Dolla “Lets Make a Toast” Essay

Dolla “Make a Toast” Roderick Anthony Burton II, better known by his rap name “Dolla” was born on November 25, 1987 in Chicago Illinois. He was born as a twin but his brother ended up dying during birth, leaving him the only boy with two sisters. In 1991 his father moved their family to Los Angeles, California for a new life but noticed that times were tougher here than in Chicago. When Dolla was five a big tragedy occurred in his life when his father committed suicide by shooting himself in front of him and his sister Divinity.

After his fathers suicide his mother decided to make a move down to Atlanta, Georgia to create a new life for her family. But again financial burdens occurred and by the age of ten Dolla had to help support his family, even if that meant breaking the law. Still through all the struggle he had one dream, and that dream was to become a rapper. To pursue his dream he started writing raps in his elementary school classes. One of my favorite rap songs ever, “Make a Toast” is the second and final single from rapper Dolla’s debut album A Dolla and a Dream.

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The song was produced by Julian Bunetta and has an upbeat, triumphant feel to it, even though Julian Bunetta sung the background vocals on the chorus he was not given any credit for being in the song, other than being the producer. “Make a Toast” is from the twentieth century, it was officially released to radio and iTunes on November 4, 2008, but the song had been leaked to the internet long before its official release. The song is three minutes and fifty seconds long and also features “the best rapper alive” Lil Wayne. It was a very popular song topping off on the U. S. ap charts in 2008 at number seventeen (Wikipedia). The pitch of a song is the frequency of the vibrations in a note. When “Make a Toast” starts the beat has a high pitch, with the song beginning with a “ding ding ding” sounding beat. This is probably to give the song a sound to get the listeners attention, to kind of set it apart from other rap songs with more of a basic sounding beat. Then at thirty-eight seconds into the song when the chorus ends and when Dolla starts rapping the beat gets a much lower pitch. Then a thumping sounding bass continues through his lyrics.

When the song gets to a minute and twenty-seven seconds Lil Wayne’s part begins with a more of a higher pitch, this is to set his section of the song apart from Dolla’s. Then after his part the chorus repeats with the same beat that last throughout all of the chorus sections of the song. The last part of the song begins with Dolla rapping, once again this begins with a beat with a high pitch, to set it apart from the chorus. The tone color is very bright because the song has a faster beat than most songs. Also the lyrics are sang pretty quickly which always has your attention.

Vibrato, or changes in pitch, occur quite frequently throughout the entire song. These changes happen during every chorus, every time Dolla, and when Lil Wayne start rapping, which forces their parts stand out from the chorus. Lil Wayne uses an auto-tune effect during his part, which gives his voice vibrato because it can change the pitch of his vocals. When you are listening to the song “Make a Toast” you have to notice how much effort went into this song. The intonation is absolutely perfect, it seems like everything connects together in this rap song.

It seems like the lyrics intervene very well to the rhythm of the beat. All three singers in this song are amazing on how they can rap to the exact same beat and not get out of tune with their singing. The connection from Dolla singing his lyrics to when Julian Bunetta starts the background vocals is put together perfectly because there are no weird pauses or anything like that. This is in the chorus right after when Dolla says “Make a Toast” then Bunetta’s part comes in the background when he says “Woaaah oh. ” Rap singers are absolutely amazing in the way they can hold their breaths for so long and just sing.

Thus, the phrasing, or a musical sentence which usually last until the singer takes a breath, are also very long. This is one of the major reasons I like rap music because they sing a ton of words without taking a break and making the song boring. During this song the only time Dolla or Lil Wayne make a pause to take a breath is after their singing, when the chorus is just about to begin. This is the only time there is a split second of pausing in between the vocals. The melody in “Make a Toast” is pretty much the same throughout the entire song.

It would be conjunct because the pitches are close together and relatively have the same sound. It is legato because when the beat repeats it is smooth and connected. Most of the newer rap music is like this because the beats are made on a computer and not by instruments. That means that the beat can play over and over and sound exactly the same every time. Most of this song is monophonic, because for almost all the song there is only one person singing at a time. All three of the singers sing to almost the same rhythm, just a few changes to the beat when each person starts their part.

