Above: The original version of “O-Bama O-Bama” (re-dubbed “Obama Milli” by the public at large)!
This week’s song/music video is called “Obama, Obama” (Re-produced by ME, Inspired by Lil’ Wayne and Bangladesh).
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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
I’ve been a fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic since the 1980s. His parodying of other people’s songs were always hilarious to me, and when I started writing songs I basically did what he did: took a subject, found a song that I could bastardize with said subject, and make the old song funny via my new song.
Eventually I started writing my own songs sans the parody, but every once in a while a song will come out that makes me think of a chorus or song lyric that makes it worth trying to remake the original.
It is with that thought that I present today’s song, “Obama Obama.” It’s a remake (read: not a direct parody) of one of the hottest songs out right now, Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli.” I swear, everywhere I walk in Atlanta I hear cars passing by playing that song… but it hasn’t gotten old to me yet!
Originally, I was going to remake the song saying my initials in lieu of the words “A Milli” (i.e. “A.P.T., A.P.T., A.P.T., A.P.T….” yeah, it matches up – go ahead and try it!), but I didn’t think that would make the song funny enough in concept. Then, one day at work, it just hit me: instead of saying my name, I could use Obama’s! That would give me a whole LOT to write about!
People think making a parody song is easy. WRONG! I spent more time on this one song that on all the other songs I have on here so far (except for “Erectile Dysfunction,” which is a REAL parody and took a while to write).
Unlike an original song, a re-make/parody has to have other elements that will make people laugh. The song structure has to be similar to the original, as does the beat, certain ad-libs, voice inflection… parodying is a JOB, people!! As such, I had to listen to that darn “A Milli” song about 50,000 times this week before I could even start writing it!
And with the subject matter – Barack Obama – there’s so many angles I could write from. I wanted to try and bring mention to as many Barack-related election issues as possible. Not issues in the sense of “this is what Obama’s all about,” but more like, “these are some of the things that have been tied to his campaign.” In the course of the song, I mention the flag pin thing, his middle name being Hussein, Pastor Wright, the KKK, and other things I won’t mention because I don’t want to give away the whole song here 🙂
Once I finished writing the song, I had to go back and try to mock Lil’ Wayne. He raps like a skitzo on the song, constantly changing his flow and pronunciation of words, so when I recorded it I had to record each set of verse by itself, listening to Wayne’s version immediately before recording mine. Truly, again, it was like a JOB, only fun!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
(1) Because I couldn’t find the original beat without the words “A Milli” being said over and over again, I had to re-make the beat from scratch. I have a Fruity Loops program, and, after studying the original beat very carefully, I realized how simplistic it is: outside of the “A Milli” sample, the entire beat is nothing more than an 808 drum, a clap, and a tap drum, played in the same pattern ad nausea! I can’t believe the original person got PAID for it – and probably a lot, too!
(2) Re-doing Lil’ Wayne’s voice is hard. My usual voice is a little deep, but Weezy sounds… well, Weezy, and nasely. That’s why my voice in this song sounds higher and more strained than usual.
(3) My favorite line in the song is the one following the line: “Rednecks saaaay he won’t beat John McCain…” I won’t spoil it for you here, but needless to say, some racist White people have some very dumb reasons NOT to vote for Barack!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
Coming up with a video idea for this song was even HARDER. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and there were many direction I could go.
My first idea was to act like I was a representative speaking on behalf of Barack, but I didn’t have a podium for a prop. The second idea was to dress up like Lil’ Wayne – I almost did this, and was going to buy a dread lock wig… but when I called the costume/wig shop they said it would cost more than I wanted to spend. Too bad – I think I could have pulled it off (except for me being light-skinned and Wayne being… well, much darker!).
By the time Saturday hit, I still didn’t have too much of a concept, other than I wanted to hang up a blue background with pics of Obama campaign signs behind me. I also knew I didn’t just want to spend the whole video in one outfit. I filmed the first segment with me wearing the blue striped shirt and black dress pants, and was trying to figure out what to wear next…
And that’s when it hit me: I could be three characters, each one representing a potential Obama voter!
When you see the video, the guy in the blue-striped shirt is the middle-aged working guy. The second person – the one with shorts, a sideways hat, and a “Las Vegas” shirt – is an older teenager (18 or 19 – I can still pull it off for a few more years!). The third guy – wearing a brown jacket-like shirt over a white shirt with brown slacks – is an older gentleman. Looking back, I wish I had whited up my thin beard with flour… but his movements are slower than the other two, so hopefully it’ll be distinquishable.
