Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Making of a 70-Year-Old YouTube Rapper

I rap at the end
of good classes.
In 2009 I wrote one poem I started saying when I substitute taught in public schools --"Longing to Chat on the Front Porch With You." That poem is in my book and talks about the importance of talking face-to-face rather than using all these media. Those 2009 students I substituted for told me it was a "rap". I barely knew what a rap was, but I wrote more raps. My late husband would enjoy my practice performances at home whenever I wrote them. I miss his encouragement.

Several adults in my acquaintance have told me they don't like the genre of rap. However  students encouraged me since because they want to hear me rap at the end of classes when I substitute teach. You see students have to have a reason to be good for a substitute and it works for me. I don't have to rap for adults.

When I got an idea, I would write a rap and memorize it. The practice was saying them over and over for a week of teaching in different classrooms. Soon I had over a dozen raps memorized. Students trained me in rapping and showed me how to move with my rap.

My Huntsville, Alabama niece and nephew decided in 2013 to put me on YouTube. They gave me the rapper name of "MC AC The Rap Lady. " It turns out that MC is the title of a rapper, or the "emcee" who has the microphone. AC is the name they have always called me--Aunt Carol. My niece produced a clever ad video and "Cursive Writing". A year later when I visited Huntsville my niece helped me produce "Cell Phones" on my Mac Mini computer, hoping I could take over putting raps on YouTube myself because my niece is very busy.

The challenge was that I had to learn iMovie to be able to put up more YouTube videos. I put off that challenge while taking care of my late husband.

Last spring I bought lessons for a year from Apple in Brandon and I think it was $99 for unlimited lessons for a year. After my husband died, I was free to work on the project. I would bring in my box holding my Mac Mini hard drive to the Apple store in the mall. Could I learn iMovie? What about GarageBand to add beats to the raps? Hour sessions at Apple still didn't make me a producer, although I did learn more about my computer.

Rapping put a smile on people's faces and as a recent widow, one Friday night I rapped with a backup of a band in downtown Lakeland. See Rapping in Downtown Lakeland. Our Toastmaster booth was right across from this band, so I had the nerve to walk over there and tell them that I was a rapper and could I perform one rap with their backup.

Later last summer people in my Lakeland Toastmaster's Club were invited to a networking business meeting in Tampa. Since I was no longer a caregiver, I ventured out. When I was introduced, I had to tell about my lowly job as a substitute teacher and the fact I am a rapper. After this networking meeting, one man told me about Rody Davis, a young college student who could produce my raps for YouTube. I called Rody in Alabama of all places and we agreed to meet when he came back into town. He not only takes college classes, but for several years Rody has had the prestigious position as a Sound Engineer for the college. When he came back for college, I met him at his college studio and he recorded ten raps which he agreed to produce for me for only $400.

Ten raps were finished last week and I gave him the $400 in cash. I wonder how many hours were really clocked on this project and I really appreciate Rody's faith in my rapping. He said it was fun for him to do.

Rody Davis
Rody enlisted his roommate Travis Smith to put visuals to the project. Travis has access to many visuals he has purchased. 

Travis and Rody
So Friday night, March 27th, 5:30 PM, here I was at the college studio again ready to become a YouTube rapper with ten more raps. I brought my MacMini computer from which we thought we could be able to add to MCACProductions1, the ten newly-produced raps. It turns out that Rody found my YouTube playlist where he uploaded the ten raps. Now, mind you, I didn't see these videos first. Within about an hour these were loaded onto a file on my hard drive and my YouTube playlist--but not that channel. Travis and Rody were ready for dates with their girlfriends and I went home ready to view these ten raps. 

Rody and Travis did a great job--I couldn't have produced these, nor had the insight into beats and visuals for raps. It takes a younger generation to make the wisdom of an aged rapper come alive. (Some of my raps are silly, but some have sound wisdom.)

Monday night I spent an hour of One-on-One professional time at Apple in Brandon. We just couldn't crack to code to get them up to the original channel. That was a shame, because MCACProductions1 has had over 5000 views on its three videos and over 120 subscribers!

I came home totally frustrated. People could go to my personal YouTube playlist and see them, but also see other videos I had downloaded. I texted my friend Sherry and she called me and listened to all my stress with this rapping business, with being a widow and with selling the house. We prayed. 

Our prayers took wings and I did the next thing, staying up over midnight to accomplish a new channel since Apple had taught me about YouTube. I used my new skills to create a logical YouTube Channel, MC AC The Rap Lady, the name I write on the white board under Mrs. Johnson when I substitute teach. I was able to upload nine of the ten videos on this channel I created. I put MCACProductions1 under channel on this new site. 


The tenth rap called "Pizzazz" will be uploaded sometime in April. 

So this is the story of how I became a YouTube rapper. Subscribe to the new channel above and share if you like. 

MC AC The Rap Lady