English 123 Final

Jack Mahoney
English 123
Professor Drown
4/29/20

Over the duration of this class, I learned so much about how to read complex pieces of writing. Using active reading, annotating, and other skills like right there and text + you I was able to become a better reader and writer. Being able to come to terms with a piece of writing is vital to your understanding of the text and allows you to translate that knowledge into a piece of writing.

I faced a lot of challenges in this course this year, but I believe they made me a better student. Over the years of being in school, I never had a teacher that assigned so much work. Not that this was a bad thing, I had just never experienced something like that. Being a freshman, this hit me harder than a linebacker blindsiding a quarterback. However, with the help of Professor Drown I was able to figure out a system that worked best for me. In this process, I learned that it’s important to write things down for reminders and to stay on top of your work in general.

I think the most rewarding times in this class was when Professor Drown would applaud me on doing good work on assignment. As a student I don’t have a ton of confidence in my abilities in the classroom and hearing that I was producing good work from Professor Drown made me happy. From this, I learned that I should always be confident in the classroom.

When approaching future writing assignments, I will use a lot of what I learned in this class to help me. Learning how to structure a paragraph properly, proper citation use and pulling evidence from the text will all be things that I learned that will help me.

English HW 4/27

Jack Mahoney
English 123

The “Brandenburg test” is a ruling that is best known for giving America “shouting fire in a theater” as an aphorism describing actions that have a tendency to cause panic and “create a clear and present danger” through sedition or lawlessness (Keller). The Brandenburg test is different from clear and present danger because clear and present danger means that the threat is real and causes serious harm immediately.
Stochastic terrorism is terrorism that occurs at a random time to ignite fear in the eyes of a certain group of people.
Stochastic terrorism makes it hard to apply the Brandenburg test to terrorism because of the random time that the terroism occurs. There would be no way to connect an act of terroism to a conspiracy theory that happens for no reason unless there was a reason for it.
Personally, I believe that free speech should protect conspiracy theories, but to a certain limit. Although people are entitled to their own personal beliefs, I believe that if they are causing a threat to other people’s daily lives by creating fear this should not be allowed. Along with this, people should only believe the conspiracy theories if there is proof to back them up. This is because if there is no proof fear and false information will spread.

English HW 4/16

Jack Mahoney
English 123

The internet played the most important role in victimizing Marcel Fontaine. Once the photo was posted of him on 4chan, fake news was immediately created against him. People believed he was a communist because of the shirt he was wearing and that because he was homosexual these false claims were made easily.
Being mistaken as the Parkland shooter came with serious consequences. He received death threats constantly as he feared for his life. Along with this, he did not want to leave his house and is still scared to this day.
Sandy Hook father Lenny Pozner has had to move many times for multiple reasons. Once he started his fight back against conspiracy theorists who believed the Sandy Hook massacre was fake, he started receiving death threats immediately. He proved his son was real and indeed in the school when the shooting occurred by posting his son’s birth certificate and Kindergarten report card and by starting his own organization that fights false claims from conspiracy theorists. According to Pozner, free speech ends when, “your chosen form of expression impedes my rights to be free from defamation and harassment.”
Dr. Offit continues his work because he knows that vaccines can improve the lives of millions of people. He knows that although people are against the idea of vaccines, they can prevent the spread of many diseases which improves the quality of life for millions.
Sexism plays a role in the harassment of Brianna Wu in many ways. This is because she is a woman and because she decided to take a stand against conspiracy theorists online they automatically thought of her as inferior and began to attack her beliefs. Shortly after she started receiving death threats and was forced to move out of her home with her husband.

English 123 HW 4/13

Jack Mahoney
English 123

1.Contradictory: Conspiracy theorists can simultaneously believe in ideas that are mutually contradictory. An example of this would be that Princess Diana was murdered but that she also faked her own death.
2.Overriding Suspicion : This extreme degree of suspicion prevents belief in anything that doesn’t relate to the conspiracy directly.

