Debate: Old School vs. Contemporary Rap

Two Galileo Pendulum writers constantly argue over music. In order to give people an experience of these arguments, the writers decided to write an argumentative piece on rap songs of their choice. Senior Ameesia Marold explains why the song, “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. is an all time classic, while senior Eric Der gives his reasoning for why “Ghost Face Killers’ by 21 Savage is a contemporary masterpiece.


Ameesia: There is deep meaning behind the lyrics and story of Christopher Wallace. He has a story to tell in ‘Juicy’ about turning his poverty into fame, describing both his upbringing and rise to riches. He paints a picture of two tales; his street life of poverty and his new life of wealth. Juicy forces me to question which life Wallace favors, he is praising his street life when he says “same number same hood,” yet he is favoring his current life when he says “went from negative to positive.” The chorus is one of my favorite parts as Biggie is addressing anyone with dreams, assuring them they can succeed if they try.

Eric: The lyrics in this song are ridiculously corny. They echo every other rapper’s rags to riches sob story, with a few motivational quotes thrown in to appeal to people who think everyone in the world can succeed. The overdone topic of these lyrics combined with the awful production make for an overall disappointing, generic song.

Eric: On the other hand, the lyrics in Ghostface Killers follow the same topics that most people expect from modern rap; money, women, and drugs. However, Offset and 21 add their own spice and character to it through references to their own life, as well as cultural and popular culture, such as when 21 alludes to Kim Jong un and big bombs.These lyrics are not deep or enlightening by any stretch of the imagination, but they sound good and follow the theme that these artists are known for.

Ameesia: Why is this song unique or original if it conforms to what “is expected of modern rap”? Offset and 21 are simply using popular culture to highlight or create false experiences to rap about in order to appeal to the people, they are not original or real. Being decked out in diamonds reveals nothing about life or the human condition, they sound trashy.

Social Impact-

Ameesia:  ‘Juicy’ embodied everything that would come to distinguish Biggie’s legacy. The overall theme of aspiration and overcoming the struggle of the streets matched with the lyrical proficiency made this song timeless. ‘Juicy’ is a universal song, appealing to many people, The realness of his everyday struggles and successes presented in the lyrics is timeless and truly does promote his life after death.

Eric: This song  brings nothing new to the table, and I’m convinced the only reason the song, or the artist for that matter, was relevant was because he got lucky and blew up in a time of talentless artists, and is now only appreciated by those stuck in the past. The only social impact of this song is that it motivates the same people that find ten dollars on the street and think they’ve made it out of the struggle, while sounding like a corny infomercial.

Eric: Alternatively, Ghostface Killers has received praise from hip hop critics and fans alike. Though it’s a song that is not likely to hit the radio anytime soon due to the explicit lyrics, one can expect it to be blasted at parties and clubs, being a heavy hitting trap song with mindless lyrics.

Ameesia: The social impact of this song is not present. It has no powerful or positive impact or meaning on the listener and provides no insightful message. It is not a song that inspires other people or rappers and therefore has no impact on this generation or the rap industry as a whole. It’s pointless and the overly profane lyrics make it simply that, a song to play at a party. The song has no positive impact on society and does not inspire the listener in any way, it is simply made for 21 Savage and Offset to boost their egos. Showing their selfish intentions as artists.

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