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Eng 123 Final

Markel McKnight

English 123

Professor Drown   

The most important thing that I have learned from reading a complex piece of reading is the annotation portion of it. Annotating actually helped me out a lot because whenever we would go over the article or passage to the next class I wouldn’t have to re-read the whole thing, I would just look at the notes that I put on the side of the paragraph and it would explain it. One of the things that has become standard when coming to terms is asking questions because it just gives me a better understanding of what was going on if I weren’t paying attention. Another active reading skill that I’ve picked up better was actively reading because before coming into this course my attention span wasn’t too broad but this course has taught me how to be more engaged in reading so I couldn’t fall asleep so easily. Some challenges that I had faced during the course was definitely just getting myself to stay up the whole class without dozing off. I overcame that by asking to use the bathroom sometimes just so I can go for a walk to wake myself up more or when you would make the class do things that required us to to move around. Another problem that I had faced was in the beginning of the year when we had some conflict going on but once we had gotten past our differences I felt that the course had gone a lot better. Last conflict that I had gone through during this course was the pandemic that caused us to evacuate campus and go home.It had set me back on a lot of work especially when my grandmother had been exposed to this virus. It has just been a tough time in general to complete any of my work. One reward that I had got from this course was when you allowed us to pick 5 songs for that assignment and you played our songs during class. I felt that was a good moment for the whole class. Even when you had shared those other songs before they were pretty interesting when I was listening to them and I listened to them a couple of times. Another time was when I had typed an essay that I thought was average but you ended up liking it and I had gotten a good grade on it just because I had all of the key pieces I needed to do even though I didn’t even realize it. Something that I will take from this course to further me in the future is to never give up when something gets hard keeping trying to figure it out but if you can’t that it is okay to ask for help from your peers or the professor because they may know something you don’t know but they could also be having issues on a different question that you might’ve answered already.

5 hardest questions essay

In the article “The 5 Hardest Questions in Pop Music” Chris Richards had written 5 questions and gave point of views from different people. The first question was “Is Cultural Appropriation Ever Okay?” Richards had answered that saying “Finding an answer requires us to clarify the difference between theft and influence, or more specifically, taking and making.When Justin Timberlake beatboxes, or Taylor Swift raps, or Miley Cyrus twerks to a trap beat, it feels like taking. On the flip side, when the Talking Heads echo African pop rhythms, or the Wu-Tang Clan channels the spirituality of kung-fu cinema, or Beyoncé writes a country song, it feels more like making.”  I agree with what he is saying because afterwards he started to talk about how it really comes down to the fans and industry just for the fact that rappers that are white who are mediocre climb higher on the charts than what they actually should. 

The other question was “Should we Listen to Music Against A Dead Artist’s Wishes.” I feel that personally it is wrong to put someone whose dead music out to the public but once it’s already out I will listen to it just for the fact that I’m honoring him by listening to his songs. Richards had the same stance as I did stating that he had listened to Prince’s unreleased music to honor him and how it helped him sleep better at night. But one thing I didn’t agree with Richards on was when he was saying how a person just has a specific list of instructions for someone if they were to pass away. I feel that Prince did tell someone but they had gone against what he had said for some reason.

Another question was “Can Artists Still Sell Out?” In the section Richards had given different points of views from different people. For example, Roy Cook had stated that “Kendrick Lamar clearly sold out. But is there anything wrong with this? Well, sure: compromising one’s personal values or one’s musical integrity is an inherently bad thing.” He believes that Kendrick is a sell out because of how he is compromising his personal values or even his music integrity. But then you have someone like Shen-yi Liao when she said “What about Kendrick Lamar? By the time he did the Reebok advertisements, he already had two major label albums. In my view, he already crossed over to the pop side of hip hop. If we viewed him as a pop artist, then no, that wasn’t selling out—because Kendrick Lamar the pop artist cannot sell out.” Shen thinks that Kendrick can’t sell out because he already had 2 major albums and he had moved on to the pop side of hip hop. I agree with Shen and how she was saying how Kendrick didn’t sell out because he already dropped 2 major albums before he had switched over to hip hop.

The fourth question was “Should we Engage in Objectionable Lyrics?”  Richards answer to that was “For a while, my answer was that we always need to listen to music on its own terms, and when we listen to rap, it’s important to remember that we’re usually listening to marginalized voices who might be trying to exert power over their lives however they can. That doesn’t make certain lyrics any less disagreeable, but it does begin to explain why they exist in the first place. And it’s important to understand the circumstances that produced the work.” What he said right there I thought was important because when people listen to rap music they don’t understand what they are saying for the fact of how the rapper is either saying it or the tempo or the song. But if a person actually listens the rapper is probably talking about how they were grown up and the things that they have been through or how they came from nothing to where they are right now in life. So yes I do agree with Richards stance on whether or not to engage in objectionable lyrics because you have to be able to understand where the lyrics are coming from first and why they are like that before you criticize.              

