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Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (Essay Sample)


This paper provides a rhetorical analysis of a media artifact called "Straight Outta Compton," which is a rap debut biopic that was composed and rapped by a famous rap group referred to as N.W.A. The famed rap music video was performed by a group of artists, including Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, MC Ren, Ice Cube, and The D.O.C. Straight Outta Compton is a symbolic music video that was composed to portray the predicaments faced by African Americans in the U.S.


Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact (N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton)
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Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact (N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton)
Introduction (Description of the Artifact)
Straight Outta Compton is a rap debut biopic that was composed and rapped by a famous rap group referred to as N.W.A. The famed rap music video was performed by a group of artists, including Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, MC Ren, Ice Cube, and The D.O.C. Although the rap was released in 1988, it has been an influential artifact among the numerous gangster hits. Normally, the rap genre has quite a long history. Rap music was established as a significant popular cultural form of the African American population in the United States. This genre emerged as a type of oppositional culture to address the inequality and discrimination that the blacks were accorded by the white population (Martinez, 1997). Rapping could be traced centuries back to its African roots. Popular culture, which is also referred to as mass culture, could be described as the beliefs, practices, as well as objects that are recognized by members of a certain society and are prevalent or dominant in that particular society for a given period of time. Pop culture is generally based on the tastes of the common citizens or ordinary individuals rather than the high-ranked and educated elites. Typically, pop culture encompasses feelings and activities that result from the interaction with the prevalent objects in society (Martinez, 1997). This culture that is heavily influenced by mass media permeates the day-to-day lives of the people living in a community that adopts the culture. Consequently, it is believed that popular culture is significantly influential on individuals' attitudes regarding certain themes or topics.
Analysis of the Artifact
Straight Outta Compton is a symbolic music video that was composed to portray the predicaments faced by African Americans in the U.S. The symbolism is not only portrayed in this video but also in other pieces of rap music that were composed many years back. Regarding the theme of color, which is a major issue that leads to the discrimination of people of color in the United States, the chosen artifact utilizes African Americans to depict the level of inequality and social injustice that prevails in the U.S. As depicted in the video, there is a stereotyped superiority of the whites against the black. These color-based stereotypes started a long time ago and prompted the emergence of the rap movement, which, up-to-date, strives to address issues of inequality in society.
The genre to which the selected artifact belongs has a history that makes artists utilize it to communicate to society. The originality of the rap genre is tied to the West African griots who were delivering narratives rhythmically over sparse instrumentation and drums. Such practices have been linked with the emergence of modern-day "griots" or spoken word artists who are popularly regarded as rappers. Therefore, rap could be described as a delivery style that incorporates rhythm and rhyme of spoken language that is normally delivered over beats. From the West African Griots, Caribbean folk artists adopted the style of telling stories in a rhythmic form, hence laying the foundation for the emergence of rap artists and the birth of modern rap music.
While the official emergence date for rap music history has been a topic of debate, rap became a genre when D.J.s in New York began sampling percussive elements from funk, soul, and disco as a way of creating a repetitive beat. The kicking off of the rap genre is widely attributed to DJ Kool Herc, who initiated rap over the loop during the back-to-school parties that were hosted in the 1970s. Additionally, the birthplace for hip hop is considered to be the Bronx, where hip hop became an unstoppable sensation.
After the emergence of the broad hip-hop culture, rap was incorporated and became part of the culture. Due to its irrefutable sensation, rap music has become one of the undeniable popular music genres in the United States up to date. Besides, the rap genre has led to the emergence of other novel subgenres that include rap-core, rap-metal, and mumble rap. Rap music bridged the gap that exists between instrumentation and spoken poetry. As a result of rap music's popularity, the many African American descendants of the blacks utilized rap pieces to present various issues experienced in society by the blacks and other minorities who are victims of archetypical discrimination from the whites.
Typically, the rap genre is linked with the violent portrayal in the media. Straight Outta Compton is among the rap artifacts that affirm this violence, which is stereotypically associated with the rap genre and has become a common repertoire in a large population of rap artists. This is one of the Gangster rap pieces of music that emanated from an impoverished inner-city neighborhood in Los Angeles (Mariscal, 2016). The growth of this kind of rap music was nourished by the frequently tense relationship between the residents in the neighborhood and police and was aimed to depict the violent life that inhabitants of the area faced on the streets.
The music was aimed at expressing the black population's emotions and anger. This double-platinum album by the N.W.A. rap group was a form of protest against police brutality that was being experienced by the black community. As per the title, the rap artists composed the music to shed light on issues regarding police brutality that had become prevalent in Compton, a poor neighborhood situated in the south-central of Los Angeles.
Before the composition of this rap music, African Americans who resided in Compton faced discrimination from white cops. The song called Straight Outta Compton was aimed at sensitizing the population to launch a war against police and gangster violence that prevailed in society. More specifically, the song depicted how blacks in Los Angeles struggled to navigate their life amid police brutality.
The N.W.A. rap group decided to boldly expose the dark or dub side of the story that concerned the unfair treatment received by African Americans in the neighborhood. The song references various instances, including the mistreatment of the Blacks by police officers when the LAPD started its war against gangs and drugs (McCann, 2012). The police officers stereotyped and t

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