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2 pages/≈550 words
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MLA
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Literature & Language
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Essay
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English (U.S.)
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Music and Outlaw Societies (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
We have examined the immigrant experience in America and how it gives rise to a cycle of organized criminal gangs and enterprises for disenfranchised and marginalized populations. Americans have always examined these organizations in popular media (movies, television, music and both fiction and non0fiction books) and often seen them portrayed as folk heroes doing the best with that they've been given. Read Mezz Mezzrow's work of non-fiction "Really the Blues." He was a white man trying to live in a black society - and was a forerunner to the beatnik movement. How has music been tightly connected to outlaw society over the years? How have outlaws have been glamorized in music (The Purple Gang mentioned in Mezzrow's article are the "rhythm section" in Elvis Presley's hit "Jail House Rock")? How have musicians found found success in their associations with outlaws (research Frank Sinatra's ties with Chicago mobster Same Giancana for example) and how has outlaw music has given certain cultures (Punk Rock, Metal, Gangsta Rap) their own anthems? Why do you think there has always been this assication between music and outlaw societies? - 2 text pages minimum - Use textual evidence for support. At least 3 sources. - Cite page numbers for quotes/paraphrase - Works Cited page This is a link of the 3 page article that we read from Mezz Mezzrow. But it is only a preview, so page 450 is missing. http://books.google.com/books?id=knRlbjOR-lEC&pg=PA452&lpg=PA452&dq=the+outlaw+bible+of+american+literature+mezz+mezzrow&source=bl&ots=xkqRDUjDLe&sig=nBa5NBAid91ZFFxGYpcSBQ8NuNE&hl=en&ei=8EqWTrH-A4fiiALB6v3NDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false This is page 450 from Mezz Mezzrow: I'd had a bellyful of gangsters and muscle men by that time. They'd always been luring me on, trying to win me away from the music to their loutish way of life - all of them, from the gamblers and pimps in the Chicago syndicate to Frank Hitchcock's boys at Burnham and the hophead mugs over in Detriot. Our whole jazz music was, in a way, practically the theme-song of the underworld because, thanks to prohibition, about the only places we could play like we wanted were illegal dives. The gangsters had their dirty grabbers on our music too, just like they kept a death grip on everything else in this booby-hatch of a country. If I resisted their come-on even a little, it was only because of my obsession with the music. Every time I got in trouble, it was because I strayed away from the music. Whenever I latched on solid to the music, I flew right. I was beginning to sense a heap of moral in all this, but my hot instincts to stick with the music and keep straight were all source..
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Music and Outlaw Societies
Music is a form of art that is present in ideally all cultures of the world. It impacts the society in many ways as long as people keep on listening to it and making it (DeNora 53). This impact is brought about by the different components of music including its rhythm and lyrics. Every culture in the world has its own kind of music and therefore music creates a sense of identity (DeNora 69). With regard to rhythm, music produces various effects. Slow and soft music is soothing and relaxing and usually causes an audience to while loud and fast music is exciting and usually initiates dance and body movement. Lyrics are the words of music and these portray different messages. Education, correction, encouragement and ridicule are just a few of the many things musical lyrics can do (Kaufman & Rosset 117). As such, music has themes. Reggae songs, for instance have in the past been used to promote heroism and patriotism. Rock and Roll on the other hand is a kind of music that in the 1950s promoted rebellion and non-conformity (Kaufman & Rosset 124).
Music has in the past been used to promote gangster and outlaw themes. Many musicians have in the past found great success in associating their music with outlaws. Gangsta Hip Hop for example is a subgenre of hip hop music that has since the mid 1980s reflected the violence and crime in inner cities (Crossley 44). Gangsta rappers such as Ice-T and Schoolly D were the first pioneers of the subgenre and promoted crime, drug ab...
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