Tag Archive: obama milli remix


Today’s insights are for my NEW music video, “I’m Never EVER Gonna Vote for Romney,” a spoofing of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together!”

From the album “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Now available on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, and Google Play!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

After “Vote Obama Style” took off, I knew it would be smart of me to release an album soon after. I had a ton of songs from my previous mixtape, “Justin Beeber Must Die!!” that I knew I could use for purposes of the new album (since, admittedly, the album hadn’t been downloaded by hardly anybody). However, I also knew I needed to record a couple more Obama parodies in order to increase the chances of the album actually selling.

I already had “Vote Obama Style,” and back in January I had recorded “Black President (Rack City Parody).” Aside from an original song I had recorded called “The Next Black President” (from the “The Next Black President” mixtape) I had NO other Obama songs recorded.

So, I went to work. I updated my very first parody, “Obama Milli Remix,” into a 2012 version that mentioned Mitt Romney. However, I still wanted to record at least ONE more parody of a song that was most current. So, I went to Billboard.com to look up the Hot 100 songs in the country, and – at the time (waaaaay back a month and a half ago) – the number 1 song in the land was Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

The song is catchy as heck and it’s one of the FEW songs of hers that I like. However, what was even MORE appealing about parodying the song was the logistics and timing with which I could use the song to my advantage. The way I saw it, the album the song was on – “Red” – was going to drop on October 22. This meant I had time to give some more breathing room to the life of “Vote Obama Style,” drop a video for “Obama Milli Remix,” and then release the video for MY version of Taylor’s song on or around the release date of her new album. Genius!

And so, I decided on a title – “I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney” – and then… nothing.

At least for a little while. I knew I wanted to mention reasons why I wasn’t going to vote for Mitt, but I didn’t want it to just be me saying mean stuff about him for no reason. I don’t hate the man personally, I just don’t want him as my President, and that needed to be said in a way where even people who want to vote for him would be like, “Well, at least he gave a decent reason for not choosing him!”

As the release date for my album neared, it was becoming a bit harder than I though to write something for the song. And then, as luck would have it, I saw a video on YouTube where someone had placed together numerous video clips of Mitt Romney being a “flip-flopper,” i.e. someone who changed his views and/or positions on issues based upon what was best for his campaign. Abortion, raising taxes, amnesty – all issues that, at one point (or more!) Romney had changed his mind about.

And that’s when I realized what my reasoning in the song should be: he’s always changing his mind to appease voters, so he can’t really be trusted. PERFECT!

This was the last song I recorded for the album and, admittedly, due to the time constraint I had I recorded it pretty quickly. Once I knew what angle to come from, writing the song took about 20 minutes, then I started recording it right away.  The funnest part for me was having to harmonize with myself – this was the first country parody I’ve ever done, and since I rarely sing these days it’s fun when I have to use different octaves of my voice (especially on the “Meeee-EE!” part where one version of me had to sing in a high falsetto).

Once it was finished, I KNEW I had a hit. I was able to put it on the album, which I am definitely happy about…

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. All of the things mentioned in the song are true – everything from Romney saying he wouldn’t raise the tax then turning around and saying he might, to him being for a woman’s right to choose then reversing the position have been captured on video and placed on YouTube. Look it up!

2. So, after I released the song, the debates began, and Romney kept saying stuff that was “meme-worthy.” In the second debate, he said that, when trying to look for women to fill positions in his cabinet, he had people bringing him “Binders full of women.” I KNEW that line needed to be used in the video version of my song, so I had to go back and re-record part of it. However, that line is NOT in the iTunes version of the song. Sorry :(

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Initially, I wanted to shoot a video for “Never” that was just as populated with people as “Vote Obama Style” had been. However, whereas “Obama” seem to just come together in terms of people’s schedules working out, it wasn’t the same way with this video.

I knew I needed to get the video out by October 22 for it to be effective since it was the same day of Taylor’s “Red” album coming out AND the date of the last Presidential election.  Then, while watching the second Presidential debate last week, which was a town hall meeting styled debate where undecided voters asked both men questions, it hit me: I could take footage from this debate and green screen myself in as one of the questioners!

And so, once the debate was over, I downloaded it from YouTube and started piecing together the parts I could use where Romney was in the shot with empty space in front of him. Next, I decided on what “people” I wanted to sing in front of him.  I decided to go with four: A.P.T. (myself); a blond girl who may or may not be Taylor Swift; Mario, and a pink bunny (the last two of which I just happen to have costumes for – don’t ask why, I just do).

