The number of hate-motivated crimes being reported on the news seems to continue rising. Because of the increase in hate crimes, people are now focusing on what should be done. While some people support the need for hate-crime laws and penalty-enhancement statutes, others argue those additions will hinder the First Amendment, people’s freedom of speech. However, there is another side that compromises the two arguments and suggests there should be hate-crime laws but they must be enforced properly to avoid interference with people’s basic rights. Regardless of an individual’s stance on the issue, undoubtedly hate crimes are problems that affect victims and their loved ones in a tremendous way. In her song “Pink Limo Ride,” Kate Nash shows her position on the issue of hate crimes: it’s time for people to stand up to hate crimes and change things.
Kate Nash is an award-winning British singer as well as songwriter, musician, and actress. In 2008, she was acclaimed with the Best Female Artist award at the BRIT Awards. Nash has shown concern on various societal problems, such as using an auction on eBay to help donate money to a five-year-old girl with meningococcal disease. In addition she volunteered to set up and collected donations for people made homeless in the 2011 England riots. Her song “Pink Limo Ride” is written for her friend, Mika, who was a victim of a hate crime. To demonstrate her stance on the issue of hate crimes and show support towards her friend, Nash dedicates “Pink Limo Ride” to bring awareness to the hate crimes and prejudice present in our today’s society.
In a blog post about her song “Pink Limo Ride,” Kate Nash reveals the story behind the attack and her initial reaction upon hearing the news of Mika’s attack. She starts her blog post with, “This is a song I wrote for my friend that got beaten up defending his friend. It was a hate crime.” She continues,
“On the 13th July, Mika went out with one of his best friends, Bonnie, a beautiful girl who dresses alternatively & has a lot of tattoos. They were in a chicken shop in soho when a couple of guys took a disliking towards her alternative look. They threatened to stab her because of the way she was dressed, she was bottled, and Mika stood in & was beaten so badly he now has a fracture in his face. When I looked on facebook and saw a picture of him I cried…This next part of this piece is harder to write than describing to you how awesome my friend is. I want to say a thousand things, about how I am angry, disgusted, and how sad and sick it makes me seeing people being treated like this…I’m concerned as to how these 2 will get their confidence back after this. I can’t even imagine how they both feel. All I can do is be there for him.”
Nash uncovers her frustration and questions the reasoning behind the attack. In this post, she describes how she wanted to convey all her emotions in a piece of music and her concerns towards the issue of hate crimes. To the best of her abilities, she can only do so much to show her support towards her friends but she is determined to make change.
Kate Nash demonstrates her logical argument against hate crimes through the careful sequencing of her lyrics. The song begins by addressing the effects the hate crime has on Mika, both physically and mentally. Next, Nash encourages Mika by telling him what she will do to help him restore his confidence. She then continues to talk about the night of the incident but urges Mika not to succumb to the attack. Nash ends the song by repeatedly telling Mika what she loves about him and will help him through his recovery. Through this logical sequence, Nash not only refers to the hate attack but also shows her support for her friend. It evokes the audience to connect to how she feels towards her friend and enables them to relate to the emotions she conveys.
To effectively deliver her message, Kate Nash varies the song’s pace. Starting out mellow, the slow paced rhythm puts emphasis on the severity the effects of the hate crime. It makes the audience listen more attentively to the lyrics. However, whenever she addresses Mika, the pace speeds up to a more upbeat pace. This uplifting pace during her message to Mika in effect shows her support and encouragement towards him. It then slows down once again, almost as if she was having a conversation with the audience, when she begins to address the hate crime itself again. However, she decides to end the song in the same uplifting manner she used when she addresses Mika to bring a more positive energy to Mika and the audience.
Using slow, mellow tempo and strong lyrics, Kate Nash combines the two elements to deliver powerful messages about the effects of hate crimes. Beginning the song with, “Sometimes, sometime it’s hard to keep your head up/Yeah you’ve been hurt before/ You lost your faith in humanity/ And it’s taken it’s [sic] turn/ Don’t know for how long,” Nash demonstrates that victims lose faith in humanity in the aftermath of hate-motivated attacks. In a society where they are supposed to feel safe, these targeted victims no only lose confidence in themselves, but also in mankind. When she continues recalling back to the hate crime, Nash continues to use a mellow approach. This time, she nearly narrates her lyrics, “That faithful night may have changed your life/The [sic] came down on you/When you felt the force, but now you must look to the light/And find the strength to keep on/And fight the good fight.” In nearly reciting these song lyrics, she is almost telling a story. In telling rather than singing these lyrics, she is emphasizing how Mika’s life will not be the same but he must have the strength to stand up and fight against the prejudice.
Kate Nash uses a faster and more upbeat tempo when the lyrics directly address Mika. With this beat and the lyrics alongside of it, Nash is encouraging Mika and telling him she will constantly remind him that there are people that love and support him. In her lyrics, “Mika, I’ll never give up/I’ll bring you pizza every day/I’ll bake you cakes cause you can’t bake…/If it will help you smile again,” Nash shows her affections by telling him what she’ll do for him and even adds a small joke, putting humor in her reassurance towards her friend. She continues to remind Mika about all the things she loves about him in order for him to gain his confidence, “Mika, you are so cute/ Even tho you can be pretty gross/ Yeah I really love you somehow/ You are so sweet/ Even when you’re acting crazy.” She ends the song in powerful message, “You’ll get to the top, fulfill you goals/Be…screw the rest [sic]/ We’ll fight the prejudice,/This bull-sh*t I contest.” These lines have a dual effect, giving strength to the victims and speaking out against hate crimes. With strong language, she demonstrates her strong opposition to prejudice and determination to fight for change.
Hate crime continues to be a prevalent problem in today’s society. It is not something that can be changed overnight. Effort and time must be invested in order for change to occur. Even though people have different opinions about these changes within the judicial system, people continue to express their concerns about the issue of hate crimes. From personal experience, Kate Nash expresses her message about hate crimes through the use of music and lyrics. She also describes the reasoning behind her song “Pink Limo Ride” in a blog post. In that post, she expresses her emotions of anger, frustration, and disappoint to her audience through the use of her personal blog and music. She uses these media forms to tell a personal story about a hate crime and advocate for people to stand up against prejudice and intolerance.
Myignorantyouth [Kate Nash]. “ “Pink Limo Ride” – Wake the Fuck Up – Kate Nash.” Tumblr. Tumblr, 18 Jul. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013
Nash, Kate. “Pink Limo Ride.” 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2013
Pink Limo Ride. Perf. Kate Nash. YouTube. YouTube, 18 Jul. 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2013