History- this is a comparative essay using Elvis and Akon to compare or more rather explain the evolution into the modern world of entertainment

Rodney Hahn

Mrs. Lampe

20th History

Sunday, April 29

Elvis, Akon, Life

The world we live in today is statistically worse with crime, poverty, and separation between classes in society. The one thing that still connects us as a whole though is music. Although the music we listen to now is considerably different than the kind in the 1960′s. It still has the same effect on people it had before. Elvis, the king of rock and role started this new era of music. He used his music and the way he displayed his body when he sang his songs to appear sexy, singing songs and dancing to them in a questionable way without a doubt drew him attention some good and some bad. Now Elvis is one of the most popular musicians to ever have lived and because of him using sex appeal to attract people or a certain target audience is acceptable. Akon on the other hand also uses violence to try to appear tough to gain fans and often uses it as a publicity stunt to draw attention to him. Although Akon will probably never be as popular as Elvis and a lot of people hate him for his violence he is similar to Elvis because they both took risks to gain fame or the risk to burn up in failure. This risky behavior has changed the world today in a good or bad way depending on your preferences. Musicians being the role models of society make a significant impact of the people and how they act. Due to Elvis and Akon’s popularity, their tendency to push boundaries and exceed limits they will leave a never ending affect on society.

Elvis had effect on society because he got in trouble, stole hearts, and lead the world into the modern sexual era we know today. One of Elvis first big gigs had been at the Gran Ole Opry and after performing there, he was told that he’d be better off going back to driving trucks. He was young and he could have just quit due to the harsh criticism, but he didn’t. Then later some of the people who had performed with him that night say that was the coolest thing they have ever done; for later he would be known as the king of rock and roll (Elvis Presley official website). This shows how Elvis would go above and beyond to exceed limits. Because people fall in love with those willing to stick it to the man Elvis was a very popular figure. He was looked on as the dare devil of his generation winning popularity over many people. Elvis took the hearts of many girls like many other musicians. Not everyone enjoyed Elvis, their were some who didn’t like the way he moved his body which is why he was only shown form the belly button up on some television channels. Others loved him for it though. Elvis often pushed the boundaries on what he should and should not be able to do. Many opposed them for this but even more loved him for it. It’s people like Elvis who change society because he challenges socially acceptable limits with his fame supporting his every move, for better or for worse. After you have won the minds of the people it makes you powerful because with fame comes power. Although many were not ok with this new sexual impute to being placed on the society. It also had upsides bringing people together because as more things became socially acceptable race started to matter less than it had before in the past. It did this by starting the trend to allow people to express there thought more freely. Elvis once said “ I don’t think I’m bad for people. If I did think I was bad for people, I would go back to driving a truck, and I really mean this”(Stewart) Elvis like many of those who loved him, thought there was nothing wrong with the way he displayed himself. He also gave hope to many people. One of his most famous lines were “Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine”(Elvis Alive). Its good people like this who become some of the most famous musician in a life time tell people to follow their dream. Known for his sexual hips he was also a good person he even served his country in the military for some time. Then when he died people cried for him, people of whom he has never even met because he touched the hearts of so many people although many of them were girls. Some consider him a bad person because he ended up dying from an overdose, but many people forget that he died from taking prescription medicine. Elvis was one of the greatest musicians to ever exist not simply because of his musical talent but because of the ever lasting effect on society he left when he passed away. Although he did break many records his ability to be himself no matter what, is what won the people over and caused an new sexual era to begin.

