Rebellion Through Music

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‘Rebellion Through Music’ by Heather Wendtland talks about the idea of youth, who through the listening and usage of music, are able to mark out their identities. She expounds the ironies involved, the lyrical connotations in particular, and how youth are still able to accept what’s perceived as ‘wrong’ and use it to their advantage. Music, to them, is like a double-edged sword, providing them with a taste of empowerment and exhilaration, yet being obnoxious to authority. Wendtland, a university student who majors and minors in sociology and psychology respectively, writes with a personal touch from her past experiences with references to very similar examples given from other authors. Although she wrote this article as a composition assignment on cultural phenomenon for her professor, she appears to have an intended target audience of like-minded youth, seemingly trying to bring to light how they are able to “rebel” through music. Wendtland suggests the idea that such music “empowers” the listener and puts him/her in control. This can be seen when she elaborates on how “Ice Cube’s lyrics offered” her and her friends “a sense of empowerment”. Wendtland also mentions that she enjoyed putting her “music out there and knowing full well that it was offending those in [her] presence”. She quotes Joan Morgan on an incident where African Americans “forced their music upon the whites who had no choice but to listen” and gleefully recalls how she overtly blasted such music at the gas station and thoroughly enjoyed how offended the adults looked. These very similar examples serve to reinforce her stand, showing that power (however slight) and independence attained by daring to be different gave her a sense of rebelling against authority, thus feeling a higher self-worth relative to the others. Additionally, Wendtland explains on how youth are able to live vicariously through the music of others. They use music as a channel where unspoken feelings are expressed. It is where...
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