Friday, March 27, 2009

American Dreamin'

There are three reasons why I have some (read: 48 out of 2,735 songs) Hip-Hop/Rap on my iPod...

1. I am a lover of all types of music.

2. Variety is the spice of life and sometimes the stuff is a welcome change to my normal Jack Johnson, George Strait, Michael Buble, AC/DC, Third Day rotation.

3. When it is done without a ton of garbage language or outright ignorant thinking, the artistry, storytelling and ninja-level lyrics are inspiring and highly entertaining.

Like Jay-Z's VH1 Storytellers episode. If you have VH1 or Palladia, watch for it and then watch it. You can also see clips on YouTube. He has a song called American Dreamin' on the episode that is elegantly written. Here is the best piece:

You're now in a game where only time can tell.
Survive the droughts. I wish you well.
Survive the droughts? I wish you well?
How sick am I? I wish you health.
I wish you wheels. I wish you wealth.
I wish you insight so you could see for yourself.

If you read the full lyrics, listen to the full song or even listen to the full album (American Gangster - available in digital download format on, but not iTunes), you will figure out quickly that the story here is about the movie American Gangster. I'm obviously not lifting up and celebrating the story itself - crime, drugs, etc. But the storytelling techniques of the VH1 show are undeniably intense. Its the type of watch that makes a communicator think about how you can tell your story using more visual, creative and intelligent resources.

Starting with the one between your ears and the two attached to your arms.

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