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Analysis of a music video: J.Cole Lost ones

The beginning of the song starts with some words said by the artist, he explains here that this was filmed before he was signed, and makes him sound quite amateur to suit his target audience, I think this is effective as it makes them feel like they can do the same thing. He says it is dedicated to the ‘Lost ones’ which shows that he is speaking out for a group of people that could relate to the video, making them feel closer to him, as he is reflecting on issues that are faced in everyday life.


Location This location denotes the artist performing in front of a graffiti wall it seems like quite a run down area and sets a realistic portrayal of what the artist is talking about to engage the audience into the storyline of the song., it is a wide shot to show his surroundings and we can see the flats behind him, with the weather looking quite misty connoting a dull setting, and therefore sets the tone of the video. The shot also focuses more on the location than the artist, as he is quite small in comparison to the view of the location, this can connote the lifestyle the rapper lives in, he also shows what audience he is targeting. This location is conventional for rap videos, as they often talk about realistic experiences in life and represents the artist as down to earth.

The location used here is used to interpret the lyrics of the song, it is set in a small children's park, where it shows the father leaving the child on his own, symbolising the topic discussed in the song(single parenting) it shows the child behind bars, to show his isolation and loneliness, he is also looking out for his dad, connoting a feeling of being lost, which matches the title of the song ‘lost ones’ the location is used as a memory of when the artist is younger were he is again alone, showing that that is a main theme throughout the song. This location in comparison to the location in the house makes us sympathise with the main character and creating a social relationship as we know what he has been through. I think that this makes the artist relatable to the target audience as it shows he has a past similar to many other people who might listen to his music.

This third location shows the two key characters alone in what looks like an empty apartment, this may be to represent the serious situation the song is addressing, making the room bare really brings to light the relationship between the two characters, it shows their struggle, it also shows them a lot of the time staring out of the window, which I think is effective to metaphorically make it seem like their trapped in their situation, it brings a mundane tone to the video, as there is nothing else in there but those two people and represents the artist as quite vulnerable, as we feel like he has been through the situation himself.


Camera shots/Angles This shot has been done using a split screen which is quite effective in this video to get across the conflicting emotions of each character.. On one side we can see the artist trying to explain himself through the lyrics of this song, and next to him you get the image of the woman who looks sad while hearing what he has to say, this creates a dull and hostile atmosphere in the video and gives an insight of what the artists emotions and feelings are in the song. Representing the artist as misunderstood which is conventional of most underground rappers, these type of artists focus on reflecting the truth about life in their songs , so this shot is well chosen to show a realistic situation.

At the start of the video, before the artist starts rapping there are a considerable amount of different shots of the woman especially close ups, this conveys the atmosphere of the scene and the situation in the video, straight from the start we can see that she has been crying which can connote that she has been in an argument, which the audience sympathise with her with, she is also seen looking out of quite a dirty mirror, and looking sad, this could be to show she’s thinking about something, this straight always gives us an idea of the type of song its going to be, very slow which matches with the scene and emotion of the two characters, the artist in the video also seems quite concerned in his close ups nearer to the end to show that he is thinking about something, he is acting in the narrative and makes the story seem believable as if he has been through what he is talking about in this song, relating him to a male audience as they may have found themselves in a position similar to his.

There were a considerable amount of two shots used in this video, as it was aimed toward the narrative lyrics used. The song enabled them to have a conversation between the two, which escalated into an argument, as the tension rose, the editing got faster, to create a more dramatic effect, this increases the intensity of the relationship, and can show the body language between the two, for example at one point we see the woman throwing her hands up while shouting to show her anger towards him, also there is a wide shot at the beginning which shows that they are together alone in such a big space, which can show that they feel isolated. This is a realistic view of some relationships so again makes the video more believable.


Mise en scene Costume: the costume that the characters where in were quite casual, to represent the artist as relatable, making him look like an ordinary person. The woman wears a baggy top, to make her look like she has been lounging around, and makes her look quite untidy, she make up running down her face to denote that she has been crying and again this makes the audience sympathise with her, the artist wears a black hoodie and other dark clothing which can represent the dull atmosphere of the song and also the type of artist that he is, as he wears normal plain clothing which could be worn by people in his target audience, also the fact that his clothes are plain can connote that his is not very wealthy and represents the working class. Lighting: the lighting used here is very reflective of how the mood of the atmosphere in the video is. Where we see the couple in the big empty room, we then see their silhouettes, and a blue type colour pallet being used to make the atmosphere subdued and emphasise their isolation. There is also a distinctive change in colour when reflecting back on the past, it seems to be a lot lighter, and sunnier, to show the difference of emotion felt at the two different times, showing him as a child running and playing around from him now arguing with his girl friend. The scenes were he is performing shows us that the lighting used is natural as it is captured outside, so filming on a cloudy day would make the meaning of the song and the situation seem more realistic. One of the key props here that we see briefly being used is a knife that cuts the woman’s hand, I think that this show a symbol of the narrative, very dark and sad, which is how the artist is trying to represent his music.


How will this influence our idea? 1.

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Firstly what is similar to our song is the conversational lyrics, which will be reflected similar to how he has filmed his video, we will be using little flashbacks as well to make the situation feel real, this should appeal to our audience because it can illustrate what the artist is talking about, giving the audience an idea of what he is talking about. I like the use of lighting which shows the difference between his memory and the main scenes. Giving a clear contrast, also the lighting in the house was effective as it showed the mood and atmosphere of the video, and the relationship of the video. Also using natural lighting is often used in UK Rap videos, and is used here. This is conventional and therefore will be used in our work. We were also planning to have a lot of two shots when filming, as it shows the body language between the two characters, in this case, in our video we would want to reflect the hostility between the first character and the artist, and then the uncomfortable tension between him and the second character. Also there will be a performance element in which we are hoping to use, with a graffiti area, to show that the location reflects the genre of music as it is conventional when thinking of UK rap. We also use the artist in the narrative, so that it is clear that he is talking about his own experience, this can relate to the target audience because we can see the truth in his lyrics, which is what the UK rap target audience wants to see in videos. Also the clothes used are very plain, which is what we want to do with the characters in the video, so that it contrasts with the artist.

analysis of J.cole video  

lost ones

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