I also decided to keep the camera in one position. I got this idea from my last video, “Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father), where I did a small scene with me in front of a stone statue, and sliced it up to look like I was in different places chopped-up style. The result is I am constantly changing into 3 people, while having it look like the rest of the scene is stationary. GENIUS!
Some Interseting Video Tidbits:
(1) I use pictures throughout the video. There is one girl you will see in various video pics – her name… will not be given out on the internet until I get the okay to do so, but she is a very good friend of mine and a HUGE Barack Obama supporter. I wanted her to film a small part for me to include in the video and send it to me (she lives in another state), but she had to go out of town. Luckily, she was nice enough to allow me to use some of her pics from one of the Obama rallys she went to. It’s so nice to have friends that want to help out, so THANK YOU!!
(2) I printed out the Obama signs used in the background. The one hanging by itself near the left of the camera starts out blue at the top, and starts turning pink at the bottom. The reason: my printer started to run out of ink. Such is the world of home-made music videos!
(3) Actual shoot time for this video took about an hour. Actual edit time: about 8 hours. Editing is NOT as easy as it looks. I say that to say: I worked hard on this video, so SHOW IT TO EVERYBODY YOU CAN!!
That’s all for now – see you next Sunday!
P.S. Here are the lyrics to “Obama Obama,” as requested by… well, many people:
Yeah I’m goin’ in…
Call him “President,” he’s the next new President here
Senator, from Illinois, yeah
His criteria compared to John McCain just isn’t fair
Cause he’s B-L-A-C, so the eyes are on he
Through his pencil, he write legislation, with the country on his mind
And he don’t coat ish, cause he ain’t got time
Every second, minute, hour, KKK wanna devour
He got guards ready to pop ‘em, with their ch-ch-ch-ch-choppers
Every brother, mother, sister, cousin, grandma wanna hump him
Even got Hilary Clinton on the side ready to jump him
Tell the Clintons “Ha ha ha ha,” couldn’t catch him, couldn’t stop him
They go by the party rules, if you can’t beat him, you can’t top him
Thought she’d smack him, couldn’t pop ‘em, Delegates, couldn’t cop ‘em
Bill Clinton couldn’t help her, too bad she couldn’t drop ‘em, woo!
Man, Obama‘s so Illlll…
Obama goes here, Obama goes there
Sayin’ “Yes We Can” with wife Michelly, he’s hittin’ that derriere
He travel to Arizona, ready to cause some drama
Hopin’ McCain will comment, “Look at that bastard Obama
He’s too young, he’s too hip, Negros always ‘causin’ problems”
His pale-lookin’ face got him lookin’ like a goblin!
Mac-Cain, Mac-Cain, please don’t vote for Mac-Cain
First day up in office, talkin’ ‘bout some heart pains
Call the ambulance, QUICK! All you hear is sirens
His temper isn’t private – Dang, I hate a mad prick
Don’t you hate a mad prick? Plus, McCain’s an old prick
Barack’s a younger guy, So choose him, he’s the right pick
(Laugh) But if you choose the wrong pick
Your step-son’ll probably end up in Iraq quick!
His health clan plan is so immac’late
So even if your broke, and can’t afford to take a doc trip
You’ll be feelin’ much better – not sick
And, he’s okay, but his wife’s sick
And her back’s thick, And her walk’s slick
She’s a fly chick – I’d hit!
Man, Obama‘s so Illlll…
He’s makin’ history like X, King and Douglas, and RFK
Obama, he’s that “new black,” true that
Red-necks saaaay “He won’t beat John McCain
He don’t wear a flag pin, his middle name’s Hussein,” but
Who gon’ be dat boy dat doubt dat boy dey call “Obama”
Got Republicans sweatin’ like they up in Saunas (whew!)
Even McCain’s 90-something mama
Be ready to pull his lever every hour (Laugh)
And I’d rather eat a field mouse
Than to see John McCain in the White House
Vote Obama in, and I promise
He won’t turn back into some Uncle Thomas (Aaaaaa!)
No Aunt Jemimah or Southern Fried chicken
Call him “Chief Obama,” or “Mr. Keeps on Tickin”
Man, Pastor Wright’s comments couldn’t stop his tally
Even Oprah Winfrey said she was behind him
People, I say this country’s no hope without him
But he’s gotta go out and relate to everybody
He do what he do, like give his wife a hug and then a fist dap
Gotta do that stuff in public, so the hood’ll know that –
Gotta use big words, white people love to hear it
If they hear it, they don’t fear him, they don’t know him, but they feel him
Obama… ‘08… White House, a-ha!