Meaning of a Classic Song Essay

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“A great song doesn’t attempt to be anything – it just is.” (Carter). This is a quote from an essay written by Jay Z in a Rolling Stone article in 2011. Jay Z is a multi-platinum recording artist with many hit songs, including a few that are in Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs list. Because of Jay Z’s accomplishments, Rolling Stone felt that he would be a good person to ask about how to make a classic song. Jay Z references different songs and ideals on what he thinks makes a classic song, but is he really the right person to ask for insight on this topic? Jay Z is just a rapper, and we live in a time where it is more important for an artist to sell records than present a legitimate message, and the best way for one to that is to gain…show more content…
Today, songs have to be able to appeal to the demographic that primarily listens to those radio stations that play the top songs in the country or the world. That is the main way for an artist to gain popularity and get the rest of their music out there. The problem with that philosophy is that artists more often than not have to give up some kind of creative control to achieve their goals. Which means they must follow certain trends in the music industry at any given time in order to gain or sustain their popularity. Just because songs get a lot of air play on the radio, does not mean that they are always the best song when it comes to quality and meaning in the lyrics. Jay Z attested to this in his essay in Rolling Stone. “A song like "Can I Live" is so full of emotion to me — it was better than "Hard Knock Life" or "Empire State of Mind," but it lacked that accessibility.” (Carter). That is saying a lot considering “Empire State of Mind” alone has gone platinum five times since its release in 2009. People overall want to hear songs that make them feel good or that bring up good memories and are easy to remember. That is why most songs on the radio are up-beat with catchy hooks. The music becomes like an infection and the more a person hears a certain song, the more likely they are to buy it. The problem is that people only buy or download a certain song thanks to new technology that allows a

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