This week’s music video is for the song “Playa Hate (Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” Parody)!”
AVAILABLE ON “THE A.P.T. EP (This is ONLY a Demo),” a.k.a. my very FIRST album circa 2004! FREE Download – Click HERE for download link!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
This song is 9 years old. I wrote it back in 2000 during the summer leading up to my freshman year in college.
I had started a website where I would post up parody lyrics to popular songs. I had written a couple of Eminem parodies and wanted to try my hand at making fun of an R&B song. At the time, the singing group Destiny’s Child had been on a hot streak with their second album, “The Writing’s On The Wall,” and had just released their third single, “Say My Name.” The song expresses the women’s doubts about their men being faithful to them. I thought it would be funny if the guy version of it was a song that basically said, “Yeah, I’m cheating on you – but you knew I was doing other girls when you met me!”
Thus, the chorus that came to my head one day: “Playa hate, playa hate/Girl don’t be a hater – you know I’m a player/So don’t hate my game!”
I wrote up the two verses of the song, along with bridge parts, and… well, that was pretty much it. At the time, I couldn’t find the instrumental by itself, and had no recording equipment. So, I posted the song on my site (the name of which I can’t even remember now), printed out a copy of the lyrics, and left it at that.
Fast-forward to Fall 2001: Since I was on scholarship at Hampton University, they had placed brand new Dell computers into each of our rooms. This was around the same time that the first music sharing site, Napster, was still free, and EVERYBODY on campus was downloading songs.
As for me… well, I was doing that, too. But, I also downloaded instrumentals so I could re-make popular songs for my outgoing message machine. When it was announced one day that our class would be having a talent show, I knew I wanted to perform something…
That’s when I remembered my “Playa Hate” song. I managed to find a copy of the instrumental on Napster, and… well, I don’t know how I came across recording words into certain parts of the instrumental (we had a mic of some kind, I guess)… but I did. When I performed it, the crowd – most of whom had heard my hilarious phone messages each week yet may not have known who I was – erupted into laughter and cheers for my song!
Fast-forward to 2004: When I was putting together my first album, “The A.P.T. EP (This is ONLY a Demo),” I wanted to do a mixture of “real” songs and parodies. And, even though 4 years had passed since “Say My Name” had come out, I figured the song was still funny enough to warrant placing on my album. Heck, even now, in 2009, the song makes me laugh. I think that’s the test of a “classic” parody – the ability for it to still have merit beyond the song/artist it parodied. I don’t know if the “Obama Milli” song will have the same lasting effect… but I know this one does!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. My favorite line in this song almost didn’t get written. It’s the part where I say, “But I’m a playa babe… and you know I don’t luv deez hoes!” I was 18 when I wrote this, and at the time I didn’t cuss – EVER – and didn’t really like to say things like “hoes” in a song. However, for the purposes of how I was personifying the character saying the words of the song (and the fact that most playas SAY this line), I decided to write it in.
2. This beat took FOREVER to find. I think it’s actually at a low quality because when I found it on Napster it was the ONLY one up, meaning not a lot of people were sharing it.
3. Even though I wrote the song back in 2000, it wasn’t until 2004 that I had the right equipment to record it with. This version is the same version I recorded back in 2004. I think I would have re-recorded it… but I lost the beat 😦
4. I shortened the “breakdown” part of the song. When I first performed it, I noticed that keeping it in equaled a long lull for the audience, and I’m all about the efficiency of the performance!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I was actually going to record a video for a song off “The Great Black Hope” this week, but then 2 things happened:
1. I finally got a MAC!! The computer works so much faster than my PC did, and the editing program is FANTASTIC! However, I didn’t want to make this big elaborate video, only to find out that (a) I might now know how to work the editing program enough to figure out how to use it in time to post a video, which would mean resorting back to my slow PC, or (b) that my camera wasn’t compatible to the MAC.
2. I. Got. SICK. It rained here in Burbank on Thursday, and as soon as I went outside to check our mail, I came back feeling the beginnings of a cold. By the time Saturday got here, I felt like complete CRAP, but still knew I needed to film a video.
So, I decided to take it easy and do a video that wouldn’t require much of my time. I decided to do it for “Playa Hate” for a few reasons: one, my parody videos always get lots of YouTube views/downloads; and two, I hadn’t posted up a parody song in a while.
The original was to do it Karaoke-style, where I would paste the words at the bottom. As I went through the editing process though, I started finding all types of cool effects on the MAC, and decided that – since it’s a “relationship” song (LoL) and it’s near Valentine’s Day, I would do it as though I was crooning to the ladies, even though the song is unromantic as f–k!
The video shoot was simple, too: just me, mouthing the words in front of the curtain in my kitchen, wearing what I consider to be a pimped-out outfit. I filmed two takes of me performing, then packed up my stuff… and headed back to bed.
Incidentally, I STILL feel sick now. Truly, I am dedicated!
Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:
1. The part of the video where I cough… in the recording it was fake, but for the video, I actually sneezed at that part of the song. I figured, “Hey, might as well use it!”
2. While editing, I found a setting called “Romantic” that made the sides of the video blurred slightly to give it that “Hey, baby, I’m singing for you and only you” feel. I used it for two reasons: one, because I though the effect went great with the song; and two, because, in the farther-away shots, the bottom part of the screen showed part of the box I was standing my camera on, and I didn’t want it to be noticable!
3. Having a MAC is awesome! I thought I’d have to do part of the editing on the MAC, then transport it to my PC and finish it… but I was able to do everything faster and more efficiently on the MAC after all. Certainly saved me from more hours of this!
4. Estimated editing time: I have no idea. It didn’t take long to edit the video when I was actually editing it, BUT because I can do it so much faster now, I spent a good majority of my day in the following pattern: edit, do something else, edit, eat, edit, talk on the phone, edit…
That’s all for now! Only 12 videos left to go – see ya next Sunday!!