  1. Nefarious Intent: The assumption that all conspiracy theories are evil or will result in something evil happening.
  2. Something Must Be Wrong: Deception is the basis of official accounts within conspiracy theories.
  3. Persecuted Victim: Conspiracy theorists often present themselves as victims of organized persecution
  4. Immune to Evidence: The stronger the evidence against a conspiracy, the more conspirators want people to believe their story.
  5. Re-interpreting Randomness: The belief that nothing occurs by accident.

Personally, I believe that people believe in conspiracy theories for many reasons. When assessing events that could have a conspiracy theory made out of it, I believe people desire safety, a true understanding of the situation, someone or something to blame for an unfortunate event. Along with this, I believe for the people who create these conspiracy theories, they are looking for fame and to improve their own personal image.

In this article, there are many theories represented on how the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world. I noticed that people are looking to blame the people of Wuhan, China who were in the market when the disease broke out, and also the governments of China and the United States. People are saying that there is a vaccine for COVID-19 and that the government is refusing to release it. Along with this, millions of people have been saying that COVID-19 is no worse than the common flu which was also represented. The most common conspiracy theory characteristics are denial, the “Us vs Them” theory.

English HW 4/5

What is van Prooijen’s definition of “conspiracy theory”? [Right There] To what degree does van Prooijen’s definition match Merlan’s? [Text + You]

The writer’s definition of “conspiracy theory” is the suspicion that a group of actors have joined together in a secret agreement to plan evil acts. (Paragraph 6). Although Merlan believes that conspiracy theories do involve a group, Merlan believes that conspiracy theories occur during times of social change, and that “fake news” play large roles in these theories. Along with this, Merlan believes that during the times of social change, people look for something to blame which can also create these theories.

What is van Prooijen (with Mark van Vugt) argument in support of the claim that conspiracy theories have evolutionary origins over 12,000 years old? You’ll need to Pull Together and summarize the information in paragraphs 9-14 to answer this question.

Prooijen and Mark’s argument is that conspiracies are caused by lethal conflict between different groups. In the article, they explain that conflicting groups were most likely to resort to violence with tribal warfare. Along with this, they state that ancient people had to always be on guard when dealing with unknown people compared to people today. This is because there was no social media or modern technology to help the groups resolve conflicts.

What does van Prooijen mean by “evolutionary mismatch” (paragraph 20), how does it apply to conspiracy theory (paragraphs 20-22) and what kinds of problems can conspiracy theory as an evolutionary mismatch cause in the world? [Right There + Pull It Together]

The “evolutionary mismatch” that the writer describes is the reference to human development in today’s age compared to thousands of years ago. This applies to conspiracy theories in many ways. This is because back then violence was used to fix many problems between different groups, creating conspiracies and mystery about the events that occured. In todays age, the “Us vs them” mindset is seen as people look to blame others for unfortunate events that have occured. For example, Indonesia looks to blame the West for a recent span of terrorist attacks that have occured in their country.
How could understanding conspiracy theories in the way that van Prooijen does contribute to our understanding of the rise of populist political movements and extremist organizations that endorse violent conflict with others? [Right There]

Understanding conspiracy theories in the way that the writer does is very important when looking to understand these factors. If able to understand these factors, we will be able to understand the true reason behind what motivate groups to carry out these acts.

