The three dominant images that are being presented in the city by the artist grandmaster flex, Alicia keys, and the wailers are the way they grew up and the way they feel about the city.
The songs kinda send out different messages about the city but at different times, different generations. The song by Bob Marley and The Wailers concrete jungle was released in 1973. The other song by grandmaster flex called the message was released in 1982.
Then the last song by Alicia keys empire state of mind was released in 2009. The song “concrete jungle” was released at a time when there was an apartheid and civil right movements and poverty was at its lowest. The song also reflects his social and economic oppression.
One of the lyrics says, “No chains around my feet but I’m not free…I know I am bounded by captivity .” This line portrays Bob Marley trapped in the troubles of poverty with no way out. He can not break out of the chains of poverty that constrict him.
In the other verse he says, “Won’t someone help me cause I have to pick myself up from the ground in this concrete jungle”.This line is him crying out for help. Marley expresses through his song the poverty and brutality that has plagued the city he grew up in. The song “the message” reflects the culture of the 80’s a time where there were unlawful drugs and mass imprisonment and families being broken up because of the charges. One of the lyrics Flash says “I can’t take the smell, can’t take the noise..Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice” depicting he is trapped in his neighborhood because he wasn’t financially able to move anywhere else.
The other verse flash mentions “You’ll admire all the number-book takers Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers” these are the only people that flash had to look up to and to learn from. Another lyric flash says “now your eyes sing the sad, sad song Of how you lived so fast and died so young”. Depicting that he learned his lesson from watching the people around him, realizing that he needs to change his way of life in his concrete jungle.