Thursday, 9 October 2014

Jay Z - Ninety Nine Poblems analysis

Primary Audience:

The music video mainly targets African American males; due to the cultural elements which are portrayed through the music video. There is a shot of a man wearing an African, traditional, native, tribal clothing which dances to a more contemporary African street dance. Jay Z gets pulled over by a Caucasian police officer; for something relating to discrimination.

Lyrical Content:

Through the music video, Jay Z integrated reality (real time past events associated with his life) with the audience. This could possibly relate with him to exploit the white race for the ideology of discrimination. The lyrics "I've got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one" this could connote Jay Z as discriminating the opposite gender (females). The term 'Bitch' used is demeaning and suggests that women are insignificant.


Jay Z attracts male attention to the male orientated video; there are shots of women in revealing clothing presented through the video to keep men focused on the clip. The main ideology is that Jay Z exploits women: by using their bodies and sexualising them; portraying them as objects, possessions. Synaesthesia is a process Jay Z uses and is expressed through the visual images which are established in his video. The rhythm and lyrics integrate together with the visual images. Jay Z is able to connect with the audience in a personal process by relating himself with them through visual images, rhythm and lyrics. During the video, Jay Z is stopped by white policemen; this portrays a historical and racial connotation. (Police) - "Son do you know why I'm stopping you for?"
(Jay Z) - "Cause I'm young, black and wearing my hat too low".

Narrative and Performance:

The narrative is elevated with the additional performance. The narrative of the music video is quite limited; the artist needs to be promoted in the video, the audience mainly watch the video for entertainment instead of the attempt to analyse or decipher a secret/hidden image. The dancers and women keep the viewers occupied and interested in the music video. Elevates the viewers interest.

Artists continuously promote themselves in the music videos to gain popularity and to sell the music. The hip-hop genre usually requires the artist to dress in designer clothes to display the concept of wealth, attracting the male attention for the aspirational ideologies (star image).

The music video becomes subordinate due to the conventions being opposite to the expected type. The locations are not the typical expensive clubs or mansions. His music video establishes the 'ghetto' theme. the location can be described as being a poor African populated region/neighbourhood that seems rather desolate and suggests high crime rates.


The music video exemplifies the integration of intertextuality by presenting a shared culture between two concepts; the Western and African world. It illustrates traditional cultures to additional modern elements. The particular shots used contrast the detritus which appeared in the area with the desolate households.


Throughout the music video, the editing used is quite fast paced; using speed enhancement on some shots to manipulate the images, making them occasionally move faster. This makes it slightly difficult to understand on the first viewing. The fast cuts also add to the quick pace of the music video.
A black and white filter is used throughout the music video - this links the scenes together.

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