“GMO Rap,” Megan Pender (2013) — Inquiry 4

Pender GMO Rap

Project Reflection

Upon hearing about this inquiry, I was excited to have more freedom with the media. I  thought it was a good idea to let creativity take its course to a greater degree and to let the mind wonder a little farther than usual. Being able to explore a new type of media, this in my group’s case was a song, allowed me to understand the work that actually goes into making songs, as well as the process of forming a different perspective on a current social issue.

We were exposed to quite a few ideas for this inquiry, and all of them seemed really interesting. However, some of them just didn’t seem fitting for me. The choice of doing a song, however, caught my attention right away, since I have always loved music and have always wanted to know what it was like to produce a song. Wesley, who was in my group, has a very large musical background as well, and had some experience with the music-creating programs prior to this inquiry. Leah joined our group a few days after we started laying out ideas, and was up for anything and supported our ideas.

We chose to make a song portraying the potential risks and escalation of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. This topic wasn’t the first one to cross our minds, as we thought technology was an interesting and obvious choice. After additional research, GMOs presented an interesting portal into the future, yet still reflecting on what is currently happening in today’s society. This topic seemed interesting to us, and we thought we would be able to be really creative with this idea. The fact that many foods we eat contain genes, proteins, and DNA of bacteria and other organisms can be scary to some people, while it doesn’t bother others. Personally, I feel like GMOs could get out of hand as more genes from more organisms are used, potentially causing mutations in humans. These mutations could possibly change the human race and the way people live their daily lives. This idea is what supported the majority of the lyrics and the type of sound we used for the song.

Using the idea of the future and the potential of transformed humans, we tried to match a sound of music that could portray that, but still keep it in the type of sound that is found in today’s society. Mixing the two would allow us to grab the attention of the audience using familiar and popular sounds, while having a futuristic felt hat would serve as a portal into the future. As a group, we decided that using an eerie tone would be most suiting and would give the audience a sense of the negative effects of GMOs. At first try, it was hard to pinpoint a combination of beats, rhythms, and sounds that would exemplify the future and still flow together smoothly. The first attempt was not very good quality, and the recordings of our voices were very muffled and unclear, especially since it contained a lot of rapping. This led to a different approach to our sound, including a more laid back sound, but still futuristic; this used electronic and machine produced sounds, rather than instruments. More caution and precision was taken when recording the rapping and singingfor the song. Rapping seemed to fit the style for futuristic sense, and it allowed us to incorporate much of the important and relevant information.

In our lyrics, we incorporated a little sense of humor along with the negative effects to help get our point across, as well as to entertain the audience a little more. This allowed us to use more creativity and think of the possible ways these GMOs could alter our lives and our bodies. We thought about the consumption of the foods, as well as the advanced technology used to produce them. The future is destined to have technology that can do numerous daily tasks, but it will also have technology that will create advances in the science and medical fields. In the lyrics, we incorporated this idea and made quite a few references to humans exhibiting animal characteristics. This emphasized the fact that mutations could occur in our bodies if we continuously consume food that contains animal/foreign genes. The future in respect to this area is unknown, so there could be a possibility of these mutations occurring.

There were some difficulties and challenges in creating our song, but we tried our best to work around them. The program we used in making this song, which was “Garage Band”, wasn’t too difficult once we figured out to operate it and mix beats. What was a little difficult was finding futuristic beats and sounds that meshed well together without being too busy or overpowering. Our second trial had better success with this. Another challenging part was the creation of the lyrics. Trying to think of rhyming words in the context of GMOs and animals was a little difficult, as well as finding a sense of organization throughout the whole song.

Overall, the process of making a song was interesting and fun. It’s something that I would love to do again. It also opened my eyes as to how different types of media require a different perspective on basic ideas, and how the portrayal of a message is crucial to the level of understanding for the audience. I think we worked with that we had and made an interesting song. The lyrics or the choices of sounds may not be the strongest, but they give a sense of what the future could hold and the ways lives could be changedas a result of “scheming with genes”. GMOs have the potential to change the world, and every human living in it, and my group’s song gives this impression.