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Music to Atone To
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“You got your finger on the trigger, kid… Line it up, line it up, line it up / And hit me with the truth.” ‘The truth’ is that it’s no secret that in the United States, there’s a serious problem with gun violence and mass shootings.  Every shooting is tragic, yet, such incidents occur more and more frequently.  On his 2016 song, “Stick to Your Guns,” rapper and poet George Watsky plays multiple roles in a fictional school shooting scenario, from the perpetrator (first verse), the news/media in the aftermath (second verse), politicians speaking in the aftermath (third and final verse), or as aforementioned, a potential victim meeting his unfortunate fate (the chorus). Watsky’s ultimate point? It seems to be meaningful, actionable atonement – ending a senseless, vicious, and deadly cycle.

As the perpetrator, Watsky highlights the mindset (“When you were knocking me like a laughingstock”), even earlier apologizing “to the couple decent people who got in the way.” He humanizes, highlighting the mental health aspect, as well as the effects of bullying and social awkwardness.  Moving on to the media perspective, he criticizes media outlets’ competitiveness for views and getting the scoop first and best, as opposed to the bigger picture – “Of course we know this situation is tragic / But take a minute to appreciate our fabulous graphics.” Perhaps the most damning role is that of the politician, who’s most concerned about politics: “Of course I share your sentiment as your voice in the senate / But let’s accept nothing ever could have been done to prevent it.”

All that considered, perhaps the key lyric from the record comes from featured singer Julia Nunes – “Stick to your guns.” Again, from Watsky’s perspective, he seems to be frustrated – tired of inaction with continued devastating results.

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About The Curator - Brent Faulkner

Brent Faulkner - Music to Curator

Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky.  A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles.  In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype (https://themusicalhype.com). When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.

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