This week’s video is for the song “Nothing More 2 Say,” produced by ME!
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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
Okay… so, this is one of the few songs where I can’t talk completely about how I came up with it. Due to certain legalities/deals I made in my personal life with the person that resulted in me having the thoughts to come up with at least half of the idea for this song (note: does not mean they helped write it), I can only give so many details about it without breaking our agreement.
What I CAN say is this: in December, I took up a job working at Chili’s Restaurant to earn some extra money because, at the time, I was broke, and still needed to be able to pay my next month’s rent on time. After things happened where I wasn’t so financially strapped, I continued to work there because it was either do that, or stay at home all day with room mates that I hated.
I had been working on songs for “The Great Black Hope” album, and one of the beats I made was initially a throw-away beat. It didn’t have a whole lot of stuff mixed into the beat – just a simple guitar riff, a loud echoing clap and an electric guitar riff for the chorus. The beat didn’t even have any drums! I liked the beat, but I didn’t think I’d be able to use it for a song without adding more instruments to it.
Then, one day, while I was at Chili’s, I started thinking of a random chorus – “I get money all daaaay! (something, something) I got nothing more to say, heeeeeeey!” – and I couldn’t stop singing it. Then, rather than be repetitive, I thought of another chorus – “I get honeys all daaaaay! (something, something) I got nothing more to say, heeeeeey!” – and I couldn’t stop singing it again!
Once I have a chorus idea for a song, it’s only a matter of time before I can get a whole song down around that idea. And, as luck would have it, that little beat I thought I wouldn’t be able to use turned out to be the PERFECT beat to use for the song!
A few days later, I was still singing the chorus – always a good sign – so I sat down and got to thinking about words for the actual song. I decided to start off the first part of the song talking about the “money” aspect of my life (i.e. getting money, stacking up paper via various projects, etc.). The second part talks about girls who are trying to contact or throw themselves at me ever since they heard my song on the radio (which, sadly, is true. Couldn’t they have just wanted to be around me back when I was me sans the song?).
Once I wrote the words, I had to go back and change parts of the chorus. The part where I typed (something, something) earlier had to have something catchy. After going a few ways, I settled for “What else, homey?” and “What else, playa?” to fill in those blanks.
I recorded the song, and then I mixed it by adding some reverb in, tripling up the verses and the chorus, and changing the pitch levels of each layer so that there’d be a sense of rock personality in the song. Once it was finished, I took a listen, and KNEW I had a hit on my hands!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. At the beginning, I ad libbed the line, “I’m getting paid, AND I’m getting laid.” I was going to change it later to “I’m getting monies, AND I’m getting honeys,” mostly because I don’t really talk about getting action too much in my songs. Oh well!
2. I don’t know if it’s audible, but after the part where I say “I needed that doe, needed that benz/Had to buy some brand new Tims” I say the word “sike!” I mention the aforementioned items because that’s how most artists would have spent there money, whereas I made a wise investment into my future success instead.
3. The part about girls in this song is true. After the “O-bama Milli” song started playing on radio, I had girls from college who wouldn’t date me OR message me after we graduated start sending me congratulatory messages and flirty comments. Makes for good song material, but come on!
4. I was going to add a talking part to the end of the song, but I figured since the song is called “Nothing More 2 Say,” it would have been dumb to say anything beyond me screaming my initials near the end of the song.
5. My favorite line in the song: “…or you can keep/Doing it for fun, while I keep collectin’ funds.” Woo!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
This video was the last video I shot while in the D.C. area.
For those of you who don’t know the story of why I moved: our landlord wasn’t using our money to pay the mortgage on the townhouse, and the house got sold in foreclosure. Per the law, we were able to stay there during the eviction proceedings… but then, our jerk of a landlord had the electricity cut off!
Luckily, my friend _____ (name withheld by request) allowed me to stay at her place for 2-1/2 days (New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and half of the next day). On the last day there, she helped me direct last week’s video, “Can’t Leave Rap Alone.” I was only planning to film the one video, but as I was playing her a couple of my new songs for the album she suggested an idea for this song.
The idea seemed simple enough – do the song while a female’s hands and arms (hers) was coming out from behind me and rubbed on my chest. Well, that was definitely something I could get down with, so we tried it in front of a mirror, and it looked freaky, but worked for the second part of the song where I’m talking about women wanting to jump me.
The parts of the video where you see me in her room was shot in front of a mirror, with the camera angled so you couldn’t see it. In retrospect, I could have just had the camera directly in front of the mirror facing the opposite way so it would look like I was looking right into the mirror, but I wanted the sides of the mirror to show as well. I did the first part of the song while _____ lied on her bed.
Once the time came for her part, she took off her shirt – another plus for me – and hugged as close to me as she could so her boobs wouldn’t show in the camera shot. (In case you’re wondering, yes, there is footage from the video that you people will NEVER see 🙂 ) We did three takes just in case I needed to do any editing out of boobs later (which I did), and then she went back to typing on her laptop while I finished filming the rest of me acting weird in front of a mirror.
A week passed before I finished up the video. Actually, I was staying at my mom’s friend’s house and had the room upstairs to myself. Once I finished packing up all my stuff for my move to California – at 2 in the morning – I decided there was enough time for me to shoot the video. Plus, it helped that the room I was staying in belonged to a 10-year old who had Guitar Hero – it meant I could use the guitar controller as my rock-out instrument!
I shot two versions of me in one take: one with me playing the guitar, and one with me singing into my microphone (which wasn’t plugged up to anything). I made sure to give the feeling of a rock edge, playing my heart out of the fake guitar and doing the up-and-down head thing as if I had long hair (similar to the hair bands of the 1980s. Geez, I’m getting old!).
Once I loaded all the footage onto my computer, I added different effects to each part played in the video. For “Mirror Me,” I used Sepia Tones and sharpened the image; for “Microphone Me,” I brightened up the darkness of the attic room and added watercolor; and for “Guitar Me,” I added a bunch of effects, most of which I can’t remember!
All in all, a good video, and one that really goes with the mood of the song!
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. I thought I had the camera at a straight angle, but was wrong. Consequently, there were a LOT of “side boob” shots courtesy of _____ that I had to edit out.
2. At the end of the video, I fake like I smash the guitar. I didn’t actually break it, people!
3. In the attic, there was a lot of stuff on the floor, and I’m surprised I didn’t step on anything!
4. Yes, those are REAL girl underwear I’m holding up near the end of the video. That was HER idea, but I’m glad she thought of it!
5. Editing time for the video: I have no idea. Now that I’m in California, the hardest part was trying not to go outside all day! I’ll have to start editing these videos early in the week!
That’s all for now! Only 17 more videos left to go – see ya next Sunday!