Markup in the Writing Classroom

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Visual Albums

Visual Albums such as Kanye West’s Runway and the Beatles’ A Hard Day Night have put the music industry on it’s head. Since A Hard Day Night, the genre of Visual Albums developed and chqanged through the years.As a genre, Visual Albums bring the writer closer to the reader in a way that exceeds other genres such as: music videos and songs. This genre utilizes it’s uptakes, scenes, and situations to bring the two together.

The values that this genre focuses on is to be the best in your field, as most artists release a song by itself, others go the extra mile by making a music video, and only a select few go even further and release a visual album. The scene and situation help us understand the story more through the genre that is being used. Using Beyoncé’s Lemonade as a well established scene from this genre, you can see the impact of her choosing visual albums as her platform.This genre helped Beyoncé reach out to her fans in a much more direct way by being very personal and in touch with the current times,which created a long discussion about some of the situations that were exposed in Lemonade, such as the very famous lyrics from the song Sorry “He only want me when I'm not there. He better call Becky with the good hair”.

Singers, artists, poets, and public speakers are not the only people who use this genre. There are also the directors and musical engineers who in charge of development and upgrading the elements within the genre. Going back to the previously mentioned situation, Lemonade featured the Somali-English poet Warsaw Shire in one of it’s chapters. Warsaw Shire uses the genre of Visual Albums to input her own personal situation which many people including Beyoncé related to, this demonstrates how she uses her own uptake of combining her poetry with the sub-genre of video. People who do not have the talent or ideas to make a visual albums can not use this genre, however they make up a vast majority of readers of this genre.

Visual Albums invite many different uptakes that help the artist connect to as many people as possible. Uptakes in visual albums work as a medium for the writers to express their feelings in a wide range of oppertunities. These uptakes include the use of song and video, the use of old tribal dances in a contemporary music video, and the combination of poetry and speech with visuals.The use of song and video together encompasses the genres of visual albums and music videos, as both are very similar concepts. Using this uptake offers a more in-depth story that the artist is trying to convey to the audience.Going back to Lemonade, Beyoncé uses visuals eluding to feelings of sadness and betrayal in the song Pray You Catch Me to convey her situation of being cheated on.The use of old tribal dances and contemporary music as an uptake gives the artist a way to demonstrate their background and culture to a much bigger platform of readers.Beyoncé mixes the two together in the song Sorry by performing an old tribal dance called The Sacred Art of Ori, which showed her own culture and background.Last but not least, the use of spoken word and visuals gives a deeper understanding of what the speaker is trying to convey, or the artists’ interpretation of the different speakers they use.Beyoncé uses an excerpt from a speech given by Malcolm X in May 22, 1962 with visuals of various black women to emphasize the importance of the speech to the black community and especially to black women.

The roles of the writer and reader are very important in the success of this genre. The writer’s main role is to create something that will have a long lasting impact on the readers, the longer the impact the more successful the artist becomes.Other roles that the writer has to keep in mind is making an album that talks about the current social issues that are plaguing the writers’ life. Beyoncé succeeded in fulfilling the roles twice, once in 2013 with the album BEYONCÉ and the next in 2016 with Lemonade. Our roles as readers however is to appreciate the time and effort taken by the writer to complete their project and to express our views of what was read, weather it was negative or positive.

Visual Albums as a genre brings the writer closer to the reader in a way that exceeds other genres such as: music videos and songs. This genre utilizes it’s uptakes, scenes, and situations to bring the two together. The values that this genre articulates encourage the writers to connect to their readers. The writers’ exclusivity and roles also put an emphasis on trying to relate to the majority and connect with them as well.

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