But every time the chorus is sung part of it has a homophonic melody. This is because right after Dolla say “Make a Toast” Julian Bunetta is in the background saying “Woaaah oh. ” This is considered to be homophonic because their are two people singing at the same time, but they are both in sync with each other and are singing to the same rhythm. I think “Make a Toast” has a consonant harmony, because I like the lyrics to the song and the I enjoy listening to the beat. But then again I pretty much only listen to rap music, so it is the genre of music that I like.

So when a new song comes out by an artist I like nine times out of ten I am going to like the song because an artist I enjoy listening to sings it. I also know that someone older in age, around forty and up, would think “Make a Toast” has a dissonant harmony. And this is mostly because rap music is not the style of music they like listening to. In example, my father would listen to this song and say “this song is terrible please turn it off, this shit off it hurts my ears! ” And I believe this is because he grew up to, and still listen to classic rock, so he will never enjoy the fast beats of hip-hop music.

This song, just like most rap songs, has a fast tempo, which makes this genre of music stand out from the rest. The tempo of this song is allegro, because the beat and the vocals are sound fast. It’s only allegro because I’ve heard rap songs that are a little faster, but by no means is this song slow. The beat starts from the beginning and just stays fast until the songs over. The musical dynamics, or the loudness or softness of a musical composition of “Make a Toast” are definitely fortissimo for almost the whole song. This song has a very loud beat, and a lot of thumping bass in it, so Dolla and Lil Wayne had to rap loud to be heard.

The only time where the music softens up is at two minutes and twenty-five seconds into the song, when Julian Bunetta’s part begins. Here the dynamics change to mezzo forte, because he is not singing too loud or too soft. The formal structure for this song is rondo, because it does not have the normal two or three part form. The vocals are in an ABACADEA style. The chorus in this song is represented by the A and the verses are the BCDE. This song, just like most rap songs, does not have a key. A key is the concept of interrelated chords based on the notes of the major and minor scales.

The key is indicated at the beginning of each piece by means of a key signature. There was nothing indicated at the beginning of this song to indicate a key. I think this is because the beat of this song was computer generated. Then a tragedy occurred on May 18, 2009 when Dolla was shot outside of the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles. Dolla just finished eating at P. F. Chang’s with his brother Scrapp Deleon and friend DJ Shabbazz, and was waiting outside in valet for his car when the shooting occurred. Aubrey Louis Berry was the man who shot Dolla and fled the scene of the crime.

Dolla got shot four times, three times in the back, and once in the bicep. He was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center which was only a few blocks away, but soon after died from his injuries. Berry was later found not guilty of first degree murder. Even though Berry brought the gun to a business lunch at the mall, where the two men spotted each other and exchanged words in the valet area. Berry pleaded not guilty to all charges, and testified in court that he acted in self defense, saying twenty-one year old Dolla threatened to kill him and that he believed he had a gun.

Berry and Dolla reportedly were involved in a fight at an Atlanta strip club just a couple of weeks before the L. A. shooting. Berry’s attorney, Howard Price emphasized the self-defense angle, saying Burton’s music and online videos were examples of his supposed gang ties. Prosecutors tried to make the case that police never found a weapon on Burton, and that the musician was shot in the back as he tried to flee. But they could never convict Berry because they believed that the rapper Dolla did have a gun on him when he was shot but one of his friends took it off him after he was shot (Man Charged With Dolla’s Murder).

So all in all “Make a Toast” is one of my favorite rap songs of all time. Roderick Anthony Burton II was just an up and coming artist when his death occurred, who very soon was definitely going to become a very popular rapper. I think Dolla was just playing the part of being a rap star when his death occurred, singing about drugs and guns in his songs. Bibliography Dolla Rapper, http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Dolla_(rapper) Man Charged With Dolla’s Murder, http://www. mtv. com/news/articles/1611853/20090520/dolla. jhtml Music Definitions, http://www. enjoythemusic. com/musicdefinition. htm#K