The last question was “Can we Separate The Art From The Artist?”  Richards responded saying “ So you just found out that your favorite pop act doesn’t share your politics, or that they’ve said something hateful about a marginalized group of people, or that they have a history of sexual misconduct, or that they have a history of physical abuse, or that they have a history of both, or all of the above. The more heinous a musician’s transgression, the more painful the fan’s trauma — because when an artist we admire suddenly does something intolerable, we start to lose our grip on the art itself. It’s as if all of that good music was somehow made in bad faith.” But I disagree with him because I personally will still listen to an artist even if they have done something bad. For example, Taymor Mclntyre who goes by “Tay-K” and he was sentenced to 55 years in prison for a murder charger where he was found guilty in at the age of 16.         

3 Paragraphs

Do you still think that artists can still sell out? According to the article “Can Today’s Artist still sell out?” 6 different people give their point of views for the situation, like when they were asked about Kendrick Lamar and Reebok. Roy Cook had stated that “Kendrick Lamar clearly sold out. But is there anything wrong with this? Well, sure: compromising one’s personal values or one’s musical integrity is an inherently bad thing.” He believes that Kendrick is a sell out because of how he is compromising his personal values or even his music integrity. But other people might feel differently from Cook, like Another question was “U2 released its 2014 album, “Songs of Innocence,” during a starry product launch for Apple, who inserted the album into half a billion customers’ iTunes libraries without asking them first. Was this an infringement of privacy, or as U2 put it, a gift?”  From Mary Beth Willard point of view she had thought that “U2 made an album for a product launch, and then Apple bizarrely put it in everyone’s iTunes. They wanted to call it a gift of music, but because the music was seen as supporting a product launch, it was taken as akin putting an advertising jingle into your playlist.”

Other people’s point of view on artists selling out goes both ways because you have people who sided with Shen- yi Liao saying Kendrick didn’t sell out, like Claudia Mills when she said “Did Kendrick Lamar sell out when he used his artistry to sell Reebok shoes? If he prioritized realizing his own artistic vision in the making of his central body of musical work, he did not sell out there. But what about using his artistic gifts, in addition, to market shoes? There does not seem to me to be anything in itself problematic about working in advertising; indeed, advertising jingles are some of the most memorable and beloved tunes of my own childhood.” Claudia is saying that he didn’t sell out if he had mad his own artistic vision in his music. Another person was Shen-yi Liao when she said “What about Kendrick Lamar? By the time he did the Reebok advertisements, he already had two major label albums. In my view, he already crossed over to the pop side of hip hop. If we viewed him as a pop artist, then no, that wasn’t selling out—because Kendrick Lamar the pop artist cannot sell out.” Shen thinks that Kendrick can’t sell out because he already had 2 major albums and he had moved on to the pop side of hip hop.

But then you have others like Roy Cook who do believe that Kendrick did sell out like in the article when Erich Hatala Matthes had put a fake dialogue between a fan and kendrick saying “Fan: “Shilling for Reebok is bullshit: you’re woke-washing a subsidiary of Adidas, infamous for their labor violations. It’s completely antithetical to the political spirit of your music. You sold out.” `Lamar: “Eh, I don’t feel like I’ve made my art worse for this commercial, so my artistic standards remain intact.” Then he goes on to say “Let’s just assume that the response is true, that Lamar hasn’t compromised his artistic standards. Why does that still sound like a hollow reply to the fan? I think the answer is that selling out has less to do with an artist compromising their own artistic standards and more to do with their violating the trust of their audience.”

Playlist songs

I chose those 5 songs because each of those songs are different in their own way because of the rappers type of flow. Pop Smoke is more of an up fast hype beat that is more hype music but then you have someone like J Cole who is more lyrical who is more mellow with a little up tempo beat with it. Juice Wrld is kind of lyrical but the kind of beats that he just has is amazing and how he makes his songs. But, then you have Drake and Meek Mill who are more of a casual beat but when there rapping it sounds like they are talking just because of the kind of style that they have. Lastly, is DaBaby whose music is a hype beat but at the same time he’s rapping and what he is saying is making since even when he starts to rap really fast.

Project 2

Markel McKnight

English 123

Feb. 16th 2020

Professor Drown

I listen to different types of music just because each style of music is unique in it’s own way.  But the kind of music I listen to regularly has to be rap and hip-pop, some of the rappers I listen to are G Herbo, Lil Uzi Vert, J Cole, Fivio Foreign, Polo G, Juice Wrld, and etc. When I’m listening to rap I feel like I can connect to what they’re saying because I grew up in a similar environment so I really understand what they are saying when they start rapping about coming from nothing and now they’re something. Like when G Herbo had said “I ride dolo ’cause I found out niggas wasn’t solid

I thought you was riding forever

Ninety percent of these n****s is b***hes

They find theyselves snitchin’ tryna lie to detectives

(F**k is you talking for?)”

