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“THE OBAMA MILLI REMIX GUY STRIKES BACK!” Follow me at http://www.ustream.tv/aptsongs
Today’s music video is for “The Betty White Song (I’m Makin’ Moves),” produced by ME! (That’s right, I make beats, too, people!)
Get your copy of “The Betty White Song” for only 99 cents: http://tinyurl.com/bettywhitesong
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
This story begins with my friend, Danielle. (Yes, D, you’re getting called out on this blog. Just accept it.)
She, like many of my friends, is a big fan of the 1980s sitcom, “The Golden Girls.” She received the first two seasons on DVD for her birthday. I went to visit her one day in late February/early March and she had the DVDs playing on her TV in heavy rotation. So, I sat down to watch it with her.
5 episodes later… that show is actually pretty good! I mean, yeah, I was around for it when I was little, but I was too busy watching cartoons to give “Golden Girls” any REAL attention.
Anyway, since I’m always looking for interesting samples to make beats with, I thought it would be cool to see if I could take the beat of the theme song from “Golden Girls” and remix it into a hip-hop beat on my Garage Band program. I went home, found the beat online, and got to work.
Yada yada yada…
After many failed attempts, I finally figured out how to put the beat into the Garage Band keyboard so I could play the sections of the beat I wanted to use (verses my older method, which consisted of cutting and dragging the sample around until I looped it just right). I took sections of the beat, placed them in the keyboard buttons, and within about 30 minutes or so I had an idea of how I wanted the beat to sound. Yay!
Okay, so I had the beat… but no song. So the beat sat around for a while…
Meanwhile, one of the star’s of “Golden Girls,” Betty White, has been having a banner year. She was in a top-grossing comedy last year (“The Proposal,”) a very popular Snickers commercial during the Superbowl, and she got invited to do Saturday Night Live (backed by a Facebook petition where thousands of people BEGGED her to be on the show).
With all that said, I figured creating a song that had her name mentioned on the chorus – combined with the beat I had just made from the “Golden Girls” sample – would be a perfect combo for a hit.
I actually wanted to give the beat to Young Jeezy. I heard he was coming to town as part of Jay-Z’s tour, and I was trying to see if I could get a hook-up to meet him. I had an idea for the chorus that would have been PERFECT… but I’m not giving out any ideas on here. Industry rule #4080, people!
Since I couldn’t get to Jeezy, though, I decided I’d have to jump on the song myself. I re-worked the chorus idea I had so it would sound like something I’d say. And then…
Yes, the beat laid silent with no words from me for almost two months. Finally, this past week, it dawned on me that, even though I wanted to include the song on my album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back” (available June 8th, 2010), it would be good to have a video up for it by today, since Betty White will be hosting SNL later this evening and her name will be high in the search engines after the show airs.
Writing this song – under a time constraint – was actually quite a chore. Not only could I not seem to come up with words as fast as I normally do, but I was also editing videos for OTHER people. At one point, I figured I could just re-use lyrics from some of my mixtape songs (since I couldn’t really sell those songs anyway) and re-use them. I did do that for a few of the lyrics…
…but then, after I did my research a bit, I was able to come up with more stuff to mention in the song that would cleverly make reference to some of the things Betty White has been associated with (i.e. certain shows, movies, people, etc.).
That’s pretty much it in terms of basic stuff about the song. Now, onto the…
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. And now for some fun: so, just how many of the lyrics reference something Betty White-related? Check the list:
- “Still out on the grind, doin’ live TV shows” – An indirect reference to her SNL hosting gig
- “Taking girls back nightly to my Golden Palace” – “Golden Palace” was the “sequel” show to Golden Girls, which Betty White also starred in. It only lasted one season.
- “And to tell the truth, my swag game’s absurd…” – “To Tell The Truth” is a game show Betty White appeared on many times.
- “I ain’t even gotta open my mouth – I’m ‘pass words’ (past words)” – “Passwords” was the game show her late husband hosted. She was also a frequent guest on this show.
