It’s Christmas morning – 3:08 AM to be exact – and I can’t sleep.
Not that I wasn’t tired a few hours ago. I was taking a mini-nap about 3 hours ago when my brother came in from his Christmas party at his fiance’s parents’ house, thus waking me from my start-of-sleep. I decided to surf the ‘net before I went back to sleep…
…and then a thought kicked in my head. As I mentioned in a blog prior, I was sought out by a man named Rob Tillman to come up with a theme song for his web page (still in progress). In the talks we’ve had back and forth, he mentioned that, given the number of repostings of my “Obama Obama” Lil Wayne “A Milli” remake currently on YouTube, it’s probably gotten well over 3 millon views.
So, being the type of artist who likes to know what type of audience he’s attracting, I thought, “hey, why not see how many instances I can find of people reposting their own home-made videos involving my ‘Obama’ song?”
3 hours later, and I just finished looking at a good majority of them. Man, oh, man…
Above: Two girls singing along to “O-bama O-bama.”
Okay, there’s a little something you should know about me: I tend to underplay my importance on other people’s lives. I’m the person who will pick up and move at the drop of a hat without saying “goodbye” to people – not because I hate them, but because I figure, once I’m gone, they’ll eventually get over me having been there, and it will be like I wasn’t there at all.
Above: A girl running around in an “Obama” mask campaigning. And guess what the background music is??
So, for me, when this “O-bama” song dropped and took off, I really, REALLY didn’t think it would last that long. I thought it would be good for a few thousand YouTube views (not MILLIONS); that it might, if I was lucky, play on a few morning radio stations where they usually play parody songs (as opposed to getting play on WORLDWIDE radio stations); that a few people might visit my site and download it (over 8000 downloads of the song between the song itself, the “The O-bama Mixtape” downloads and sales of the song at 99 cents each); and that, maybe, just maybe, a famous person might come across it and hear it (as opposed to rappers, DJs, radio hosts and celebrities quoting my lil’ catch phrase ad nausea).
Above: Two kids from Chi-town rocking out in their… I dunno, basement?? – to the “Obama” song!
Furthermore, since I did the song almost as a joke, I had NO idea it would have any influence on the election at all. It might sound cocky to say that, but in looking at the videos I just saw on YouTube, it can’t be understated that the song definitely got some butts to the booth to vote.
Above: Two teens at a high school in Las Vegas beat-box the “Obama” song!
And what did I see in these videos, you ask? People of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds… posting up home-made videos to my song. I saw:
A video of an older Latino woman listening to it on her computer
A video of two younger white girls dancing in their kitchen to it
Young kids in their den rapping along to it
Countless video blogs where people used the song as their intro
A video of a homecoming rally where a guy was dancing to my song in the middle of a gym
Countless videos with people wearing Obama masks, doing silly things on camera while my song played in the background
An awesome video of a guy trying to persuade young people to vote by hip-hop dancing to my song in his living room
I could literally be typing for another 30 minutes about the videos I saw posted that included my song. Clearly, it made a MAJOR impact on people’s decision to vote for Obama! (BTW: CUT THE CHECK, BARACK!)
Above: A woman from France – FRANCE! – drawing a picture of Obama while my song plays!
So, what have I learned from all this? One, it’s made me very, VERY confident in my abilities to be successful. They (whoever “they” may be) say it’s hard to become successful, and even harder to duplicate it. I don’t want to duplicate it, I want to go BEYOND what I’ve already done with this one song.
Above: At SVHS (I’m assuming that’s a high school), the “Obama” song was played during their homecoming rally!
Two, I’ve learned what it takes to make something that will affect a large group of people. Even when I made the song, I knew that if there were people out there who (a) liked Obama, and (b) liked Lil’ Wayne, they would definitely like my song. The secret, then, is to do a focus of the audience I’m trying to reach, and figure out what will best connect with them. This relates not just to my music, but other things as well: books I want to write (or have written), ideas for inventions/products I may have, and so on.
Above: Jerrell Puttin, of “The Obaminators” dance crew, encouraging others to vote by dancing to my “Obama” song!
And three, I’ve learned that, regardless of how much I may try to downplay it sometimes, I do – and can – play an important role in the lives of others, both good and bad. Personally, though, I prefer it to be on the “good” side - this is why I try to keep my music as upbeat and positive as I can.
Above: DJ Ice chops and screws “O-bama O-bama!”
As a sidebar: if there’s one regret I have, it’s that I didn’t get to perform the song live. Actually, I performed it live one time – at my brother’s 25th birthday party in July – but, aside from the countless times I did it in my apartment, I was working so much to support myself while in Atlanta that I didn’t find the time to go out and perform it. Plus, with the way the train/bus system was in Atlanta, I wouldn’t have had a way to get home were I to go to clubs because most open mics started late (around 10:30 PM), and most of the buses stopped around 11 PM. Kinda limits a person’s performing ability.
However, I DO hope to be able to perform the song a few times once I get to L.A. – heck, once I get there, it will still be 10 days before Obama is officially sworn in, so I’m sure demand for the song will be back up (not that it’s gone down - people are still posting up new videos to my song to this day. Believe me, I’ve already checked!)
That’s really all I have to say. After seeing all those videos, I feel really good about myself, and even more positive about my move to California. I know I’ll be able to impact even more people for the good once I get out there, and I look forward to seeing what develops.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!