Hip-Hop Story Narration: Jay Z and Nas
The art of story telling has been passed down from our ancestors and their ancestors and so on. Some of us listen to hip-hop and don’t realize that we are listening to a story. We hear the beat and lyrics but don’t recognize the meaning or story they are telling right away. In some cases, the story may not be blatantly visible with a beginning, middle and end.
For example, Cob points out that the late B. I.G “was among that elite few who broke up that structure, conveying significant portions of the tale via flashbacks” (To the Break of Dawn, Pl 13). Masc. share experiences with us y narrating fictional (some non-fictional) tales that keeps us asking for more. In a way, hip-hop artists are Like movie directors by providing actors/actresses to act out the story that Includes a theme, setting and a significant moral of the story. Nas’ tells a story on his song 2nd Childhood about 3 characters, himself, a 31 year old man and a 27 year old woman.
Although all the characters are adults, neither of them are grown, hence the title 2nd Childhood. In the second verse Nas raps, “All his peoples moved on in life, he’s on the corners at night with young dudes it’s them he Anna be like it’s sad but It’s fun to him right? He never grew up 31 and can’t give his youth up; he’s In his second childhood. ” The character Is portrayed as the “typical” black man out of Call who never tried to change his life and Is back to his old antics.The female character is portrayed as the mother who doesn’t give her child any love, wants to be fly but can’t keep a Job, sits outside drunk running her mouth when she could be working giving her child and herself a better life. “Time flying she the same person, never matures, all her friends married doing well, she’s in the streets yakked yakking like she was 12. The moral of the story Is simply, make something of yourself. Make grown-up decisions and don’t act Like a child.
The hip-hop audience today has a passion for crime, sex, money and drugs.These are the things we want to hear about in the music we listen to, especially crime. For some reason we love to hear about how many times 50 cent was shot and how this person is going to kill that person for whatever reason. Nas tells us another story about theses drug dealers that killed his friend, and Nas and another character, Soya, set their rivals up. The Set up consists of two more characters of Importance, Venus and Vicious. They were the key In the set up, they’re job was to seduce the enemies and then shoot them dead.Nas raps, “he said both hoes'” peel, spray shots and reload and still handle the wheel, point me out smoke a Phil’ then chill.
” This song is about revenge and power. Nas’ rivals had to die because they killed Nas’ boy. As the audience, we expected and maybe even wanted the deadly revenge. In summation, hip-hop narrates stories to share with us their experiences and thoughts. I focused on two of Nas’ narratives, 2nd Childhood and the Set up. Nas Is not the only MS to use the art of story-telling there are many for Instance, Jay-Z, Common, Kenya West and many more.