CMS 11 1512H
May 15, 2010
The JZ video can’t knock the hustle is from the hip hop genre and is a representation of a co-culture with ideals sought after by certain individuals of the urban environment of New York City. Revolving around the surface message of knowing females to the point of successfully determining their wants and using this knowledge for personal gain, this video has an underlying message that displays the glorification of money and the life style that is usually commonly associated with it. The ability to make money whether legal or illegally in this portrayal of the American dream has been dubbed a hustle and in this artists depiction all aspects of life are a hustle.
This video gives a distorted and very stereotypical representation of both the male and female characters portrayed. Its male characters are displayed as successful business men who are represented by expensive suits, fancy cars, and trendy dwellings. This can be seen as a distorted urban representation of the traditional American standard where a man’s success is determined by his wealth. The female characters in this video are portrayed in the usual stereotypical light of sex objects and materialistic individuals that have become synonymous with hip hop music videos. This displays females in a very negative light that tends to leave its audience with a narrow and one sided representation of women.
The communication goals of this video are to relay the point of view of the artist that generated the lyrics. In this particular song the artist is telling of his perceived superiority towards women and the games in which this superiority is acted out. Since these songs are generated for the purpose of producing capital, there is an underlying projection of the message of wealth is power. This message displayed through the use of suggestive imagery such as expensive clothes, houses, cars, and the association of beautiful women with money, creates the idea wealth will bring a life style like the ones portrayed in hip hop music videos. These suggestions become a blue print for the youth who idolize these artists and hence communicate effectively any message these artists see fit.
Linda Kalof argued that many popular music videos emphasize sexual innuendos, suggestiveness, gender stereotypes and implicit aggression (Kalof 378). This type of communication can be very influential on its audience especially when its target audience and potential listeners are in their teens. A time when us as humans are very open minded to popular ideas and trends and are shaping our views towards life and the world encompassed within it. Kalof concludes that the exposure of traditional imagery in popular music videos has substantial influence upon American college students’ beliefs on adversarial sexual relationship, and females’ greater acceptance of sexual violence than men (Kalof 378). From studies such as Kalof’s, we see the persuasive power popular music videos possess and the influence it wields on shaping the perceptions of impressionable minds. Communication in its many forms can be a powerful and influential tool and caution on the part of the sender should be utilized when this tool influences such a large and diverse audience.
Kalof, Linda. “The Effects of Gender and Music Video Imagery on Sexual Attitudes,” Journal of Social Psychology. V. 139 no. 3 (1999). pp. 378