Today’s insights are for my new music video, “Rub That Nair” (a parody of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair”)
Download @ iTunes today – click HERE!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG
In October, I decided to focus my musical efforts back onto making parody songs. I’ve made tons of “real” songs, but my most popular (and profitable) ones have always been the ones I’ve made where I mock other people’s songs.
A month prior to this decision, Will Smith’s daughter, Willow, dropped her first song, the oh-so-infectious “Whip My Hair.” She may be nine, but I’ll be darned if all my In-Their-20s-and-Older friends weren’t bumpin’ that song in their cars!
I KNEW the song would be ripe for parody – the only question was, what could I make fun of that would make the song funny?
I checked on YouTube to see what other people had done, and most of them were song parodies of something being whipped. Not very original.
Around this same time… okay, so I don’t want to get too detailed into this part, as I may be giving away things I shouldn’t be giving away… but it was called to my attention that Nair, a hair removal product for women, is sometimes used by men for the same purpose: namely, removing hair without having to use a straight razor.
I didn’t necessarily think the idea of a guy using Nair was funny. However, the idea of a guy buying a pink bottle of Nair in the women’s aisle of a store, then trying to hide it from other girls for fear of appearing gay WAS, in fact, hilarious enough to make a song about!
Writing the song itself, though, was quite hard. As with all parodies, trying to pick the right words so it flows and sounds similar to the original is hard. It’s almost like playing Sudoku: you know there’s a way for everything to fit together at some point, but it requires a lot of going back and re-looking over things you may have put down.
Worse, it’s a pop song, not a rap song. Pop songs usually use LESS words than rap songs, which means any grand ideas I may have had that would normally require me to say lots of words had to be scrunched down. I can’t even remember what the writing process was like, other than I wrote the second verse first, the last verse second and the first verse last.
Once I wrote it, I contacted someone from YouTube that had made a remake of the “Whip My Hair” beat and asked if I could use it. Once he sent it to me sans the chorus part, I had to go into the hardest part of the process: recording the song.
I don’t make it a habit to sing (even though I know how to), and trying to sing in the same octave as Willow was just not happening. Her voice is definitely higher than mine (she’s a KID, people!), and when I would try to his some of those higher notes my voice would start cracking. I ended up having to sing in a lower register and keep my tone slightly flatter in order to make the song work.
Once the song was recorded, though, I was quite happy with the results, and couldn’t stop laughing my butt off. Definitely the sign of a good parody!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits
1. The original plan was to make this a Non Juan song. However, there were certain issues going on involving Non Juan at the time (which I won’t get into here) about a day after I had started recording it as him. So, I switched it over to an A.P.T. song instead. Once I finished recording it and put it up on iTunes, the Non Juan issues were resolved, but I liked the way the song sounded at that point. Oh well!
2. The chorus part in this song is shorter. It’s the same repeat chorus as the original, but I only decided to play it back once instead of twice. For parody songs, the idea is to get the point across and keep it funny; I thought by keeping the chorus as long as the original song it would make people turn the song off because they’d have to wait for the next part of the joke – i.e. the next verse of the song – to play.
3. My favorite line in the song: “Don’t use it on your face, though/plus u can’t use it down there! (No nair - down theeeeeere!)”
INSIGHTS INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
This video was on-and-off shot for a lot of days. I recorded my parts in front of the green screen first, then shot parts in the bathroom.
However, there was ONE part that made me have to wait: the short part of the song where I say “Don’t tell your girl you use it/If you do, she’ll think that you’re a punk… or gay.” Originally, I was just going to act like I was being all secretive about using Nair to get the point across that I was hiding my usage from my girl.
But then, I figured it would be funny to have an actual girl in the video that could laugh at me for using it.
Unfortunately, this caused a delay in taping because, when trying to get another person to film something, you have to find someone that’s (a) available, (b) available at the time you need them, and (c) open enough to be on camera and give you the shot you want.
Luckily, my friend Tamika ended up coming over to my apartment one afternoon before work, and agreed to take 10 minutes before she had to go to film the part of the video I needed a girl for. We only had to do a couple of takes and she nailed it. Definitely worth waiting for the shot, as it is HILARIOUS in the video!
As for the rest of it, I filmed it in my bathroom. I don’t really have that hairy of a chest (in fact, I ended up shaving it so the “Nair” effect would look real); instead, I had to use my friend’s semi-afroic party wig as the source of my chest hair. From there, I set up my Flip camera in my bathroom cabinet, opened its doors and filmed.
BTW: let me just say, having a Flip camera is awesome. It’s small enough so you can fit it anywhere, and it shoots stuff in HD. Love it!
Once I got all my shots, I loaded it up to my Final Cut program and took about 2 days to edit it all together. The final product is, I must say, pretty darn hilarious, and I hope you all get a kick out of it!
Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits
1. For the part of the song where I say “3 minutes later, ooh, it’s all gone/Any longer than that, you’ll burn your skin off…” I have a hole going through my chest where you can see the other side of the bathroom. To do this, I used the head portion of my green screen suit and held it against my chest. In post-production, I was able to key the green out and place a picture “behind” it of the actual background of my bathroom. Pretty cool, huh?
2. The background used on the green screen shots? I went to Wal-mart with one of my friends and took a 1.5 minute long snippet of a rack that had various Nair products.
3. To keep the wig on my chest, I tied a black fire wire around it and my chest. It was able to blend in with the wig so you can’t even tell its there!
4. And yes, that is actual Nair I’m using in the video. And yes, I rubbed it on my face for the “Don’t use it on your face” line. And it smells. BAD. I’d put it on, film it, then wash it off right away so it wouldn’t start eating at my hair!
That’s all for now – enjoy the video, and download the song from iTunes today!