Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Unfortunate and Wrong Norm

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This country’s legal system operates on the code of innocent until proven guilty. While this might be applied with the law, you almost never see it in everyday life.

We all have our own interest and as we get older we stick to those and stray from everything else. I touched on this debate in my first “Socialist” column. Anytime a guy likes something that girls are known to like they are hated on. Conversely, when a girl can beat a guy at a sport she ceases to be a girl and becomes one of the “guys.” Too many people are sippin’ on Haterade.

Without dipping your own feet in what you prematurely judge, you are ignorant. Above all, judging without giving a fair chance is an egregious action in its own right.

Surely something had to spark my passionate feelings for this subject. After all, it was Ashley, my study buddy, who sparked my column on those who pretend that they don’t know you when they very clearly do. Guys hate on “Gossip Girl” just because of the title of the show. And finally, outsiders judge the Muslim Student Union-Anteaters For Israel rivalry without ever hearing the other or both out. Here I am again, and this time Lil’ Wayne is my inspiration.

Why Lil’ Wayne? Everyone loves Weezy. Ok, well not everyone, but many do. After all he has been deemed the savior of rap, which is an opinion I disagree with. T.I.’s “Paper Trail” album is the first album of this new rap generation to blend the catchy, innovative beats of this era, with the power of meaningful lyrics seen in the underground. However, this is a debate for another day, and for you to ultimately decide on your own.

Wayne’s raspy voice, contagious beats and effortless rhyme and flow made “The Carter III” one of the most successful rap albums in recent times. His celerity of writing rhymes has made his services a must-have for every hip-hop artist. It seems as if he is featured in as many songs as T-Pain and Akon combined.

Wayne’s talent appears limitless. Apparently, he thought so too, and has decided to test the waters of the rock world with his next album titled “Rebirth.” As other MCs are expanding their appeal to others through film, TV, video games and products, Wayne is doing so by delving into another musical genre. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, no one is down.

Perhaps Wayne’s ubiquity in the rap world has annoyed his casual fans, but I beg to differ. Every track Wayne touches turns into gold, most recently, on Keri Hilson’s “Turnin’ Me On.” However, when Wayne does something that is not what we associate with him, he is immediately doubted. I heard of people hating on the first single from the album “Prom Queen” before it even came out! I wanted to see what it was all about, so I listened to the 30-second iTunes preview and thought to myself, “All right, this isn’t his best stuff but it isn’t that bad.” Then, I heard that Wayne himself played the guitar on the track and bought the track out of curiosity. I became hooked!

I love artists who show versatility. However, many artists don’t switch genres. They change their sound within their own genre, like the alternative rock band Thrice. The only artists I can think of who have had some drastic experience with switching genres have both been named Nelly. Nelly Furtado was first the sweet-singing artist who sang “I’m Like a Bird,” and then became the booty-shaking hip-hop artist who sings “Promiscuous Girl.” The other Nelly didn’t switch genres but brought country music star Tim McGraw onto his track “Over and Over.” The latter only makes my playlists out of humor.

Why have I become hooked to “Prom Queen” and others haven’t? I gave it a chance and appreciated it for its creativity. Wayne combines his raspy autotuned voice, which has become the mark of our generation of music, with rock instrumentals. He sings about a girl who had it all turning him down in favor of the popular crowd. Once the crowd eats her up, she comes back to him, but he isn’t having it. Already it’s different than your average hip-hop lyrics, and more like your alternative rock subject matter.

Now, I can see why people who don’t like Wayne in the first place or who do not like rock in general not appreciating the track. However, I have seen those who enjoy Wayne and rock hit the “Seek” button before giving it a fair chance. All I ask for is one listen with an open mind.

If you don’t want to like “Prom Queen” then it is going to be even harder for you to not like his second single “Hot Revolver.” He has teamed up with Kevin Rudolf again, and drew inspiration from Green Day to create a masterpiece, in my opinion.

I won’t care if you don’t agree with me, so long as you hear me out first. Like I have said before, society and your judgment may be keeping you from enjoying something you really like.

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