Week 12: “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper; “Broken Clocks” by SZA (F18)

Last modified on August 4, 2023

For our final analysis symposium, we’ll be looking at two recent R&B/hip-hop hits that borrow elements from soul. Both “Same Drugs” and “Broken Clocks” are very interesting lyrically as well as tonally.

[embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be37-T72DNk[/embedyt] [embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVc-K1kKkVk[/embedyt]

[gview file=”https://musi611.meganlavengood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/lyrics-AS-3.pdf”]


  1. Listen to the recording with the lyric sheets several times.
  2. Do your best to figure out the chords to both songs, as you did for “Green Light in week 10. If you cannot figure out the chords entirely, prioritize the bass line, and locating what you think is the tonic chord.


Add a comment to this page with one original question for the presenters to answer. Note: your comments are public!

Presenters only

Prepare a 5–10 minute presentation on some aspect of either song as assigned below.

“Same Drugs” “Broken Clocks”
Hiroko Mark
Victoria Victor
Phillip Felix
Justin Aviel


You must incorporate lyric analysis after or an analysis of tonality after . You may also include the broadly applicable techniques from Unit 1.

Some thoughts to inspire you:

  • Both music videos have a strong dose of nostalgia.
  • How does that nostalgic tone relate to the narrator/narratee?
  • How does the nostalgic tone relate to the tonality?
  • What is the form of each song—is there anything unusual?


  • Have some kind of visual aid ready to demonstrate your main point(s). You can project papers (e.g., an annotated score) using the document camera.
  • Bring an extra copy of your visual for me to keep, or scan and email it to me.
  • I expect this to be informal, but you should still have your thoughts collected. Know what your main points are, and drive them home.  
  • 5–10 minute presentations go by quickly! Do not ramble! I will cut you off if I have to.


Spicer, Mark. 2017. “Fragile, Emergent, and Absent Tonics in Pop and Rock Songs.” Music Theory Online 23 (2). http://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.17.23.2/mto.17.23.2.spicer.html.
Burns, Lori. 2010. “Vocal Authority and Listener Engagement: Musical and Narrative Expressive Strategies in the Songs of Female Pop-Rock Artists, 1993–95.” In Sounding Out Pop: Analytical Essays in Popular Music, edited by Mark Spicer and John Covach, 154–92. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

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