English 123 Final Essay

Jack Mahoney
English 123
Professor Drown
3/13/20

Every musician writes a piece of music with a purpose. Some songs have a story to be told or a message to be spread. Other songs have the ability to captivate the minds of thousands of people, while some can only connect to certain people. In the music industry, to “sell out” means that the artist or band sacrifices their integrity and morals for personal gain. Artists and bands decide that their own self image along with their music isn’t producing the income for themselves that was originally desired so they turn to corporate america for assistance. Some turn to sponsorships that highlights their music and the product that is trying to be sold, while others look for money from the corporate world so that they can expand their name in the music industry. Along with this, I believe corporate power and sponsorships propel the artist’s career and music allowing them to sell out as well. Writer Shen-yi Liao writes about rapper Kendrick Lamar and how dealing with Reebok gave his music more value. He writes, “ Unlike pop, conscious hip hop does have defining values. But, of course, those defining values are highly contested. Even if we could reach some consensus on the defining values of consciousness, it remains similarly contested whether appearing in Reebok advertisements is concordant or discordant with those values. For example, someone might argue that raising social awareness is the defining value of consciousness, and that the reach of Reebok advertisements makes Lamar’s appearances concordant with that value” (Liao paragraph 7). He believes that Kendrick Lamar’s partnership with Reebok allows him to use his power to connect with his fans and spread awareness for social problems at the same time. A writer for The Washington Post by the name of Chris Richards wrote an article highlighting problems that have risen within pop culture. The article called “The 5 Hardest Questions In Pop Music” allows the author to dive into topics that may not be understood by some people within the music industry. When writing about the topic of “selling out” Richards explains, “It started when a new generation of entrepreneurial rap stars figured out that a lot of money was being made in their names, and they wanted to be the ones to pocket it. The human connection stayed intact because their refusal to be exploited felt entirely relatable…Now, corporate sponsorship has become a validating force in popland, where artists are routinely praised for thinking of themselves as brands” ( paragraphs 14-15). Richards believes that rap artists look for sponsorships and corporate deals to make more money off not only their music but their image as well. These artists have the survival of the fittest mentality instilled in them from an early age and believe “selling out” is just another way to make more money off their music. Writer Roy Cook believes that selling out requires more of a personal sacrifice for an artist or band. He states, “a band has sold out if they have compromised their personal values or musical integrity in exchange for financial gain” (Cook. paragraph 1). Cook believes that selling out comes with a price that all successful artists and musicians must face. Selling out in the music industry can also mean different things. Writer Javier Gomez-Lavin believes that there is a narrow and a broader way to sell out within the music industry. He writes, “Perhaps producing music—engaging in the generative practice of music-making—with a primary, commercial aim, could constitute a narrow reading of selling out…Let’s then identify a broad reading with violating certain group or community norms related to a generative art practice, generally” (Gomez-Lavin paragraph 2). He believes that a narrow approach to selling out which is producing music with a commercial aim does not require a group’s community norms to be violated within the broader spectrum. However, some critics and writers believe that selling out is more about the value and quality of the work than personal or group sacrifice. Many writers believe that pop music has no value and does not allow an artist to sell out. Writer Shen-yi Liao states, “To sell out, an artist needs to make a kind of art that has some defining value…Since pop has no defining value, pop artists cannot sell out” (Liao paragraph 5). Along with this, writers and critics have discovered that there are certain values and norms that allow an artist to sell out within the music industry.

There are many types of values and norms of music that would allow an artist or group to sell out. Hip Hop and Rap music is the genre of music that I believe has the most values to allow an artist to sell out. I have been listening to rap music since I was six years old, and the genre has really changed. Artists have changed the way they produce their songs and have allowed their music to become the genre of my generation. Everyone I know listens to rap music, and my friends and I become anxious waiting for our favorite artists to drop their next albums. The beats to these songs are contagious as you can automatically find yourself bopping your head along with the beat. The purpose of rap music is to tell a story. Some artists rap about romance, while others rap about loved ones who were murdered or how gang activity allowed them to rise to power and popularity. Although these topics are inappropriate and generally frowned upon in society, the stories of the artists are compelling and they have the power to capture the attention of the audience right away. I believe this power is what allows rap artists to become extremely wealthy and to eventually sell out.
Writer Mary Beth Willard believes that a partnership with a corporate business is a better platform for speaking out about social problems then speaking out without representation. She explains, “ He’s collaborating to make shoes that signify equality. The human connection stays intact also because the artists can directly speak to fans without appearing to go through a publicist or journalist or PR firm. More to the point, Lamar looks like the natural extension of all the bloggers and influencers and trendsetters who write about what they want and throw up the occasional sponsored post about a product that they assuredly would have liked even if it hadn’t been given to them for free” (Willard paragraph 3). Finally, I believe the artist or group’s connection with his or her fan base either forces them to sell out or not.

