Today’s insight is for my music video “Tupac Wack,” a parody of Meek Mill & Rick Ross’ s “Tupac Back.”
FREE DOWNLOAD – Click HERE!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
A couple of weeks ago I was on a boat helping my friend celebrate his birthday. The DJ on the boat was spinning tunes and he played his brand new song I hadn’t heard before called “Tupac Back.”
The song, by new artist Meek Mill, features Rick Ross on the chorus rappin’ about how both he and the main person on the song remind others of Tupac. It’s yet another song in the Ross canon about being somebody else (see: “I’m MC Hammer,” “I think I’m Big Meech,” etc.. I swear, he must have schizophrenia or something).
At any rate, when I heard the song I thought it was jammin… and then, of course, I made the obvious parody lyric of “Tupac Wack” in my head. I didn’t think I would actually make it into a song, though, I just thought it was funny to say, plus it rhymed.
Fast-forward about a week later: I saw one of my producers, K.K.O.F., put up a freestyle on YouTube to the “Tupac Back” beat. Then I saw other people’s freestyles to the beat on World Star Hip Hop. Plus, I’ve had that song in my MP3 player for 2 weeks now, and it’s gotten catchier and catchier to me each time.
STILL, I didn’t think about making a song to it, mostly ’cause I figured “What the heck would I rap about?”
But then, I was bored at home yesterday, and I started thinking up lyrics to the “Tupac Wack” idea. At first, I didn’t necessarily want to record the song, but the idea just seemed so OBVIOUS – I mean, someone else out there had to think of replacing the word “back” with “wack” for this song, it’s jumping right off the friggin’ page! I didn’t see any one else having done the idea on YouTube yet, though – of course, that’s with good reason. After all, who’s gonna go and try to diss an artist who died 15 years ago?
Yeah… so I went ahead and wrote the song, then recorded it immediately afterward.
Now, I’m a big fan of Tupac, but I’ve always been bothered by how heightened his (and Biggie’s) status grew after he died. People only think about Pac being a revolutionary, or for making social songs, yet they forget that (a) he was human and made a LOT of mistakes; (b) that most of his songs weren’t about social issues – in fact, most of them were about typical rap stuff (sex, drugs, weed, drinking, killing his enemies); and (c) Pac was dissing a whole coast of rap artist prior to his death.
It goes without saying then, that were Pac still alive today, he’d probably still be trying to find someone to diss. He’s also probably be an artist that was no longer relevant. His past hits would still hold up, but at age 40, his current stuff, no matter how great it may be, would be ignored or scrutinized by today’s youth. (Sorry, people of my age bracket, but it’s true!)
And of course, that would mean he’d also probably be getting dissed. So, I figured I’d be the one to make a diss record towards him. There hasn’t been one in almost 15 years towards him, yet he has disses toward people being leaked on every post-death album he puts out – how fair is THAT?!?
And coming up with lyrics for the song was pretty simple. In the song I talk about how he’s a fake thug who went to art school, how he went to prison and “performed” on the guys there, how wack most of his songs were, and his money issues (true fact: for all the songs and performances he made, Pac only had $100,000 in the bank when he died).
Is the song mean-spirited? Absolutely. I took it on almost as an acting assignment: I got into character, and even changed my voice, when recording the track, so it didn’t even really feel like I was the one doing it. And the song itself came out great, although I’m sure there will be fans of Pac (or fans of people not making fun of dead celebrities) who will disagree.
Ah well… FREE DOWNLOAD!!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits
1. In the first verse I mention radio station KDAY 93.5. In California, that’s the station that plays all the old-school hip-hop, including lots of Tupac.
2. I make a mention of Pac shaving his head ’cause he was going bald. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it sounded funny to say 🙂
3. One thing that’s always annoyed me is when people say ‘Pac was a prolific writer. To some effect, that statement may be true: I’ve always been a believe that the things a person says they want to happen in their lives can, and will, eventually happen. However, a rapper talking about how he’s going to die isn’t prolific. Yes, ‘Pac died by getting shot up like he thought he would, but it’s because he started a fight with a Crip gang member in Las Vegas. He didn’t predict his death so much as he invited it to happen.
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT
Not really much to say. A few hours after I recorded the song, I was packin’ up some clothes and came across a yellow bandanna I own. I tied it on my head to see if I could pull off a 2Pac impression; I looked in the mirror and said, “Oh yeah, I definitely need to shoot a video for this song!”
I set up my camera in my living room, blasted the song through my stereo, and started recording. Once I finished my 2Pac part, I changed clothes and got into my Rick Ross gear – basically, my regular clothes with pillows stuffed in my shirt and pants – so I could record myself as him. I only took about 5 takes total for the whole video, then spent a few hours editing it.
And that’s it!
Some Interesting Video Tidbits
1. Rick Ross usually wears glasses; I was going to wear a pair for the video, but I lost the ones I had on the last out-of-town trip I took. So, I had to resort to using some post eye-exam glasses I took when I did my last clinical trial. Good thing I kept them in case I needed some props!
2. In the video, it looks like I have a copy of ‘Pac’s “All Eyez on Me” and “Makaveli” CD. Actually, I just found the album covers online, then pasted them into a double-sided CD case.
3. Editing time for this video was about 5 hours, from 10 PM to 3 AM. I already knew I wasn’t getting any sleep last night (for reasons I won’t get into), so staying up to edit seemed like a good use of my time.
I hope you enjoy the video! Or not. I don’t really care – I’m just getting back into the habit of making videos on a regular basis, as well as songs I find interesting. FREE DOWNLOAD – Click HERE!