“The Fast and The Franchise”

Driving fast down the highway dodging through traffic or racing your friends down a quarter mile road, it is safe to say, it has ran through everyone’s mind before. For those who are or have done it before understands the rush of doing that and for those who haven’t have wondered what it’s like. That’s where the Fast and The Furious franchise comes into play. They have heightened this drive (no pun intended) for everyone to enjoy and feel as though they are in the car with the actors. This underground world has emerged and gotten glorified by the masses. This franchise has increased the urge to look into and/or partake in the culture.

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The racing world consists of two forms, legal and illegal, which the movie thrives on mostly. Legal races, in America, are held by the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) and the IHRA (International Hot Rod Association). These associations have designated areas that are just for them to perform these races. Then there are the illegal races that are not backed by any associations but are held just for the thrill and glamour of the sport. It can be as small as two friends racing or a mob of people. Taking the illegal form of the racing is what sky rocketed the Fast franchise.

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From Wikipedia, the Neo-Gramscian theory states: approach to the study of International Relations (IR) and the Global Political Economy (GPE) that explores the interface of ideas, institutions and material capabilities as they shape the specific contours of the state formation. The Fast franchise has done exactly that. They have repackaged the pure and grittiness of illegal racing and sold it right back to the public to be glorified (and glorified it is). Thus, bringing forth a new culture for the world to see and be apart of without actually being apart of it physically. This causes the world to be immersed in the action and allowing the franchise to be as big as it is.

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The Fast Franchise has really become apart of pop culture because of numerous reasons. The fact that it was able to hone in on the pureness and integrity of illegal racing during the transitioning of becoming “mainstream” is a big one. They could have done it and have been criticized by the people who actually partake in that culture. Another big reason is the actors that they casted and the characters portrayed by the actors. The characters portrayed were very relatable to everyone in some way, whether it was Dom who is family oriented or Bryan who is trying to find himself. With these relatable characters people feel like they know them. Which brings me to the actors themselves, because people feel so attached the actors through their characters, when Paul Walker died it broke the hearts of many people. Some people stated that there shouldn’t be anymore Fast movies because it won’t be the same without him. This franchise has become apart of our lives that we would buy the collection, go to the movies on opening night, and even stand in long lines if needed to watch it.

This franchise has kept people on the edge of their seats, even after it seemed like they would be finished. The creators have proven that they have put a lot of though and planning into the franchise, not only in the screening but the writing. Everything about this franchise was done great. If you have not seen the last six of them, I highly recommend it before the seventh one comes out. Yes, I am a fan of the franchise and cannot wait to go see the last one on April 3rd.

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“To Praise Or Not To Praise”

For many years music have been placed in different genres to differentiate the style; such as, Pop, Reggae, Rap, Christian and so on. However, artists have taken certain styles and formats from other genres to incorporate in their music to fuse two genres and make them one. Some people enjoy the fused music and the artist is praised for it, on the other hand, others are condemned for it, such is true when it comes to Christian music and Rap music. Separately these two have gotten glory but when fused the two have gotten praised by the younger generations and mostly condemned by the older generations. The way of the music era has shifted quite profusely and what could have been meant for one thing it is seen as another. The fusing of the two is not bad in a sense, but it is how one differentiates an artists’ music from becoming secular music and staying non-secular no matter which realm the music is being played.

I believe Christian-Rap music moving into the secular realm is Pop Culture because it is becoming the modern culture for the younger people to praise God and even catching the ears of some older generations. To me music is music no matter what the genre is or if it’s popular secularly or non-secularly. It is a form of expressing ones feelings, thoughts, or conveying a story verbally. The fact that people are talking and conversing about the form of music, whether it’s good or bad, is what makes this pop culture. The form has broken out from the little box and spread to the mass. It’s like Linda Holmes said in, What Monkeys Eat:

“… this piece about important versus unimportant stories. How did we get to the point where we’re spending so much time with stories that aren’t about “war or peace or anyone’s ability to find work,” but instead on “fluff”?”

It is unimportant if it becomes popular among the secular music or not but more important that it’s still promoting the underlining purpose of praising God? If the new way of praising God reaches the masses, people should be happy about that because it is a chance to win more souls for the kingdom. This also ties into the, Agenda Setting Theory, of the media can’t tell you how to think but what to think about. This means that if the media plays more of the fused Christian-Rap based music then it would draw people in, especially the younger generation, to want to know more. They are already hearing these forms of Rap music with no lyrical substance to it so why not draw them in with the same boastful sounds with lyrical substance to change their lives.

The action of a Christian is to be the light of the world and lead people to Jesus. Music is a form that helps lead and at one point in time hymns were the main form. Now it is Christian-Rap and it has bled into the secular, which is why I believe people have argued against it. One artist who has stepped out into the forefront of this is Lecrae. His style of Christian-Rap drew recognition and elevated him, which caused his name to be known on both the non-secular and secular realm. He has taken his light and shared it with others and has drawn people to God. With his movement he also has drawn other Christians to stand for their belief in God and to not be ashamed of doing so like the verse in the Bible stated in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” I ask, is that not what we are supposed to do as Christians? If one way is not working, why not try a new way to reach a new generation of people. Yes, Christians are in the world but not of it, which goes the same for Christian-Rap being in the secular realm. Lecrae’s music winning a Grammy and bleeding into the secular realm, causing his music to be played on many secular stations and places, has opened the eyes of other people. I personally have had the pleasure to hear his songs while working out and singing them, which cause a conversation between my friends and I because they had not heard it until then.

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Spreading the word, love, and drawing people to Jesus is the sole mission of a Christian. Yes, the music has it’s own realm which it stays in but it was not made to be contained in that realm alone. Many artists have tried new methods to cross into the secular realm to reach the masses but have only been able to crack the surface. With the help of the media, using the Reinforcement Method, which states: that people seek out and remember information that provides cognitive support for their pre-existing attitudes and beliefs, the Christian-Rap genre can go far. Linda Holmes stated in her, Why Pop Culture Matters, “people are just thirsty for anything that feels real.” As the Christian-Rap bleeds over to the secular realm, those people are able to see the passion, real, and unashamed, causing them to be saved and not lost.

Sway In The Morning: Speaks on the origin of Rap and how Lecrae is reinsurance of “true Rap”

Author: Jella G