Comparison between Beyoncé Upgrade You and Formation Music Videos
Music has been considered a way of expression, be it expression of information, attitude or feelings towards something. This is what creates genres in the music industry as there is rap, love songs, R&B and electronic dance music. However, different artist may decide to engage in different genres depending on the point at which their career is at the specific time. An artist may seek to engage in a different genre for reasons of depicting a certain specific information. The dynamics in an artist’s career may be measured by the rate of popularity and also the relevance of the message being depicted towards a targeted audience. 8 Assumptions and limitations to the study. 8 Structure of the study 9 THEMES. 9 ‘Upgrade You’.
9 Luxury. 9 Male Dominance. Scholars have been studying the literature that forms the background for music studies with the aim of establishing similarities and differences in performance, the form of music and message that each music portrays hence the establishment of different genres of music. Apart from forming art for entertainment, music may also be a depiction of different opinions or how different issues are perceived in different societies for example the issue of sexuality, matters of human rights, relationships and feminism. There have been productions that have been notorious for the instituting debates regarding sensitive issues for example, Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ which is famous for its explicit content and the depiction or suggestion of similar sex attraction and Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ which has earned itself a reputation for creating a controversy on the sensitive issues it addressed.
In 2016, during the 50th anniversary National League’s Super bowl, close to 120 million viewers saw performances from Bruno Mars, Coldplay and Beyoncé. Despite Beyoncé’s performance only lasting about a minute and a half of the halftime show, it still garnered much attention than anyone thought it would. The two are ‘Upgrade You’ which was released in 2006 and the famous ‘Formation’ which was released in 2016. The study will look at the messages of the two, the themes that were addressed in each music video and comparison thereof. Research objectives. The objective of the research is to establish the development of Beyoncé’s career, as well as any other artist’s career on the basis of the themes covered and the message towards the target audience.
The research will also examine the literary styles used in each of the music videos in order to establish whether or not there is any similarity or differences in the execution of the music video which would ultimately translate to different opinions and perceptions regarding each individual music video. Beyoncé does not shy from addressing such issues openly in her lyrics for ‘Formation’. The second theory that guides our research is the feminism theory. This theory is focused on a more specific issue which is gender inequality. It differs from the first as this theory analyses the relationship between different genders and hence establishes their position in the society. Feminism may take different approaches in today’s world for example, demanding equality in labor relations, involvement in leadership speaking up for abuses made to female gender.
This study is limited as there is minimal literature material that provide information on analysis and comparison of different music videos on the basis of themes and social relevance. Secondly, the research is limited to Beyoncé’s music project. Therefore, there is a restriction from analyzing other known artists, whose careers may show a clearer dynamic in terms of evolution. Lastly, some of the sources provided only entail opinions and not expert facts. Structure of the study This paper is divided into three parts. Luxury is also evident in the way they dress and the material possessions that keep flashing onto the screen. For example, in the sixteenth and nineteenth second, Beyoncé is seen holding a diamond jewel and a bunch of car keys in her mouth respectively.
The entire second verse takes place inside the Rolls Royce and Beyoncé’s dressing code out rightly shows the presence of luxury. Jay Z’s appearance, with his dressing and also the jewelry he wears like his watch shows the presence of luxurious items being displayed. (Beyoncé - Upgrade U (Video) ft. ” The same can be said for the chorus sang by Beyoncé as referenced above. Male Dominance. It would be inappropriate to use the term male chauvinism. This is because in the music video, there is chemistry felt between Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Male chauvinism is more of degrading women and instilling the belief that women are more inferior as compared to men in terms of ability and intelligence. Just a few lines inside the second verse, she sings; “It’s very Seldom that your blessed to find your equal, still play my part and let you take the lead role.
