A.P.T.’s new album now available for download at http://tinyurl.com/aptstrikesback
Featuring “The Betty White Song (I’m Makin’ Moves),” “No Memories”
and the soon-to-be #1 summer anthem, “NO U AINT!” For track listing, click HERE!
Today’s music video is for the song “NO U AINT” (produced by K.K.O.F.)
HELP MAKE THIS THE #1 SONG IN THE WORLD – DOWNLOAD IT HERE AND REQUEST IT ON RADIO AND AT THE CLUBS!
INSIGHT INTO A SONG:
This was actually not a planned song for the album, or a planned song in my head at all. I got up one morning and went to Facebook (as I do everyday) and noticed that a few of my FB friends had replaced their profile pictures with the words “NO U AINT” printed in red letters against a black background.
Normally I wouldn’t have thought anything of it… but the fact that 5 people had the same picture had me curious. So I did some investigating, and it turned out that (a) all 5 people worked at the KJLH 102.3 radio station here in L.A. (which is not even 5 minutes from my apartment); and (b) the pic was actually a close-up shot of a t-shirt they made with the slogan “NO U AINT.”
It also turns out that they were selling the shirts, and people were actually leaving them wall messages asking for purchase information.
Upon knowing all this, my brain processed the info like this:
#REACTION 1: “HA HA HA, what a funny slogan for a shirt! That’s awesome…”
#REACTION 2: “Man, that shirt should have a theme song to it or something…”
#REACTION 3: “Hey, wait a minute… I could write a theme song to it or something!!!”
I didn’t know if they’d be receptive to me making a song for the shirt… but at the time, I didn’t really care. I figured I had a short time span to create a song before someone else beat me to the punch; I immediately went through my catalog of beats and found one sent to me by ATL producer K.K.O.F. that sounded PERFECT (bouncy, powerful, and very very catchy). After that I grabbed a pen, found the nearest piece of paper I could, and just started writing.
The writing of the song wasn’t that hard. In fact, once I had the idea down that I wanted to chant “No U Aint” at the end of each line, the verses themselves only took 15 or 20 minutes to write. The hardest part of the whole song to write was the chorus – that took me about another hour or so.
In writing the song, there were a bunch of things I had to think about. This isn’t a song where I could just write anything – it had to be catchy, something that would instantly grab people’s ears, yet could also be played on radio and/or used in future advertisements should they ever decide to advertise the shirts on TV or radio.
I wanted the basic focus of the song to be similar to that of the “Frontin’” song I recorded/made a video for a few weeks ago: a song calling out people who lie about things they don’t have, or think things about themselves that just aren’t true.
I also wanted the song to sound like it was professionally recorded, mixed and mastered. Although I’m “okay” at doing my own mix-downs, I knew that something of this magnitude would be more effective if mixed by people who have done this for longer than me.
Luckily, my roommate Terry, a.k.a. T. Whistle (a.k.a. the guy holding the guitar in the video), has recording equipment I don’t have (i.e. Pro-Tools, a REAL studio mic) and a friend down in Florida who has been mixing and mastering songs for decades. I recorded the track, he sent it down to his friend in Florida, and it came back soundin’ like pure GOLD!
I sent the track to my friend Rhea (works at the station and is also an alumnus of my college, the oh-so-prestigious Hampton University in Hampton, VA) to see if she and the rest of the group approved of the song. I think they had someone else who was going to record a “No U Aint” song… but ever since I gave my version to them, I haven’t heard much about it
Side note: I am now also helping to sell shirts, and they have proven to be quite popular! If you’re interested in purchasing a shirt, click HERE for order information!
Some Interesting Song Tidbits:
1. I wanted to record the song saying “No U Aint” at the end of every line. Terry thought it would be too monotonous to say it all the time, so we actually wrote out other things for me to say at the end of some of the lines. However, I didn’t know where or when I wanted to make those changes. We recorded the version with me saying “No U Aint” at the end of every line as placeholders until I could record in the other lines later. Of course, for me it was a timing issue: I was going to see Rhea later that night and wanted to have a version for her to hear, so I made her a copy of the song with just “No U Aint” being said at the end of each line. She liked it, so I didn’t feel the need to change it at that point.
2. I also recorded a Lakers’ 2010 Finals version. They made Gold-and-Purple versions of the shirt (the team’s colors), and I thought it would be cool to have something Lakers’ fans could play to cool off the fans of hatred coming from Boston Celtic lovers.
3. I recorded more layers for this version than any song I’ve done up to this point. I wanted it to sound like a crowd was chanting the song, but that meant having to record take after take after take after take of each line. I could barely talk by the end of the recording session!
INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT
Okay, so I had a different idea for the video shoot which I may still end up using in the long run. It’s more professional, and will hopefully have more people in it…
With that said, I had an album that came out yesterday and, aside from a few album reviews I’ve done, I didn’t have any new videos. Since I’m promoting the heck out of this song AND trying to sell shirts, I knew I had to make a video for it even if it was just me in the video.
The shoot itself was very easy. I filmed myself in front of my green screen in my “No U Aint” shirt (gold and yellow) and shorts, then in my Michael Jackson shirt with blue jeans. I asked my roommate Terry to make a cameo in the video, and I also asked K.K.O.F. to send me footage of him mouthing the “No U Aint” parts of the song so he could be in it as well.
As usual, the longest part of editing the video was the green screen – specifically, finding and choosing what backgrounds and pictures to use to make the video most effective. I also made sure to include pics of the KJLH mixdown crew who are involved with the “No U Aint” shirts, and gave them a shout out at the end.
That’s pretty much it. Like I said, I hope to record a more interactive video to the song at a later date… but you know me, when I have something I want to film, I do with what I have and turn it into something – and actually, I think it turned out pretty darn good!
Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:
1. Terry is wearing an old school shirt. On the front it has a black Bart Simpson; on the back, it has M.C. Hammer!
2. I did 2 takes of me in the Lakers’ shirt, and 2 takes of me in the MJ shirt. I ended up using one take from each in the video. Clearly, I don’t like having to look through a bunch of footage when I edit!
3. The footage at the beginning of the video was sent to me by Rhea. I think her and her friends were somewhere in downtown L.A. and the dude yelling “No U Aint!” in the video saw Rhea’s friend Kelli’s shirt. I thought it was pretty hilarious, and a great way to start off the video.
4. The green fuzzy “Bad TV” effect on the shots of me in the MJ shirt was added last minute, as was the effect over Terry’s footage. It looks like a creative decision, but in reality… when I did the green screen for the MJ shirt shot and exported it out, I did so without realizing that (a) there were small jagged green outlines around my body, and (b) a small part of my shirt that the background picture could be seen through. Rather than re-rendering that whole shot over, I decided to add the green fuzz “Bad TV” effect. And, since I now had one shot with a graphic effect, I figured I should add one more to one of the other shots – and I chose to do it to the one with Terry in it.
5. While looking up pics to use for the video, I found a “Black Card” picture with the initials “A. L. Taylor”. My initials are “A. P. Taylor,” so I thought it would be a GREAT idea to use the graphic in the backdrop for the part where I say “Plus you got a black card?” My friend Joe was able to photo-shop the “L” and turn it into a “P.” Pretty cool, huh?
6. I chose to wear the Michael Jackson shirt in the video because this month is the 1-year anniversary of his death. R.I.P., MJ!
That’s all for now – enjoy the video, and be sure to request it on radio and at the clubs!! (Oh, and download it too!)