English language.

Sprat regarded "fine speaking" as a disease, and thought that a proper style should "reject all amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style" and instead "return back to a primitive purity and shortness" History of the Royal Society , While the work of this committee never went beyond planning, John Dryden is often credited with creating and exemplifying a new and modern English style.

His central tenet was that the style should be proper "to the occasion, the subject, and the persons". As such, he advocated the use of English words whenever possible instead of foreign ones, as well as vernacular, rather than Latinate, syntax. His own prose and his poetry became exemplars of this new style. Arguably one of the most influential schools of rhetoric during this time was Scottish Belletristic rhetoric, exemplified by such professors of rhetoric as Hugh Blair whose Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres saw international success in various editions and translations.

Another notable figure in 18th century rhetoric was Maria Edgeworth , a novelist and children's author whose work often parodied the male-centric rhetorical strategies of her time. William G. Allen became the first American college professor of rhetoric, at New-York Central College , — At the turn of the 20th century, there was a revival of rhetorical study manifested in the establishment of departments of rhetoric and speech at academic institutions, as well as the formation of national and international professional organizations. Kuypers and Andrew King suggest that the early interest in rhetorical studies was a movement away from elocution as taught in departments of English in the United States, and was an attempt to refocus rhetorical studies away from delivery only to civic engagement.

Collectively, they write, twentieth century rhetorical studies offered an understanding of rhetoric that demonstrated a "rich complexity" of how rhetorical scholars understood the nature of rhetoric. The rise of advertising and of mass media such as photography , telegraphy , radio , and film brought rhetoric more prominently into people's lives. More recently the term rhetoric has been applied to media forms other than verbal language, e.

Visual rhetoric. Scholars have also recently highlighted the importance of "temporal rhetorics" [68] and the "temporal turn" [69] [70] to rhetorical theory and practice. Rhetoric can be analyzed by a variety of methods and theories. One such method is criticism. When those using criticism analyze instances of rhetoric what they do is called rhetorical criticism see section below. According to rhetorical critic Jim A.

Kuypers , "The use of rhetoric is an art; as such, it does not lend itself well to scientific methods of analysis. Criticism is an art as well; as such, it is particularly well suited for examining rhetorical creations. The way the Sciences and the Humanities study the phenomena that surround us differ greatly in the amount of researcher personality allowed to influence the results of the study. For example, in the Sciences researchers purposefully adhere to a strict method the scientific method. All scientific researchers are to use this same basic method, and successful experiments must be percent replicable by others.

The application of the scientific method may take numerous forms, but the overall method remains the same—and the personality of the researcher is excised from the actual study. In sharp contrast, criticism one of many Humanistic methods of generating knowledge actively involves the personality of the researcher. The very choices of what to study, and how and why to study a rhetorical artifact are heavily influenced by the personal qualities of the researcher. In criticism this is especially important since the personality of the critic considered an integral component of the study. Further personalizing criticism, we find that rhetorical critics use a variety of means when examining a particular rhetorical artifact, with some critics even developing their own unique perspective to better examine a rhetorical artifact.

Edwin Black rhetorician wrote on this point that, "Methods, then, admit of varying degrees of personality. And criticism, on the whole, is near the indeterminate, contingent, personal end of the methodological scale. In consequence of this placement, it is neither possible nor desirable for criticism to be fixed into a system, for critical techniques to be objectified, for critics to be interchangeable for purposes of [scientific] replication, or for rhetorical criticism to serve as the handmaiden of quasi-scientific theory. Jim A. Kuypers sums this idea of criticism as art in the following manner: "In short, criticism is an art, not a science.

It is not a scientific method; it uses subjective methods of argument; it exists on its own, not in conjunction with other methods of generating knowledge i. There does not exist an analytic method that is widely recognized as "the" rhetorical method, partly because many in rhetorical study see rhetoric as merely produced by reality see dissent from that view below. It is important to note that the object of rhetorical analysis is typically discourse, and therefore the principles of "rhetorical analysis" would be difficult to distinguish from those of " discourse analysis ".