The connection between fans and the artist or band is very important. The fans provide the artist with the support they need to have the possibility to sell out. When a fan buys a song on Apple Music, or listens to the artists song on Spotify or YouTube the artist then receives money. A popular song from the artist can in return make them very rich. Along with this, the money gives the artist the chance to perform at concerts and music festivals which can generate millions of dollars in their name. Fans give artists the opportunity to create a name for themselves while producing new music in the hopes of selling out. Writer Mary Beth Willard believes an artist’s fan base is what makes the artists music unique. She writes, “Selling out isn’t just linked with making money, but with having changed your sound in order to get past the gatekeepers to make a lot of money. It’s losing what was unique, what made the band cool, what allowed the band and the fans to adopt the wry and Morissette-ironic pose that said that they didn’t really care about money or fame, but authenticity. Selling out meant that the band had caved to corporate forces and popular tastes, and liking a band that had sold out meant that you could now be identified. But that’s not cool, and cool was coin. Selling out means you leave behind Feeling Gravity’s Pull in favor of Shiny Happy People” (Willard paragraph 4). She proves that the fan base allows the artist to create music for the love of making people happy, not just for financial gain. In conclusion, I believe these factors can lead an artist to sell out although this is not always desirable.

Works Cited:
Aesthetics For Birds. (2019, February 24). ARTWORLD ROUNDTABLE: CAN TODAY’S ARTISTS STILL SELL OUT? Retrieved from https://aestheticsforbirds.com/2018/09/13/artworld-roundtable-can-todays-artists-still-sell-out/#cook

“The Five Hardest Questions in Pop Music.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 2 July 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2018/07/02/feature/separate-art-from-artist-cultural-appropriation/.

Essay Rough Draft

Jack Mahoney
English 123
Professor Drown
3/13/20

Every musician writes a piece of music with a purpose. Some songs have a story to be told or a message to be spread. Other songs have the ability to captivate the minds of thousands of people, while some have can only connect to certain people. Along with this, musicians sell their music to make money and to hopefully “sell out”. In the music industry, to “sell out” means that the artist or band sacrifices their integrity and morals for personal gain. A writer for The Washington Post by the name of Chris Richards wrote an article highlighting problems that have risen within pop culture. The article called “The 5 Hardest Questions In Pop Music” allows the author to dive into topics that may not be understood by some people within the music industry. When writing about the topic of “selling out” Richards states, “It started when a new generation of entrepreneurial rap stars figured out that a lot of money was being made in their names, and they wanted to be the ones to pocket it. The human connection stayed intact because their refusal to be exploited felt entirely relatable…Now, corporate sponsorship has become a validating force in popland, where artists are routinely praised for thinking of themselves as brands” (Richards paragraphs 14-15). Richards believes that rap artists look for sponsorships and corporate deals to make more money off not only their music but their image as well. These artists have the survival of the fittest mentality instilled in them from an early age and believe “selling out” is just another way to make more money off their music. Writer Roy Cook believes that selling out requires more of a personal sacrifice for an artist or band. He states, “a band has sold out if they have compromised their personal values or musical integrity in exchange for financial gain” (Cook. paragraph 1). Cook believes that selling out comes with a price that all successful artists and musicians must face. Selling out in the music industry can also mean different things. Writer Javier Gomez-Lavin believes that there is a narrow and a broader way to sell out within the music industry. He writes, “Perhaps producing music—engaging in the generative practice of music-making—with a primary, commercial aim, could constitute a narrow reading of selling out…Let’s then identify a broad reading with violating certain group or community norms related to a generative art practice, generally” (Gomez-Lavin paragraph 2). He believes that a narrow approach to selling out which is producing music with a commercial aim does not require a group’s community norms to be violated within the broader spectrum. However, some critics and writers believe that selling out is more about the value and quality of the work than personal or group sacrifice. Many writers believe that pop music has no value and does not allow an artist to sell out. Writer Shen-yi Liao states, “To sell out, an artist needs to make a kind of art that has some defining value…Since pop has no defining value, pop artists cannot sell out” (Liao paragraph 5). Along with this, writers and critics have discovered that there are certain values and norms that allow an artist to sell out within the music industry.