Akon is an example of modern society because he is a famous African American artist who pushes socially expectable limits to a new high. Akon punched a few fans and is now most remembered for throwing a kid off a stage after he tossed a bottle of water at him(Akons Con Job). Akon will never be as popular as Elvis because music today is more individualize and its harder to be popular to large group of people. Akon’s music represents everything that wasn’t allowed back in the day with Elvis, he took Elvis’s dirty dancing to the next level. You could notice this with one of his newer songs called I Just Had Sex. This represents modern society because now we more freely express ourselves more so than before. Shown by the songs about sex, pot, and drinking. Showing that Akon not afraid to push boundaries in order to gain fame he will throw people off stage and sing about whatever is on his mind. Listening to songs about sex or drugs would not have been as acceptable for kids growing up in the days when Elvis was popular. But now its almost as if everyone does and although some people might give you some looks for listening to it, its not uncommon to do so. This is because the modern society today is more open. When Akon threw a kid off the stage he lost a great number of his fans but it didn’t really surprise anyone that he did that and some fans even cheered. Nothing in todays society is really strange anymore; because of the media people hear about everything and are very seldom surprised with the things that happen. When Akon sings it displays many examples of violence. For example when you read some of his lyrics which say “Got a system that’ll beat and knock your wall off. Got a pump under my seat, the sawed-off. Got a bunch of goons, hoping they never call off. I’m a sniper sitting on the roof already saw you all,”it talks about his guns and his gang (Im So Paid) . These lyrics can be interpreted to be a warning for those who might be wanting to come after him. When Akons not singing about girls he is very often singing about violence. This violent music represents todays streets in the cities and that is why it touches people. In other cases people listen to it because it makes them feel G or cool. Theres two main thing people like Akon sing about and thats violence, being a gangster and girls. Although most the people listening to this music aren’t gangsters it still touches them on the inside and makes them feel cool when they listen to it or they like the pump up mood they feel. Akon is a very violent, sexually imposed, famous artist (Akon Attacks Another Fan). Accepted into society only because of his fame and musical talent Akon is a great example to how socially acceptable limits have changed for our modern artist. They now get away with a lot more than before; throwing people off stages, singing about sex and using foul words in there songs.

Elvis and Akon share many characteristics; as artists they both challenge socially acceptable limits. What makes them different is the society in which they live, how they react and at what level they actually challenge the socially acceptable limit. Music today is more creative because people know more about the world due in large to the huge media that outlets are in place to allow artist to get a bigger range of audience. If anything big happens people will know immediately and hear about it on the radio on the news or just talking to their friends; allowing artist today to do something crazy to gain publicity. This could be looked on to be something good or something bad. Publicity stunts can have good effects if its for a good cause but it could also have some bad effects as well. It creates an opportunity for people like Akon who do crazy stuff and get in trouble in order to gain fans. Elvis was the dare devil back in his day and it worked out for him, he became the king of rock and roll. He didn’t do any illegal drugs or break any laws he was a good person but he was still considered to be a risk taker. This illustrates the difference between society now and then. In the 1960′s one didn’t have to break law to be considered a dare devil. For Elvis even dancing sexually was a risk. They only showed him from the waist up when he was on TV. They don’t do that now, you can almost watch anything you want on TV today and it would never be surprising. You don’t watch something on TV and be surprised they put it on there anymore, nothing seems to be surprising anymore. This is because our society is becoming more and more lient with what people do. This can be proved by looking at examples such as gay marriages, pot, and things like that which are now becoming legalized. This all started in the music industry and has worked its way to becoming something even bigger. Akon and Elvis both sang about girls and where very sexual about it. The difference between them lies in the timer period they where singing in, what was socially acceptable at the time and what they stood for.

Due to Elvis and Akon’s popularity, their tendency to push boundaries and exceed limits they will leave a never ending affect on society. The acceptance into society has changed over the 45 years time span that was between that of Elvis and Akon, If you listen to the music differences between these two time periods you can see a huge change In society. These changes can be from how people talk about girls, how they talk in general, the language they use and what they sing about. Artist tend to sing about what is going on in the world in which they live; since they lived in two different time periods naturally what they sing about will be different. Yet, they also show many similarities such as the love for girls will always be the same but consequences for their action have grown to the point where doing something bad maybe even help boost their fame which is shown through Elvis dancing, Akon’s jail time and their ability to take risk to gain popularity. These risks have changed the world today in a good or bad way depending on your preferences. Musicians being the role models of society make a significant impact on the people and how they act. It’s people like Elvis and Akon who changed the world but only the future will tell whether it was a good change or a bad change. But with all the tragedies of modern life, music brings happiness to everyone. No matter who you are, you like some kind of music. With music there is always something that connects with a certain person or a group of people. Its one of the few things that bring everyone together as one. Elvis and Akon made an impact on the world because their popularity gave them fans who supported them. They both exceeded limits and push socially acceptable boundaries which will leave a never ending affect on society because people look up to them.

 

 

 

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