Bob Dylan is literature. Being a groupie of Milton, N.W.A. is worthy of our contemplation, and therefore literature and appropriate for this class. That out of the way, I want to talk about one of the major similarities of the two.
We are assuming Bob Dylan and N.W.A. acknowledged the existence of everyone else’s “rules” and “game.” What each album drives home to me is that both play by rules in a game of their creation. Neither artist agrees with the Rule imposed on them, so they disrespect these rules and want to implement their own. When something is broke, fix it.
Dylan lyrics and N.W.A. lyrics rebell against their current situation instead of offering Active Ideas for changing this current situation. Both have Anger Igniting lyrics and themes, but few of their songs offer solutions. Season 1 of The Wire similarly failed to offer any proactive solution. I’ve heard rumors there is more hope in Season Three, but we only watched the First.
There’s not a very poetic or exciting way to put “go to Law School and work to enforce anti-corruption legislation” or “work with community organizers to make an alliance with your local police” into a song. Nor are either of these solutions very RocknRoll/Hard or even effective. The music and The Wire are good to get amped up, but their main focus is not on being constructive. They are more instructive; they draw attention to problems and leave the audience searching for the solution.
It is much easier to passively accept the Game and Rules we are dealt. But, shouldn’t we constantly seek the optimal Game? The Rules should be fluid and allow for change. The Wire, Highway 61 Revisited, and Straight Outta Compton all call us to challenge our current Game.