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Runaway Love American Music Analysis

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Turki Alanazi

MUS 3500

5 December 2018

Final Extra Credit

The musical work I chose for the assignment is called Runaway Love, released in 2007 by R&B/Hip-Hop artists Ludacris and Mary J. Blige. The song describes the hardships of three African-American young girls living in poverty and their struggle to survive daily abuse, violence, neglect and drugs. I chose this piece because I feel it represents a large group of the youth living in poverty who do not have a voice but who instead have to suffer in silence. The song is emotional, it is a real depiction of life in poverty and beautifully written.

The first girl mentioned is Lisa, she feels alone in the world, her mother is a drug addict and likes to bring many men home. The men beat Lisa and when Lisa tries to tell her mom, her mom does not believe her. The second verse describes a girl, Nicole, who is ten-years-old and has an alcoholic step-dad that abuses her; teachers ask about her bruises and she has to make excuses so she does not taken away from her father. Nicole has low self-esteem and looks at herself as ugly and wonders why no one likes her. She has one friend named Stacy, until she is shot in a drive by and is killed. The last verse describes Erica who is an eleven-year-old girl who takes drugs to try to mask the pain from living her miserable life. Also, she has sex with a sixteen-year-old boy, and thinks she is in love and does not use any contraceptives and gets pregnant. After becoming pregnant, the father wants nothing to do with the baby or Erica. Erica has no way of taking care of the baby and does not have enough money to get in abortion because she grows up in a very poor family. Erica grows up in a world she does not want to be a part of, so she decides to take pills to numb the pain.

This song is American because it is a real and vivid depiction of the lives of many young American girls who live in poverty. Drug issues, abusive families and runaway teens are all very common problems that Americans face. It shows that the main victims of homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction and violence are children who are just trying to understand the world around them. Erica’s situation shows the lack of educational programs and preventative measures available to children in poorer American neighborhoods who do not understand the consequences of actions such as hers. The song uses signature sounds and themes of hip-hop from the time, with lyrical emphasis on social injustices and the struggle for equality. The beats, guitar and other instruments of the song come from hip-hop and R&B styles of the early 2000’s from Atlanta, Georgia and New York City where Ludacris and Mary J. Blige are from, respectively.

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