In Rotella’s article he discusses what “soft” and “hard” aspects make up a neighborhood, and how an individuals perception can shape a neighborhood. Many musical artist have used Chicago as the subject of their lyrics, and often represent Chicago in a negative light. This representation, like the real life struggles of the city are able to influence both the people that live there, and outsiders view on the city. The song I am relating to this is “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley, which was released in 1969. He talks about the fate of a boy born and raised in the “ghetto” in Chicago, and how at his death by gunshot, another child will be born and perpetuate the cycle. The message that crime and murder are a constant in Chicago gives the city as a whole a negative reputation. This song plays off both the “soft” and “hard aspects of the city. By using an individual story, Presley is discussing “soft” aspects of the neighborhood. However, the murder and crime discussed in the song is a direct result of the “hard” facts such as the economic situation within the city.
Here is a youtube link to the song: