Category: Comedy


NEW ALBUM, “The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style” now on iTunes! Click HERE to preview/buy it today!

Hey all!

First of all, I don’t know why I’m still shocked that people actually stop by my webpage and read stuff.  I’m definitely thankful, but considering I don’t advertise my website nearly as much as I probably should, it’s cool to be getting an average of 20 to 30 readers a day looking to see if I made any updates.

Well, readers, here’s some stuff to tide you over for a while!

For starters, the “Vote Obama Style” video is doing very well. On average it’s getting somewhere between 6000-9000 views a day, and even that number is starting to rise. Between all the channels I have the video on (my two youtube channels, plus some guy who downloaded the video and posted it up on his page – don’t worry, I made sure he provided the iTunes link so I could still get sales off his viewers), the video’s currently up to 150,00 views in less than 3 weeks! Best of all, I’ve had a couple celebrities re-tweet my video – Brandon T. Jackson and Vivica A. Fox – both of which definitely helped boost my video views. So… yay!!!

I also got some more good news this week… um… dang… but I don’t want to jinx it until it actually happens. What I can say is, I’m doing another video shoot that I will insert into the current video, one that will result in me being able to get even more exposure for the song and video.  Yeah, that’s a good way to word it for now!
Lastly, now that the album – “The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)” – is up on iTunes, I still have a few more videos I need to do to make sure I get good sales within the next month. I’m realistic in my understanding that there may be a dip in sales for Obama-related stuff once the election is over, so any Obama songs I have need to be out with videos before November. To that end, I have 2 more of those types of videos coming up – one for my Taylor Swift parody, “I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney;” and, a video for a song people have been asking me to do since 2008: a remix to my “Obama Milli Remix” song (I guess that would make it a re-remix? Would that be a double negative? LoL!).  That’s right, there’s a 2012 version of “Obama Milli Remix,” which means I had to make a video for it. That one will be released on October 3, the same day as the first debates, so be on the look out for it!

That’s all for now, peeps! Be sure to get the album, on sale at iTunes now – just click HERE to preview/buy it today!

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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.

On Monday, Rihanna released a remix to her unfinished album track, “Birthday Cake,” featuring none other than her ex-boyfriend and abuser, Chris Brown.

Having heard about this collaboration, I couldn’t help but think of another female recording artist who also used to get beat up by her male collaborator. So, I decided to put together a little video imagining what that studio session might have been like…

I put it up on YouTube. 24 hours later, it was already at 1800 views. Then it got placed on www.WorldStarHipHop.com where, as of right now, it’s at 90,000 views and counting.

A good majority of people found the video to be hilarious (and how could they not – I basically just re-dubbed the scene in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” where Tina Turner gets slapped around in the studio by Ike). However, there have been a large amount of people that thought the video was not funny (my brother being one of those people, lol).

Specifically, they said it was “dark,” “disturbing,” and “wrong.” They also thought it was something that shouldn’t be joked about. To all those people, I say…

WELL, DUH!

Of COURSE this video is dark, disturbing and wrong – but that’s the POINT of the video!

Look, people: it’s been 3 years since Rihanna got beat up by Chris Brown. Since that time many people in the public eye have been able to forgive Chris for what he did and listen to his music again, and that’s fine. I know God teaches forgiveness, and the man shouldn’t have to be chastised for the event everywhere he goes.

BUT…

What I’ve had a problem with is OTHER people treating the incident as a less-than-serious event.  The majority of people who have made comments about not liking my video have been Chris Brown fans. These are the same fans who, in the last couple of weeks, have placed comments on CB sites saying things like “Chris Brown is so fine, he can beat my ass up anytime!” or “Beat me up, Chris, I love you!”

To me, these types of comments aren’t funny. Even LESS funny is that the victim of his abuse, Rihanna, has also started treating that incident as a “non-event.”  She could’ve dang near died at his hands in the car that night – but, lo and behold, 3 years later and there she is in pics with him again, hugging up lookin’ all cozy, while flipping off the camera in photos as if to say, “Yeah, I know y’all don’t think I should be around him, but F–K YOU!”

