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Surname 1 Name Institution Date Title: How Consumerism has enslaved Young People in Kendrick Lamar’s Vanity Slaves Introduction Kendrick Lamar’s ‘ Vanity Slaves’ is an inspiration song that was released in 2011 and talks about mindless consumerism that has gained a life of its own among the young African Americans. Hilkens (17) says that in the eyes of Lamar’s, these young people are essentially slaves of a materialism culture. Lamar is an accomplished hip hop musician who has gained a number of accolades over the course of his illustrious career, including seven Grammy Awards. In 2016, the Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Thesis Statement In the song Vanity Slaves Kendrick Lamar uses imagery, similes, and metaphors so as to help illustrate the danger of consumerism among the youth. He pushes the idea that spending a lot of money on “useless” items deemed fashionable inhibit personal development, and is in many ways similar to slavery that was suffered by the black Americans for over 400 years. Imagery I. The song uses a number of images to illustrate the hopelessness of the consumerism culture that the millennial have taken up by storm. II. He uses the line “ We're birds that reserve in the charismatic sky” This is important in the sense that Lamar captures the thinking of the young people who are his main target. They are like birds that are destined to fly. It is this belief that is pushing this people to spend even money they do not have, just to look good and earn the admiration of their friends and society. In the end, it just does not work out for them.
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Surname 2 III. Secondly, he uses the phrase “…and trapped our minds in a cage, our freedom was so vague.” This phrase is used by Lamar to show us the source of this problem. According to him, the minds of the black youth has been caged. The liberation that is presented in the form of materials worth is a fake liberation. In fact, in Lamar’s eyes, there is no difference between the young people today and their enslaved ancestors [Sam15] . IV. Lamar has tried to use imagery to good measure. He wants the song to appear more authentic and capture the real situation. It is only by making it real that the message hits home and gets people talking a good look at themselves.
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  • Fall '15
  • Professor Shu
  • Marketing, young people, Kendrick Lamar

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