Today’s insights are for my new music video, “Big Moochin’ Fella” (a parody of Rick Ross’ “B.M.F.” song)!
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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
When putting together songs for my album, “Prince of Parody Vol. 1” (click HERE to download), I had a LOT of songs I wanted to make fun of. In case you’re curious, some of the other songs I wanted to parody included Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” Far East Movement’s “Like a G6,” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.”
As the self-imposed deadline for the album came, though, I found it getting harder and harder to push out all the ideas I had. It was at that point I decided to make it easy on myself: if I wasn’t able to get the majority of the idea out on paper, I wouldn’t write it.
As a result, I ended up putting the aforementioned songs to the side, which left me with the easy ones to write (“Rub That Nair,” “Jersey Shore Douches” and “Teach Me How to Snuggie”).
Then, one day at work, I was listening to Rick Ross’ “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” song. I was a bit late in the game in terms of knowing about this song, but it just jammed so hard! Like, it’s been out since May, and I still listen to that song everyday for its ability to hype me up!
Since the song has had such a long shelf life, I knew I wanted to make a parody of it. I went through quite a few song ideas and choruses (2nd favorite one: “I’m slicin’ big meats!”) before I settled upon “Big Moochin’ Fella.” Whenever I said “I’m just a big leech (uh!)” I would start cracking up, so I knew that, song-wise, it would be a good direction to go in.
Plus, I’m quite experienced when it comes to dealing with people who want to leech off of me. I live in L.A., a town where everyone is always looking to see what they can get from someone else for free, be it a record deal, part in a movie, or – as has been the case in my life – a place to crash. I won’t go into the names of people who have tried crashing at our place looking to get freebies, while at the same time treating us like crap.
Needless to say, though, I had a LOT of material to pull from for the song. Yes, the song is hilarious and funny as heck, but it could also be used as a life portrait for how actual mooches act!
The song-writing process for this one was hard. I’m not even gonna lie, I almost didn’t even finish it. I actually woke up at 7 A.M. one morning when I had a day off from work to go outside, sit at a table, and concentrate on what to write until I figured out at least 95 percent of the song.
Why? Because writing this song was similar to writing “Rub That Nair.” Sure, Rick Ross’ song isn’t an R&B song, but he didn’t try to use a whole lot of words in his version either. Which, of course, meant that I couldn’t use that many words in MY version. I’m a guy that often uses a lot of words to get his point across; having to curtail my word usage, then, can be quite a challenge for me.
Nevertheless, I was determined to finish the song, if only so I could say I actually did it. Plus, I thought it would be good to parody at least ONE semi-hardcore song on the album for people who like to see those kinds of songs made fun of (me being one of them).
When I finally DID finish the song, I played it for a couple of people, including a girl named Kei’ana (who also appears in the video – more on her later). They laughed at it, so I knew I made the right topic choices for the song!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. The hardest part of the song to write was the part where I say “I throw a party… with lots of guest… then I go to sleep… while you clean the mess…” I wanted the words I used to rhyme with the words Rick Ross used in that part, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do it. But then, I remembered how, when Weird Al remade Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty” into “White and Nerdy,” not all the words rhymed with the parts in the original. So, I decided I didn’t have to do that either. (Note to certain people reading this: this is called “Giving someone credit for inspiring you on how to do your work,” as opposed to blatantly copying someone and saying you came up with it yourself.)
2. The original version of this song has 3 verses. However, in comedy, you have to know when its best to make your exit; for this version, I figured that time would come around the 3-minute mark, which is near where the second verse ends. Sorry, Styles P!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT
This video ended up being WAY different than I had imagined it in my head. And that’s actually a GOOD thing.
I didn’t even know if there was going to be a video for it because of ONE line in the song that I didn’t think I’d be able to get anyone to film. That line:
“When I’m having sex, your sofa’s where I bone!”
I wanted to get a shot of me and a girl making out and/or dry humping on the couch, but I didn’t know if any of the girls I knew would be down for it. However, Kei’ana said she was available to shoot, and was able to come over and be in the scene I needed her to be in. Once I was able to get those shots, I had no choice but to film the rest of the video!
The parts I shot with myself were easy. Most of them consisted of me setting up the camera and performing one of the many mooching acts mentioned in the song.
The hardest part of shooting came in two areas: filming myself when I needed to be moving around for dynamic camera shots, and figuring out who I would get to play the person I’m mooching off.
In area one: I wanted to dress up like Rick Ross and have someone film me performing the words to the song, but every time I would find someone to do it they’d drop out at the last minute. So I kept delaying the video. I could have done the shots by using a tripod, but I don’t want all my videos to consist of stand still camera shots.