What she fails to see, perhaps as the result of being too love-struck to care, is that abuse is based on a pattern of events. Once those patterned events start happening again (i.e. small arguments, then small fights, then big fights, etc.), it won’t be hard for an incident such as the one in the above video come to fruition.

Anyway… that’s why I made the video: it’s more or less a humorous (or “not-so-humorous” depending on your view) warning to her about what COULD happen if she keeps acting like Chris won’t try to hurt her again. He may not, but why take the risk?

– A.P.T.

P.S. Oh yeah – someone on my YouTube page made the comment that “domestic violence isn’t funny.” They’re right, it’s not. But situational irony is. This is more or less playing out like the Ike & Tina story, which everyone knows about. The fact that Rihanna knows that story yet doesn’t feel the need to learn from it is pretty funny (and sad) to me. Blame it on my years of watching “South Park,” LoL.

 

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)

Hey all! I decided to do a parody of a popular song – in this case, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni–as in Paris,” and turn it into a Christmas song called “Christmas in Paris!” It’s been sent to iTunes, and should be available very, very soon. In the meantime, I’m allowing it to be a FREE download for the next week, so get it and pass it around to your friends!

Here’s the song in YouTube video form (depending on how popular it is, I may make a video for it)!

And here’s the FREE download link: http://www37.zippyshare.com/v/9499906/file.html

-A.P.T.

Today’s music video is for the song “No U Aint” – the Lakers 2010 Finals Anthem Remix (produced by K.K.O.F.)

DOWNLOAD FOR .99 CENTS – Click HERE (Amazon) or HERE (iTunes)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

After I released the original version of “No U Aint” (which can be seen HERE), I knew I wanted to make a Lakers’ version of the song.  At the time, they had just won the Western conference playoffs and were now heading into the finals against the Boston Celtics.  Furthermore, the “No U Aint” shirt creators had made 2 versions of the shirt that utilized the Lakers’ uniform colors, gold and purple, so I thought it’d be a good way to give the Lakers AND the shirts some more promo.

Unfortunately for me, there was just one SMALL problem: I have never really been much of a sports watcher.  Aside from the big names on the team (Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher), I didn’t really know much about the player or the team to write as good of a song as I could were I a bit more knowledgeable about them.

So, I did what any guy in my situation would do – RESEARCH!

I went on Wikipedia, did a few read-ups on the teams and some of its players (as well as on Boston’s team and players), and started formulating ideas about what I could say in the song.

Since the song is a remixing of the original “No U Aint,” I had to keep the general idea of telling an opposite entity that they could NOT do something – in this case, the Boston Celtics. I go to town on them about some of their players not being as good as they think, their team not being as good as they think, and their chances of winning this year’s championship not being as… well, you get the idea.

When I started writing the song, though, another problem occurred: the Lakers were actually DOWN in the finals series by a game, and their chances of actually winning it this year was looking slimmer and slimmer.

Despite this, I released the song to iTunes, and prayed to God that the Lakers would step their game back up so (a) they’d win, and (b) I’d be able to make song sales a LOT easier.  And they did, so… YAY!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Prior to making this song, I had NO idea who most of the players were. To get a better understanding of what I was writing about, I started watching games.  The more I watched, the more I actually got into watching them.  Who knows, I might actually start following the sport next year!

2. There’s a couple of lines in the song where it may sound like I’m dissing the Lakers, but I’m not.  I say “Winning titles back to back (no u aint, no u aint) and you did it without Shaq? (no u aint, no u aint).”  The first line is actually doubting the ability of the Celtics to win, while the second line is actually meant to be a dig at Shaq, who once said the Lakers couldn’t win a championship without him.

3. Whereas the original version of “No U Aint” took me 15-20 minutes to write for the verses, this version took me almost 2 days.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

During one of the games, I went to spend time with the rest of the “No U Aint” shirt crew (i.e. my peeps from the KJLH Mixtdown show on 102. 3 FM – listen to it each Saturday, people!).  My friend Joe brought along a camera and we filmed them wearing/holding up the shirts and saying “NO U AINT” a bunch of times into the camera.

