Caroline Brauckmann

One song I would like to investigate is “The Man” by Taylor Swift. This song details the sexism women deal with in modern society and how they are portrayed by the media. This song may seem very straightforward but the lyrics depict the sexist social landscape women encounter day to day. Not only do I have a nostalgic connection with the artist Taylor Swift as she is a female musician that I have grown up with I have also always felt inspired by her song writing. The social justice being raised in this song is usually pushed aside and made to feel not important compared to other social issues. This is another reason I would like to analyze this song. Shining light onto this issue that I have a personal connection to as a young woman is exciting. I believe that this issue will lead me down a road of investigating the pattern of mistreatment of women in the media. This song is a pop song and is very upbeat. Swift talks about the mistreatment she has experienced with the media and the criticism she receives for her dating habits. She compares how the media treats men in the industry who do the same yet experience none of the negative attention. I believe that because of this it is an extremely important song and one that means a lot to me. I feel like this is a topic I am interested in and a song that I would really like to research since I can have a personal connection to it. Some of my concerns about completing this project is analyzing this song from a musical perspective. While I feel like the lyrics are straightforward and are exactly what I am looking for I am inexperienced in understanding the different aspects of a song. There may be musical details that go along with the social issue being raised that would go over my head. 


A second song that I would like to investigate is 99 Problems by Jay-Z. This song depicts themes of racism and what it is like to grow up as a black man. He talks about many different issues of racism like discrimination against his songs because he’s “from the hood” or rap magazines using him. He also talks about police brutality in this song which sparked the recent Black Lives Matter Movement. Police brutality is an extremely important issue and is prevalent in today’s social landscape. On the surface this song seems like any other rap song that just talks about women, but in this song Jay-Z is saying he has 99 problems such as police brutality, discrimination, and a racist legal system, but he doesn’t have girl problems because as a black man that is the furthest thing that worries him. I think this song will lead me down a road of instances and other works of art like Tupac’s songs or the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that also depict similar themes. While I may not be able to personally relate to the issues in this song I do understand how important it is to talk about these themes and shed light onto them. I have similar concerns as I listed above that there may be musical details that go over my head but another concern I have for the song 99 Problems is that since I cannot relate to the song directly as I am white it may not feel as authentic.