Logan Lynch English 101, Fall 2018
Today, music videos are everywhere, and they are constantly trying to connect with their audiences. Either trying to get them to like their song, to see things from the artist’s point of view, or just to simply sell records. Relatively new Hip-Hop artist, Jack Harlow, tries to convince his audience to like his song called “Wasted Youth” through his music video. His purpose is to persuade his audience to listen to his music and to buy his songs. He is successful in this as his video has had over one million views. His video is of himself and other teenagers singing and dancing to his song at Cherokee Park in Louisville and at the Mellwood Arts Center. It shows himself and others in different clothing, showing money, and acting “cool”. He therefore persuades his audience by use of pathos in his lyrics, attire, and the video environment.
He uses pathos in his lyrics by using terms that appeals to teenagers. The title of the song, “Wasted Youth”, relates to his audience by allowing other teenagers to connect with his “Wasted Youth” as one might call it. He says, “I can’t feel the vibration when my cell phone ring” which also connects with this generation because a common side effect of cell phone use is where you feel vibrations that weren’t ever there or not feeling a vibration at all. Today’s teenagers are known for their use of technology so that line works well. He also says, “I like to watch them split the swisher, make the ‘rillo bleed.” This refers to smoking marijuana, which not only connects to teenagers, but also connects with the people of Louisville as they are supportive of the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is a common theme for younger artists to talk about. Especially with talks of marijuana being legalized everywhere in the future. Finally, he refers to money, “Talking ’bout stacking them figures”. Teenagers in today’s world is all about chasing money and fame
and looking at the people who are rich and successful as idols. So, speaking of money definitely relates to the audience.
Jack Harlow also uses pathos through his attire. He relates to both themes that teenagers think about what clothing they wear. They either want to fit in, or stand out. In the first scene, he is wearing khakis and a brightly colored patterned shirt with tennis shoes. Most would say that this is a pretty common outfit for teenagers. This is for the teens that want to fit in with everyone else. Throughout the video, there are other people wearing brightly colored pants and shirts. One would say that this is directed to the younger audience that wants to stand out and be different than everyone else. Jack Harlow was able to reach out to both sides of the spectrum.
Lastly, Jack Harlow uses the environment around him to persuade his audience to listen to his music. First, he connects to the teens of Louisville by using scenes from areas that they visit frequently. This is important because a common theme in Kentucky is to be proud of where you are from. This helps Harlow in allowing him to show teens of Kentucky that he is just like them. Towards the end of his video, everyone is dancing and having fun in what looks like a club or a party of some sorts. This attracts teenagers because parties are what they look for when they think of “fun”. There are also parts showing money and credit cards which also adds to the wanting of money and fame. Finally, he shows people of different races in his music video. This is important because some would say racism is still a big issue in Kentucky right now, and including different races would allow people of all colors to be able to connect with his music video.
To conclude, Jack Harlow uses pathos through his lyrics, his attire, and his environment to persuade his audience to listen and to purchase his music. His audience is teenagers and a younger generation that seems to relate well with rap and hip-hop. He successfully relates to them as he has over one million views on his video at this point.