I later decided to use this footage, along with footage from the first “No U Aint” video, for the remix version.  In addition, I found clips of game 7 on YouTube, as well as footage of Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest in post-game interviews, to put into the mix as well.

That’s pretty much it.

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits

1. The guy wearing the black & red “No U Aint” shirt was actually rooting for the Celtics 😦

2. The woman in the beginning of the video is YoYo, a hip-hop artist who was on Ice Cube’s song “Don’t Play With My YoYo” in the 90s.

3. The girl sitting down who’s wearing the purple shirt with gold “No U Aint” letters is the same girl that shot the footage for the opening of the first “No U Aint” video on her phone.  She had actually taken a shot of herself in that footage but I cut it out because I didn’t know if she’d want me to use her image in the video.  At the shoot for this one I asked her if she would have been cool with it and she said “of course!” So now, I put her in this video 🙂

That’s all for now – download the song and support your 2010 world champs!

-A.P.T.

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!

JOIN ME ON USTREAM TUESDAY, MAY 18TH 2010, FOR A LIVE DISCUSSION ABOUT MY NEW ALBUM,
“THE OBAMA MILLI REMIX GUY STRIKES BACK!”
Follow me at http://www.ustream.tv/aptsongs

Today’s music video is for “The Betty White Song (I’m Makin’ Moves),” produced by ME! (That’s right, I make beats, too, people!)

Get your copy of “The Betty White Song” for only 99 cents: http://tinyurl.com/bettywhitesong

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This story begins with my friend, Danielle. (Yes, D, you’re getting called out on this blog.  Just accept it.)

She, like many of my friends, is a big fan of the 1980s sitcom, “The Golden Girls.” She received the first two seasons on DVD for her birthday.  I went to visit her one day in late February/early March and she had the DVDs playing on her TV in heavy rotation. So, I sat down to watch it with her.

5 episodes later… that show is actually pretty good!  I mean, yeah, I was around for it when I was little, but I was too busy watching cartoons to give “Golden Girls” any REAL attention.

Anyway, since I’m always looking for interesting samples to make beats with, I thought it would be cool to see if I could take the beat of the theme song from “Golden Girls” and remix it into a hip-hop beat on my Garage Band program.  I went home, found the beat online, and got to work.

Yada yada yada…

After many failed attempts, I finally figured out how to put the beat into the Garage Band keyboard so I could play the sections of the beat I wanted to use (verses my older method, which consisted of cutting and dragging the sample around until I looped it just right). I took sections of the beat, placed them in the keyboard buttons, and within about 30 minutes or so I had an idea of how I wanted the beat to sound.  Yay!

Okay, so I had the beat… but no song.  So the beat sat around for a while…

Meanwhile, one of the star’s of “Golden Girls,” Betty White, has been having a banner year.  She was in a top-grossing comedy last year (“The Proposal,”) a very popular Snickers commercial during the Superbowl, and she got invited to do Saturday Night Live (backed by a Facebook petition where thousands of people BEGGED her to be on the show).

With all that said, I figured creating a song that had her name mentioned on the chorus – combined with the beat I had just made from the “Golden Girls” sample – would be a perfect combo for a hit.

I actually wanted to give the beat to Young Jeezy.  I heard he was coming to town as part of Jay-Z’s tour, and I was trying to see if I could get a hook-up to meet him.  I had an idea for the chorus that would have been PERFECT… but I’m not giving out any ideas on here.  Industry rule #4080, people!

Since I couldn’t get to Jeezy, though, I decided I’d have to jump on the song myself.  I re-worked the chorus idea I had so it would sound like something I’d say.  And then…

Nothing.

Yes, the beat laid silent with no words from me for almost two months.  Finally, this past week, it dawned on me that, even though I wanted to include the song on my album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back” (available June 8th, 2010), it would be good to have a video up for it by today, since Betty White will be hosting SNL later this evening and her name will be high in the search engines after the show airs.

Writing this song – under a time constraint – was actually quite a chore.  Not only could I not seem to come up with words as fast as I normally do, but I was also editing videos for OTHER people.  At one point, I figured I could just re-use lyrics from some of my mixtape songs (since I couldn’t really sell those songs anyway) and re-use them.  I did do that for a few of the lyrics…

…but then, after I did my research a bit, I was able to come up with more stuff to mention in the song that would cleverly make reference to some of the things Betty White has been associated with (i.e. certain shows, movies, people, etc.).

That’s pretty much it in terms of basic stuff about the song.  Now, onto the…

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. And now for some fun: so, just how many of the lyrics reference something Betty White-related?  Check the list:

  • “Still out on the grind, doin’ live TV shows” – An indirect reference to her SNL hosting gig
  • “Taking girls back nightly to my Golden Palace” – “Golden Palace” was the “sequel” show to Golden Girls, which Betty White also starred in.  It only lasted one season.
  • “And to tell the truth, my swag game’s absurd…” – “To Tell The Truth” is a game show Betty White appeared on many times.
  • “I ain’t even gotta open my mouth – I’m ‘pass words’ (past words)” – “Passwords” was the game show her late husband hosted.  She was also a frequent guest on this show.
  • “I’m bringing down the house…” – “Bringing Down the House” was a movie Betty White starred in with Queen Latifah.  It grossed over $100 million at the box office.
  • “I got girls from L.A. to St. Olaf screamin’ my name” – St. Olaf is the fictional town that Betty White’s “Golden Girl” character, Rose, came from.
  • “Tryn’a jump me like Sue Ann did Lou back in the day” – Sue Ann was the name of the character Betty White played on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” She was very horny, and tried to go after Lou, Mary’s boss.
  • “You probably got a better shot of Bob Hope being your father” – in an episode of “Golden Girls,” Rose (Betty White) believes Bob Hope to be her father.
  • “So call your girl Sophie up, tell Blanche to hitch a ride/What the heck, you can even let Dorothy inside/And we can pop Rose…” – All names are references to characters on “Golden Girls.”
  • “…to showin’ my videos on WJM” – WJM was the name of the station Sue Ann (Betty White) worked at on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
  • “‘Cause my life’s just so GOLDEN, giiiiirl!” – Um… yeah, that one’s pretty obvious.

That’s 11 total!

2. Like I said before, some of the lyrics are from other songs I’ve already released on mixtapes.  Specifically:

  • “You can tell by the way a brotha likes to roll/I’m like remote batteries, I’m in control” – From the song “Y’all Haters Should Know,” off the “Welcome 2 Cali” mixtape.
  • “I’m the go-getta, trendsetter, no one can do it better” – From the song “What We Do” off “The A.P.T. LP.”
  • “A pedophile on the mic… engaged with the crowd – they won’t sit down” – From the song “Can’t Leave Rap Alone,” off “The O-Bama Mixtape.”

3. My favorite lines are the ones that are jokey. I also like the ones that either take a minute to catch or need explaining.  I say the line, “I win fast, you win slow, like Eddie.”  On the TV show “Family Matters,” the family’s last name was “Winslow.”  Any name would have worked, but “Eddie” rhymed with “Freddy,” so that’s what I used.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I already knew what I wanted to do for the video.  I wanted to be in front of a green screen and show a video montage of stuff that Betty White has done.

At the last minute – like, about 20 minutes before I set out to shoot the video – I decided I wanted to make a “Betty White” mask to wear over my face.  I found a nice picture of Betty White, blew it up to get her face by itself, then printed it up and cut it out.  I tried taping it to my face, but it kept falling off…

…so I had no choice but to staple the top part of her forehead to the front top of my hoodie.

Aside from the green screen part – which took about 20 minutes – most of the video prep consisted of me finding pictures and video footage of Betty to remix together.  That part alone took a good 3 to 4 hours.  Combined with the Final Cut rendering and other things, the editing time was a total of about 8 or 9 hours.  Loading it up to YouTube took an additional 9o minutes.