There are many types of values and norms of music that would allow an artist or group to sell out. Hip Hop and Rap music is the genre of music that I believe has the most values to allow an artist to sell out. I have been listening to rap music since I was six years old, and the genre has really changed. Artists have changed the way they produce their songs and have allowed their music to become the genre of my generation. Everyone I know listens to rap music, and my friends and I become anxious waiting for our favorite artists to drop their next albums. The beats to these songs are contagious as you can automatically find yourself bopping your head along with the beat. The purpose of rap music is to tell a story. Some artists rap about romance, while others rap about loved ones who were murdered or how gang activity allowed them to rise to power and popularity. Although these topics are inappropriate and generally frowned upon in society, the stories of the artists are compelling and they have the power to capture the attention of the audience right away. I believe this power is what allows rap artists to become extremely wealthy and to eventually sell out. Along with this, I believe corporate power and sponsorships propel the artist’s career and music allowing them to sell out as well. Writer Shen-yi Liao writes about rapper Kendrick Lamar and how dealing with Reebok gave his music more value. He writes, “ Unlike pop, conscious hip hop does have defining values. But, of course, those defining values are highly contested. Even if we could reach some consensus on the defining values of consciousness, it remains similarly contested whether appearing in Reebok advertisements is concordant or discordant with those values. For example, someone might argue that raising social awareness is the defining value of consciousness, and that the reach of Reebok advertisements makes Lamar’s appearances concordant with that value” (Liao paragraph 7). He believes that Kendrick Lamar’s partnership with Reebok allows him to use his power to connect with his fans and spread awareness for social problems at the same time. Writer Mary Beth Willard believes that a partnership with a corporate business is a better platform for speaking out about social problems then speaking out without representation. She writes, “ He’s collaborating to make shoes that signify equality. The human connection stays intact also because the artists can directly speak to fans without appearing to go through a publicist or journalist or PR firm. More to the point, Lamar looks like the natural extension of all the bloggers and influencers and trendsetters who write about what they want and throw up the occasional sponsored post about a product that they assuredly would have liked even if it hadn’t been given to them for free” (Willard paragraph 3). Finally, I believe the artist or groups connection with his or her fan base gives them the opportunity to sell out.

The connection between fans and the artist or band is very important. The fans provide the artist with the support they need to have the possibility to sell out. When a fan buys a song on Apple Music, or listens to the artists song on Spotify or YouTube the artist then receives money. A popular song from the artist can in return make them very rich. Along with this, the money gives the artist the chance to perform at concerts and music festivals which can generate millions of dollars in their name. Fans give artists the opportunity to create a name for themselves while producing new music in the hopes of selling out. Writer Mary Beth Willard believes an artist’s fan base is what makes the artists music unique. She writes, “Selling out isn’t just linked with making money, but with having changed your sound in order to get past the gatekeepers to make a lot of money. It’s losing what was unique, what made the band cool, what allowed the band and the fans to adopt the wry and Morissette-ironic pose that said that they didn’t really care about money or fame, but authenticity. Selling out meant that the band had caved to corporate forces and popular tastes, and liking a band that had sold out meant that you could now be identified. But that’s not cool, and cool was coin. Selling out means you leave behind Feeling Gravity’s Pull in favor of Shiny Happy People” (Willard paragraph 4). She proves that the fan base allows the artist to create music for the love of making people happy, not just for financial gain. In conclusion, I believe these factors allow today’s artists to have the ability to sell out.

Works Cited:
Aesthetics For Birds. (2019, February 24). ARTWORLD ROUNDTABLE: CAN TODAY’S ARTISTS STILL SELL OUT? Retrieved from https://aestheticsforbirds.com/2018/09/13/artworld-roundtable-can-todays-artists-still-sell-out/#cook

“The Five Hardest Questions in Pop Music.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 2 July 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/style/wp/2018/07/02/feature/separate-art-from-artist-cultural-appropriation/.

