Note: The “Go Hard Remix” video is now available for FREE Download!  Click HERE for more info!

This week’s video is for the song “Go Hard (Remix)” featuring DJ Khaled, T-Pain and Kanye West (produced by The Runners)!

This song appears on the following mixtape:

mixtape-cover-apt-presents-the-next-black-president-aka-back-on-my-grind

THE NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT (a.k.a. BACK ON MY GRIND)!

Featuring the hits: “Go Hard Remix” with DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain, plus “O-bama O-Bama MegaRemix” with Tyga, “#1” with Jay-Z, “Where My Money At” and more!!

Click HERE for mixtape and download info!!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

In putting together my latest mixtape, “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind),” I was looking for songs that I wanted to parody.

As I did more and more original songs for the mixtape, though, I started to realize that (a) I had a lot of good ORIGINAL material, and (b) if I wanted to have people start taking me seriously as an artist, it would be wise to release a mixtape that didn’t have any parodies on their so people could see that I had real skill.

Prior to this thought, though, I had downloaded the beat to this song called “Go Hard,” featuring DJ Khalid, T-Pain and Kanye West. I heard the song once back in August, but it wasn’t until about 2 weeks ago after I saw the music video for it that I really began to like the song.

I downloaded the original song, and thought to myself: “Man, I would LOVE to use this beat for a song on my mixtape!” I found the beat, and was going to try and make a parody – something obvious, like “Go Hard,” only talking about trying to get it up in the sack – but decided against it. (Plus, I kinda did that idea already with “Erectile Dysfunction,” and I don’t wanna make too many songs about that, lest the ladies think I really have a problem performing my “manly” duties!)

Instead, I decided it would be cool if I did a remix to it. I didn’t want to do two full verses, though, so I decided to keep T-Pain’s chorus and Kanye’s first verse, then have my verse come in second. A pretty ballsy move on my part – there’s always a danger as a new artist that people will hear the first verse of a song, then skip to the next one without ever hearing your verse.  Still, the verse I had sounded better as the second verse, so that’s where I put it!

As for my verse… well, even though I didn’t go the parody route, I still ended up talking about “going hard” in the sense of popping Viagra and Enzyte! I talk about going hard like a man in Vegas who pops the helpful little pills, only to end up taking too many and staying “hard” for more than 10 hours. It ends up being a metaphor for how “hard” I go on a track even when told to “stay down.” Even though the verse is funny, I had to make sure my delivery was just as HAAAAARD as T-Pain and Kanye’s verses.  If you ask me, I think I pulled it off!

Some Interesting Song Insights:

1. Back when I did “The KKKramer Song” (from The A.P.T. LP – get your copy today!), I mentioned how I don’t like to use the N-word in songs. Therefore, once I downloaded the original song and the instrumental, I went through the entire song and edited out all uses of the N-word by T-Pain, Kanye and DJ Khalid. Yes, I kept all the other curse words in there. No, I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me to hear those other words but not the N-word – at least the other ones don’t sound racist!

2. I was originally going to just use the Viagra metaphor in one line – i.e. “I’m fitn’a go hard/harder than an old man on Viagra” – but that seemed to be the very obvious route go to, and I couldn’t think of any metaphors beyond that. This is why I dragged the scenario out all the way until near the end of the verse. It’s similar in vein to the way Eminem would have done it.

3. The last line of my verse is spoken by Kanye – “F–k y’all n—ers, I’m outta here!” The reason I left that line in the song? When he says the word “here” it’s at the same time as T-Pain when he starts singing the chorus. I couldn’t edit the transition into the chorus without having part of Kanye’s “here” in the mix. Rather than try to fight it, I just said “Screw it – I’ll let him have the last line of my verse instead!”

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I really, really, REALLY wasn’t planning on shooting a video for this today.

I was actually going to shoot a video for “Hooptie,” the last song off “The A.P.T. LP” that needs a video. I even had the idea for how I want to shoot it.