So, yeah, it was a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day I’m happy with the product.  Though, I think for my next video I want to do a LIVE shoot – all this green screen rendering is taking up my precious time!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. The REAL reason I wanted to use a mask?  I had just finished recording the song, but hadn’t memorized it.  I didn’t want to have to keep stopping and starting as a result of getting the lyrics wrong.  Sure makes editing easier when you don’t have to sync lyrics and mouthing together!

2. The background montage for the video was NOT made by me.  I found a Betty White retrospective video on YouTube made by VisualHollywood.com, and it fit PERFECT with what I was doing.  Plus, it saved me about 2 hours of having to find and paste in clips myself! (Note: I made sure to give them a shout-out at the end of the video – hopefully it will increase their viewership!)

3. I actually shot two takes for this video.  About 95% of the final video is the first take. Why? ‘Cause I’m lazy.  Also, most of the second video was close-up stuff, which I found out I could do by simply cropping the clips from the first take closer.

4. The “Betty White” dance was thought of at the VERY last minute.  I thought the “Do The Betty White” chant sounded good at the end of the song, but I didn’t have an actual dance to it.  I figured that, since she’s old, it would be befitting to have a dance that gave way to that fact.  And what do most old people have? Back problems!

And that’s all for today!  I hope you all enjoy the video, and will pass it along to your friends.  And yes, this song WILL be on the album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back,” out June 8th 2010!

-A.P.T.

This week’s video is for the song, “I Hate Grad School,” a parody of Asher Roth’s “I Love College.”

welcome-2-cali_1

AVAILABLE ON A.P.T.’S “Welcome 2 Cali” Mixtape – Click HERE for download info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Asher Roth’s song, “I Love College” – is just ripe for parody.

When I first heard the song, I automatically thought of a song with the opposite connotation – i.e., “I Hate College.”  But it seemed pretty obvious – and one look on YouTube proved me right: just about everyone and their Mamma had done a “I Hate” song of some kind (“I Hate High School,” “I Hate College,”) or an “I Love” song of their own.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, though, it’s that just because an idea has been thought of doesn’t mean you can’t still come in and make your own.  Especially if those other ideas haven’t been presented well.  Most of the songs were recorded on lousy mics, or had a crappy video with it, and weren’t really good.

Still, even the sucky songs were getting quite a few hits on YouTube.  I figured if I made one with good quality sound AND a decent video, I could, at the very least, make people want to download the song for FREE – and it’s only available on my NEW mixtape, “Welcome 2 Cali,” so hopefully it will do just that!

As for the song itself, I knew that, based on all the complaining I did while in school, I could definitely do an “I Hate College” type of song.  It was then I realized that, out of all the song parody ideas for this song I found on YouTube, the only one I didn’t see was one about Grad school!  And, with these next two weeks being finals time for most students, I’m sure they are feeling enough stress and pressure to warrant a song like this being out there! (It also helps that I have friends in grad school, as well as my Mom, who complain about doing their work ALL the time!)

The song itself was easy to write.  Most of the stuff I did in college in terms of work and tests still applies in grad school (or so I’ve heard), only on a much bigger scale.  I decided to keep the same exact flow as Asher Roth did in the original version so that, when people heard it, they’d instantly recognize what I was trying to do.

I also used two different choruses for the song.  The first two are the exact same, with me talking about sleeping during a lecture, erasing my paper, and going to college to try and be successful.  In the last chorus, though, I talk about how, now that I graduated, I still can’t get a job even with my master’s degree due to a bad economy.

This song is pretty funny, and one of my favorite parodies!

Some Interesting Song Insight:

1. I felt the need to brag at the end about how I didn’t go to grad school because “I’m too busy being successful without it!” Part of the reason: many people I used to converse with back in college were so into the belief that they just HAD to go to grad school to make it, while I was of the thought that it was NEVER about the degree, but about (a) who you know, and (b) what kind of opportunities you can make for yourself.  (This, of course, excludes things like being a lawyer, doctor, or types of professions where master’s degrees and PH.D’s are strictly needed.)

