This week’s video is for the song, “The Next Black President” (beat produced by Chris I).
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind)” mixtape! Click HERE for download link!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
Since I decided to give my newest mixtape the headlining title of “The Next Black President,” I thought it would be fitting to make a song with the same title.
I actually had the idea for the song about a week before Obama won the election. At the time, I didn’t know if he would win or not, but since it was so close to the election, I started thinking of other presidential songs that had already been made (see: “O-bama O-bama” by me, “My President is Black” by Young Jeezy, etc.).
Amazingly, I kept thinking back to a song that Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy, had made on his album, “Press Play,” called “The Future.” There’s a line in the song where he says: “The potential to be the first black president/I-tunes, download me in every residence.”
Above: Diddy’s infectious song, “The Future,” from his “Press Play” album.
I kept singing that line over and over again, and thought it would make a good chorus for a song. Of course, I couldn’t use the line with the word “first” in it if Obama won, but I figured changing it with the word “next” would still make for a good song.
And then Obama won. And so, I had to change “first” to “next.”
As for the beat, I had downloaded it about 2 or 3 months prior to using it for this record. I go to a website called Sound Click (www.soundclick.com) to download free beats for use on my mixtapes. An up-and-coming producer named Chris I made this beat that was pretty simplistic, but jammed so damn hard – it sounds almost like some military marching stuff!
What I liked about it, though, was that it didn’t have the normal beat set-up of 16 bars/Chorus/16 bars/Chorus. Instead, the beat was set up to change in sound after every 8 bars. So, for this song, I did it where I’d rap 8 bars, then do the chorus for 8 bars, then I’d do another 8 bar verse, then 8 bar chorus, then 12 bars, then a final set of 8 bars for the chorus.
The words themselves took a few days to come up with. Right after he won, I thought of the opening 4 lines of the song… and didn’t have anything else for the next few days. Once I decided to interject the chorus after every 8 bars, the song actually became much easier to write.
The song attempts to convey the thought that, now that a man of color has been elected, it really IS possible for another minority of any race to be elected in. I also interject some humor in the song by mentioning things like him technically being “half” black, yet still an acceptable “black” candidate, and other things that you’ll have to hear for yourself!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. The second-to-last line of the song… I almost didn’t include it in the song. I’m a believer that the words we speak can come true, so I try to stay cognoscente of what I say when I do these songs. However, seeing as this particular sentiment has been said by almost every well-known black comedian, it’s already been vocalized, so I kept it in. Hopefully it’s not too controversial – but if so, it makes for good publicity!
2. The date 2025 would not actually be the campaign date – it would be the year I’d start my term as President were I to win the election in 2024. However, the word “time,” used at the end of the sentence in the line prior, rhymes better with “five” than “four.” Plus, I figured that (a) people wouldn’t really pay too much attention, and (b) seeing as Obama starts his term in 2009, I can always say that he was technically campaigning for that year’s Presidential opening.
3. My initials – A.P.T. – and the word “apt” are spelled the same, so I decided to play off it in this song. For those of you who are curious, my initials actually stand for my name – then again, you really should know that by now!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I knew I wanted to do the video like a campaign TV commercial. I was actually planning on dressing up like a candidate and mouthing the words into the camera as the video. I also had the idea of setting it up to where I’d be debating myself, but since I chased myself around in last week’s video (“Killed the Beat“), I didn’t want to do that two weeks in a row.
I also had other things I was working on this week – songs for other people, visiting friends about to go on vacation – and I didn’t have time to shoot a video that would require long hours of editing.
Then, at the last minute – like, about 10:30 PM last night – I had an idea. For the initial idea, I was going to interject my speaking parts with pics of Obama, only instead of his face it would be MY face pasted over his. I was going to use that as my “examples of me out on the trail” shots… but then it hit me that, between the “O-bama O-bama” and “Shine 4 O-bama” videos, I had enough pics of him downloaded on my computer to make a whole new video!
Consider this “video recycling” at its best. The pics of him I used in those previous videos are made anew, thanks to me simply pasting a picture of my head over his. The “shoot,” if you will, consisted of me taking a picture of my face, then pasting it onto pictures of Obama. I actually took about 6 or 7 different pictures with my head turned at different angles, but the one of me with a goofy-looking smile on my face was so funny, it was the only one I decided to use!
I also have a newspaper from the day that Obama won the election. I used it as the opening shot and ending shot, only in the ending shot I… well, you’ll have to watch the video to find out!
Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:
1. I thought I’d save time on “filming” by simply printing out Obama photos, placing my head on his and re-taking the photo. Boy, was I wrong. After I took the pics of my face, I had to make them different sizes to match up with the various sizes of Obama’s head in the photos. Then, I had to print and cut them out. THEN, I had to place them properly and take the pics, of which there were 30. Then, I had to load THOSE photos into the computer. On the plus side, there was NO film to have to re-edit.
2. Once the pics were in, you would think it wouldn’t take long to edit, right? WRONG. Admittedly, it didn’t take as long as some of my videos have, but considering I was just using photos, it still took me about 3.5 to 4 hours. The reason? Figuring out what order to place the photos in, as well as what movements and/or alterations should be made to each photo, takes time. And that’s not even including the voice-over parts of the video!
3. And yes, that is an actual copy of the first page of a newspaper I got from the day after Obama won the election. How did I obtain it you ask? Let’s just say, I have people that look out for me in terms of getting me what I need…
That’s all for now – only 20 more videos left to go! See ya next Sunday!