Another week, another video up on YouTube.
Making videos is fun, but this whole project in general is a learning process – and boy oh boy, have I been learning a LOT. Since my thoughts are better explained when I do list, allow me to make one of some of the things I’ve learned so far:
1. EDITING VIDEOS TAKES A LOT OF TIME. I’ve said it before so I won’t spend long talking about it, but it’s taking me anywhere between 3 to 8 hours to edit these videos. Every time I see a video on BET or MTV now I have GREAT respect for what they do. Even a video as low-key as my “The N!@@er Song”, where I don’t cut away a whole lot from myself, took me 3 hours!! I wonder how long that one-shot De’Angelo video, “How Does It Feel,” took them to edit…
2. WHEN POSTING UP VIDEOS, BE PREPARED FOR FEEDBACK, BOTH GOOD AND BAD. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned from posting the “Obama Obama” video so far – as I type this it is at over 126,000 views, and I’ve received many comments about the video, the majority of which have been positive.
However, there have been quite a few people who expressed concern over the part of the song where I talk about Michelle Obama – specifically, the part where I indicate that she’s so hot, “I’d hit” (for those not up on slang, that means that if Barack wasn’t attached to her, I’d consider making love to her).
In hood vernacular, this is often how guys express if one of their homeboy’s girls is good-looking – “man, your girl is fine! Betta watch out, ’cause I’d DEFINITELY hit that!” And, given that the artist I was parodying was Lil’ Wayne, I had no problem saying these things as I wasn’t taking the song too seriously. However, not all people are me, and some people thought that I was using the song as a serious statement about Obama, and that my comments about Michelle were disrespectful and should be edited out the song.
But hey, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right? I understand where they’re coming from; at the same time, though, I can’t let every criticism I’ll get about my songs cause me to try and change it just to please people.
I had one person write and tell me that I could pitch this to Obama’s camp to use in their campaign, if I just took the part out about Michelle, and the part where I mention the Clintons, and the part where I mention McCain possibly dying. THAT’S HALF THE SONG, PEOPLE!! But it’s definitely interesting to get feedback from all angles.
3. I NOW UNDERSTAND THE TERM “OVERNIGHT CELEBRITY.” I used to think this was a bogus term, especially since I’m aware of how much behind-the-scenes legwork a person has to do before they are finally recognized by people outside their immediate circle.
But lo and behold: once you create something that other people whom you don’t know can grab a hold of and relate to, it can spread like wild fire. Next thing you know, you go from being known by a small group, to being “known” by several thousand or more. I say the second “known” in quotations because they really only know a small part of you, i.e. the part you chose to send out.
Which reminds me:
4. MAKING EDITED VERSIONS OF SONGS IS A WISE IDEA IF YOU’RE NOT ALREADY FAMOUS. Especially in the Internet age where you can send a song to radio and they might actually play it – but not if the song is full of curse words.
I try my hardest not to cuss in my songs except where I feel the emotional impact of the event makes it necessary. However, I’m also aware that radio stations hate having to edit content themselves. When I made the “Obama” song, I recorded it with the thought in mind that it could possibly get radio play. To that end, I made sure not to say any words that would make them hesitate playing it.
I have to go back and edit a few of my songs now, though, which is a pain in the ass you-know-what because it means having to re-record in certain parts and/or cutting and pasting back lyrics. At the same time, though, I’d like to think my younger cousins could see my videos or download the songs without restriction, especially since they seem to look up to me and/or want to brag to their friends about my music!
One major roadblock, though: my apartment. There are a few song ideas I have where it would require me to yell on the chorus and/or parts of the verse, but I live in an apartment with thin walls and neighbors who don’t like hearing noise all the time. I usually only record once or twice a week (at times when my neighbor isn’t home), but even then I have people living above me or across the hall, so I have to be considerate.
I guess what I’m saying is, I really, REALLY need to get some time to record in a real studio. But, money’s tight (as usual), so I have to make due. Oh yeah – if you’d like to donate some money to my recording dreams, click HERE for more info!!
Okay, that’s all for now – I have to prepare for a meeting with my entertainment lawyer this afternoon, as well as a radio interview this evening. I’ll keep you all posted!