2. Finding the instrumental for this thing was terrible! It took me forever to finally find a site that had a FREE download for it.  In retrospect, though, I could have just used my LimeWire program, but that would have required opening up my slow laptop.  Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it…

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

Since it’s a song about school, I decided to keep it simple and make the video like a school year book.  I found various pictures online associated with the subjects talked about in the song, and put them in an order that made sense with the song.

Along with that, I took pics of myself in various forms of book study.  I don’t have any actual text books, but the books I read are mostly about financial stuff, or being persistent in goals.  I dunno, maybe I’m studying to be a motivational speaker!

Once I took the pics, though, I decided to do a few film shots as well to break up the monotony of it all.  Thus, the sequences of me typing on my laptop, studying in my room and – my personal favorite – drinking coffee.  You’ll have to see the video to see why!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. I took the pics/shot the footage of myself at about 4 AM.  I had just gotten back in from seeing a movie and hanging out with friends, and figured, “Hey, long as I’m up, I might as well get my parts on camera!”

2. For the coffee portion to be sped up, I had to move the mugs very slowly.  And no, there’s no actual coffee in the mugs – I don’t drink coffee!

3. There are a few parts of the video where I have a picture, and I let it sit there for a longer period of time.  One of them is a comic strip and the other is a list called “Should YOU Go to Grad School?”  I wanted people to be able to actually read those pics, so I stretched them out longer.

4. Amazingly, this video took a while to edit.  With most picture videos, it takes me an hour, MAYBE an hour and a half.  This one, though, took about 3 and a half hours to edit altogether!  Good thing I was using a MAC and not my PC!

That’s all for now! Next week is the FINAL video in this year-long project, and I couldn’t be more excited! In the meantime, be sure to download my NEWEST mixtape, “Welcome 2 Cali!” See ya next week!

-A.P.T.

This week’s video is for the song “I Get Honeys (50 Cent ‘I Get Money’ Parody).”

AVAILABLE ON A.P.T.’S “Welcome 2 Cali” Mixtape! Click HERE for download info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This week’s song, “I Get Honeys,” is a parody of 50 Cent’s popular song, “I Get Money,” which came out 2 years ago.  I also wrote this song two years ago at the height of the song’s popularity in an attempt to get national attention via riffing off someone’s song.  It didn’t quite work out that way – I had to wait to riff off Lil’ Wayne via “Obama Milli” for THAT to happen – but I still deemed it a song worthy enough to make.

Coming up with parodies is fun for me.  Because of me listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic so much as a kid, my first instinct when I hear a new song is to think of a parody of it.  To me, the best ones come naturally without me having to strain and think about it.

I forget how or when I came up with the song, but I’m sure it consisted of me walking around singing “I Get Money” and changing “money” to “honeys” at some point. In fact, as I recall, it was around the same time I got my previous microphone, the H2 Zoom, and was looking for stuff to record to test the sound levels.

I don’t remember the song-writing process for this too well, except that, because I was eager to record ASAP, it was fast and easy to write and record.  The only part that sucked was that, upon downloading the beat, I couldn’t find the instrumental without the words “I GET MONEY, MONEY I GOT” being yelled over the chorus.  So, when I recorded it, I managed to say the new chorus  – “I get honeys, honeys I got” – over it well enough so that you couldn’t really distinguish the original chorus all that wall.

As for the song itself, it’s not all that funny – it’s more of an egotistical “ha ha, I can get chicks” song – but the video is more than humorous enough to make up for it.  More on that later…

Some Intersesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is one of those songs where, while I don’t curse, there are a LOT of adult situation references.  This was recorded back before I ever anticipated having a large audience for my music.  Luckily, I was smart enough by time “Obama Milli” came out to realize the benefits of being a bit more clean.

2. My voice changes to a higher pitch during the chorus, but I can’t remember why.  I think it was because I was trying to sound like the chorus of the original song, with it’s scratched-in sound.  Didn’t quite work out too well…

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

First off: For the record, I actually had ANOTHER song and video for this week.  However, that video uses green screen, and – since I’m still figuring out how to use it – the video itself is not finished.

