Becoming a Backup Dancer in Your Own Show

This week I chose to analyze the Music video for the song “Waka Waka” by Shakira. To give this video context, it was created in anticipation for the 2010 FIFA world cup. The music video depicts a Colombian Shakira singing about that make Africa, Africa. Shakira’s light hair and complexion in the video contrast greatly from her four, extremely dark-skinned female backup dancers. These dancers, while holding a much smaller part in the video than Shakira are all depicted to be of African descent and shown to be practicing dances and clothing styles from various African countries. This contrast struck me as odd. The women in the video who represents African culture as much as I do, an Italian/Irish girl from Connecticut, is the one with the largest role in advertising the country’s culture in preparation for the World Cup. This cultural inconsistency highlighted, to me, the subconscious racism still present in society.






The Collegiate Experience as Outline By Kanye West

“Omega step, Alpha step, Sigma step, Delta step…They say “Oh you

graduated? ” No, I decided I was finished

Chasing y’all dreams and what you’ve got planned

Now I spit it so hot, you got tanned

Back to school and I hate it there, I hate it there

Everything I want, I gotta wait a year, I wait a year

This nigga graduated at the top of our class

I went to Cheesecake, he was a motherfucking waiter there” – Kanye West,

School Spirit


The song “School Spirit” by Kanye West, a piece outlining the generic aspects of college, i.e. Greek life, along with the inescapable question many students find themselves pondering, being, “is this worth it?”. West juxtaposes the monotony of the commonplace collegiate aspects a student may experience in while living in college with the deeper, more introspective questions many students also experience. The chant line, repetitive tone of “Omega step, Alpha step, Sigma step, Delta step”, to me, symbolizes the unoriginal mantra of the surface level of college life, in this situation, greek life. The more diverse beat and lyrics come into play in the song when West begins to take a deeper look under the surface of college life, signifying a shift in content and subject matter.