English HW Debate Paragraphs

Jack Mahoney
English 123
Professor Drown
2/26/20

Every musician writes a piece of music with a purpose. Some songs have a story to be told or a message to be spread. Other songs have the ability to captivate the minds of thousands of people, while some have can only connect to certain people. Along with this, musicians sell their music to make money and to hopefully “sell out”. In the music industry, to “sell out” means that the artist is able to create so much successful music that they are able to become extremely wealthy and can sell out venues for concerts and special appearances. Writer Roy Cook believes that selling out requires more of a personal sacrifice for an artist or band. He states, “a band has sold out if they have compromised their personal values or musical integrity in exchange for financial gain” (Cook. paragraph 1). Cook believes that selling out comes with a price that all successful artists and musicians must face. Selling out in the music industry can also mean different things. Writer Javier Gomez-Lavin believes that there is a narrow and a broader way to sell out within the music industry. He writes, “Perhaps producing music—engaging in the generative practice of music-making—with a primary, commercial aim, could constitute a narrow reading of selling out…Let’s then identify a broad reading with violating certain group or community norms related to a generative art practice, generally” (Gomez-Lavin paragraph 2). He believes that a narrow approach to selling out which is producing music with a commercial aim does not require a group’s community norms to be violated within the broader spectrum. However, some critics and writers believe that selling out is more about the value and quality of the work than personal or group sacrifice. Many writers believe that pop music has no value and does not allow an artist to sell out. Writer Shen-yi Liao states, “To sell out, an artist needs to make a kind of art that has some defining value…Since pop has no defining value, pop artists cannot sell out” (Liao paragraph 5). Along with this, writers and critics have discovered that there are certain values and norms that allow an artist to sell out within the music industry.

There are many types of values and norms of music that would allow an artist or group to sell out. Hip Hop and Rap music is the genre of music that I believe has the most values to allow an artist to sell out. I have been listening to rap music since I was six years old, and the genre has really changed. Artists have changed the way they produce their songs and have allowed the genre to become the genre of my generation. Everyone I know listens to rap music, and my friends and I become anxious waiting for our favorite artists to drop their next albums. The beats to these songs are contagious as you can automatically find yourself bopping your head along with the beat. The purpose of rap music is to tell a story. Some artists rap about romance, while others rap about loved ones who were murdered or how gang activity allowed them to rise to power and popularity. Although these topics are inappropriate and generally frowned upon in society, the stories of the artists are compelling and they have the power to capture the attention of the audience right away. I believe this power is what allows rap artists to become extremely wealthy and to eventually sell out. Along with this, I believe corporate power and sponsorships propel the artist’s career and music allowing them to sell out as well. Writer Shen-yi Liao writes about rapper Kendrick Lamar and how dealing with Reebok gave his music more value. He writes, “ Unlike pop, conscious hip hop does have defining values. But, of course, those defining values are highly contested. Even if we could reach some consensus on the defining values of consciousness, it remains similarly contested whether appearing in Reebok advertisements is concordant or discordant with those values. For example, someone might argue that raising social awareness is the defining value of consciousness, and that the reach of Reebok advertisements makes Lamar’s appearances concordant with that value” (Liao paragraph 7). He believes that Kendrick Lamar’s partnership with Reebok allows him to use his power to connect with his fans and spread awareness for social problems at the same time. Writer Mary Beth Willard believes that a partnership with a corporate business is a better platform for speaking out about social problems then speaking out without representation. She writes, “ He’s collaborating to make shoes that signify equality. The human connection stays intact also because the artists can directly speak to fans without appearing to go through a publicist or journalist or PR firm. More to the point, Lamar looks like the natural extension of all the bloggers and influencers and trendsetters who write about what they want and throw up the occasional sponsored post about product that they assuredly would have liked even if it hadn’t been given to them for free” (Willard paragraph 3). Finally, I believe the artist or groups connection with his or her fan base gives them the opportunity to sell out.

The connection between fans and the artist or band is very important. The fans provide the artist with the support they need to have the possibility to sell out. When a fan buys a song on Apple Music, or listens to the artists song on Spotify or YouTube the artist then receives money. A popular song from the artist can in return make them very rich. Along with this, the money gives the artist the chance to perform at concerts and music festivals which can generate millions of dollars in their name. Fans give artists the opportunity to create a name for themselves while producing new music in the hopes of selling out. Writer Mary Beth Willard believes an artist’s fan base is what makes the artists music unique. She writes, “Selling out isn’t just linked with making money, but with having changed your sound in order to get past the gatekeepers to make a lot of money. It’s losing what was unique, what made the band cool, what allowed the band and the fans to adopt the wry and Morissette-ironic pose that said that they didn’t really care about money or fame, but authenticity. Selling out meant that the band had caved to corporate forces and popular tastes, and liking a band that had sold out meant that you could now be identified. But that’s not cool, and cool was coin. Selling out means you leave behind Feeling Gravity’s Pull in favor of Shiny Happy People”
(Willard paragraph 4). She proves that the fan base allows the artist to create music for the love of making people happy, not just for financial gain. In conclusion, I believe these factors allow today’s artists to have the ability to sell out.

