The video we chose is a parody of the rapper Waka Flocka Flames’ hit, “Hard in Da Paint”. The video makes an argument about today’s youth’s view of President Barack Obama, and it does so through its parody of the audio and visuals from “Hard in Da Paint.” The video shows that Barack Obama is more than a president; he is a culture icon. In today’s culture, people constantly take his iconic image of being president, and then shape it into a totally transformed version of the original image. This video demonstrates one of the popular images that Barack has been transformed into, a “thug”. Being a thug is something that has started to become glorified nowadays in our rap-obsessed culture. The persona that is attached to the president is a commentary on today’s society.
In the parody, the transformative uses of the video can seen through the lyrics, as well as the visuals of the music video. Through lyrics such as “Baracka Flocka Flame one hood ass nigga” and “I run the military nigga if you want that beef/I give a long ass speech, and put your ass to sleep” you can see that Barack Obama has been completely transformed into a “thug.” You can also see evidence of the transformation in the visuals. His mannerisms have become very similar to the mannerisms that are commonly made in rap videos. Examples of these mannerisms include him putting his middle finger up to the camera, smoking marijuana, and slapping girls butts, just to name a few.
This video clearly falls under fair use, through parody of the original song. You can see this before the video even starts. The creator of the video gave Barack his own rapper alias, Baraka Flocka Flame, which is just a transformed version of the rapper Waka Flame. The lyrics also are extremely similar between the original video and the parody. One example can be seen at the beginning of the song when Waka Flocka Flame says “I won’t die for this shit or what the fuck I say/Front yard broad day with da SK.” The parody takes that line, and spins transforms it into “I won’t day for this shit, that’s what Michelle said/Secret service, but I got my own SK”
We have learned a lot about how to do a proper remix video through watching this video. Firstly, it taught us that almost any video is remix-able. This parody took a song, which we both thought would be impossible to spin into an argumentative video, and showed is that if a lot of thought is put into the video, a proper argument can be assembled. It also taught is that when trying to make an important argument through remix, it is important to use something that is mainstream and relevant to popular culture. Reaching a bigger audience will make the argument even stronger, and the easiest way to do that is by remixing something that general population will know.