English 1980, Tutorial 1
24 March 2009
Personal Context Essay: All Falls Down
Kanye West produced the popular song “All Falls Down” in 2004. He is well known for creating many wonderful tunes but this one stands out above the rest. While his other songs contain bass-heavy instrumentals and contain lyrics about money and women, this one is strays away from the previous structures. “All Falls Down” catches the attention of youth, with its mellow melody, to send a strong message concerning the overemphasis on money and education and how it can be harmful through the lyrics. The issues contained in the message are highly focused on the idea that money and education will not always be there throughout life. A person cannot always expect everything will go accordingly and he or she will be rich because he or she has an education. This is one of the few songs that convey a critical, yet positive, view of the harshness of reality for listeners. One way to attract listeners is to have a good melody and “All Falls Down” does a good job on that. The instrumentals of the song are very layered. There are many instruments and sounds mixed in the background to create a unique rhythm. At the start of the song, there is an acoustic guitar strum accompanied by a woman singing the chorus, which is the title of the song. The vocal line is looped throughout the entire song. The chorus is not part of a verse, it is everywhere in the entire song; this suggests that the chorus was meant to tie into all of the lyrics in song. This structure makes it sound like it’s questioning all of the issues presented in the song by asking, what if these things (education, money) fail you? What would you do then? The tempo of the song is fast to stay true to the hip-hop genre but the song is unorthodox because of the issues contained in the lyrics. A listener would expect artists conveying a message to use a slower tempo to clearly present...
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