Song Essay

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Stranger
Jhene Aiko, a new R&B artist signed to No I.D.’s Atrium Records (a Def Jam Records affiliate), hails from the entertainment capital of Los Angeles, California. At the very young age of 13, she was signed to T.U.G./Epic Records. The entertainment industry pressures proved to be very overwhelming for the young artist who later left the label to focus on school and being a teenager (http://allhiphop.com/2012/05/15/jhene-aiko-talks-signing-with-no-i-d-working-with-the-weeknds-producers-why-she-left-chris-stokes-t-u-g-camp/). She has silky and compassionate vocals that her fans can easily identify. DeVaughn, R. (2012, November 5) Telephone interview. In the song “Stranger,” from her mixtape “Sailing Souls,” Jhene suggests that the main character acts like a stranger in their relationship, a familiar feeling she’s had in other relationships. This song explores the idea that a person can think they know someone’s personality really well and then that same person acts differently to cause the relationship to feel unfamiliar. For this reason, I believe the song “Stranger” takes you on a journey through the ups and downs of her relationship with the main character. This allows the listener to experience the emotions of the song through diction, figurative language, and repetition.

First, the diction in the song proves the confusion that Jhene feels about her relationship. The diction remarks both confusion and realization. Jhene sings about the confusion she feels associated with, “Are you sure we haven’t met before?” and “But I don’t know you?” She also emphasizes the feeling of realization, “I know ya face, I know ya name” (www.metrolyrics.com). All these examples of diction explain the confusion she feels about what’s going on in her relationship. She realizes that the person she once knew has now become a stranger to her, a familiar feeling she’s had in other relationships from her past.

Next, Jhene deals with figurative language as she realizes...
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