Song Analysis #3
“What would you Do?” by City High portrays an important message for single mothers. It is about a woman who feels as though she has to sleep with different men to make enough money to provide for her son. The male in the song cannot believe how much she has changed since he last saw her in middle school and says, “I guess a whole lots changed since I seen you last”. He tries to make the audience realize that becoming prostitutes and strippers are not the only options for young women who are single mothers. There are plenty of other jobs out there where they can make enough money for their child, and feel as though they are respected by the people around them. Overall, City High is able to make their message more unique by using many different types of poetic devices.
City High feels as though women should be treated better than an item for men to do whatever they want with. Women deserve the same respect as anyone else, whether they are married and have children, or are single mothers. Single mothers need to receive support from people around them because raising a child on their own is not an easy thing to do. They need to know that they do not have to turn to prostituting themselves or stripping in front of people to make a decent amount of money so they can raise their child. The woman in this song believes that “thee only way to feed him is ta sleep wit a man for a little bit of money”, but the male is trying to get her to realize that is not true. He says, “Girl you aint thee only one wit a baby, that’s no excuse to be livin all crazy”. His goal is to get her to realize that there are other jobs out there that provide benefits and a decent paycheck. The paychecks at a new job may not be fast cash, but at least she would be able to feel proud of how she is making money to take care of her little boy. She then backfires at him and says that he has no clue how rough her life has been and he has no right to be giving her advice on how she should live her life. She tells him, “Me and my sister ran away so my daddy couldn’t rape us, before I was a teenager, I done been through more s*** you can’t even relate ta”. She wants him to realize that for her, it is easier said than done because she has not had an easy life. Her own father, who was supposed to take care of her, raped her and her sister, and they were forced to run away in order to protect themselves. Loni assumes that he never had to deal with any difficulties and he has no clue what she is talking about, but his mother was also a single mother; “Girl I know if my mother could do it baby you can do it”. All in all, City High makes their listeners realize that anything is possible, no matter what they have gone through.
City High makes their song even more catchy by using poetic devices. One poetic device that is used is rhyme. Rhyming can help make a song flow easier and make the song simpler to sing. Some examples from the song include; cup and buck, cash and last, baby and crazy, and eye and die. Another poetic device that is used is consonance. The line, “you do” is an example of consonance because it has the same “ou” sounding. Also, other examples include; “little bit”, and “rock now”. Finally, the last example of a poetic device that is in this song is alliteration; which is “the repeated occurrence of a consonant sound at the beginning of several words”. Some examples include, “six strippers”, “somewhere smoking”, and “what would”. Overall, these three types of devices are what make the song an all time hit.
In conclusion, “What Would you do?” by City High is a very influential song. It not only teaches single mothers that they are able to do anything they set their minds to, but also that no matter how many struggles people have been through, there is a way to get their life back on track. Also, Loni and her sister were raped by their father and in order to protect themselves, they made a hard, but intelligent decision to run away. Although she went through many difficult times, like being a single mother, the man in the song does not believe that is a valid excuse to be living the way that she is living. He believes that since his mother, who was also a single mother, was able to raise him alone with working a decent job, she can do the same thing. There is no need for her to publicly display her body just to make easy money when she could go out and find a decent job that could possibly provide health benefits for her and her son. The listener is able to realize this message not only through the poetic devices, but also through the tone, which is stressed out, tired, emotional, and angry. All in all, City High created one of the best songs that are on the radio.