Rhetorical Analysis

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Where is the Love?
Time to Find the Love
Jason Reinhardt
University of Kentucky

Where is the Love
Music is a medium in which people can express their feelings, as well as get many strong messages across efficiently. This is seen frequently in the music industry along with many bands. take this as an initiative to spread a message they find important. The Black Eyed Peas are a band notorious for this type of social communication. This is a band that believes in social change as well as equality in the world. Many of their songs portray similar core values and express many reoccurring themes. The targeted audience of their songs is the youth. Their music promotes action for change. The Black Eyed Peas specifically call to action on certain issues such as believe the young being corrupt by society and we all must start the movement. One specific song, paired with its music video inspires many of these common threads. The song, “Where is the Love?” does an excellent job tying together many serious issues into a fluid musical piece paired with symbolic images. This music video is getting the message out that change in the world starts with the individual. With these images and sounds, The Black Eyed Peas are able to tackle and reflect on large social conflicts in a relaxing and inspiring way. “Where is the Love?” effectively touches upon may themes including, faith and hopelessness, hypocrisy and corrupted youth through images, poetic words, as well as the rhythm mood and tempo they play the music and these can be interpreted through ethos, logos and pathos. Through the Rhetorical Triangle analysis style, I will investigate what has been mentioned and how the combination of images and sounds effectively communicate many powerful messages, especially for the short amount of time. This artifact is being shared to promote a world with less racism, terrorism, war and most of all hypocrisy. Elephunk, the third album released by The Black Eyed Peas was incredibly popular and influential. Each song had some sort of social meaning, but none as powerful as “Where is the Love?”. This song was released in 2003, along with the rest of Elephunk. (Bush, 2012) This song reflects many of the important issues of this time. The song is based off of current social problems. With this in mind, they share many current issues to inform everybody, especially the youth. 2003 was just two short years after the terrorist attack on the twin towers as well as the Pentagon. American morale was never higher then after these events. As a nation, America was able to put the broken pieces back together to fight another day. A critical image within the music video is a red question Figure [ 1 ]: Black Eyed Peas (NYC, 2012) mark within a white box which is pictured in Figure 1, to the left. This represents the question, and the title of the song, “Where is Love?”. Throughout the music video the Black Eyed Peas spread this image all over the world, which symbolizes the need for reformation. The love that the Black Eyed Peas are referring to is not the traditional definition of the word love. Love symbolizes racism, discrimination, terror and the many other issues affecting the youth and hindering world progress. The message is to promote equality and safety through “spreading the love”. At first, it seems as if the war in Iraq and these terrorist attacks are the main point of the song, but looking a little deeper, it is evident there is much more behind this song and music video. The Black Eyed Peas use this event and war as a focus for their song, but the true meaning comes from the hypocrisy of our nation, along with the corrupted youth and contrasting themes of hopelessness and faith. Being a band of incredibly popular musicians, many listen to their music. In turn, their listens to their messages unknowingly. Most of the band members have parted and had just as successful careers solo. The average American will flock to talented people and...
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