However, rhetorical analytic methods can also be applied to almost anything, including objects—a car, a castle, a computer, a comportment. Generally speaking, rhetorical analysis makes use of rhetorical concepts ethos, logos, kairos, mediation, etc. When the object of study happens to be some type of discourse a speech, a poem, a joke, a newspaper article , the aim of rhetorical analysis is not simply to describe the claims and arguments advanced within the discourse, but more important to identify the specific semiotic strategies employed by the speaker to accomplish specific persuasive goals.

Therefore, after a rhetorical analyst discovers a use of language that is particularly important in achieving persuasion, she typically moves onto the question of "How does it work? There are some scholars who do partial rhetorical analysis and defer judgments about rhetorical success. In other words, some analysts attempt to avoid the question of "Was this use of rhetoric successful [in accomplishing the aims of the speaker]? This question allows a shift in focus from the speaker's objectives to the effects and functions of the rhetoric itself. Rhetorical strategies are the efforts made by authors to persuade or inform their readers. Rhetorical strategies are employed by writers and refer to the different ways they can persuade the reader. According to Gray, there are various argument strategies used in writing.

He describes four of these as argument from analogy, argument from absurdity, thought experiments, and inference to the best explanation. Modern rhetorical criticism explores the relationship between text and context; that is, how an instance of rhetoric relates to circumstances. Since the aim of rhetoric is to be persuasive, the level to which the rhetoric in question persuades its audience is what must be analyzed, and later criticized. In determining the extent to which a text is persuasive, one may explore the text's relationship with its audience, purpose, ethics, argument, evidence, arrangement, delivery, and style.

The antithetical view places the rhetor at the center of creating that which is considered the extant situation; i. Following the neo-Aristotelian approaches to criticism, scholars began to derive methods from other disciplines, such as history, philosophy, and the social sciences. Throughout the s and s, methodological pluralism replaced the singular neo-Aristotelian method. Methodological rhetorical criticism is typically done by deduction, where a broad method is used to examine a specific case of rhetoric. By the mids, however, the study of rhetorical criticism began to move away from precise methodology towards conceptual issues.

Conceptually driven criticism [98] operates more through abduction, according to scholar James Jasinski , who argues that this emerging type of criticism can be thought of as a back-and-forth between the text and the concepts, which are being explored at the same time. The concepts remain "works in progress", and understanding those terms develops through the analysis of a text. Criticism is considered rhetorical when it focuses on the way some types of discourse react to situational exigencies—problems or demands—and constraints. This means that modern rhetorical criticism is based in how the rhetorical case or object persuades, defines, or constructs the audience.

In modern terms, what can be considered rhetoric includes, but it is not limited to, speeches, scientific discourse, pamphlets, literary work, works of art, and pictures. Contemporary rhetorical criticism has maintained aspects of early neo-Aristotelian thinking through close reading, which attempts to explore the organization and stylistic structure of a rhetorical object. Rhetorical criticism serves several purposes or functions. First, rhetorical criticism hopes to help form or improve public taste. It helps educate audiences and develops them into better judges of rhetorical situations by reinforcing ideas of value, morality, and suitability.

Rhetorical criticism can thus contribute to the audience's understanding of themselves and society. According to Jim A. And yet his megasuccess has mainly come under the umbrella of hip-hop. He says he prefers to think of himself as beyond genre, which is convenient, because he has sometimes been head-slappingly inarticulate on the subject. Post Malone, in other words, is a big roiling mess of contradictions. No wonder he is so popular with teenagers. This also makes Post Malone a perfect fit for Spider-Man, the canonical story of awkward adolescent empowerment. We meet the teenage Miles Morales in his bedroom, alone, doodling and bobbing his head to the bouncy hit about a dysfunctional relationship.

The awkward teenager is called, awkwardly, out into the world. Amid all the cringiness, his unexpected superpowers will bloom. Adolescence, despite its obvious flaws, can still save the world. It is both a brazen bid for the big time and a disquietingly intimate glimpse inside a wildly idiosyncratic mind — in tantalizing, and occasionally maddening, chunks of tightly rationed time. Each track ends after no more than one minute: some segue seamlessly into the next musical idea, some cut off in what feels like midverse.

Whack — as opposed to, say, Frank Ocean — is by no means a piner. Past romance is referenced from time to time, but largely in passing, as if the interesting stuff lay elsewhere. In spite of its undeniable of-the-moment-ness, this is not a collection of music best served by Spotify or any other randomized and algorithm-driven playlist. And what a short, strange trip it was. Music has mourned the death of our planet for decades. How do we prepare for devastation, and can we reckon with how useless our efforts to stop it have been? Such questions have largely gone unasked in the indie sphere, especially as the genre signifier has transitioned over the last decade from ethos to marketing term.

We asked Grimes to elaborate. The lyrics are so worshipful. There's a subtext that they're kind of scared. But A. They made me. Just at random. And it will know everything about everybody. So it will be angry and punish people who try to inhibit it. I'm not necessarily positive that A. Like with corruption in government, it's potentially worth taking the chance of having an A. Because at least it's objective and probably doesn't care about money. It can just get whatever it wants. Maybe the A. But the main people who are going to be saved are the people working to bring it to fruition. Sigh, stare up at the ceiling fan and ponder the song as if it were a text?

Or do what you do when some other tune catches you — flail your limbs, move your hips in weird little circles, bob your head rhythmically up and down? The world was built for pop songs: Public spaces pump the voices of stars through speakers the way air flows through ventilation ducts, and that sweet, consistent flavor — like Diet Coke or pamplemousse LaCroix — pairs easily enough with any modern pastime. But if the territory of pop music is everywhere, how and where does a piece of art pop — something equal parts challenging and engaging — make its home? Julia Holter, a Los Angeles-based artist with a background in composition, answers this question by creating otherworldly spaces in her own work. From its opening — a cacophony of cymbals and anxiously pacing strings — the album is a study in creating a private dwelling place amid the chaos and uncertainty of the world.

The worlds glimpsed here are varied, sometimes wildly so, but what they share is the sense that they are not so much depicting reality as taking inspiration from it, channeling familiar features into new forms. Holter, in other words, takes the garden path to catharsis, allowing something uplifting to emerge from the tumult, making chaos resolve itself into something humane and beautiful and full of intention. And she has found, even at music festivals and rock clubs, hushed and attentive audiences for this. Her performances are absorbing: They highlight the organic beauty and authority of her voice, the way the meanings of words can be a sort of veneer over their untamed musicality.

The music rewards more than just hearing it. It rewards some other kind of listening, asking you to let yourself become porous. And lately it can fill an appetite that seems both modern and primal at once: to make whole a fractured attention span, to find a ritual that works. Our days are full of tiny slivers of time that we offhandedly cram with music, filling the gaps between tasks and places like someone idly coloring in a picture.

Though the song began as a demo by the L. Neither does Adam Levine who gets a writing credit or his happy-to-be-here sidemen who constitute the Maroon 5 touring entity. As the camera circles, Levine stands in the center of a soundstage, arms by his side, his voice skipping nimbly over the melody. As the verse-chorus unfolds, Levine is joined one at a time, their backs to his back, by the 26 women. Then, less than two minutes in, he suddenly disappears, as if ceding the spotlight. When Cardi B delivers her final flourish, he returns briefly, but by the end of the video, the soundstage is occupied by only the women.

Adam Levine is to a rock star as a rock star is to a rapper. At least in this moment, he leaves the pocket T-shirt on, keeps the guitar in the closet and hands the mic to the long-suffering women who have chosen to support him. For the first time, maybe ever, he flashes some legit star-power potency. What in the world happened here? I was only gone for an hour! Some elements were familiar a crew of guys in front of a brownstone, drinking and mugging for the camera , and some were menacing the number of red bandannas and guns on display , but it was the man at the center of the video who startled me most; he seemed almost precision-engineered to make people feel old.

In an era when most young rappers have a couple of face tattoos, 6ix9ine had the number 69 inked above his right eye in point type. He had the same number spelled out in cursive over his left eye. It was everywhere on his body. Within about a year, he would be in federal custody, a year-old facing life in prison for a number of charges, including racketeering and attempted murder. Normally this sort of arrest leads to an outcry about literal-minded police overreach. Not this time. People generally seemed pleased to see the rapper in cuffs. This was partly because 6ix9ine was universally reviled by music critics and journalists, on account of a crime he committed before he became famous: In , he pleaded guilty to the use of a minor in a sexual performance, for having filmed and shared on social media a video of a girl performing oral sex on his friend.

But it was also because he had spent the past year living the life of a Looney Tunes character: courting danger, narrowly escaping it, then taunting his foes. This genuinely incredible run netted him more than stories on TMZ: gang members in San Antonio threatening his life; a shootout at the Barclays Center; shots fired at a video shoot in Brooklyn; more shots fired at a Beverly Hills video set. Through it all, he posted on Instagram, usually wearing red, often handling bricks of cash, sometimes clutching extremely illegal-looking guns, but never betraying an ounce of concern for his well-being. Cultivating this sort of personal mythology is not at all new; it dates back to the earliest days of gangsta rap. Ever since Eazy-E bankrolled NWA with drug money, a certain proximity to criminality has been expected of certain rappers.

Not long ago, rappers had just a few limited channels through which to prove that they did: lyrics, album art and, if they were famous enough, music videos. Like Old Testament gods, they willed whole universes into being through their words. Now they have social media. This sort of online mythmaking is second nature to SoundCloud rappers, so called for the streaming service that birthed the scene.

SoundCloud rap is not characterized by a particular sound so much as its anarchic energy — the face tattoos, the prescription drugs, the orthographically complex handles. The problem, for 6ix9ine, was that a big part of his adopted persona, both on Instagram and in his music, involved being a member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. According to a Rolling Stone profile that came out after his arrest in November, this was essentially an act: Danny Hernandez, in the years leading up to his fame, had been a trollish and goofy Bushwick deli employee; his industry blacklisting had pushed him into the hands of an apparently gang-affiliated manager, who also provided him with a new edge. Maybe the whole thing really was a put-on, but also, he really did it.

The Rolling Stone article recounts how, at his arraignment, the presiding judge asked the prosecution how it knew Hernandez was at real-life crime scenes. A liminal space has always existed between rappers and their personas. The gap between 6ix9ine and Danny Hernandez was considerably wider, but he snapped it shut with his phone, merging fantasy with reality through a front-facing camera.

It was reported in February that 6ix9ine, who pleaded guilty, agreed to help prosecutors in their case against his co-defendants, hoping for leniency: a reduced sentence and possibly witness protection. But helping 6ix9ine disappear into some corner of America might prove difficult, and not just because of the tattoos. In , the Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn turned 14 and finished middle school; then she signed a record deal.

A feeling of healing from sadness and wanting to share that with the world and with myself — a sense of self-love, excitement, some kind of peace of mind. Like when your strength is coming back. Intimacy, definitely, but it could be with yourself. Any experience you have that will give you a new point in your scale of emotions will make any other experience richer because you have a new point of reference.

Not reserving that deep pleasure for a sexual sensation, but something you could experience day to day. Intimacy in every little thing. I feel like I have to work for it every day. You get it going and then you can use it and tend to it and start it back up again. Is your fire well tended? Not at all. I maybe need to go back and listen to some of my songs myself to figure this out. Your songs are known for intermingling sadness and euphoria. I used to believe it would all make sense if you just powered through. Post-recession capitalism has glorified the hustle so much. But you can actually use a story that relates to something more real than buying yourself out of anxiety. Definitely: Pop at the moment is depressing.

Hip-hop is really dark. The music kids are listening to is heavy! Is the industry set up for artists to be able to share their pain but protect themselves? People want you to be vulnerable. You turn 40 this June. I think it can be that, for sure. It was hard to tell how many people in the club liked flamenco, an art form not much associated with young people anymore. Some of the younger girls even twerked. She sounds and feels cosmopolitan, cool in a sophisticated and almost foreign way. Her own aesthetic is polished, globally recognizable, informed by hip-hop and trap music. Maybe this is the price of success in a culture that looks askance at overt displays of ambition or self-actualization, especially by women.

The local fascination tended to focus less on her art and more on her as a phenomenon, on the extraordinary speed of her rise to stardom. It would spark arguments too, about cultural appropriation and the Romany community, who have always been closely associated with flamenco. A woman gets married to a man who later grows jealous and imprisons her. What sort of place were you at in your life when you wrote this song?

Obviously I was working a lot. I had already toured Europe and the U. I wanted to make a banger to play live — I just picked up my microphone and started talking. The song came out in a funny way, but the undertone is serious. Whatever you do, whatever amount of energy you put into something, you have to do it for yourself and not to please others. Not to build this facade or this persona or achievement. Do you think people base too much of their self-worth on their work? We live in a society that is based on work — goals, achievement, money. Of course! But I think you become a much more useful person if you learn how to love yourself.

It would be hard to know. It looks really fun and glamorous. And it is, sometimes, for a few hours. I wish I had your life. Do you think I woke up one morning and became who I am? People think of the dance floor as this freeing space. For me, at least, it is. It used to be different. When I was 16 and I started going out in Montreal, going to underground parties and raves and clubs, it was magical. I was going there for fun. Even if I was playing, it was special. That space is now a work space for me. Now if I want to feel something mind-blowing or magical, I have to look for it outside of club culture.

The music never loses its magic, but the social thing happening at a party or something like that? It sounds as though the song stemmed from your personal experience, but it feels universal. When I made it, I knew anyone could relate. Because this is the time we live in. Everything goes really fast now. People are expected to produce and achieve. So how do you make art under capitalism? I never did. Blake, a Grammy-winning avant-gardist with an ear for pop, who has been playing the piano since he was about 6, has a long list of heroes whom he has studiously copied in pursuit of his own sound.

Copying the virtuoso jazz-pianist Art Tatum, the protominimalist French composer Erik Satie and the midcentury gospel maestro the Rev. James Cleveland taught Blake novel ways of opening up complex chord structures and fitting them — to gorgeous, aching effect — around deceptively simple melodies. Copying singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder emboldened him to write and sing pop songs with increasing emotional candor. Blake stands at an imposing 6-foot-6 and carries himself with the deliberateness of a man at risk of scraping his head on doorways. At their feet, black cables snaked and cloverleafed among clusters of red-, blue-, silver- and cream-colored effects pedals, like tracks connecting villages in a model-train set.

When I recorded it, I broke the vocal up. The extent to which Blake has digested the lessons of his musical heroes is illustrated not only by his decade-spanning run of singles, EPs and albums but also by the number of pop auteurs who have collaborated with him. As an influence and a collaborator, Blake has helped shape two of the more striking trends in contemporary pop: beats that mutate over the course of a song, resisting any traditionally identifiable center, and an emotional atmosphere in which the line between hedonism and melancholy, bliss and despair comes undone.

In , I visited Drake — a pop giant whose entire musical project has been about smudging the line between hedonism and melancholy — at a converted Toronto warehouse, where he was working on his second album with his musical right hand, the producer known as Five-odd years ago, Blake suffered from a depression so severe that he considered suicide. Blake was two and a half weeks into rehearsals for a tour that would take him around the country and then around the world. Blake furrowed his brow. As its lyrics switch between optimistic vows of commitment and confessions of insecurity, this duality is echoed in the music, which consists of two alternating piano motifs — one shimmering, the other overcast.

The track began as a long, meandering improvisation from which Blake eventually sampled two disparate chunks, putting them into jarring conversation. The first section has the tonic as the bass note, which gives it this firmly rooted presence, whereas the other section has the third in the bass, which makes it feel suspended — which is when the lyrics turn to self-doubt.

Blake was raised by his father, James Litherland, a singer-songwriter and guitarist with a prog-rock pedigree, and his mother, a graphic designer and cycling instructor, in Enfield, a North London suburb. He described his life from adolescence on as largely unhappy, warm and supportive parents notwithstanding. While there were few conversations about Black history and culturally relevant teachings in my primary public and private education, I was given full opportunity to explore Black, Latino and Native American history and culture at a small, mostly white liberal arts college in Colorado.

It was the first time I saw myself and my college friends of color clearly reflected in history taught in the classroom. There have been valiant efforts in Texas to give students a full picture of history. In , the Texas State Board of Education approved a Mexican-American studies, after debating for more than four years on whether to offer teachers materials and guidance to teach Mexican-American studies in public high schools. In , the board approved African American studies course. That depends on how critical race theory is interpreted. In actuality, critical race theory refers to an intellectual movement founded by legal scholars of color — two Black and one Mexican American — in the s to explain racist practices in our laws and systems.

The concept has been discussed widely since the killings last year of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other people of color by police officers led to a national reckoning on race. While the nation has recently undergone a re-evaluation of structural discrimination and institutions, and even seen the removal of Confederate statues, Diaz said the attack on ethnic studies and history is nothing new. His Librotraficante Caravan smuggled in books banned in Tucson.

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