Today’s insight is for the music video for the song “When Doves Cry” by A.P.T. (that’s me) and Kaptain Kutta, off our newest collaboration album, “Manifest Destiny: The Takeover mixtape!”
FREE Mixtape Preview/Download – available at www.ManifestDestinyHipHop.com!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
This song, “When the Doves Cry,” was one of the hardest ones to come up with for the mixtape. Kaptain Kutta had sent me the beat – a sampling of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” – and I knew it sounded like a hit. Only problem was what to actually do with it!
The beat has these Prince-sampled croons in the chorus part, and I wanted to come up with something that would allow those croons to make sense. Initially I had thought it would make for a good party song where we could talk about getting girls and making them make that sound… but since it’s a dude doing it, I thought it would make it sound kinda… odd.
And so, the beat sat there for 2 months while we worked on other songs. Then, about 5 days before we were supposed to release the album, I came up with an idea: what if, instead of being celebratory croons, they were croons of despair? Like, instead of having the croon be a sound a girl would make during intercourse, it could be more of a groan one makes when things aren’t going right in one’s life?
Once I changed my perspective and went this route, it was easier to come up with a theme for the song.
This song basically gives perspective of what I call “The Before Time.” It’s talking about the feelings and life situation one is going through right before they have their breakthrough and become famous. It’s a life where your job sux, girls won’t date you, and – worst of all – everyone keeps ignoring you and whatever it is you’re trying to put out because they just don’t think you have it.
The first 2 verses have Kaptain Kutta and I talking about various things one may go through during that period, while the third verse gives inspiration and hope to those still going through it. We wanted to end the song on this note so that people know that, even if they are going through a crappy period in their lives while trying to make it, that part will eventually pass if they just keep their eye on the prize.
Some Interesting Song Titbits:
1. My first line of the song – “It gets to the point where your friends won’t even listen to your sh*t” – was written for 2 reasons: one, because I’ve had it happen where I come up with a song I think it’s dope and my friends – supportive as they are – may not be in the mood to hear yet another A.P.T. song; and two, because I figured that, should they actually listen to this song, it would make their ears perk up and make them want to, ironically enough, listen to the whole song.
2. With the songs on the album I was making it a goal to give Kaptain Kutta and I equal amounts of time on each song, and it was no different with this song. However… I wrote the last 4 lines of the song where I’m rapping really fast with the idea that Kutta and I would say every other line. Unfortunately, the tone and pace at which the lines needed to be said weren’t able to match up when we both did it, so I ended up saying the whole thing instead.
FREE MIXTAPE DOWNLOAD – AVAILABLE AT www.ManifestDestinyHipHop.com
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I went to Atlanta for 2 days so Kaptain Kutta and I could shoot videos for the mixtape. This was the second video we worked on, and by far it was the easiest.
The idea was fairly simple: Kutta and I would be walking from our houses on the way to our cruddy jobs in a re-enactment of our “before” times, with me dressed up in a Quiznos outfit and him dressed in his outfit he wore when working at Kroger.
Because we were trying to film 5 videos in one day, we wanted to shoot videos that would be simple yet effective and meaningful. For this video, it was easy to keep it simple while getting our vision across. In short: we’re walking to the bus to go to work because we can’t afford cars. Also, since we wouldn’t have had a big budget to do a massive amount of editing, the shots and editing was kept simple as well, similar to how I would edit videos back in 2008 (I mean, if you really look at the “Obama Milli” video, there’s not much going on other than me in front of a blue screen and a lot of pictures being thrown up on screen to compensate).
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. The house I’m walking out of is actually Kaptain Kutta’s place. The house/fence he’s walking from is a random abandoned house’s place.
2. The cars in the driveway are not owned by me or Kutta – one was his Mom’s, and the other was my friend Daren’s car.
3. Which reminds me: Daren was nice enough to be our third camera guy for when both Kutta and I were on screen at the same time. So, when you see me on screen it’s Kutta doing the filming; when you see Kutta on screen it’s me doing the filming; and when we’re both on screen it was Daren filming.
4. The original idea was to have Kutta and I walk around in the gear we used to work in. I worked at Quiznos at one point and brought that to dress in. However, Kutta did not have his Kroger apron. Therefore, it may appear that he either (a) works at Kroger, or (b) as a waiter in a restaurant. Either way… still works!
5. Editing time for this video was probably like 2 hours, and most of that was choosing what colors to use in the video. I decided I wanted it to look like a “back in the day” recording for most of it, so I chose monotone colors and a projector effect. For the third verse I wanted us to jump into the present time, so I abandoned that look and went with more vibrant colors.
And that’s it – hope you enjoy the video, and be sure to download the mixtape “Manifest Destiny: The Takeover Mixtape” for FREE at our website, www.ManifestDestinyHipHop.com!