Lil Wayne’s ‘Mirror’ (Ft. Bruno Mars)

21 Feb

Sometimes we come across a piece of art that is striking despite it challenging our aesthetics.

I have never been a fan of ‘western’ rap and some hip-hop; I have found that it’s ugly and often dull. However, as of late I have taken a great interest in a track that does indeed class as rap/hip-hop. It does not conform entirely to the stereotypes that surround this particular genre of music but the roots are clear.

Lil Wayne’s  ‘Mirror’, featuring Bruno Mars, was at first a piece of music that did not appeal to me at all. Originally I felt that Mars’ voice during the chorus was the only tasteful aspect as it contributed much needed harmony whereas Lil Wayne himself was not pleasant to listen to. In all honesty I had been put off the man entirely upon reading that he had been allowed to release an album whilst in prison – it irritated me slightly – and so I have never been enticed to listen to his creations. However, the chorus was always stuck in my head and thus I ended up listening to the whole song more and more. eventually I ended up finding a great appreciation for the whole thing.

I became acutely aware of the lyrics; they are only simple but the effect is great. Wayne’s rap is, in a way, a very clever narrative – not surprising as rap is just speech with rhythm – making it a captivating monologue. It becomes a piece of writing – one that analysed as I do with my Literature studies – is powerful in that is exudes strength and can be something for others to relate too (by Mars’ feature in the track is a sign that it is universal and not selfish). It possesses themes that emphasise the power – redemption, self-reflection, respect and isolation. When I took this into consideration, the ugliness that I first encountered becomes bearable as it is quite tragic (or I have been reading too much Shakespeare). The music itself is also well composed. It is haunting yet quite beautiful; it is a shame that it is disguised by the distastefulness of Wayne’s rap. It gives the track more depth but further illuminates the meaning behind the song. Just like the lyrics, the music is simple. The simplicity works only in that it allows the focus to be on the message and power behind it.

I will agree that is may not be everyone’s cup of tea – certainly it is not my usual taste – but it is nevertheless interesting. In a way it has been a healthy exercise ‘studying’ a song that would not usually appeal to me as it has opened my mind more so that I can explore an industry I thoroughly enjoy without being quite biased. This lesson I guess does coincide with the lesson of ‘Mirror’. It is wonderful how music works.


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