To be the blond girl, I had to actually buy a wig! I went to the swap meet and bought a wig for $28… and let me tell you, putting that wig on was the hardest part of the shoot! I had NO idea why girls made such a big deal about their hair, but now I do – just trying to get it on took 20 minutes, and the hair kept falling in my face and wouldn’t stay in it’s place for longer than 5 seconds… I probably would have had more shots of me with it on in the video, but it just got more and more annoying!

Anyway… to make it consistent with the Romney footage I had chosen, I had to film each character facing to the right, then to the left, so that it would look cohesive when the angles of where Romney was standing changed.  About 9 takes in all. By the time I was done filming everything, I only had about 3 hours to edit before the debate began.  I imported all the footage, keyed out the green screen from each clip and placed them in front of the pre-chosen out Romney backdrops, exported them, imported them back in, then figured out which parts went where.  I was still editing when the debate began, but I was on a mission to finish the video and post it up before the debate ended – which I was able to do about 12 minutes before it did!

In a way, making this video was bitter sweet. It’s the final Obama parody I plan on making – after the election, regardless of who wins, the importance of making any Obama-related songs will go down significantly – and I’m glad to have been part of doing things that have helped get the word out about Obama and voting for him.  I’ve been making parodies about random topics for years, but to be able to make songs about a more focused topic has been very fun – AND beneficial to my career thus far!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits

1. Okay, costumes in the video: the first one – as myself – is the same outfit I wore in the “Vote Obama Style” video. The second one – me as a blond – was supposed to be me as Taylor Swift. However, I still have a thing about dressing completely in drag, so I wore my “Vote Obama Style” T-shirt and khaki pants instead (it looked like something a voter registrar would wear). The third one – me as Mario – I got that costume last Halloween, and have been making use of it ever since! And the fourth – me as a pink bunny – is a costume I got when I did a project for this website called “Very Smart Brothas.” Their site is excellent, btw, you should check it out!

2. When filming the video, I hadn’t recorded the “binders full of women” line yet, but knew I wanted to include it in the final video. So, I made sure to have each character say it, not knowing which one I would ultimately use. Then, while filming as Mario, I thought it would be funny to have him hold up a binder with a “Binder full of women, Vol. 1″ cover on it. And so, that’s how he got chosen to be the character that says it!

3. While filming as the blond girl, my roommate stopped by from work to pick something up. The look on her face seeing me in a blond wig: priceless.

4. Initially, I was  going to have “Taylor” playing the guitar. However, when I looked at the video again, I realized that she does not, at any time, play any kind of instrument in the video. However, there WAS a party scene where a bunch of guys dressed like different animals were playing instruments. I didn’t have a guitar, but I DID have a tennis racket that could be played by a pink bunny, so that’s what I went with!

5. I don’t normally do “full shots” of myself when using green screen. I record most green screen videos in my bedroom, where the space isn’t wide enough to get a full body shot. However, when I DO need full body shots (like in this video for A.P.T. and the pink bunny) I will move the green screen out to the living room and place my camera in the hallway so I can get a full shot.  The hardest part? Getting the wrinkles out of the part of the green screen that’s on the floor – if you don’t, you end up getting black shadows that show up later (check my feet as A.P.T. in the later part of the video – those black parts aren’t feet shadows, they’re the parts where wrinkles caused the green to shadow so I couldn’t remove it!).

And that’s it! Hope you enjoy the video, and be sure to get the song or my album from the links above!

-A.P.T.

Well, it’s finally here…

Introducing my NEW A.P.T. album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Click the picture above or HERE to preview/order the album on iTunes!

Track listing:

  1. The Next Black President
  2. Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)
  3. I Wanna Do Nicki Minaj
  4. Imma Fool Wit It feat. Kaptain Kutta
  5. I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney (We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together Parody)
  6. Words With Friends
  7. Pick Up Your Face feat. Johney Capo and DJ-T
  8. Christmas in Paris (Ni**as in Paris Parody)
  9. Zone Out
  10. Your Mama Is So Ugly
  11. Obama Milli Remix 2012 (A Milli Parody)
  12. Rich Man’s World
  13. Ooh, I’m a Model feat. Genellyn
  14. Black President (Rack City Parody)

Insights into the album:

In 2008 when I released the first “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I had NO idea what I was doing in terms of how to market myself. I had a hot song out at the time with “Obama Milli Remix” but didn’t really know how to capitalize on it or the wave of momentum it had. I released the album as a free mixtape, thinking only a few people would download it and that nobody would want to pay for it.

Fast-forward to the day of the election, and I wake up to find that the mixtape got downloaded over 8000 times… in ONE day.  doing the math, had I decided to charge for the mixtape and only 10% of those people – 800 – had decided to purchase the album, I would have made close to $5,000 in ONE day.

Ever since then, I’ve always wished I could (a) have another out that would hit as hard as “Obama Milli Remix” did, and (b) have another shot at marketing and promoting the album in a way where it would make an impact AND bring in some money.

