“We live on the cusp of death thinking that it won’t be us,” (l.32). Macklemore is saying that people think that they will not die from doing drugs. In this song Macklemore is stating that drugs can be really addictive also he states that drugs can really mess you up and how media influences you to do drugs, for example rappers like Lil Wayne which he talks about in this song and Wiz Kalifa. Strong poetic devices permeate throughout Macklemore’s song Otherside for example he uses allusions, repetition and end rhyme.
An example of a poetic device that Macklemore uses in this song is allusion. One allusion Macklemore uses is “Groundhog Day life repeat each time”(l.59). Macklemore mentions the movie Groundhog Day the main character’s life is on repeat and no matter what he does the same day happens again even if the day before ended in death. This is also showing that in his struggle with drugs his life was the same thing every day he would smoke and it became a routine. One other example of an allusion is “rationalize the stuff that I’d try after I listen to Dedication/ but he’s an alien, I’d sip that pass out and play Playstation”, (ll.51-52). This line is an allusion to Lil Wayne because in most of his songs he refers to himself as an alien or a Martian. This is also another reference to Lil Wayne because he has an album titled Dedication. Macklemore uses allusions to show things that you might not see at first until you realize that he is referring to that to show emphasis.
Another example of a poetic device that Macklemore uses in this song is repetition. One use of repetition in this song is, “he never got up, he never got up, he never got up/ we live on the won’t be us”(ll.31-34). In this part of the song Macklemore is talking about someone he once knew that died from overdose. When someone overdoses they may never wake up and everyone who does drugs says that it will never happen to them and that they will never overdose. Another form of repetition used in the song is, “just keep me up, keep me up”(l.77). In this line of the song Macklemore is asking his fans to keep him up. He is also saying to keep him on this high of making his music instead of using drugs to get high. Macklemore uses repetition in his songs to help emphasize what he is talking about.
One other poetic device that Macklemore uses in his song is end rhyme. One form of end rhyme in his song would be, “there’s no way to glorify this pavement/ syrup, Percocet, hit an eight a day will leave you broke depressed and emotionally vacant,”(ll.45-46). The rhyme in this line would be pavement and vacant which is also a forced rhyme. He also states that if you become addicted to drugs you can go broke, go into a type of depression and become emotionally vacant in other words destroy you. Another use of end rhyme in this song would be, “surprise, you know the drill/ trapped in a box, to climb record sales/ follow the formula violence, drugs and sex sells/ so we try to sound like someone else”(ll.40-43). In this line the words that would rhyme would be sales, sells, and else. Macklemore is also stating the fakeness of today’s rappers who tend to rap about drugs and things they haven’t done when they should be rapping about their lives and struggles they have been through. Macklemore uses end rhyme to tie in certain lines that should be read together.
Media can really affect how someone thinks or looks at drugs and Macklemore helps explain this trough this song by using allusions, repetitions, and end rhyme. This also applies to my life by me also saying “thinking I would never do that, not that drug/ and growing up nobody ever does,” (ll.70-71). This song relates to life because it shows how people feel about drugs and how they think that they are bad but media influences and makes them want to try them.
Courtney from Study Moose
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