The cultural reference in the BTNH- I tried show the struggles black African American boys have had to go through to get to where they are, and how they are trying but are still not succeeding to break the stigma of black African American’s being associated with crime. This is a strong consensus with the black African American boys in
, this means they will be able to relate to the song and understand the reference more than another race. They also use the cultural references at the start where the close ups show where they are from ‘ America ’ and the streets that they are showing. They want people to be able to relate to the video so they make sure that they show the area which they are in, this is really important for the video as if people are not in the area they will not get a full understanding on the situation, but using the cultural reference it allows the people in the area to relate to the story. Cleveland
On the other hand J.Cole uses the cultural reference in his lyrical by taking a sample of Paula Abdul – ‘straight up’ which was released in the 80s and also a sample of Kanye West’s song-‘ the new work out plan’ which came out in 2004. He used these two samples as he wanted people to recognise the song the first time they hear it. This was his first song to debut his album by making people recognise the lyrical it made it much easier for him to sell his albums, but also made it easier for people to relate to the song.
J.Cole and BTNH both used narrative but also use a performance in the video. They do this because they had characters to perform the story which was being told thought the lyrics. J.Cole video ‘work out’ uses more performances as he is singing throughout the whole video, but coming to the end of the video there is more of a story being told between the two lovers.
The representation of J.Cole video ‘work out’ is very broad. In Hip Hop it has been known for many artists to discriminate against dark skinned black women as they are not seen to be beautiful as light skinned women. J.Cole wants to beat this stereotype and decided to use dark skinned women as the main character; he wants to show the other artists that the stereotype is not true. The idea of their having to be a beautiful light skin in a hip hop video as the main women links to the male gaze and how men see women in a sexual way and believe that they have to look a certain way. In the video J.Cole does not look like the stereotypical rapper with all the tattoos on his arms and big chains round his neck and expensive cars in his video. He wants to look basic and represent the people which are going to be listening to the music which would be mainly the middle class or the working class.
BTNH video represents the young black man who is growing up in a poor area and struggling and how they have to try to overcome their struggles. The video does not include women this could be showing that the young black women in these areas don’t have to struggle as much as the men. The lyrics which they use such as ‘studied on the streets hustlers know what I mean’ this not only shows their identity but also represents the ‘hustlers’.