In that verse when he said that he means that he doesn’t hangout with a lot of people because almost every guy will snitch on will on you to the cops just because they try to lie to the detectives. J Cole is another rapper that actually has a meaning to something when he is rapping like in the song “Love Yourz” when he “I grew up in the city and though sometimes we had less

Compared to some of my n****s down the block man we were blessed

And life can’t be no fairytale, no once upon a time”

When he said that he was meaning that he grew up in a city where he had less than compared to other people in his community.

But, then you just have other musicians who are awful and don’t make sense at all when they talk like the band “Disturbed” or “Asking Alexandria.” For example, when I heard the song“Down With The Sickness” that “Disturbed” wrote it literally made no sense at all because they were just screaming for most of the song. Can you feel that?

“Ah, shit

Oh, ah, ah, ah, ah

Oh, ah, ah, ah, ahoh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh” , that was the intro to the song now if you actually hear the song with all the sound and screaming you might lose your mind. The kind of music I can never see myself listening to has to be like Orchestra, Metal, Heavy Rock, and more like that because those types of music don’t really have that something that pops out to me like rap and hip-pop do. Others may feel the same way about the music I listen to. I learned plenty of things people say about it like “It’s too thug” ,“They don’t make sense in what they’re saying” , and more . But the real reason why others don’t like it is because they don’t understand what it’s like to come from an environment where you see people living off section 8 or worrying about being at the wrong place at the wrong time especially when it’s night out. 

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt critique of the national anthem was that “From a moral standpoint, this issue is clear. The athletes are right — and have every right to protest as they have. Trump is wrong, about the scourge of police violence and about freedom of speech.” That had meant from an outside perspective of the situation, it is clear that the athletes are right in the situation but the president doesn’t understand because he is wrong. David was giving advice to the athletes who were standing up for something. He said in the article that “But the smart move now is not to expand a tactic that Trump loves as a foil. It’s to shift toward protests that don’t need a counterintuitive and distracting defense, while he gets to bleat on about America first.” Another piece of advice that he said in the passage was, “The protests can still be aggressive — like the “I can’t breathe” shirts in the N.B.A., and much more. Trump, of course, will blast any protest as some version of uppity. But so what? The target audience are the many Americans open to opposing police violence and a bullying president — but uncomfortable with a gesture that seems to oppose America itself.” I thought after reading the article that his critiques and advice to the athletes were all valid points.

Ta-Nashi Coates

Coates stated in the article that ” Leonhardt is sympathetic to the aims of Kaepernick’s protest but he contrasts this “angry” approach with the “smart” approach of the civil-rights movement.” He thought he was sympathetic towards Kaepernick but he will come at you aggressively and be smart about how he’s doing it. An alternative explanation when for when Coates had said “meaningful change” is when right after that he stated, “Perhaps most importantly they affected the attitudes of the children of those white Americans who scorned them. This points to the true target, in terms of white people, of Kaepernick’s protest. The point is not to convince people who boo even when a team kneels before the anthem is sung. The point is to reach the children of those people. The point is the future.” Some hope that he offered in the article was when he said “If young people attempting to board a bus are unacceptable, if gathering on the National Mall is verboten, if preaching nonviolence gets you harassed by your own government and then killed, if a protest founded in consultation with military veterans is offensive, then what specific manner of protest is white America willing to endure? It’s almost as if the manner of protest isn’t the real problem.” Coates point of view is with the athletes because he was giving them advice and really wasn’t criticizing the athletes.

Markel McKnight

English 122   

Reading Process

There are a good amount of ways to read the complexibility of a Kahneman article. One way is annotation because it’s one of the best ways to read an article and when you write stuff down on the side it’s a summary of what that paragraph was. Another good way\ to understand Kahneman article is getting help from your friends or relatives. Reading it over again is also a concept that can help a person understand Kahneman article. My reading skills weren’t that bad doing Kahneman reading, it’s just that it wasn’t really interesting to read at all. I used all of the basic skills like annotating, rereading, and asking questions. Somethings that I could’ve learned more was probably trying to understand the article a lot more just because it could’ve probably helped me better understand the article. Some bad habits that I have is that I procrastinate a lot because I usually just put things aside for later and don’t get back to it at all. Another bad habit is that I just don’t like reading because it’s not really interested towards me but it could help me out if I did read a little more on my free time. There are other reading strategies that could maybe help me but I feel like I don’t need to learn other reading strategies just because I’m still successful when I’m reading the articles.