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Creating “MeloTel Rap (10 Years Later)”: Part Two

A decade ago, John asked me to create a rap song for him in the vein of Ludacris’ “Rollout (My Business)”. If you listen to that song, you’ll hear that I pretty much replicate the drum pattern and tempo on what became the original “MeloTel Rap”. I then wrote the lyrics in the same vein as Luda, given that John was inspired by his track. As far as I’m concerned, John crushed it! I was honestly surprised at how well he was able to recite the lyrics with the proper cadence and flow. He was a natural!

Below, is the original MeloTel Rap written and performed in 2010.

John originally wanted a remix.

When John told me he wanted to remix the original “MeloTel Rap”, I hadn’t even realized it had been ten years since we did it. I told him I thought it best we start from scratch. Instead of remixing the old song, I thought we should create a brand new one. After all, an entire decade had passed! This time around, however, John got extra ambitious. He told me he wanted to perform a double-time rap in the vein of some of Eminem’s recent material.

“That’s going to be a pretty big challenge,” I thought. But knowing how well John did the first time around, I figured I could get a little extra technical with the lyric writing this time. John was thorough in his description of what he wanted to say. He just left it up to me to decide how he was going to say it.

I wanted to make sure John got all of his points across about his business.

He wanted an emphasis on the company’s pseudo-mantra which is “Better Value, Better Technology, Better Service”. Originally, the idea was that the song would play out like a phone call. John would pick up the phone and a caller would begin asking questions. The answer to each question would be one of the verses.

Essentially, the caller was to express his displeasure with his current telephone provider. This is why, throughout the song, John mentions leaving the other company for MeloTel, which provides far superior value, technology and customer service. I decided that I wanted to challenge John since he was looking for something Eminem-like, which again, is a huge undertaking.

The lyrics were composed over the course of a weekend.

I then recorded what we call “dummy vocals”. I cannot stress enough how written lyrics mean almost nothing without hearing HOW they are supposed to sound. Professional songwriters don’t just write the lyrics, but they create the melodies to be sung. When it comes to rap lyrics, there’s no difference. It’s vital to communicate the cadence, flow, breath control, emphasis and overall vibe of the performance.

It wasn’t easy for John, at first. It took him several weeks of practice before he could begin recording and sending me his own dummy vocals. The speed of the lyrics was his toughest challenge. But John is a total pro. He refused to give up and recorded the song in two different sessions at home to try to get it down just right. When he was finally ready, he visited my long-time friend, T.J. Habibi at his privately-owned, Secret Suburbia Studios. There, T.J. produced, recorded, mixed and mastered the final product which is “MeloTel Rap 2020”.

Below, is the original MeloTel Rap 2020 dropped May 19th, 2020.

I sincerely hope everyone enjoys the end result!

Stream MeloTel Rap (10 Years Later) on YouTube and SoundCloud. You can also download the tracks from Apple Music.

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