Believe me I’ll follow; this could be easy I’ll help whenever you need me “ In the lyrics above, she expressly acknowledges that she is not equal to the man as she is willing to let him lead, contrary to this current era where feminists advocate for equality both financially and in the household. (Lilshortii713, 2007) This dominance is also reflected in Jay-z’s rap verse. He also acknowledges that he is the provider, similar to the nature of an African American man. ; “My best suit courtesy of Audemars, I’ll order yours tomorrow, now look at the time I saved ya” ‘Formation’ Video. One of them was referred to as the mammie, who was a servant, gentle but still ignorant as they showed more love for her master’s family more than she did her own despite the harsh reality of slavery.
The second classification was referred to as Jezebel, who was a whore. These were women who were oversexed and they depicted a sort of primal sexual rage and lust that was how the white people viewed both black men and women during that era. This depiction was the main distinction between white women, mostly referred to as ladies from African American, who on the contrary were viewed as anything rather than that. (Taylor, 2017) The depiction of African American Women as happy serves as a mere justification, in the view of feminists, for subjecting women to domestic labor whereas the Jezebel depiction may be what roughly justifies the sexual abuses and other sexual violations of the woman’s body. Therefore, the implication is that together, the ladies can do anything and overcome any discrimination thus the championing for women’s rights as it is for feminism.
The bigger picture suggests that marginalized people can form coalitions to fight injustices against them. This is a symbol to the coalition between the black people, the white people, free thinkers and activists in the formation of feminist movements. Feminism is also portrayed by the diction and the tone used. There is authority for women over men. Regardless, it emphasizes more towards feminist approach as Beyoncé uses the word ‘yellow bone’ which means a light skinned black female. Therefore, this does reflect on feminism only, but to also black feminism. Beyoncé makes steps to insist that she is African American despite her mother being of Creole descent, that is African, Native American and French. She expressly her love for the black characteristics; “You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama, I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros I like my negro with Jackson Five Nostrils.
” Regardless of her efforts, Beyoncé has also been criticized for similarities in her way of living to a white lady’s way of life including her white complexion, he hair that very much resembles that of a ‘white woman’ due to its blondish nature and her body. (UK Essays, 2017) There is also a scene where writings can be seen on a wall written ‘Stop shooting us’. This is a direct reference to police brutality towards African Americans. At the end of the music video, the car fully submerges with Beyoncé lying on top hence drowning. During her performance in the super bowl of 2016, she paid tribute to the black panthers symbolized by the attire they wore during the performance. The Black Panther Party was a movement that began in 1966 to monitor the practices of Oakland police officers.
(Beyoncé - Formation, 2016) This depicts the way of living for black people considered to be wealthy. (UK Essays, 2017) Black pride and black culture can also be evidenced by the lyrics of the music. At one point, she refers to herself as a ‘Texas-Bama’. Bama is a word normally used to belittle black people. She willingly accepts and owns the name showing that she is proud of being black regardless of how black people are belittled. The biggest difference that exists between the two is the handling of the issue on feminism. This is what presents the difference between Beyoncé at the two different eras. In 2006, there was no much sensitivity placed on the issues regarding feminism as it is today. The character portrayed in Beyoncé’s videos back in 2006 was very much different to the one being portrayed today.
There is the need to fight and to champion for the rights of the those considered minorities, that is the African-American race and the female struggle for equality which is not only limited to the American region but the struggle is also seen in various parts of the world and feminist organizations. Bibliography. Beyoncé - Formation. [video] Available at: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=WDZJPJV__bQ [Accessed 22 Jun. Bland, I. A2 Media Studies - Beyoncé 'Formation' analysis. [video] Available at: https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=VubDtOpVpQ8 [Accessed 22 Jun. , Nussbaum, R. , Leasca, S. , Samotin, P. , Minton. , Colon, A. com/watch?v=7AFbSSjWjh8 [Accessed 22 Jun. Muchitsh, V. (n. d. Neoliberal Sounds? The Politics of Beyoncé’s Voice on “Run the World (Girls).
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