This week’s music video is for the song, “John McCain is a P.I.M.P.” (Produced by Shah Bros.)
DOWNLOAD 4 FREE: A.P.T. Song – John McCain is a P.I.M.P.
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
On June 22, 2008, I released my Lil’ Wayne “A Milli” parody, “Obama Obama,” a song that, much to my surprise, took on a life of its own.
I created a video for it and provided it as a free download. Little did I know that making that song would result in worldwide radio play, as well as a few radio DJs and “in the game” MCs (I’m looking at YOU, Tyga) wanting to take it and make their own versions.
Most importantly, though, the song is STILL being played 3 months later, and everyone from middle schoolers to college graduates have been writing me telling me they’ve been hearing my song in their school hallways.
I also get a lot of fan mail as a result, and one of the questions I’ve been receiving lately has been: “So, are you going to do a song about John McCain?”
And, to be quite honest, I wasn’t really planning on it. I made the “Obama Obama” song because it made sense to make it at the time it was created (one week after he received the Democratic nomination, and one week after Lil’ Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” sold “a milli”-on copies in a week). I didn’t want to just create a song about John McCain simply because people were asking me to, especially since I didn’t want it to come out sounding like crap.
And then, John McCain threw me a musical lifeline by choosing Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate for the White House.
Mr. McCain has a history of dating fine ladies, and it seems to me that he always has hot girls around him. His wife was a hottie when they met (so much so that he dumped his first wife just to be with her), and still looks pretty good today considering how old she is. And then, when it’s time for him to choose a potential vice president, who does he pick? A woman who is an ex-Beauty Pagent participant!
Clearly, McCain must have some kind of knack with the ladies.
So, much like with the way I created the “Obama” song, I was at work one day when I just thought of a random chorus:
“He got a hot wife, and a model V.P./That boy John McCain is a PIMP…”
And, once again, I burst out laughing. Clearly, the chorus alone meant the song had potential. The question was, what kind of song should I make it? I was going to do it as a parody… but I didn’t know what I’d make it a parody of. Plus, I didn’t want to deal with the hassles of having to remake a beat for a song that I wouldn’t be able to legally sell.
So, I decided to look through the catalogue of beats I had stored up on my computer. I actually had about 3 or 4 beats I could have used, plus I went online and heard a few more. All and all, though, I wanted to make it an upbeat song to counteract against John McCain’s “old guy” image. I.E. make a song that’s hip so McCain would sound hip.
As for the song itself, it really didn’t take long to write. I think I was watching TV or something, and suddenly decided that now was the time to write the song. I went to my hotmail site, typed up some lyrics, and e-mailed it to myself.
The song is broken down into two parts. Since the song is called “John McCain is a P.I.M.P.,” I figured the focus should be on the two women whom he’s “pimped” already: namely, his wife, Cindy, and Sarah Palin, who came from out of nowhere to suddenly be thrust into the limelight by siding with McCain. You can hear the song for yourself to hear how I did it, but I tried not to be TOO disrespectful to the women (I learned THAT lesson from the frenzy that insured after the comments I made about Michele in “Obama Obama.” I’ll probably still get letters, though ).
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. For the chorus, I was originally just going to say “He got a hot wife and a model VP/That boy John McCain is a PIMP…” but I figured that would be extremely boring. So, instead I decided to add at least 2 other lines I could say, thus the addition of “I don’t know his policies but I know one thing…” and “Got girls on his arm everywhere that he be…”
2. Again, like the Obama song, I wanted to do a song with things that related to things mentioned during his campaign. Thus, the mention of the Straight Talk Express, his wife’s rich bank account, the fact that Sarah Palin looks like Tina Fey from “30 Rock”/ SNL fame, and, of course, the mention of how many houses he has.
3. For the Sarah Palin part of the song, I was originally going to make it 24 bars… but the beat I had only did it in 16-bar format, so I had to cut a few lines. Luckily, they weren’t really too important!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I was actually going to do this same video for a different song! However, with the election less than 50 days away, the timing for this song was much better than it would have been next week. I mean, the campaigns would still be going on, but you gotta get these things in as early as possible!
I wanted to do something simple, i.e. something that wouldn’t have me editing for 8 or 9 hours like I did with the “Obama” video (as well as a bunch of other videos I’ve made). I didn’t know what the video would actually be until I was watching Conan O’Brien one late night and said: “Hey… I can do it like a talk show!!”
And, since I still don’t have many friends helping me out, I decided to play the host – Johnny Wilkins – and the performer (duh), A.P.T.! The host would introduce the performer, who is supposed to be on the show performing “Obama Obama,” yet decides to change the song at the last minute for a new song he wrote about John McCain. The host decides to let A.P.T. perform the song, unaware of what type of song it would be. Wise decision, Johnny.
Again, I didn’t want to spend too much time editing it, so I decided to do the performance part in one shot, then add a bunch of effects to it (pan shots, color changes, mirror shots, etc.) so that people wouldn’t get bored just watching a single shot. BTW, it’s funny how the mind works – it will get bored watching a single shot for 5 minutes, yet if you cut and chop it up a bit the mind will think “wow, look at all the scene changes!”
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. People always ask if I have a camera man helping me. The answer is NO, but you’d be surprised how I’m able to get shots with a little creative thinking. For the performance shot, the camera is slightly tilted and bobs up and down a bit. How did I do that? I placed my mic stand on my mini-table I use to eat on, then placed the camera on my pop filter (the round think I place between me and my microphone so the “p”s and “t”s will be softened when I’m doing a song). Because the pop filter is filmsy, it bounces up and down when I move around on the floor. Smart, ain’t it?
2. I actually did a second film take where I shot myself doing the song from a side angle, but decided not to use it because it would have added to the editing time. I like making videos, but I’m also LAZY, and have other things to do besides edit a video all day!
3. The beat used at the end of the video is a beat I made!
4. The ending of the video… I thought of that at the last minute. I thought it would be funny to have the show go to standby, and just have that be the end of the video.
5. Editing time for this video: a meazly 3 hours, and I spent most of that time playing Goldeneye (yes, I still have a Nintendo 64) while transferring the files into Windows Media format. Good times!
That’s all for now – enjoy the video!