- “I’m bringing down the house…” – “Bringing Down the House” was a movie Betty White starred in with Queen Latifah. It grossed over $100 million at the box office.
- “I got girls from L.A. to St. Olaf screamin’ my name” – St. Olaf is the fictional town that Betty White’s “Golden Girl” character, Rose, came from.
- “Tryn’a jump me like Sue Ann did Lou back in the day” – Sue Ann was the name of the character Betty White played on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” She was very horny, and tried to go after Lou, Mary’s boss.
- “You probably got a better shot of Bob Hope being your father” – in an episode of “Golden Girls,” Rose (Betty White) believes Bob Hope to be her father.
- “So call your girl Sophie up, tell Blanche to hitch a ride/What the heck, you can even let Dorothy inside/And we can pop Rose…” – All names are references to characters on “Golden Girls.”
- “…to showin’ my videos on WJM” – WJM was the name of the station Sue Ann (Betty White) worked at on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
- “‘Cause my life’s just so GOLDEN, giiiiirl!” – Um… yeah, that one’s pretty obvious.
That’s 11 total!
2. Like I said before, some of the lyrics are from other songs I’ve already released on mixtapes. Specifically:
- “You can tell by the way a brotha likes to roll/I’m like remote batteries, I’m in control” – From the song “Y’all Haters Should Know,” off the “Welcome 2 Cali” mixtape.
- “I’m the go-getta, trendsetter, no one can do it better” – From the song “What We Do” off “The A.P.T. LP.”
- “A pedophile on the mic… engaged with the crowd – they won’t sit down” – From the song “Can’t Leave Rap Alone,” off “The O-Bama Mixtape.”
3. My favorite lines are the ones that are jokey. I also like the ones that either take a minute to catch or need explaining. I say the line, “I win fast, you win slow, like Eddie.” On the TV show “Family Matters,” the family’s last name was “Winslow.” Any name would have worked, but “Eddie” rhymed with “Freddy,” so that’s what I used.
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I already knew what I wanted to do for the video. I wanted to be in front of a green screen and show a video montage of stuff that Betty White has done.
At the last minute – like, about 20 minutes before I set out to shoot the video – I decided I wanted to make a “Betty White” mask to wear over my face. I found a nice picture of Betty White, blew it up to get her face by itself, then printed it up and cut it out. I tried taping it to my face, but it kept falling off…
…so I had no choice but to staple the top part of her forehead to the front top of my hoodie.
Aside from the green screen part – which took about 20 minutes – most of the video prep consisted of me finding pictures and video footage of Betty to remix together. That part alone took a good 3 to 4 hours. Combined with the Final Cut rendering and other things, the editing time was a total of about 8 or 9 hours. Loading it up to YouTube took an additional 9o minutes.
So, yeah, it was a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day I’m happy with the product. Though, I think for my next video I want to do a LIVE shoot – all this green screen rendering is taking up my precious time!
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. The REAL reason I wanted to use a mask? I had just finished recording the song, but hadn’t memorized it. I didn’t want to have to keep stopping and starting as a result of getting the lyrics wrong. Sure makes editing easier when you don’t have to sync lyrics and mouthing together!
2. The background montage for the video was NOT made by me. I found a Betty White retrospective video on YouTube made by VisualHollywood.com, and it fit PERFECT with what I was doing. Plus, it saved me about 2 hours of having to find and paste in clips myself! (Note: I made sure to give them a shout-out at the end of the video – hopefully it will increase their viewership!)
3. I actually shot two takes for this video. About 95% of the final video is the first take. Why? ‘Cause I’m lazy. Also, most of the second video was close-up stuff, which I found out I could do by simply cropping the clips from the first take closer.
4. The “Betty White” dance was thought of at the VERY last minute. I thought the “Do The Betty White” chant sounded good at the end of the song, but I didn’t have an actual dance to it. I figured that, since she’s old, it would be befitting to have a dance that gave way to that fact. And what do most old people have? Back problems!
And that’s all for today! I hope you all enjoy the video, and will pass it along to your friends. And yes, this song WILL be on the album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back,” out June 8th 2010!