Luckily, I made this one early last year, and it proved to be pretty popular on YouTube (around 10,000 views or so).  Unfortunately, the YouTube site I had it on got taken down by the YouTube po-po, and I never re-posted it on my new YouTube site.  I don’t think anyone will fault me for wanting to re-post this up… but I ain’t got nothin’ else to put up this week, so HA!

Besides, the video has always been very funny to me and everyone I’ve shown it to.  The original idea was to have picture after picture of gorgeous women, but I didn’t think it would make the video funny.  Then, it dawned on me to take that idea, and bastardize it!  The way I saw it, people would start watching the video and be like, “man, these girls are HOT…”

And then, BOOM! – I’d hit them with a picture of one of the ugliest girls they’ve EVER seen!  Then, a few more pics of good-looking women, then… BAM! Another ugmo! It was genius!

Amazingly, finding suitable pics of ugly people online was pretty easy.  All I had to do was go to Yahoo.com, type “ugly girls” into the search engine, and a gang of sites and pics came up.  As for the editing of the video, I used my muvee program, which was the only one I thought I had installed on my laptop at the time, and picked out the “paintball music video” edit choice to add some “excitement” to some of the pictures.

All in all, a really funny video, and one I’m very proud of, especially since it manages to be funny using all still shots!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I’m not in most of this video…. until the very, VERY end, when there’s a picture of me being kissed by an ugly, UGLY woman.  It’s a pic I took when I went to visit my friend Michele when she lived in New Orleans 3 years ago – we went to the Ripley’s “Believe It or NOT” museum, and they had a statue of the world’s ugliest woman.  I didn’t know I’d use the pic for a video, as I wasn’t making them at the time, but when it came time to do this video I knew I had to include it in there somewhere!

2. Near the end of the video, there’s a picture of a guy dressed in women’s clothing and a wig on.  This same pic was also used in video #3, “Your Mom’s a Ho.”  S/he was one of the “six baby fathers”

3. Editing time for this video, as I recall, was very short.  The longest part was trying to think up the names of various beautiful women celebrities and saving them to my computer.

That’s all for now – I have no more videos in my reserve, so I’ll definitely have something new for you all next week. After all, there’s only 4 more videos left to go!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: APTsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: http://www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT

This week’s video is for the song, “Y’all Haters Should Know!”

FREE Download! Click here: http://www.4shared.com/file/93085760/2be68933/APT_-_Yall_Haters_Should_Know.html

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This is one of my songs where I had the chorus LONG before I had a beat.

To be honest, I don’t even know how I came up with the chorus.  All I know is, for the longest time I’ve been walking around saying, “Now you can tell by the way a brotha like to rooooll/A.P.T., homeboy, I be in control/Y’all haters should know, y’all haters should know, y’all haters (y’all haters) y’all haters should know…”  I liked the chorus enough, but I never really had a song to go with it.  I would freestyle off lyrics to match with the chorus, and they’ve always been different, but I never really stopped to write anything down and make it into a song.

Fast-forward to January 2009: I moved to California, and in just two days I was already immensely more happy with my new living situation.  Whereas before I had been stuck in the dead cold of an east coast winter, my first 10 days in Cali consisted of a climate with 75 to 80 degree temperature.

It was around this time that I decided to take out the ol’ microphone and see if I could come up with some tunes.  I wanted to make a song I could place on my website as a FREE download, so I figured it would be good of me to take a popular beat and see if I could freestyle on it.  I tried to think of songs that were popular at the moment, but I really don’t listen to radio much anymore because… well, I don’t have a radio!

I went on YouTube to look up songs, and somehow came across Paul Wall.  I think I may have looked up Nelly’s “Grillz” song as a possible song for me to rap over (which featured Paul Wall), and in the side of the YouTube bar was a song by Paul Wall called “Break ‘Em Off” from his second album, “Get Money, Stay True.”  I had never heard the album or the song… but there was a legit music video with it, so I decided to click on it.

