In Tyler, the Creator’s “Earfquake”, there is some feeling of heartbreak, sadness, passion, and emotion. In the lyrics there is only a couple main lines that are repeated over and over again throughout the song, however, there is much to be discussed about these lyrics. The main line is “Cause you make my earthquake, Oh, you make my earthquake. Riding around, your love be shakin’ me up And it’s making my heart break”. As you can see, there is not much being said, yet, there is a lot of emotion being put into the words. I strongly recommend watching the music video before you continue reading.
One of the main topics that comes across in these lyrics is heartbreak. For many, heartbreak is a very sad thing. It can destroy the life of someone for a long time and lead to depression. The song portrays this as a very sad thing and looks down on it. When the song mentions “your love be shaking me up and its making my heartbreak”, it can mean that someone is being friendly with someone who is interested in them, yet they don’t see them this way and just want to be friends. This can cause someone to read into someone’s kindness too much as being interested in them. So when the person finds out they were just being nice, they can become heartbroken because they were emotionally invested and interested in them. This ties in with the pathos aspect of life because there is so much emotion in these lyrics and the meaning behind them. These lyrics cause the listener to become very sad for the artist singing because no one would want such hurt to be put onto a person. “Of all the rhetorical techniques highlighted in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, pathos is probably most prevalent in literary writing. Most pieces of writing are designed to evoke emotion regardless of whether they are intended to persuade.” (MasterClass, par.11). As MasterClass brings out, the main reason for pathos is to evoke emotion, and that’s exactly what Tyler, the Creator is doing here. He wants others to feel the pain he is going through.
Another couple lines in the song are, “I don’t want no confrontation, no. You don’t want my conversation. I just need some confirmation on how you feel”. Here Tyler is showing that he hates confrontation as it makes him nervous. He doesn’t want to talk about his feelings with his person of interest. He is also showing how this individual is ignoring him because when he does try to talk to them, they don’t want his conversation, in other words, they dont pay him any attention or take him serious. He just simply put, wants to know exactly how they’re feeling about the relationship. And it’s already hard as it is because he hates confrontation. Here, Tyler is showing the audience a very real thing that happens to all of mankind. No one likes to be turned down and stood up. No one likes to feel vulnerable, which usually happens when their feelings are out there. This passage of the song also ties in with pathos because what is mainly being communicated to the audience is emotion. Just like the other verse, these lyrics are really relatable because everyone can feel for him and feel the same emotion from this.
This song mainly appeals to young adults and even some adults. This is because during the early stages of being an adult is where relationships start to get serious with a significant other. The dating scene is more prevalent, and the chance for hurt feelings and even a broken heart are even higher than when an individual is younger in their teenage years. A lot of character building takes place during this time of young adulthood. And I think one of the things that Tyler is trying to convey is that heartbreak must take place at least once in someone’s life. This is to make them stronger and possibly know how to handle the situation later on down the road. I think Tyler also released this song as a coping mechanism for some who were hurt really bad and just need a song to relate to. This could show to them that they aren’t the only ones going through their situation and that even stars such as Tyler, the Creator go through it as well.
In the music video, Tyler is putting all of his emotions out there as he is performing on stage and just letting it all out. This video really shows how it can be good and feel good to the hurt individual to just let their frustrations out with no censor. Yet, it also symbolizes how that could be harmful when the stage catches fire. He was told to perform yet not to smoke cigarettes. He was able to figuratively let his anger out, but went too far when he lit the cigarette and lit the stage on fire. I think this symbolizes how its good to let anger out yet to not be overflowing with hate. The video also shows how many things can be fixed. His character turns into a firefighter to put the flame out and shows how he was able to come to terms, per se. The music video is very well done as it shows the possibilities and consequences in a scenic way.
The language used in this song is very laid back and nonchalant. He is speaking with genuinity yet so much emotion. He sings as if he has just been shot at war because of all the hurt he has endured. He slurs a little bit in the verses yet you can make out what he is saying. There is only really one occasion where slang being used in the song, like not perfect english. This is when he says, “Your love be shakin me up”. In this instance he is not pronouncing the whole word ‘shaking’ and uses the word ‘be’ to replace the word ‘is’. Even though this isnt perfect english, in this day and age, everyone can understand what he is trying to say.
To recap, this song “Earfquake” is quite a beautiful melody with an even better message. Tyler shows how everyone, including himself, goes through heartbreak. He shows how it can be sad and depressing, and in the video, how it can even be disastrous. Yet, it can be an instance of growth. If one comes to terms that sometimes things just don’t work out, they’ll grow from this and be prepared should it occur again later down the line. Tyler, the Creator is a talented and gifted artist that gifted this song to the public to help those going through heartbreak.
MasterClass. What is Pathos? Definition of Pathos. Pub. May 23, 2019
Genius Lyrics. Earfquake, Tyler,the Creator. Pub. May 17, 2019.