We had Catstock in APUSH yesterday. Like Woodstock, that famous music festival, but Catstock. I do not really know why “cat” was chosen, but no matter.
Earlier this week, everyone got into groups of three or four, each of which was assigned a perspective on the Vietnam War. My group was assigned the African-American perspective, which, after I discovered after reading, was mainly anti-war, since the blacks didn’t understand why they should be fighting to oppress people for the people who were in fact oppressing themselves. The assignment was to create a song reflecting whichever perspective assigned. Most groups wrote songs based on already existing songs, mostly popular.
Originally, I was pretty set on doing a song to the tune of Lazy Sunday. However, I was not getting much response from my group members about it, probably because they had never heard of Lazy Sunday before, which, really, is quite a shame. Anyway, after discussing what we should do for a while, we decided to just rap to a rap beat.
So then we looked over the materials, which provided primary sources on the African-American perspective of the war, to glean information to include in our song. After gleaning information, one girl started working on lyrics, the other girl kind of kept reading (or something like that), and I started trying to incorporate information into lyrics, as well. The first girl got quite a bit done, and it was quite awesome. I came up with what I called the “STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN”, haha.
We worked on the song a little more later in the week, and I set out looking for cool rap beats. I eventually found some at 20DollarBeats, and after we listened to a handful of them and tried rapping the lyrics to it, we finally came upon the perfect one. Then we went home and practiced it.
Friday came, and I was a little concerned over the rapping abilities of my friends. During rehearsal time, my fears were partially confirmed- I definitely had more natural flow than them, but they were great nonetheless. One girl had some issues with her part though, so she took on the statistical breakdown, which I was originally going to do, and I took on two of the verses, or whatever you call it.
When rehearsal time was over, the different groups performed. They were pretty awesome, for the most part. One group of 4 girls did an anti-war perspective song to “All The Right Moves” by OneRepublic. The chorus started like “All the right men/In all the wrong places”. Another group did a pro-war song to Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”, and the chorus started something like “Drip drop/goes the bombs”.
Finally, my group went last. I plugged in my laptop into the speakers and started the rap beat loop. The girl who wrote the lyrics (which were pretty awesome, by the way) started out, then I went, then the other girl did the statistical breakdown. Afterward, everyone was saying how it was awesome, and how they were so surprised to hear the other girls bust out rapping. The lyric-writing girl is especially quiet and soft-spoken, so her rapping AND starting us off really took people by surprise. This just goes to show that anyone can step up to the occasion.
Apparently it is not so surprising that I can rap, haha. Quite a few people related to me their concern that I would be the only person saying/singing/rapping anything, since I was the loudest person in my group.
Catstock was a great experience, and even though it seemed like my group’s performance would be a minor fail, it did not turn out to be such.