Unfortunately, that idea meant having an actual car to shoot the video in. I don’t have a car, I didn’t have enough time to use my brother’s car (since I didn’t think of it until after we were about to hit the road back home from my Grandma’s Thanksgiving gathering), and I didn’t have enough money to rent a car. I start my new job today, though, so I should (hopefully) have enough money in soon to shoot the video for it within the next 2 weeks.

In the meantime, I knew I still needed a video, so I figured, “Hey, why not shoot one for one of the songs off the new mixtape?” And here we are!

The video shoot idea for this one was REAL simple. I wanted to do the video in a style similar to the original “Go Hard” video – not with the same camera shots, mind you, but with the idea of simplicity: just me in front of a camera, along with T-Pain and Kanye West…

Oh, wait – I don’t actually KNOW those guys well enough to call them down to my video shoots… Hmm…

So, I went with my second idea: I could portray them by wearing symbolic things indicating I was them. For the part of T-Pain, I wanted to get a top hat and dreads.

One problem: I’m broke!

So, after scrounging around my room, I found a long and narrow rectangular box that looked kind of like a top hat. However, the flaps on the side wouldn’t stay straight enough to give it a 100% top-hat look. After a quick deliberation with myself, I decided to add some paper eyes to the front flap, thus giving the appearance that I had eyes even though the flap covered up my actual eyes. Genius!

For Kanye’s part, I simply wore the Kanye “Stronger” glasses I got back at his concert in May. So far, I’ve worn these glasses in two other videos: “Shout Out 2 My Big Girls” and, most recently (like, last week recently), “Stop Cock-Blockin’.” I also wanted to keep his outfit simple, as he seems to be wearing more down-to-earth stuff in the “Go Hard” video. Thus, the shirt I’m wearing with the name of me and my bro’s ideal record label name, “Buckbo Entertainment.” (You may have first seen this shirt in video #12, “I’m Gonna Make It” – there’s a picture of me and my bro wearing it.)

As for my part, I figured that I, too, should dress down, as if I were just hangin’ out with the guys. I decided to wear the T-shirt I got back in 2004 when I attended the Jay-Z and R. Kelly “Best of Both Worlds” tour (back when they were still talking to each other and hadn’t yet broken up the tour) and some brown shorts (also worn in the “I’m Gonna Make It” video).

And of course, I had to put it in Black and White, just like the original video. All in all, it came out pretty well, and only took 13 minutes to shoot – in one take!

Some Interesting Video Insights:

1. The camera itself was kept stationary, similar to what I did in the “Obama Obama” video, only this time I didn’t cut the camera off. I filmed the entire video straight through in one shot so that the background would also look stationary the entire time (i.e. no small little off movements – yes, I notice those types of things).

2. The hardest part of the shoot was wearing the box on my head. Right above me was our chandelier, and I had to duck down so I wouldn’t hit it with the top of the box!

3. I didn’t just want to shoot the video in front of a boring old flat wall. Luckily, the wall I used is one that has 3 squares on it. Sometimes, even a simple addition to a background can make it less boring!

4. I didn’t know what to wear for the “T-Pain” part in terms of clothing, since most of his clothing in his videos seem pretty elaborate. I figured a vest would be a good contrast to “Kanye” and me, who were more dressed down.

5. While editing, it dawned on me to start the song with the first panel of the video.  Usually I have all my “Get A.P.T. Stuff” advertisements run BEFORE I actually start the song.  However, I wanted people to get into the song right away, as soon as they clicked on it.  So, the video runs the length of the song, nothing more, nothing less!

6. Estimated time for editing: About 20 minutes to add the effects, 39 minutes to transfer the video into Windows Media, another 2 hours to cut and splice everything together… so, about 4 hours total.  Also, I would have added more edit cuts and effects, but I ended up calling the cops on my roommates after I heard screams of “Stop It! You’re hurting me!” coming from the woman half of the couple.  I can’t wait to get my own place…

That’s all for now! Incidentally, “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back on My Grind)” mixtape is available NOW for FREE download – consider it my Christmas gift to you!

Only 23 more videos to go – see ya next week!

-A.P.T.

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

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