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All music, irrespective of the genre, is characteristic of certain common features including imagery, symbolism, allegory, alliteration among other poetic works. These features serve to make the music more interesting and make bold the message presented to the listener by the music. Many a times, the modern day lyrics of songs are heavily intertwined with linguistic and lyrical freedom which grants the musicians the freedom to compose songs and pass across the intended message in a more clear way that both listener and the poet finds it easy to put across.
The song “Power to the Small Massive” by Asian Duh Foundation is a perfect example of the way in which poets and lyrists explore poetic freedom to pass across a good message effectively. The song has made use of several vital lyrical tools. Firstly, the use of mixed language has played a great role in ensuring that the message cuts across a wide spectrum of listeners as well as making the message interesting. The intermingling of the Jamaican language with English serves to make the music more lyrical and interesting to listen to. Use of Jamaican words makes the song more contemporary to the modern world. Words such as “dem”, used to imply “them”, “demma” to imply a cute lady among others makes the song have not only just a lyrical flow but also match the flow of musical instruments.
Secondly, the use of the native Jamaican words and abbreviation also serve a vital role of ensuring that the song maintains the vitally important role of maintaining the flow of rhymes along the song. The use of words such as “nuttin” the abbreviation for the English word “nothing” has been used to suite the particular intonation that the song ought to have at that particular point. Abbreviations have also been used to create the particular rhyme that is needed for the point. For example,
“More is by lesser
Nuttin can test ya”
The song has also made the significant use of several other vital lyrical tools such as repetition. In the song, repetition has been used for two main purposes; to emphasize on the subject matter which in this case in the power vested upon the people at their lowly estate. Repeating the phrase “power to the small massive” would keep the listener glued to the main subject of the song. Repetition of the sentence also serves to create a lyrical flow.
The song also carries a great mount of lesson to be put across. Being a politically empowered song, the main message being passed across is that of politically empowering people in a bid to create awareness of their obligations as well as the need to have them accountable to the achievements as well as the failures of the governing bodies. There are several points of political activism noted in the song. Firstly, the lyrist points out the robing of the freedom of speech from the people. Freedom of speech is considered a vital pillar and aspect of the democratic world of the present age. The prime empowerment of the political freedom of speech is the activists whose major role is the determination of the freedom that people are granted by the state. The use of songs like “Power to the Small Massive” plays a key role in this.

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The choice of several words such and phrases play a vital role in the fulfillment of its mandate. For example,
“Rise up from the ashes got to restart history
Power to you if you want to break loose
Don’t care what they say I’m gonna refuse”
The music audio of the song is also emphatic of certain musical elements such as intonation and syllables. Great emphasis has been laid on the subject matter of the song. This has been done by the empathic repletion of the sentence “Power to the Small Massive’ which has been done with a characteristically high intonation as to lay the emphasis of the theme of the song. In the audio form, the song can be divided into different parts that are distinctive; rap, song and refrain all which are strategically positioned to add on to the lyrical flow of the song so as to effectively pass the message of the song.


Published:December 10, 2014


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