Both songs, “A Tale of 2 Citiez” and “All Falls Down,” describe shortcuts to perceived success. They describe scenarios of young adults trying to obtain what they think success is by obtaining material possessions from taking shortcuts. Even with those descriptions of shortcuts people take, they do not promote the idea of achieving success through the shortcuts of obtaining material possessions to try to show others that they are successful since they both express regret and negative attributes related to those actions.
Throughout both songs, the artists J. Cole and Kanye West describe shortcuts that the younger generation of people would take to try and obtain the illusion of success. “A Tale of 2 Cities” by J. Cole describes a scenario two people from two different cities. He shows the motives of the first person by stating “since a youngin, always dreamed of getting rich” which established the drive for success (J. Cole). The song continues with this person and, to paraphrase, describes his frustration of trying to go on a straight path to success without shortcuts since he is surrounded by people who are basically breaking laws to acquire the wealth he desires (J. Cole). This sets up the transition to a different person, in the second city, who is the one who succumbs to the temptation of acquiring success quick. This second person says, “Im tired of seeing people flaunt, I wanna flaunt too” which shows his frustration and essentially sets up this person to take on illegal actions as his shortcut to success (J. Cole). Since it is assumed that second person is in a more dangerous part of the city, he resorts to selling drugs to try and get easy money to buy material possessions to show off and give off his illusion of succe...
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... it to cover up his interpersonal problems that he obtained through taking the shortcuts to success. The song also shows more problems with the lifestyle of material goods when he says “I got a couple past-due bills, I won’t get specific, I got a problem with spending before I get it” showing that even after he acquires the wealth he wanted he still wants to show off his lavish lifestyle to others by buying material possessions instead of important things he needs first, which puts him in unnecessary debt (West).
Both songs overlap to show the shortcuts younger people will resort to obtain material goods to try and show others they are successful, but they do not promote it. Both artists of each song go on to show the negative consequences of those lifestyles showing how that type of success is not all what it seems from an outside perceptive.
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