This week’s video is for the song, “Y’all Haters Should Know!”

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This is one of my songs where I had the chorus LONG before I had a beat.

To be honest, I don’t even know how I came up with the chorus.  All I know is, for the longest time I’ve been walking around saying, “Now you can tell by the way a brotha like to rooooll/A.P.T., homeboy, I be in control/Y’all haters should know, y’all haters should know, y’all haters (y’all haters) y’all haters should know…”  I liked the chorus enough, but I never really had a song to go with it.  I would freestyle off lyrics to match with the chorus, and they’ve always been different, but I never really stopped to write anything down and make it into a song.

Fast-forward to January 2009: I moved to California, and in just two days I was already immensely more happy with my new living situation.  Whereas before I had been stuck in the dead cold of an east coast winter, my first 10 days in Cali consisted of a climate with 75 to 80 degree temperature.

It was around this time that I decided to take out the ol’ microphone and see if I could come up with some tunes.  I wanted to make a song I could place on my website as a FREE download, so I figured it would be good of me to take a popular beat and see if I could freestyle on it.  I tried to think of songs that were popular at the moment, but I really don’t listen to radio much anymore because… well, I don’t have a radio!

I went on YouTube to look up songs, and somehow came across Paul Wall.  I think I may have looked up Nelly’s “Grillz” song as a possible song for me to rap over (which featured Paul Wall), and in the side of the YouTube bar was a song by Paul Wall called “Break ‘Em Off” from his second album, “Get Money, Stay True.”  I had never heard the album or the song… but there was a legit music video with it, so I decided to click on it.

When I heard the song… well, the song was just “okay,” but the beat… the beat was INCREDIBLE!!  I started thinking of words to the song right away – always a good sign when you’re looking for a beat to use – and as I was freestyling, that old chorus that I’ve had in my head for over 2 years suddenly popped into my head…

And it fit!

So, I sat down at the table and started writing.  I wanted the tone of the first verse to be sing-songy, something that would flow along with the beat.  As for the second verse, I wanted to talk a lil’ bit about what it’s been like to live out here in CA.  Sun, palm trees, warm weather, girls, parties, car rides… it’s all good over here on the west!

This is one of those songs where the content is not necessarily all that important.  Yes, I know it’s probably a rap sin to admit it, but not every song an artist makes has to be about something.  Some of the most well-known rap songs (i.e. “It Takes Two,” “Gettin’ Jiggy With It”) weren’t necessarily the most lyrical or the most prolific, but were just plain fun.  And that’s all I set out to do with this song!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is the second-to-last song I recorded with my previous microphone, the H2 Zoom (the last song being “Goodbye Bush (Na Na Na)”).  I now have a new mic that has better sound quality.  Still miss the ol’ mic, though!

2. The opening part where I shout out “I made it out to Cali!” was ad-libbed.  I was really just happy to be out here.  And I still am!

3. In the first verse, I rap about how I live everything I say in my raps, and that if I’m not, it doesn’t matter because I’ll just lie about it until it becomes true.  It’s funny, but it also makes a point: a LOT of rappers start out rapping about what they WISH to have, hoping they’ll eventually have it.  Unlike some people I don’t have a problem with this, as I believe in the power of speaking what you want.  If I want a car but don’t have it, I’ll just keep saying, “check out my car” until I have a car for people to check out!

4. My favorite line in the song is the last one in the first verse, and the last two in the second verse.  Hmm, I guess that’s 3 lines!


Since I talk about being in California, I wanted to do a video that showed off some of the cooler parts of where I live.

It just so happened that I had an out-of-town visitor stop in this week for 4 days, and wanted to go to some of the cooler parts of town.  So, I carried my camera along wherever we went (when I could remember it) and did what I call “stock footage” filming (i.e. filming a bunch of stuff for potential video use later).

In the video, you’ll see a lot of shots of Universal City walk; Chinatown; some of the underground train route art work; and the freeway, thanks in part to one of my other friends who was able to give me and my out-of-towner a ride back from the airport.  I also took a few pics in these places that I threw into the video.

Once my guest left, I analyzed my footage and realized I might want to add parts in the video with me actually mouthing the words to the song.  I had to go drop off a job application near my apartment on Saturday, so I decided to film myself walking along the sidewalk while saying parts of the verse, and later, filmed myself walking around a parking garage saying the other.

All in all, it’s an okay video.  It’s not one that has a plot to it or anything – it’s more like “vacation footage with a soundtrack” – but I still like it!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. You may be asking, “How were you able to mouth the words without using an iPod?”  Answer: my phone records up to a minute of sound, so I recorded the first verse, then had to record the second verse.  During filming, I carried the camera with one hand and used the other to hold the phone.  This is why you don’t see my other hand in the footage!

2. The freeway shots with the fencing in it were shot while I was riding the train back from the airport.

3. The candy lady and the child flying up and down in the air tube were both shot in Universal Studio City Walk. In fact, most of the shots with restaurants, monkeys, etc. were shot there.

4. Whilst on the train to another location, I noticed there was a guy on there playing the guitar.  I turn to look… and he had a green mohawk!  At that point, I didn’t even care if it made sense to film him – i KNEW he had to be in the video, ’cause you don’t see that every where!

5. Estimated video edit time: 3 hours.  Add on 2 more hours for publishing because, after I did it the first time, I noticed that some of the footage parts I had silenced were making noise.  I notice my MAC does this quite often, and it is rather annoying, considering my PC didn’t do that.  I had to cut the last part of the video off, publish it by itself with no noise, then tack it back on to the original version.  Eh, it’s a hassle, but the MAC still makes editing easier than the PC, so it’s a trade-off!

That’s all for now – only 7 more videos left to go! See ya next Sunday!