Works Cited:
Aestheticsforbirds. (2019, February 24). ARTWORLD ROUNDTABLE: CAN TODAY’S ARTISTS STILL SELL OUT? Retrieved from https://aestheticsforbirds.com/2018/09/13/artworld-roundtable-can-todays-artists-still-sell-out/#cook

Debate Map English HW

Jack Mahoney
English 123
Professor Drown
2/24/20

Essential Question: Can todays artists still sell out?

Roy Cook:

“a band has sold out if they have compromised their personal values or musical integrity in exchange for financial gain.” (Paragraph 1)

“Lamar’s connection to Reebok just might inspire fashion-conscious Reebok consumers to learn more about Lamar’s social justice work and engage in some world-improving of their own.” (Paragraph 3)

“ In short, selling out can (and often does) bring wider exposure to the culture and values that the sell-out artist is supposedly betraying.” (Paragraph 4)

“Where an artist produces music that is different from the music that they would have produced without corporate interference, it’s still not obvious that this is necessarily a bad thing.” (Paragraph 5).

“ the music that is produced reaches a much wider audience, in two senses: the music reaches more consumers, and the music is enjoyed by more of the consumers that are reached.” (Paragraph 5).

“there is at least some reason for thinking that music that is enjoyable by many people is, all else being equal, better than music that is only enjoyable by a few.” (Paragraph 6)

“the explicit rejection of capitalist or corporate interests is lacking in hip-hop – on the contrary, economically aspirational themes of “getting paid” have been a central theme of rap music since its origins.” (Paragraph 10)

Javier Gomez-Lavin:

“loaded but fuzzy concept, one that thrives off its dense links to the broader issues of consumerism.” (Paragraph 2)

“Most musicians, but especially pop musicians can’t sell out in a narrow sense anymore, but some musicians can sell out in a broader sense.” (Paragraph 2).”

“entrepreneurial rap pioneered the blending of commercial and musical aspects, ultimately leaving us with our current cultural moment where Kendrick Lamar is selling us Reeboks.” (Paragraph 3)

“ not only the very generative mechanics of music production are geared towards commercialization, but where the content of the music itself echoes this.” (Paragraph 4).

English Homework 2/21

Jack Mahoney
English 123
Professor Drown
2/21/20

Should we listen to music against a dead artist’s wishes?

Over the course of the last decade, the music industry has lost some of my favorite artists such as XXXTentacion, Mac Miller, Juice WRLD, and most recently rapper Pop Smoke. With the world and rap communities trying to still cope with the loss of all these amazing talents, one question comes to mind: Will more music from these artists still be released? The answer is yes. Unless the rapper gave family or his or her management group specific instructions not to release unreleased music post mortem, you can expect at least one album, possibly even more to be released. Through voice modification, or having someone finish the music for the artist, this is possible. Personally, I believe we should be able to continue to listen to dead artists’ music. If my favorite artist were to pass away I would want to be able to remember them by listening to their music for as long as possible.

How should we engage objectionionable lyrics?

I started listening to rap music when I was 6 years old, when my cousins introduced it to me. I fell in love with the genre, but was banned from listening to it by my parents.They felt that the explicit language along with the drugs, sex, and violence that was being portrayed in the music was not appropriate for a 6 year old at the time and they were probably right. However, as I grew older I began to understand the message that was trying to be spread in these songs. I felt the pain in the rappers voices as they talked about loved ones who had been murdered and how they rose to riches after coming from extreme poverty. Along with this, I understood why illegal things like drugs allowed them to gain power. I believe that as long artists can keep explicit language to a minimum it is acceptable to include them in the lyrics of their songs.