Finally, after about 2 weeks, I hit up Kei’ana and asked if she’d be my camera girl. To my complete amazement, she happily agreed to do it! We met up later that weekend and went to the backlot of a Target store near my apartment, and bumped the song out of her jeep while she filmed me acting a dang fool in my Rick Ross outfit. Because she was there to film me, I was also able to film a few choice scenes inside the store that I probably would have gotten kicked out for had I gone in there with a camera stand.
As for who ended up being the person I’m moochin’ off… I had several choices in mind, all of whom ended up having scheduling conflicts. It just so happened that I mentioned my problem to my friend Joe, who agreed to play the person in question. We ended up filming all his scenes that same night, and they came out great!
So yeah, the video took me almost a month to complete from start to finish, but I’ve become more patient when it comes to putting together videos. In the past I just wanted to rush them and get them out there, but I’m finding that waiting for the right people, places and things to line up really makes my videos stand out more. This is one of my favorite videos despite it being quite the biznitch to put together!
Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits
1. Despite the intensity of the make out scene, me and Kei’ana didn’t touched lips. It just felt weird trying to kiss her for real on camera and then have people watching it later. So we just got REALLY close to each others’ faces instead. Plus, the hair covered most of our faces (the wig hair, not hers).
2. The parts of the opening where I’m walking up to the apartment were shot during the day. The parts of the opening where Joe lets me in were filmed at night. I stuck a light outside the door so it would make it seem as though it was still daytime. Pretty neat lighting trick, huh?
3. For the bathtub scene… okay, so the hotness of the water at my apartment isn’t the greatest. I actually had to boil about 3 pots of water to get the tub water to the temperature I liked it at. After I shot the scene, I continued to take a bath – I always take showers, but I hadn’t taken a bath in a couple of years. It felt great!
4. There are some scenes that I filmed by myself with the idea of using it as the green screen background in case I had to end up being the person who played both the moocher AND the home owner. One of them was for the line where I say “Now I walk all through your house even when I’m naked.” Luckily, since Joe volunteered to be in the video, I didn’t have to worry about doing such things.
5. The toothbrush I use to brush my teeth and the one I use to scrub the tub are two different toothbrushes. I just made sure to hold the entire handle of the second toothbrush so people couldn’t tell I used a different brush.
6. Kei’ana was useful in so many ways for this video. The biggest one was for the trip inside Target, when I scoot by with a shopping cart full of stuff I bought with Joe’s credit card. Not only was I able to get that shot, but she also got the shot of me making the purchase at the register, which I wouldn’t have been able to get without her there.
7. Also of note: while at Target, I actually DID end up making a big purchase – I finally got some nice bed sheets to go with my new mattress!
8. The neighbor fighting with Joe is Tynae Miller. She’s a friend of ours who had stopped by our apartment to get her computer fixed. She’s in school to be an actress, so I figured I’d ask her to help us out – and she did!
9. The bed I’m asleep in is not Joe’s. It actually belongs to my friend Danielle, who lives upstairs. Her bed set up is quite nice, so I asked if we could film it for the video.
10. Also, the “wet dreams” that are splattered all over the sheets is actually mayonnaise. Yeah, I know, it’s gross 😛
11. We have quite a few parties thrown at my apartment. I made sure to get my Flip camera out during the most recent one and film the people (sans the heads – I ain’t gettin’ sued!) and the mess the party helped bring about, and used it for the lines in the song about me throwing a party and leaving a mess for the owner to clean up.
12. The last scene of the video was Joe’s idea. The idea is: he’s getting something to drink, and takes out a cup that only has one straw left in it. Then I come along in take it. Thus, for Joe it’s the “last straw” for him to kick me out. Pretty deep metaphor, ain’t it?
13. Almost forgot – the parts in the video where I show the underwear with the “brown streaks” in it? To get the stain to show, I tried mixing brown sugar and maple syrup, but it was still too light to really get the full effect. Then Kei’ana looked down on the ground, saw some dirt, and suggested I use it.
14. Editing for this video didn’t take long per se, but I kept starting, then stopping, then starting, then being distracted by something else… I finally finished it this morning at 7 A.M. after having been at a party until 4 A.M. I’m tired, have gotten only 1 hour of sleep… but I’d say, given how the video turned out, it was worth it!
And that’s it! I want to thank all the people who helped me out on this very ambitious video: Joe for agreeing to be in the video in the first place (he’s not always one to want to be in front of the camera); Tynae for being our spontaneous neighbor; and Kei’ana for being in the video as well as my behind-the-scenes camera person. Hope u all enjoy it!