When I heard the song… well, the song was just “okay,” but the beat… the beat was INCREDIBLE!!  I started thinking of words to the song right away – always a good sign when you’re looking for a beat to use – and as I was freestyling, that old chorus that I’ve had in my head for over 2 years suddenly popped into my head…

And it fit!

So, I sat down at the table and started writing.  I wanted the tone of the first verse to be sing-songy, something that would flow along with the beat.  As for the second verse, I wanted to talk a lil’ bit about what it’s been like to live out here in CA.  Sun, palm trees, warm weather, girls, parties, car rides… it’s all good over here on the west!

This is one of those songs where the content is not necessarily all that important.  Yes, I know it’s probably a rap sin to admit it, but not every song an artist makes has to be about something.  Some of the most well-known rap songs (i.e. “It Takes Two,” “Gettin’ Jiggy With It”) weren’t necessarily the most lyrical or the most prolific, but were just plain fun.  And that’s all I set out to do with this song!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is the second-to-last song I recorded with my previous microphone, the H2 Zoom (the last song being “Goodbye Bush (Na Na Na)”).  I now have a new mic that has better sound quality.  Still miss the ol’ mic, though!

2. The opening part where I shout out “I made it out to Cali!” was ad-libbed.  I was really just happy to be out here.  And I still am!

3. In the first verse, I rap about how I live everything I say in my raps, and that if I’m not, it doesn’t matter because I’ll just lie about it until it becomes true.  It’s funny, but it also makes a point: a LOT of rappers start out rapping about what they WISH to have, hoping they’ll eventually have it.  Unlike some people I don’t have a problem with this, as I believe in the power of speaking what you want.  If I want a car but don’t have it, I’ll just keep saying, “check out my car” until I have a car for people to check out!

4. My favorite line in the song is the last one in the first verse, and the last two in the second verse.  Hmm, I guess that’s 3 lines!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Since I talk about being in California, I wanted to do a video that showed off some of the cooler parts of where I live.

It just so happened that I had an out-of-town visitor stop in this week for 4 days, and wanted to go to some of the cooler parts of town.  So, I carried my camera along wherever we went (when I could remember it) and did what I call “stock footage” filming (i.e. filming a bunch of stuff for potential video use later).

In the video, you’ll see a lot of shots of Universal City walk; Chinatown; some of the underground train route art work; and the freeway, thanks in part to one of my other friends who was able to give me and my out-of-towner a ride back from the airport.  I also took a few pics in these places that I threw into the video.

Once my guest left, I analyzed my footage and realized I might want to add parts in the video with me actually mouthing the words to the song.  I had to go drop off a job application near my apartment on Saturday, so I decided to film myself walking along the sidewalk while saying parts of the verse, and later, filmed myself walking around a parking garage saying the other.

All in all, it’s an okay video.  It’s not one that has a plot to it or anything – it’s more like “vacation footage with a soundtrack” – but I still like it!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. You may be asking, “How were you able to mouth the words without using an iPod?”  Answer: my phone records up to a minute of sound, so I recorded the first verse, then had to record the second verse.  During filming, I carried the camera with one hand and used the other to hold the phone.  This is why you don’t see my other hand in the footage!

2. The freeway shots with the fencing in it were shot while I was riding the train back from the airport.

3. The candy lady and the child flying up and down in the air tube were both shot in Universal Studio City Walk. In fact, most of the shots with restaurants, monkeys, etc. were shot there.

4. Whilst on the train to another location, I noticed there was a guy on there playing the guitar.  I turn to look… and he had a green mohawk!  At that point, I didn’t even care if it made sense to film him – i KNEW he had to be in the video, ’cause you don’t see that every where!

5. Estimated video edit time: 3 hours.  Add on 2 more hours for publishing because, after I did it the first time, I noticed that some of the footage parts I had silenced were making noise.  I notice my MAC does this quite often, and it is rather annoying, considering my PC didn’t do that.  I had to cut the last part of the video off, publish it by itself with no noise, then tack it back on to the original version.  Eh, it’s a hassle, but the MAC still makes editing easier than the PC, so it’s a trade-off!

That’s all for now – only 7 more videos left to go! See ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: APTsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: http://www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT