Essay on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

1267 Words Feb 17th, 2013 6 Pages
Born a Prince, Left a King

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-air. These are the opening lines to the intro song of the television comedy “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, that me and every 90’s kids with a TV has had memorized since the day we first heard it. Even as you read that first sentence, you can’t help but to rap the words, and hum the tune as you envision a young Will Smith spinning on his royal chair with the graffiti background. The effect of the lyrics and the music video to this intro song goes way beyond pure entertainment value. The music video and lyrics spread happiness,
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By making Will Smith appear like a typical, credible African American youth the appeal to the viewers is strengthened.
However, the stereotypes are not the only example for ethos in the music video. Will’s clothing and vernacular make a good case for ethical appeal as well. Throughout the video Will is dressed in loud bright colored clothing with various trendy accessories such as hats and sneakers. The clothing helps Will to appeal to the younger viewers because it’s something the viewers can identify with. Also Will’s upbeat tone and hipster lingo help his credibility of acting as an average young black male.
While ethos plays a large role in the appeal of the video, pathos plays a role equally as large. The pathological appeal in the music video is present from start to finish. The video opens with a background soundtrack of an upbeat rap tune. The tune is catchy and grabs the viewer’s attention immediately. Will Smith compliments the catchy beat by rapping an energetic rap. The rap itself demands for viewers’ attention because it appeals to their taste in music.
Whereas music is the main avenue of appeal in the video, there are other pathos elements present. While Will is playing basketball, the ball accidently hits a nearby thug who takes offense and physically confronts Will. The thug threatens and bullies Will until Will’s mom gets so scared for Will’s well-being that she sends him to live his aunt and uncle in Bel-Air. Nearly every kid in
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