Thursday, 25 October 2012

Genre Research

Within this post I aim to express the redundant and entropic conventions of the genre: Contemporary RnB/Pop.


This song comes under the genre of Contemporary RnB/Pop.

There are a mixture of shots used in Beyonce's video to emphasise different typical genre conventions. To begin, an establishing shot is used at the opening of the video.

This establishing shot could be interpreted to connote a journey. The road could connote the road to fame and stardom. The lighting is dim, and the streets are bare. This is redundant of the genre.

Extreme close ups are used, accompanied by the dim lighting. Close ups are very redundant of this particular genre, as it allows the artist(s) to create a relationship with the audience, and also assists the creation of a star persona/image. 

Here, the camera movement here follows a dolly movement, likely to be attached to a moving mechanism. The location of this video is a secluded area, surrounded by abandoned warehouses and buildings. 

When the dolly camera movement reaches a halt, the camera's focal point is Beyonce's cleavage/mid-section. This is redundant of a Contemporary RnB/Pop video. Goodwin's theory is applicable to this shot, as it embraces the male gaze, and fragments the female body so that the audience's central field of vision is focused on her breasts, connoting sexual desire and desirability. 

Goodwin's theory of the Male Gaze is evident again here, as the main focus is Beyonce's backside. The connotations are the same as mentioned above.

Within this shot, Beyonce's legs are also visible, and instead of the focus being mainly on her breasts, the focus is evenly spread between her mid-section and her thighs. Her attire is plain, as she is simply wearing a plain white vest shirt and denim hotpants. It is perceivable that her attire is intentionally plain in order to encourage the audience to focus on Beyonce's figure.

The dim lighting in the background of the shot allows for the vivacity of Beyonce to be dominant. She is bright and the background is dim, and the colours are faded and bland. She is staring directly into the camera, addressing the audience and creating a relationship with them. She is also pouting, which naturally connotes sexual desire.

This image of Beyonce is raunchy, and completely encourages the male gaze, thus utilising Goodwin's theory. She is looking directly into the camera, addressing her audience and pouting. Her entire image here represents sexual desire, a theme portrayed throughout her video. It is plainly redundant.


 The use of black and white within imagery is redundant of this particular genre. Here, Rihanna is wearing large earrings, eye make up, and her hair is styled. These are typical conventions of this genre. The informal writing in the background is also redundant of the genre, as the font is an informal scribble, and resembles graffiti; another typical genre convention of Contemporary Rnb/Pop. The shot is also a close-up shot, which is redundant of this genre as the artist develops a star persona within their videos, and has a direct relationship with their audience- Rihanna is looking directly into the camera.

The colour scheme here is bright, and the green, yellow, and red colours are entropic of the genre, as they are more commonly linked to Reggae and Dancehall music. Rihanna is wearing revealing clothing, pouting her lips toward the camera, and wearing sunglasses. Again, these are very redundant elements of her genre. The grenade in the background connotes danger and risk however, which is extremely entropic of the genre, but not the artist herself, as Rihanna is well known for her anarchic behaviour. The fact that she is banging the drums in the video is entropic, as within this genre, it is unusual for the artists to use instruments. Again, the graffiti walls are present, adding a touch of predictability to the video, which uses these throughout the duration.

Another redundant aspect of Contemporary Rnb/Pop is present here, as Rihanna's bottom is fragmented and matches the eyeline of the audience, encouraging Goodwin's theory of the Male Gaze. Rihanna is also displaying her motif here (the gun) through her actions, as she is 'shooting' the audience within the shot. This is redundant of her behaviour and star persona that she has created.

An extreme-close up shot of Rihanna's lips. I perceive this as connoting sexual desire, and her raised upper lip is formed into a growl which connotes aggression. These elements are redundant of the artist, and to an extent; the genre.


This image is bright, colourful, and almost has a 'pop-art' look to it. Her cap and sunglasses are redundant of the genre, and her large earrings too. It is a mid-close up shot with dim lighting, and it looks asif she is not wearing any clothes at all. This again, connotes sexual desire and the general theme of sex. Her shoulders are fragmented in this shot, displaying her tattoo on her left shoulder, which is barely visible given the lighting. All in all, this is a very redundant shot.

This shot of a Lioness is strangely redundant of the genre and artist. Given Rihanna's star persona, it is evident that the Lioness represents her, connoting that she is like a predator in the sense that she is able to defend herself, fend for herself, and more importantly earn money for herself, and the crown that has been drawn on and placed atop the Lioness' head represents her status; she is the Queen of her musical genre. The Lioness' mouth is open, displaying its teeth. This again connotes aggression, and encourages fear, despite the light-heartedness of the shot given the colourful background.


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