This week’s video is for the song “Flashing Lights Remix.”
Available on “The O-bama Mixtape” – Click HERE for download information!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
This is one of the songs I wrote, recorded, and made a video for BEFORE I started this whole “One-Song-a-Week” site. Kanye West’s album, “Graduation,” had dropped a few months prior, and many of the songs from that album were being played prior to a video actually being out for it.
One of the songs I kept hearing at these clubs – and one of the songs I liked the most off the album – was “Flashing Lights.” It’s a song where he talks about the effect being in the spot light has on his various relationships, and the beat for it was semi-futuristic, souly, and dancable all at once.
I wanted to do a freestyle to it, and did the best I could to find the instrumental for download. Once I tracked it down, I… okay, so I don’t remember if I ended up actually making any freestyles to it. What I DO know, is I downloaded the beat around the same time that Britney Spears, now somewhat sane, was having a nervous breakdown. The paparrazzi has been following her every move for years on end now (this is year number 9) and the pressure of all that, combined with her having had 2 kids and then going through a divorce, was finally catching up to her.
Many people in the news media were, at the time, condeming this girl for the way she was acting. However, I always tend to look at issues in a different light. To me, I could understand why she’d finally break down. Despite the number of videos I’ve done for YouTube (47 so far) and the extreme popularity of the “Obama Milli” song, I am actually a person who enjoys his alone time and privacy. I could not even begin to imagine how I’d act if a swarm of camera people were trying to follow me from the minute I stepped out my door in the morning until I drove back to my house at night. That’s like, 10 HOURS of people following me! I don’t even like being around my family members for that long (love y’all to death, though!), let alone complete strangers!
So, I decided to make a version of “Flashing Lights” where I acted as though I was already famous and being stalked by the camera guys. I also made references to people who had been harrassed by the pap “smears”, such as Anna Nicole (R.I.P,), Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, T.I., Bobby & Whitney, and Dave Chappelle. It’s one of my shorter songs, but I think it gets my ideas across pretty well!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. Most of the ideas in the first few lines stem from seeing the things the paparazzi puts people through when they are following them around.
2. It’s amazing to me how, if you speak enough about something, it may eventually happen. I wrote this song a few months BEFORE I dropped “Obama Milli,” yet many of the things I talked about in the song came true. For example, I have a line where I say, “I once did this for the love/now I’m doing it just because…” sure enough, once the song got popular, I had writer’s block for a while because I felt I had to make songs for everybody else to like, not necessarily myself. I also have a line where I say, “…and now I get jerked/by cousins, who wouldn’t even call before.” I didn’t get jerked around by anyone in the family, but I did have quite a few friends and family who I hadn’t heard from in a while suddenly contact me on Facebook like, “What up, how are things going? By the way, I heard your song in the club/on the radio/on my friend’s ring tone…” followed by the requisited, “don’t forget about me when you make it!” Geez…
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I made this video back before I was aware of a “Windows Media Maker” program on my PC. I did, however, have a program called “Muvee” that came pre-installed with the system as well. It allowed you to take photographs and/or video footage, load it into the program, choose what transition option you wanted to use, and voila – instant video!
Unfortunately, it was the trial software version. Meaning, you could only post up to 50 pictures in a video – after that, they would start to repeat themselves until the song ended.
No matter – since I was doing a song about being stalked by the paparazzi, I figured it would be the perfect program to use. Plus, it had a transition option whereby the pictures would look like they’d been taken by camera guys and put on film. Awesome!
The pics I used were candid photos of me. Pretty simple, since those are the kinds of shots paps usually take. In addition, I wanted to mix in pictures of (a) paparazzi guys at work, and (b) the names of the stars I mention towards the middle-to-end of the song.
All in all, a very, VERY simple video. I actually posted it up back in March or April of last year on my first YouTube site, but since it’s been taken down (again), I figured it was worth re-posting. Plus, because the Muvee program is automated, some of the pics didn’t match the words of the song at the right time. I was able to re-edit the video on my PC via Windows Media Maker, so the video flows much better now!
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. A LOT of my friends show up in this video. In looking at it, I didn’t know I hung out with that many people!
2. The shots of me in the apartment were the only ones specifically taken for this video. I wanted shots where I was looking at the paparazzi from my apartment. The shots were taken when I was still living in my studio apartment in Atlanta, GA. How was I able to take them? Easy – my camera has a timer on it!
3. I don’t remember the original estimated time of editing since, again, I “filmed” it early last year. Today, though, it only took about an hour, and most of that was just re-adjusting the video so it stretched out to the end of the song!
That’s all for now! Only 5 more videos left to go – see ya next Sunday!