“Mosh” by Eminem is a protest song that was released in 2004 before the presidential election. The word “Mosh” itself refers the aggressive behavior in which audience members or fans react in a live music performance. The song is taken from the album Encore and was produced by Ian Inaba of GNN TV; Guerrilla News Network, a private website and television production company in which its goal is to expose people into global issues. In this paper, I will be analyzing the song’s video and lyrics in terms of its historical and cultural influence on the audience as well as the medium it was produced in.
Video Analysis: The song’s video takes the audience into multiple frames of cartoonish symbols. The first frame takes place in a public school at the time of the 9/11 where the school represents the community and the amount of responsibility they hold. The second frame is when Geroge W. Bush is reading a story indicates that he is not part of the community as well as he is not the right response to the 9/11. The third frame represents the three main characters of the song in which each character shows a different issue.
The first character is an African American citizen who gets racially arrested by white cops on his way home. The second character is an Amercian soldier who gets re-assigned when he gets back home from Iraq. The final character is a tenant, a single mother who gets evicted with her children while watching the news. The three characters come together to become protagonists to defend their rights and declare their freedom of speech in the congress. Lyrics Analysis: “I scrutinize every word, memorize every line I spit it once, refuel, re-energize and rewind I give sight to the blind, my insight through the mind
I exercise my right to express when I feel it’s time… ” Eminem starts his song with introducing himself as an angry citizen who’s main concern in not only defending his rights or freedom, but also speaking for the people who are against the president and the government. He also illustrates the corruption of the government and how it’s biased into achieving its own personal goals regardless the will of the people. Moreover, the anger Eminem shows in the lyrics is nothing but the anger of the nation towards its president and Eminem here is only a citizen who has recognized this madness.
In other words, Eminem is one of many who refuse to remain silent and choose to motivate the people to speak up what they hold in their minds. During the song he says: “… we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army to disarm this Weapon of Mass Destruction that we call our President… ” this statement clearly indicates the fact aside of our disagreements or background differences, we shall stand all together as a real army to face this corruption of our presidency. Audience, Medium and other categories:
Considering the genre of the song, which is basically hip-hop, the intended audience is rappers. However, by looking at the lyrics as well as the video of the song, the secondary audience is the American community who believe in their rights as citizens and ready to declare their freedom. Any of the above audience can easily interpret the song and produce a meaning out of it. The ease of its interpretation is referred to several reasons. The first reason is the time in which the song was released when the American society was concerned about the 9/11, the presidential elections and the declaration of its rights.
The second reason is the presentation of the song in which it took place as cartoonish characters that symbolize the basic dilemmas the overall society is facing. The function of the song is direct and is not misleading. The message however is a mixture of political and social issues, starting from the faulty election for George W. Bush and ending with the anger of the society at problems such as ; racism and freedom of speech. Also, at the end of the video, everyone comes together, regardless of their problems they ave with each other, as angry protagonists marching to the congress.
Such a message is presented to the audience in a song form is nevertheless because the record company seeks to generate its own profit. On the other hand, the audience likes to receive such a political or social message in a form other than a poem or a speech heard on TV. The genre of the song “Rap or Hip-Hop” allowed the message to be interpreted perfectly and at the same time, the audience, even those who are not concerned about political or social issues to like it as well.
The stage of development of the song is mainly specialized. The song “Mosh” is found in Eminem’s album Encore that includes other songs with different messages but the main function of the album is to entertain the audience. In conclusion, I have talked in details the historical as well as the cultural influence of the song “Mosh”. I also talked about the medium in which “Mosh” took place and the function or the message of it. The song’s success was not only due to its well- rhythm and bass, but also due to its lyrics and the music video of it.
Eminem’s prior songs were adopted by audience who loves hip-hop music and found Eminem to be a great artist in that filed. However, for “Mosh”, Eminem has expanded his audience to those who like to hear and discuss their political and social issues through music or a video-clip and found it to be more effective and influential. Eminem or “Marshall Mathers” states that he wished he had released the video earlier because he believed that it would have inspired more young people to vote against GWB.