Friday, February 3, 2012

Who's to blame for Narcissism in music and poetry?

Braggadocio songs are the product of admiring fans that continuously place artists on pedestals. For instance, the verse, “I am whatever you say I am, if I wasn’t, then why would you say I am?” accurately displays the thoughts that frequently nurture an artist's tendency to create narcissistic personas. Fans make artists believe they are special, so the artists rap about how special they are.

The song “Chain Music” by Wale clearly depicts the idea of artists getting attention and ‘love’ from women because they have money and flashy chains. “I was hoping you would notice where my mind at. Put money in the book, I bet these bitches wouldn't find it”. Here Wale express the idea that women are not interested in men or people for their personalities or intellect but for their money. He portrays women as ‘gold diggers’ and makes himself appear to be the victim. “Geechi on 'em. Straight geechi on 'em. Let's keep it G, nobody, see you when you being humble”, here Wale suggests that he has to be flashy and flaunt in order to be recognized because, “where I'm from there ain't no love for no broke nigga”.  
The fact that some people are willing to sell their souls for money and are willing to do almost anything to get to people who have it makes it understandable for artist, to brag about their abundance of money. At the end of the day, an artist’s job is to sell records; in order for them to do so they need fans. In their minds, money and jewelry gets them attention, so if they brag about how much they have, they could possibly sell more records and concert tickets.

Wale is not the only artist who seems to feel this way. Mike Jones has voiced similar opinions in his song “Back Then”, as did many other artists in their songs.

In conclusion, I believe fans, are partially responsible for the apparent narcissism expressed in music.  Fans have the tendency to idolize artist; and since this is the case, is it not understandable for artist to place their selves on these pedestals since we seem to put them there anyway.

And is it really considered narcissism if this is the case?


  1. Tia, I thought this was a super interesting point for you to bring up. I often notice the same type of theme, not only in rap music, but in other genres as well as TV, movies, and in our everyday lives. I feel like this could be something super interesting to talk about in class, considering this theme will definitely resurface in other songs we listen to as the semester goes on.

    I believe that these rappers write about this simply because it is part of their everyday life and experiences. And, most artists draw on their experiences for topics and inspirations. But, I guess the question still remains, why is this theme so prevalent in our society? Where did it come from, and why does it exist?

  2. Hey Tia,

    I definitely agree that money and fame have dominated the rap and hip hop scene. You explained that rappers crave money and power because they're always striving for more attention. The fact that they brag is indicative of two things in my opinion: one, that rappers are in a constant identity battle with other artists and two, bragging and general confidence can be attractive to audiences. I, for one, think it's pretty useless and should be substituted for more lyrical creativity and innovation. Great article and commentary though!


  3. You make a great point, Tia. I agree with you when you said that artists want the attention and "love" from their fans. I think that this has a lot to do with the ego's of artists. Walt Whitman acted the same way modern-day rappers do. Common people, like lawyers, doctors, mechanics, do not receive the attention, which is why rappers choose to pursue careers that give them the attention they want. I believe that all artists want the recognition even if they say they are not in it for the money or fame.

  4. It is true that most rappers have lyrics relating to themselves and their lives. Some tracks may even be directly from their lives. I feel like the artists do the in order to share something with the people listening, to make a greater connection in a way. Also when you want to share something or write about something don't you usually start off with writing what you know. I feel like rappers write what they know which is their lives and their histories.


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