Struggles Faced by Adolescents
Ludacris does a remarkable job of portraying his message about the struggles that some adolescents are faced with. “Runaway Love”, by Ludacris, featuring Mary J. Blige, represents the theme of struggle through Hip Hop and Rap music. It is about little girls who are “stuck up in the world on her own”. They have to take care of themselves because no one else around them cares about them. They range from nine to eleven years old and their goal in life, at such a young age, is to run away from home. Ludacris is trying to get the listener to realize the struggles that even children have to face because adults are not the only ones who have problems, like most people believe. He is very successful in portraying his message through this song and the tone of the song also goes along well with the lyrics. Overall, Ludacris is the most talented artist in the music industry.
Girls at that young of an age should be enjoying their childhood, but instead they are forced to become adults and take care of themselves. Lisa, whom is nine years old, is always stuck at home alone. She never met her Father and she never sees her Mother because she is always out partying and then brings home men every night. Once her Mother passes out from the drugs, the men sneak into Lisa’s room and try to have their way with her. As much as she resists, she is only nine years old and not strong enough to fight them off. Since no one is around to stick up for her, “she says she’s `bout to run away and never come back”.
Nicole, whom is ten years old, also deals with the stress of being abused. Her step-father always abuses her, mentally and physically, and even though her teachers realize what is going on, Nicole makes excuses for him. Nicole wishes that she could leave, but she is unable to because there is no where she can really go. Finally, she is able to find someone whom she can relate to and also become friends with. Both Nicole and Stacy know that they are going to have to stick together, so they “promise that they always be tight `til the end”. Their friendship shortly ends when Stacy ends up getting shot and killed in her neighborhood one day. Nicole now feels like she is all alone again and that there is “nothing else to do but get her clothes and pack”.
Erica, whom is eleven years old, also has to deal with daily struggles in her life. She does not feel safe and ends up taking pills because she thinks that they can get rid of her pain. Erica is only an adolescent and does not realize that she can ruin her life by becoming addicted to taking pills. After a while, she meets a sixteen year old boy and without her seeing it, he takes advantage of her. He knows that she is going through a lot, so he pretends that he loves her so he can have sex with her. Erica truly believes that she is in love, so when he asks to have unprotected sex, she agrees. She becomes pregnant and the “love of her life” decides that “he ain’t ready for a kid”, so he leaves her. Now Erica is stuck with the responsibility to not only take care of herself, but also for the child that she will be having. Even though her life is not fair, she is unable to face her consequences and “she say she’s about to run away and never come back”.
The tone of “Runaway Love” is sad, depressing, and it opens the eyes of the listeners. Although Ludacris only uses a few poetic devices, they enhance the tone of the song. People who read the lyrics to Ludacris’ song can tell that he is portraying a very serious story. The melody is not upbeat, like most other hip hop or rap songs, which makes the listener hear what he is trying to say. Also, he uses the word “hell” three times in his song, which symbolizes how awful and miserable their lives are. Another poetic device that is used is rhyme. Rhyming is often used in hip hop and rap songs to make the lyrics flow together. The last word in every line rhymes with the word in the previous line, but only during the verses. The only parts that do not rhyme in “Runaway Love” are the hook and the outro. Finally, Ludacris uses imagery to make his song feel more powerful. Imagery helps the listener to relate with the characters in the song because they can see in their mind what is taking place. “Mama is on drugs getting high up in the kitchen” is an example of the imagery that is being used because the listener can picture the little girl sitting alone in her room, while her mom is taking drugs in their kitchen. This makes the listener sympathize for the little girl, Lisa, because she is only nine years old and her mother is too busy getting high to take care of her. Ludacris is able to make his listeners grasp how important it is to pay attention to signs of abuse so that adolescents do not have to feel like “hell is a place called home”.
In conclusion, Ludacris is an extraordinary hip hop artist. He makes his listeners feel like they are in the same position as the girls who are in his song, which in return, makes them aware of child abuse. Ludacris not only makes his listeners aware of child abuse through his songs, but he also has a program called “The Ludacris Foundation”. It was created for “helping youth help themselves”. The foundation contains five different programs that are all focused on helping children in our country. Finally, at the end of “Runaway Love”, Ludacris comforts the girls to make them feel like someone out there cares for them. His Foundation also helps children realize that someone out there would like to help them because not everyone has to struggle to get through life.
Struggles Faced by Adolescents