This week’s music video is for the song “Blow It All” (produced by Swollen Drumz Productions).
THIS SONG IS AVAILABLE ON BOTH “THE O-BAMA MIXTAPE” AND “THE A.P.T. LP!”
DOWNLOAD “THE A.P.T. LP” HERE, ONLY 6.99: A.P.T. Presents: “The A.P.T. LP” (Sent automatically after payment)
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
When I was shuffling through beats for song consideration for “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I came across this beat called “Blow It All,” courtesy of Swollen Drumz Productions. The beat already had the chorus in place – and thank God it wasn’t a sample, as it meant I didn’t need production from an artist like Jay-Z or some record company conglomerate in order to resell the song.
The beat itself is pretty short in time length, but it was the rapid pace at which the beat went that initially attracted me to it. I tend to speak at a steady medium pace when I do songs so that people will understand me… but when I’m not doing songs, I tend to talk like the rapper Twista. It’s been a problem for many years, and I think it stems from trying to interject my thoughts into conversations when I was younger. I was rarely able to get a word in edgewise when in a group of people, so I would say what I had to say really fast when there was a small space of silence.
26 years later, and I’m still talking like a speed demon!
Even with the fact that I talk fast, it was still a bit of a challenge to record the song. The goal for me was to record it in one take; however, by making that decision, it meant I had to start over from the beginning if I made a mistake during the song. Oftentimes, I’d get to the third verse, and have a small lyrical misstep that would force me to cut the recording and do it ALL over again.
Since the chorus was already determined – “I came to blow it, blow it, blow it all” – I had to make the song about trying to spend a lot of money. I created a scenario where I got a big wad of cash, and decided to go on a trip to Vegas for a high-roller weekend.
In terms of word-choice… people think rapping a song at a fast pace is hard, but it’s really not. All you have to do is pick words that sound similar to each other, then place them next to each other. Choosing the right words will allow you to flow the words together pretty easily.
For example, “pick a winner in winter” or “get a pickle at dinner” are easy to say fast because they have what I call “Sticking point” syllables. The “k’s” and “n’s” roll off the tongue easy, and can therefore be said a lot faster than something like “went to the bakery for some bread,” which, when saying it fast, causes the tongue to trip over itself.
This is what I call a “skill track.” It’s one of those songs that’s meant to prove I have rapping skills, writing skills, and the ability to flow with a track. I thought it was important to include this type of song on “The O-Bama Mixtape” because it was a vast contrast to the other songs I had on there, which were either parodies, remixes, or songs where I talked at average speed.
After I released “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I started putting together songs for “The A.P.T. LP” which came out a month later. In putting together songs, I realized I didn’t have a song that had a fast-pace feel to it like “Blow It All.” So, I figured, “hey – why not place that song on ‘The A.P.T. LP’ as well!” It’s the only song that appears on both albums.
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. Even though the song is on both “The O-Bama Mixtape” and “The A.P.T. LP,” there are differences in the recordings. The sound of the beat on the mixtape version is of a lower quality. This is because I didn’t need to purchase any leasing rights to include it on an album that was being released for FREE download. However, I had to purchase resell rights to the beat in order to sell it from “The A.P.T. LP,” which also meant being sent a fully mastered/mixed beat.
Another difference between the songs: I did more adlibbing on the mixtape version as a means to hype myself up. However, on the album, I tried to let the songs introduce themselves in via the beat, without talking at the beginning of every track. Therefore, the adlibs weren’t re-recorded.
2. My favorite line in the song: “Now my pockets getting bigger, ‘cause I made a lotta figures/Never thought that I would win it, coulda sworn it was a gimmick…” I like it because it’s the fastest rhymes in the song. They were also the hardest ones to say, as the words “now” and “my” do not flow together easily. In the album version (which is used in the video) I have a small flub there. I was going to re-record it… but I’m lazy at times when I record, and, after recording it so many times, I just said “screw it – leave it in!”
3. Even in the midst of rapping a song about blowing excess money, I felt the need to show fiscal responsibility. Thus, the line where, after I win a lot of money, I mention putting half of it in the bank!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:
I had so many ideas for this video… but, seeing as I make all these videos by myself, AND have a limited budget, I had to go with a fairly simple idea.
In case you were curious, though: my main idea was to do a remake of a Richard Pryor movie plot, where he inherits a lot of money but has to spend it all within a certain period of time. I was going to film myself going to different places in town to buy stuff, but I figured it would be hard to get people to agree to let me film them and me buying stuff, then putting it back and wanting the money back. Plus, most places of business require a filming permit, and I wasn’t trying to deal with the hassle.
At any rate, I won free tickets to see a fashion show at Howard University. Like I always do, I took my trusty camera with me to film some footage. I knew I’d use it for a music video at some point – I just didn’t know which song I’d place it with.
While watching the fashion show, it gave me the inspiration to write another song that could be used at events such as the one I was attending… but… sigh… well, since I’ve moved and now have house mates – one of whom is a woman that looks like Jabba the Hut (for those of you not familiar with “Star Wars” characters, she’s as big as an elephant) who almost NEVER leaves the house – finding time to record new songs is almost impossible. Oh sure, I can go over my brother’s apartment when he and his roommate aren’t there and try to record stuff, but even that requires catching buses, walking, and I have to do it on a day when I’m not working.
Anyway – I say that to say, I couldn’t record a new song that would have gone specifically with this footage. So, while walking to work one day, I realized that I could just use the fashion show reel for my “Blow It All” song. It’s about spending money, and the clothes in the fashion show were expensive and/or well-known brand names, so I figured the two would gel well together.
I also thought it would give me a chance to show that my songs could actually be used in other formats. During the show, they played a lot of songs that I’d never even thought of as being runway songs. And I thought to myself, “man, that would be cool if one of my songs could be used for a show like this.” Now, I have an example of doing such a thing!
Some Interesting Video Tidbits:
1. This video is only 3:36 minutes long. I had to pick and choose which footage to use froma reel of about 15 to 20 minutes of video. I may end up placing the remaining footage on YouTube – there was just so many interesting outfits and/or scenarios, and I wish the song was longer so I could “Show It, show it, show it all!”
2. There was a small bit I filmed showing the audience and myself, but I had to leave it out due to timing. In that footage, I say the name of the song I was going to record for this footage, but since I didn’t have time to record the song, I thought it would be best to leave it out…
3. Incidentally, I won these tickets by going to a forum held by www.AllHipHop.com. I answered a trivia question correctly (“What was the first rap group to go platinum?”) and next thing you know, I have a free pass to an awesome show where I got to film a video, too!
4. Edit time for the video: subtracting the time it took me to transfer the files into Windows Media mode, I’d say the whole thing took about 3 or 4 hours.
5. FYI: I spent the majority of my day helping my Mom move stuff into storage and into her next living space. Despite all the driving, lifting, moving, and cleaning I’ve done today, I STILL managed to get this video up before midnight. Now THAT’s dedication, people!
That’s all for now – see ya next week!