In the song “Billionaire,” Travie McCoy uses hip-hop and R&B style to target teenage listeners. Understanding the audiences’ interests, needs and expectations allows him to choose the appropriate style and tone to express his message. According to the youtube demographics statistics, the music video is most popular among teenagers and young adults in the range of thirteen to twenty-four years old. Besides the primary audience, the song is also listened to by many hip-hop fans. Travie McCoy targets the audiences’ interest by having slang and informal language, which is very common in the hip-hop genre.
Some examples are “take a crack at it,” and “for the heck of it. ” Another technique is visual images; the setting of the music video mainly takes place at the skate park and the party next to the beach. There are many activities in the video that are popular among teenagers, such as graffiti painting, partying, and skating. Moreover, people are wearing stylish clothing and sunglasses. For example, Travie McCoy has a pair of ear gauges with size of a coin, which is a very fashionable stretching earlobes piercing. Overall, the song has a very playful and enjoyable tone but at the same time leaving a very deep message to the teenage audiences.
Understanding the expectations of many young Americans who just step out to the society and aspire for success, the first line of the song, “I want to be a billionaire, so frickin bad,” has touched the dream The idea of the song was first came to Bruno Mars when he was walking around in London. In an interview, he reveals, “Everything was so expensive, we thought we were broke in California; what are we going to do here? So we’ve got no money, and I’m walking the streets and came up with, ‘I wanna be a billionaire, so frickin’ bad. ” Mars uses a lot of imagery devices in his lyrics, for the purpose to express his dream and to give the audience a clearer picture of his life as a billionaire. For example, “I want to be on the cover of Forbes magazine,” and “see my name in shinning lights. ” Forbes is a magazine of world business leaders, and only the richest person gets to be on the cover page. By hearing this, listeners can easily imagine Mars dresses in suit, being the top business leader, attending special events such as movie premiers, or red carpet. He understands that teen hood is the period of time when we start planning of setting goals for their future.
However, without sufficient life experiences, teenagers tend to dream big, such as being the best of the best, without putting reality into the factor. In the lyrics, he does not tell how what he will do to become a billionaire, but what he will do once he is a billionaire. The hook of the song is all about how much he wants to be rich and famous to the highest level, and that “The world better prepare for when I am a billionaire. ” By expressing this ordinary dream, “Billionaire” has successfully become the most favorite song among teenagers.
On the other hand, adults who have more experiences in life may consider this as an immature dream, which is ridiculous and impossible to achieve. But most importantly, after capturing the audiences’ attention with the hook, Travie McCoy does not limit the song’s meaning to just wanting being rich and famous, he wants to deliver the important message of sharing. In the first verse, he emphasizes a lot on how he will use the money to help people around him, volunteer for community services, donations and that he will be better than other rich people right now.
He uses many comparison rhetorical devices such as simile and metaphor in his lyrics. For example, he would like to have “a show like Oprah” so that he can pass gifts to the audiences. He would adopt many children just like Agelina and Brad Pitt. Also, he refers himself as Santa Clause by singing “so you can call me Travie Clause minus the ho ho. ” In other words,because Travie McCoy is not a billionaire, using examples from these famous people can help him send out a clearer message to the audiences. In the second verse, Travie continues exaggerating how incredibly rich he is.
He will be so rich that he can “play basketball will the president”, and he can “be in a whole new tax bracket. ” But at the same time, he will make sure that “not a stomach around me would know what hungry was, eating good and sleeping soundly. ” Choice of words, or diction, plays a very important role in order to deliver a persuasive message. Travie McCoy frames the ideas of giving and sharing into happiness as the song overall flows in a joyful and relaxing tones. However, he also shows the consequences of not accepting the message.
His goal is to overwhelm audiences with the positives of sharing and giving; for example, being on Forbe Magazine, staying in a different city every night. On the opposite, if a person disagrees with the message, it would be someone who doesn’t care about the victims in Katrina, and the homeless children. This is a very powerful rhetorical technique to persuade the audiences into agreeing with his arguments. In other word, he is framing his arguments in a way that if you share, you are rich, famous, and happy, even comparable to Santa Clause. However, you become cold-hearted and lonely if you are not sharing.