Though there are admittedly any number of drawbacks to habitually waiting until 11:15 AM the day it’s due to start writing my blog post, one of the benefits is that I’m afforded the opportunity to read everyone else’s before I start and draw influence from them (after all, “If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism, if you steal from many it’s research”… just gonna go ahead and cite that one to Wilson Mizner though, because in this particular case I’m trying to avoid the whole plagiarism thing). In all seriousness though, it really is nice to get a chance to see where everyone else’s mind is at even before I start to formulate my thoughts on where mine is at.
In flipping through the posts, it sounds like a lot of people are contemplating the ideas of “what it means to research” and “can it be more enjoyable than just hours of studying dry textbooks”? It sounds like the Minor’s general consensus is that, yes, it can be more enjoyable than that, and on that front I can most certainly concur. Then again, my Mirlyn interactions have been limited to checking out My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Teflon Don on Audio CD, and my research boils down to bumping What A Time To Be Alive and reading along with Future’s borderline-coherent, codeine-fueled mumblings on Rap Genius.
I mean, to give myself some credit I have been taking notes, as one does with research – examining the rhetorical devices the artists use to convey their points as well as, more importantly, the subtext and implications therein. On that front, I’ve been doing pretty well, I think. Lots of artists have found intriguing ways to convey a sense of melancholy and distrust towards their own popularity and wealth in songs with lyrics that otherwise sound as though they’re embracing that lifestyle, and I look forward to playing with those ideas in my own writing. However, listening to all of this music has reminded me of one troubling fact…
That’s all I am, really. A listener. An observer of the form. I mean sure, in my glazed-over Saturday-at-2AM mindset I’ve ended the night at home making an ass out of myself freestyling with the boys. But if the pen is mightier than the sword, then it is most certainly quicker than the tongue, and so most of my verses generally boiled down to “My name is Chad/I’m really bad/But in a good way like Michael Jackson/Yeah I’m ready for action” et cetera, et cetera. Really riveting stuff.
And so fair warning this project may be kind of a shit show. At least, that’s my biggest concern right now… certainly more so than any challenge research poses. Any of my hands-on musical experience comes from behind-the-scenes sort of operations – musical production, that sort of thing (and even in that field my experience is relatively limited; essentially a working proficiency with Ableton and one PAT class). So I’m scared shitless right now of dropping a brick in front of the class, but at this point I’m gonna be dropping something, because I’m already too far in too quit.
Fortunately, not everything is lost. I may not have much experience writing lyrics, but I do consider myself a fairly proficient writer which must count for something… surely those skills can transfer over. And as I said above, I am a huge fan of the genre, and have years of absorbing its subtleties and nuances. Now just happens to be a very weird time and reason for me to tap into them. But I guess that’s what’s going to happen, and all I can hope for is a final product that can bring some enjoyment to the class and to myself. Who am I to care if it stems from pleasure or amusement? If my final product is so awful it’s laughable, I guess I will have still done my job, C-grade notwithstanding. Enjoyment is enjoyment is enjoyment.