Reflection: The Message behind the Music

New Review

Music lyrics offer messages. Some lyrics offer positive messages, some negative, some reflective, some explosive. Class members investigate the powerful messages in the lyrics of popular rap songs by first reading one student's essay on the importance of Rap music. They then analyze the lyrics of another rap song and craft a presentation that shows how the singer/songwriter built a message through the words and rhythms used.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Preview the lyrics for all the suggested song to determine which one to include on the list given to class members
Classroom Considerations

  • Many of the suggested songs include explicit lyrics; preview the songs and check the school policy on using such material in the classroom
  • Clearly define for groups how to represent explicit lyrics on their posters
  • A protocol must be in place for a safe, respectful discussion of the language and the issues presented in the lyrics
Pros

  • Writers must cite specific lyrics to support their analysis
  • Extension activities ask learners to identify hip-hop and rap artists whose lyrics make positive statements
Cons

  • No rubric is included