Posted in South Africa, Student Projects

Shock Value

Many rappers carve out their own niches in the market by having certain traits in their music that stand out. For instance, some rappers have been known to  add shock value to their music and videos to gain attention from audiences. In South Africa, the rappers Die Antwoord use a lot of sinister imagery in their music video “Ugly Boy” while their lyrics portray a deranged love. In America, the rapper Tyler the Creator uses gory imagery and graphic lyrics in his music video “Yonkers”. These two artist portrayed two different types of crazy, but who is more convincing. 

In “Ugly Boy” by Die Antwoord reminded me of a Joker and Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad 2016) type of crazy. The first visual connection that I could make was between Ninja and joker seeing that both have eccentric tattoos and are often caught with their torsos exposed. Yolandi and took on a Harley Quinn look by using the red and blue eyeshadow some scenes and white foundation in others. Lyrically, the song depicted a relationship between the to rappers who are literally crazy in love with each other. Its show both Yolandi and Ninja having an obsession with each other. In the video I think the most shocking aspect was the us of red paint and fake blood that often covered the body and face of ninja throughout the video. The least shocking part of the video was the dancers that were painted white with streaks of red.   

In “Yonkers” by Tyler the Creator the audience is taken into the mind of an insane artist. An eerie beat rings throughout the music. Shot in black and white, Tyler the Creator spits confusing and frustrated lyrics. With his constant body movement and sporadic nature Tyler the Creator shows a possessed quality that wasn’t executed quite as well in the Die Antwoord video. “Yonkers” also had more shocking content within the video. Lyrically, Tyler used excellent end rhyme to convey graphic images, even stating how he would stab Bruno Mars in his esophagus as an example. Visually, Tyler was seen eating cockroaches, vomiting, becoming possessed, and, most shockingly of all, hanging himself. 

 

 

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