Fast-forward 4 years later…

I knew I wanted to make a sequel to “The O-bama Mixtape,” but didn’t want to do it if it was going to be a waste of my time. I released a few songs earlier this year about Obama, but none of them were getting the views I felt would be needed to put the album together.

Then, in August, I heard about this song called “Gangnam Style” by a Korean pop artist named Psy.  After seeing the video – which had over 100 million views at the time (and has over 200 million now) – I KNEW I wanted to make a parody of it. I go into further detail in one of my earlier blogs, but in short: I came up with the idea to make a song about Obama using this song, then went and made an EPIC video for it that closely mimicked the original source material.

Well, after I put it up on YouTube, it started to get views. A LOT of views. In the first week alone, the video garnered well over 50,000 views. As of this writing it’s up to 95,000…

More importantly, though, the speed at which the views racked up have been FASTER than they were for “Obama Milli Remix.”  I already had “Vote Obama Style” up on iTunes (which, thus far, has been getting a LOT of purchases, but I won’t know how many until November), but wanted some of my other Obama songs to get attention as well.

I hadn’t really recorded enough songs lately for a new album (except for “Imma Fool Wit It,” originally released by Kaptain Kutta earlier this year – I just jumped on the beat ’cause I liked it and the song was siiiiick!). However, I HAD released a mixtape last year – “Justin Beeber Must Die!” – that had a lot of good songs on it but didn’t get the attention I wanted. I also had recorded songs earlier this year for the “Rapping My Life” project that fizzled out.

Since not many people had heard these songs, I figured “Hey, why not take some of those songs, mix them together with your Obama parody songs, and put the album up on iTunes?”

Okay, great idea – but what would I call the album?

This is where having a knowledge of the marketplace comes in. The original title was going to be “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Back in the White House.” However, with Psy’s “Gangnam Style” becoming a bigger hit by the day, I knew I wanted my songs to pop up in the iTunes search engine when people went there to find his song. In order to do that, my songs also had to have the same wording in it. Of course, I couldn’t name every song “Gangnam Style” parody…

BUT… I COULD place that title in MY album title so it would be attached to all the songs!

And thus, the OFFICIAL album title is… “A.P.T. Presents – The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)!”

Now, some of you may be familiar with my previous works, including the songs that reappear on this album. For those not familiar, though, here’s a brief synopsis of all the songs:

1. NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT – First appeared on the “The Next Black President” mixtape. It talks about how Blacks now have a better shot at being President thanks to Obama.

2. VOTE OBAMA STYLE – A parody of “Gangnam Style” talking about Obama’s reelection campaign, as well as my disdain for Romney.

3. I WANNA DO NICKI MINAJ – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. Discusses my desire for wanting the hottest rap female in the game!

4. IMMA FOOL WIT IT – First appeared on Kaptain Kutta’s “Red Dream 3″ mixtape (I think). Just a track where we’re slick-talking about how good/crazy we are!

5. I’M NEVER EVER GONNA VOTE FOR ROMNEY – A parody of Taylor Swift’s “We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Talks about Romney’s habit of flip-flopping his views.

6. WORDS WITH FRIENDS – First appeared on the “Rapping My Life” album. The beat was made using sounds from the actual game, and talks about how good I am at beating people in it.

7. PICK UP YOUR FACE – Features Johney Capo and my bro DJ-T. First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. A track for all the haters out there that didn’t believe we’d make it!

8. CHRISTMAS IN PARIS – A parody of Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Ni**as in Paris.” Features me as Santa Claus talking to kids about why they’re not getting gifts this year.

9. ZONE OUT – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. A song about having the worst day possible and trying to relax afterward.

10. YOUR MAMA IS SO UGLY – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. There’s a joke that says you can tell how fine a girl will be when she’s older by looking at her mom. This song talks about that…

11. OBAMA MILLI REMIX 2012 – A parody of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli.” Ever since I made the first “Obama Milli Remix” people have been asking me to make a sequel FOREVER. And so, here it is, with basically the same words plus some changes to talk about Romney instead of John McCain.

12. RICH MAN’S WORLD – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. Talks about the ups and downs of making it.

13. OOH, I’M A MODEL – Featuring Genellyn.  I wanted to make a minimalistic track that didn’t have many words to it, that girls could also dance to.

14. BLACK PRESIDENT – A parody of Tyga’s “Rack City.” That bastard stole my “Obama Milli Remix” song from me back in 2008, so this is light revenge for that. LoL. But really, it’s a GREAT track talking about re-electing Obama for President.

And that’s it! You can download the songs individually, or get the album – either way, I appreciate your support, and hope you enjoy the songs!

-A.P.T.

Get the album NOW – click HERE!

Greetings, well-wishers!

Just wanted to let you all know, my NEW album, “The O-Bama Mixtape 2: Vote Obama Style” has been sent off to iTunes! It should hit the stores tomorrow (or, at the latest, 10 days from now). Once it’s actually up, I will blog about it here and give you all the details on the album.

BTW, the “Vote Obama Style” video is very close to 100,000 views! Thanks to all that have viewed it, shared it, retweeted it, or played it repeatedly – all those views mean a LOT to me, and I can’t wait for you to see the other videos I have coming up for this album cycle!

-A.P.T.

ImageThis is the album cover for my NEW album, “A.P.T. Presents: The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Shout outs to Joe Hollywood for the instagram pic, as well as http://www.Cartoonize.net for implementing the oil paint-style look!

As for some album info, the album will have 12 songs* on it. Most are original songs but there are a few parodies on there too – obviously “Vote Obama Style,” but also “Black President,” “Christmas in Paris (Jay-Z and Kanye West Parody)” and one more parody I’m currently working on that I won’t reveal just yet :)

Once I record the last parody, I’ll be sending the album to iTunes and other stores for you to purchase, but it will definitely be sometime within the next 7 days. Stay tuned!!

-A.P.T.

*12 songs is the current amount planned, but may change.

Hey all!!

Well, after YEARS of trying to repeat the success of “Obama Milli Remix,” I have finally done it!

Yep, my new song/video, “Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)” is taking off better than I thought it would! It’s already reached 40,000 hits in a week’s time, and continues to get thousands of hits each day!

Since I got a buzz going with the song, now, it means I need to release an album. And, since people STILL remember the title of my first mixtape – “The O-Bama Mixtape” – I’m going to release part 2 in the series sometime next week!

The album title will be… hmm… well, right now I’m deciding between two titles: The one I’ve had in my head for years, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Back in the White House”; or, a title that correlates with what will be the most popular track on the album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style.” I figure people will probably go to iTunes and type in “gangnam obama style” or something similar, so it may be a good look to have that somewhere in the title.

As for the songs on the album… my last mixtape, “Justin Beeber Must Die,” had a LOT of good songs on it, but the album didn’t get downloaded as well as I wanted, mostly ’cause I had no videos for it and no real promo. So, I’m going to take some of the songs off that album and put them on this album. I’ll also include previous parodies not ever placed on an album – i.e. the Eminem “No Love” parody “No Glove,” Rack City parody “Black President,” and a few recent ones I did featuring Non Juan. I also plan to record at least 2 more parody songs and 1 original song, possibly as it correlates to the election.

The album will be released later in the week, and I’ll add a promo annotation to the “Vote Obama Style” video letting people know it’s out. I’m just glad to have a buzz-worthy single helping me get the word out about it!

-A.P.T.

Hey all,

As I type this, I realize I barely have time to type this. My life has been so busy lately: filming, starting a business, relationship stuff… it’s gotten to the point that I enjoy my days at home doing nothing ’cause it feels like I’m always doing stuff…

Anyway… so, I haven’t put out any new music of my own in a while. Not because I don’t want to, but mostly because I’m so focused on creating stuff that will make me some serious money, and at the moment music isn’t that thing. Yes, I enjoy making music immensely, but from a money-making standpoint I’ve never really wanted to do all the things artists have to do to be really, REALLY “successful” at the music game.

What do I mean? I hate the idea of having to do interviews; interacting with fans on a regular basis; having to uphold a particular image; being told by a music company what I’d have to create; performing on a night-to-night basis… the list goes on and on.

When I started doing music, it was with the hopes that I’d be recognized for my beats so that I could stay in the background and make music for others to enjoy. When I found I didn’t know how to meet artists to give my beats to, I started rapping on them in the hopes that artists would hear them and want to use them. I didn’t know it would result in me having a hit record, or having my music well-received by both peers and strangers.

Nowadays, most of the work I do involves me being in the background. I film/edit for other people; I make beats for various productions; and my puppet, Non Juan, allows me to be a puppeteer AND do voice over work – neither of which requires my face to be at the forefront of it. I also do background extra work for various shows here in L.A. (see: “Glee,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” various movies and commercials, etc.). I don’t have any desire to be a major actor, but I still like mingling with the crowd and it pays decently (especially if I have nothing to do that day – better to be getting paid to do something that sitting around not earning money).

Because of all this, putting together the kind of music I like to make has become harder and harder. I recently listened to my first two albums – “Attack of the Obama Milli Remix Guy” and “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back” – and I still think they are both really good albums. Not only are the beats bangin’, but the various topics and song ideas I had still sound different than what most artists are putting out. Back then, though, nobody knew who I was, so I was doing all I could to say things to create a stir, controversy, whatever, in the hopes of getting noticed. And it worked, too.

But now, it’s become more challenging to think up those kinds of songs. And when I do, sometimes it feels like I’m doing it purposely to cause a stir as opposed to doing it to make a point. I guess it’s easier to think of those kinds of songs when you’re close to broke and no one believes in you – once you start getting money in and people KNOW you can do it, those songs become harder to write.

Still… I DO have at least one more album in me. I’ve been talking about making the “Organized Chaos” album forever – heck, I even have a cover made for it – and I definitely want to record it sometime soon. I’ve already got beats lined up for it as well as a few song ideas I’ve written but haven’t recorded… so I’m sure it will come out at some point.

Most of my focus these days, though, is on launching Non Juan. He’s starting to get a buzz as an “Unofficial Spokesman” as well as regular business, plus I use him to create most of my parody songs now.  I think that as Non Juan comes more into focus, the A.P.T. side of music will become more of a hobby and less of the main focus of my life…

Regardless of what happens, though, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time doing music.  People spend their whole lives hoping to get put on in music, trying their darndest to make that one record or one song that changes their lives. I was blessed to have been able to do it by my 5th song (i.e. within 1 month of officially starting my music video journey) and for that I am forever grateful. Here’s hoping for even more success in the future, however it may come!

-A.P.T.

Today’s music insight is for my new video “Black President,” a parody of Tyga’s “Rack City.”

DOWNLOAD NOW: iTunes or Soundcloud

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

In 2008… geez, how many times have I told this story on this site?? Look, just click on the “Obama Milli Remix” link at the top of the page for the full story.

Anyway, the “Obama Milli Remix” song was a huge success. Back then, I knew there’d be an election coming up in 4 years, which would mean Obama would be running for re-election.  I didn’t know if I’d be making any more Obama-related parodies… okay, let’s be real: I knew I’d make some more – heck, I made a decent amount of money off the sales from the first song I did – but I didn’t want to make songs that would feel forced.

Fast-forward to January 2012. New year, new songs out that are banging. Right now one of the more popular rap songs out is Tyga’s “Rack City,” a song with an infectious-yet-simple beat and a chorus that is instantly singable.  I’ve had some beef with Tyga for a while now – mostly ’cause he took the remade “A Milli” beat I made with my voice singing “O-bama O-bama” on it and made his own Obama song without my permission OR recognition – but just ’cause I don’t like him personally doesn’t mean I can’t admit when he makes a good song.

So, while I didn’t want the parody I made to be with one of his songs… well, it’s in the top 10 on Billboard and it’s catchy, so I did it anyway!

Plus, the song just came to me so easily. I was walkin’ around singing the “Rack City” part of the chorus, and just started singing “Black President, Black – Black President.” It fit so well, and I knew at that point I had a song.

It’s a short song – only 2 minutes and 37 seconds long – so I didn’t have to write too much. With the previous song I had to think up 3 verses worth of material dealing with him running for office; this one was easier because all I had to do was pull from various things he’s gone through as President, in only 2 verses. The rhyme pattern on this one was also much, MUCH simpler than the one for “A Milli” was; with the latter I had to practice non-stop to get it, whereas this one has more of a straight flow to it.

Despite the easiness of writing the song, recording it was a biznich.  I’m much more particular these days about how my songs sound when I record them, so I’m always critiquing my recordings for little mistakes here and there. I didn’t want to double-up my voice on the verses or make it sound like there were any pauses in recording, which meant I had to do the main recording line of the song in one take. The main problem ended up being with my microphone – specifically, it’s so powerful that it can pick up little noises, including the humming sound coming from my laptop motor.  It took me forever to figure out how to create a sound barrier that would significantly lessen the sound coming from it. (Note: I still need to buy a longer reach for my microphone and build a full-on soundproof box to place it in for when I record.)

Once I finally got it right, I turned up the automatic tuning on my voice (to make it sound somewhat auto-tuned) and voila! Song complete!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. A few lines in the song got changed last minute. For example, I had the line: “Two kids, heck no he ain’t celibate” to match the line in Tyga’s song: “F–kin’ all night, n!@@a we ain’t celibate.” It got changed to me rapping about how Michelle Obama could “Knock your lights out, you don’t wanna take a hit (Pow!)”. I changed it mostly ’cause the first line I had written sounded awkward.  I also did a major retooling of the last 4 lines of verse two – originally I had the lines: “Oh, man, what do I do? Killed Osama and we still not cool…” etc. However, I’m a stickler with trying to rhyme as many of the words with words that were in the original song, and “do” and “cool” don’t rhyme with “racks” and “bad”.

2. The lines in the song about Obama visiting Roscoe’s chicken and waffles was a last-minute addition. I already knew I wanted to mention the Al Green thing where he sang some verses at Apollo theater, and was trying to fit it in in the place where the Roscoe’s part now is.  It ended up working better the other way around.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Once I finished writing the song, I began envisioning how I wanted to shoot the video. My first thoughts always go to green screen; however, at the moment I don’t have it set up and didn’t feel like waiting. Plus, I noticed that most of my videos have a bunch of stand still shots in them where the camera isn’t moving – in part, because I don’t often have someone else who can hold the camera for me.

So, I placed up a Facebook status saying I would pay someone $25 to follow me around with a camera. Lo and behold, my friend Sasha – who’s shot videos for and with me before (see: “Big Moochin’ Fella,” “Teach Me How to Snuggie”) – hit me up and said she was down to shoot!

We only went two places, but were able to get a lot of good shots. The first was Fox Hills mall; we shot in two parking lots, and in front of a J.C. Penny’s wall. The second was Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles – not the one Obama actually went to, but a new one that just opened near my apartment (I’m all for saving gas money and not going too far to shoot stuff if possible). I wanted a shot of me eating the chicken and waffles, so we went there and actually ordered some food just so I could get it filmed.

Once I got the filmed shots I needed, i went home and downloaded various Obama news and/or event clips off YouTube to add to my video. A couple of days later, and the video was done – and came out hilarious!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. The one thing I forgot to research prior to going to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles was what President Obama ordered when he went there. Sasha suggested I get the “Succulent Breast and Waffle” (that’s what it says on the menu, lol); I was leaning towards getting some dark meat. I decided to get the #9, i.e. 3 wings and a waffle. When I got home, I researched it and discovered that the President had ordered the EXACT SAME THING when he was there!! What are the odds?!?

2. I like dancing in my videos because… well, I won’t be able to dance like I do now forever, so it’s nice to have it documented :)

3. The girl walking in front of me that I try to “dance” with is Sasha. Her cameo was an improved idea by me while I was in the midst of my dance sequence. She’s also the fist responsible for punching me in the face.

4. At the end of the video, you see me on camera with a Hampton University T-shirt. This is my alma mater. More importantly, though, during the last campaign I had hoped they would hit me up and ask me to perform “Obama Milli Remix,”  but I hadn’t worn anything in the video that indicated I went to the school! So, for this year, whenever I do an Obama-related song, I’ll have the HU paraphernalia on somewhere in it. Hopefully they’ll reach out to me this time!

And that’s it! Watch the video, download the song, and share it with your friends today!

- A.P.T.

Today’s video insight is for the song “Christmas in Paris,” a parody of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni@@as in Paris!”

Download from any of the following:

iTunes – click HERE
Amazon – click HERE
Soundclick – click HERE
Zippyshare – click HERE

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

When I first heard Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” album, the 3rd track, “N!@@as in Paris,” was the one that caught my attention. Apparently, everyone else felt the same way: since the album’s release, the song has hit number 8 on Billboard (and rising); almost everyone and their grandma has released their own remix of it on YouTube; and, when I went to their concert this past Sunday, the duo performed it SEVEN TIMES (and NINE times last night according to my friend), and the crowd never seemed to tire from hearing it.

Very few songs come along where just about EVERYONE who hears it likes it, and where it’s so infectious it can be played hundreds of times and keep you hyped up each time.  This is one of those songs. And when these types of songs come along… well, I know that means it’s my job to make a parody of it!!

Aside from that, I wanted to release a song specifically meant for the holidays.  I haven’t released a Christmas song before, but they’re always good to have available for sale in November/December since those types of tunes are being bought.

So, I decided to make my parody version of “Paris” about something Christmas-related.  I went with the angle of me being a Santa Claus that’s explaining to bad kids why they’re not getting gifts from me this year.  It’s almost like an anti-Christmas song in the sense that Ol’ St. Nick isn’t being his jolly self, but rather a person tired of bad kids asking him to look past their misdeeds all year just so they can get a gift.

Writing the song was surprisingly easy – I think it only took about 20 minutes or so.  Once I found the beat(s) on YouTube, I downloaded them and began recording.

As part of the write-up for the song, I wanted to use my regular voice, as well as a kid’s voice for the parts where I have a kid begging Santa for gifts.  The only real kid voice I have is the one that sounds similar to the voice I use for my puppet character, Non Juan, so I decided to go full out and use him in the song… which would then also give me an excuse to use him in the video.  Smart thinkin’, right?

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The original version of “Paris” has 2 beats – one used for most of the song, and one used for the breakdown. I couldn’t seem to find a version of the beat produced by one person that had both beats that sounded good, so I split it up. The main song beat was produced by YouTube user juan777ish; the latter beat was produced by YouTube user GeneralsBeats.

2. The line “No gifts for your muffin…” is a secret shout-out to one of my cousins who calls me that all that time. Still makes sense for use in the song, though…

3. The “Ho Ho Ho Ho” at the end is an ad-lib.  After Non Juan’s scream, I wasn’t going to have any more vocals, but just said it to see how it sounded. I liked it, so I kept it.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

I had so many ambitious ideas for this video, to the point that it almost stalled me from making it.

At first, I wanted to get actual kids to use in the video instead of Non Juan (my bro thought it might make the vid turn out better).  Of course, that means having to schedule kids, get the parent’s permission for dates and times, hoping they can do a take right, making them listen to the part of the song you want them to lip sync and hoping they get it… quite the hassle.

Then, I was thinking I wanted to film it outside in front of a decorated house… but that would mean having to ask the person who lived there if I could use the front of their yard, and possibly having to pay them. Plus, I’d have to get someone to film me since I don’t have a camera stand…

At some point, I had to stop and think back to when I was making videos in Atlanta. No help, no budget, nothing but a camera, a silly idea, and time on my hands.  Best of all, it was SIMPLE. I didn’t have to consult with anybody about what would be a good idea, I just went by my instincts.

So, that’s what I did this time around: kept it simple.  I’d just decorated the apartment with a Christmas tree and some stockings, and had access to a chair that looked like something Santa would sit in.  In lieu of an official camera light kit, I used my roommate’s highly-lit 3-pronged lamp (which uses the same bulbs as most camera light kits anyway) and placed it in front of me.  Then, I set up a table chair across from where I’d be sitting and used it to prop up my Flip Ultra HD camera.

Yeah, like I said, back to basics, people!

As for the Santa costume… turns out, renting a Santa costume cost about $70 that I didn’t want to spend.  However, going to Target and getting a Santa hat ($4), some fake cotton snow to use for a beard ($3.59) and a green shirt with Santa’s face on it that says “Don’t Stop Believin’” ($9) was MUCH more cost-effective (yet still more than I spend on most of my videos).

I put the costume on, sat in the chair, and filmed the video.  I did a few shots by myself (one with sunglasses on) and a few with Non Juan in my lap as the kid. Then, I moved the placement of the Christmas tree, stood in front of the wall next to it, and did some more shots of me performing the song and/or dancing to it.  Really, really simple shoot, about 5 or 6 takes in all.

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. To keep the fake snow beard on,  I used scotch tape and tucked the top part of the beard into the hat.  Midway through the shots of me standing up and performing, the left side of my beard fell out of the hat, so I had to stop, re-tape and re-tuck, then go back to filming.

2. I have 2 Non Juan puppets; the one I used for this shoot has a hole in his back where my hand can go. However, I didn’t want that hole showing when I was spanking him; I had to hold him at an awkward angle so as not to show it.

3. The various footage of Santa Claus flying in his sleigh was found at www.iSpotSanta.com, a hilariously great website where people post up “footage” of Santa flying over different places.

4. The moving effects for the video at the part where the beat breaks down was found by accident. I wanted to use the earthquake effect to make things shake (thus making that part of the song and the beat seem powerful), but it wasn’t quite giving off the full effect I wanted.  I saw something in the editing bay that said “Quick Flash/Spin,” and when I tried it, I instantly KNEW it had to be used!

5. The “Mom” used in this video is my roommate, Danielle.  Ironically, the “infant” crying near the end of the video is her son (and my Godson).  He was making a fuss about something one day; with this song in mind, I ran to my room, grabbed my camera, and was able to film him just as his crying spell was ending.  (Oh, and then I comforted him. Yeah, had to add that in so I wouldn’t look like I cared more about filming than soothing a crying child :P)

6. Editing time for this video was… I can’t even count. It was longer than I thought it would take, especially given that I only used 5 or 6 takes. A lot of video editing is figuring out where to place things, how certain parts of the video should look, and it’s making these decisions that takes the longest. Actual editing was probably about 5 or 6 hours, but it felt a LOT longer.

And that’s it! Be sure to download the song, share the video with your friends, request it at radio… you know the dilly!

-A.P.T. (Prince of Parody)

Introducing the NEW album from A.P.T….

Featuring 14 HOT tracks:

FREE Download – Click one of the following links:

zShare   4Shared   Zippyshare

INSIGHT INTO AN ALBUM:

Way, waaaaaaay back in January, I was going out to dinner at Benihana for my birthday.  I was sitting in the lobby with my Aunt Debi waiting for my other 2 friends to arrive, when I noticed 2 boys to the right of me – they looked to be of pre-teen age – staring in my direction.

A few seconds after I saw them, they came over to me and asked the following question:

“Excuse me… are you the ‘O-bama Mixtape’ guy?”

I was in shock.  The year is now 2011, and these two kids were referencing a mixtape I put out almost 3 years ago while living in Atlanta. Of course, it helps that the mixtape contained my unexpected worldwide smash hit, “Obama Milli Remix,” a song so popular that it helped “The O-Bama Mixtape” get downloaded over 10,000 times.

And, although I have been recognized a few times in public before, it was the first time I was able to see just how far my demographic went in terms of the younger crowd – the oldest kid here couldn’t be more than 13, which means he wouldv’e been 10 or 11 when the mixtape came out.

More importantly, though, they seemed to be very excited to meet me. Like, really, they were giddy. Giddy! They were like “OMG, we thought it was you, we’re such HUGE fans!!” It was surreal. I thanked them for the kind words and told them I’d have more music coming out soon.

In reality… well, it was true: I had released my “Prince of Parody Vol. 1″ album back in October 2010, but I hadn’t really focused on recording my own new original material. Up until that point, I didn’t think anyone really cared all that much about listening to tracks of mine that were originals… but now, with this one incident, I became motivated to do it again!

And now, some 11 months later, the album is finally here!

Okay, so I’m sure you’re probably curious as to WHY I named my album what I named it.  First off, for legal purposes I must state the following: The character of “Justin Beeber” – spelled with two e’s in his last name – is fictional; any person living or named with a similar-sounding name is strictly coincidental.

Anyway: so, this fictional Beeber guy that I made up, is a guy who sings poppy songs that make girls cry. However, he recently decided to try his hands at rapping. As a fan of hip-hop, I always hate the idea of random people trying their hand at rapping simply because “it’s something to try.” In the process, they don’t take into account the history of the genre, the importance of song choice, or the fact that not everyone needs to rap.

So, one of the reasons I named the album “Justin Beeber Must Die” is to emphasize that point.  The other reason? Eh, I thought it would be a catchy title that would get me some attention. And if you’re reading this, that means it worked!

The album itself is on par with my previous stuff.  Many artist say “oh, this is my best work” with every album. Me, I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent with each album. I always try to come up with songs that are slightly different from what else is currently out, and did the same for this one. I will say that I did go for different types of beats – some with pre-recorded choruses and/or samples not being used…

I also made sure to pick out different producers to mix up the sounds of the beats.  I still got my beats from Kaptain Kutta (formerly King Kut/K.K.O.F.), 4 of which made this album.  I also used beats from Mister K.A., Koncept Beats, Beat Basement, Heavyweight Beats… AND, I produced two of the tracks as well: the Michael Jackson-inspired (and sampled) “Second 2 None” and “Mr. Plow,” which I’m pretty sure is going to be a HUGE hit once I make the right video for it…

The album is a FREE download. However, if you’d like to further support me, you can go to the official site for the album, www.JustinBeeberMustDie.com, and send in a donation.  Thanks for the support, and enjoy the album!

-A.P.T.

Hey people:

So… first off, my NEW album drops on November 1st, free download so make sure u get your FREE download of it.

Anyway… so I’m mixing my songs together out of Garageband. Those of you familiar with the program have probably faced frustration at getting a mix together that sounds loud while in Garageband; yet, upon exporting your song, the volume goes down a bit.

This has frustrated me for YEARS, and up until this point I couldn’t figure out WHY the program kept doing that.  After all, I had marked the tab in the “Preferences” menu asking me if I wanted my songs exported at full volume, yet it never seemed to occur…

Just a few minutes ago – after trying to export my songs, then import them into Final Cut so I could turn the volume up and re-export them – I did a search online hoping I could figure out the answer to this problem.  And guess what? I did.

So, you wanna know how to export your songs at full volume? Here’s the solution: do NOT click the little box asking you if you want to export at full volume.

Yes, THAT’S the solution.  If you don’t choose that option, your songs will export fine. So…

WHAT THE HECK IS THE POINT OF HAVING THAT OPTION THERE IF IT DOESN’T ACTUALLY MAKE YOUR SONGS EXPORT AT FULL VOLUME?!?

That’s like me saying “Click on the following link to download my album,” and when you do you only get a sampler of 5 songs… but if you ignore the link and just scroll down, you can get it in its entirety.  WHAT KIND OF BACKWARD-@$$ BULL$#!+ IS THAT?!?!?

Anyway… I’m just glad I figured this out before exporting out songs for my album. But GEEZ, as much as Apple likes to make things simple, did they really have to make exporting full-volumed stuff so dang complicated?!?

-A.P.T.

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