Category: Dancing


It’s Christmas morning – 3:08 AM to be exact – and I can’t sleep.

Not that I wasn’t tired a few hours ago. I was taking a mini-nap about 3 hours ago when my brother came in from his Christmas party at his fiance’s parents’ house, thus waking me from my start-of-sleep.  I decided to surf the ‘net before I went back to sleep…

…and then a thought kicked in my head.  As I mentioned in a blog prior, I was sought out by a man named Rob Tillman to come up with a theme song for his web page (still in progress).  In the talks we’ve had back and forth, he mentioned that, given the number of repostings of my “Obama Obama” Lil Wayne “A Milli” remake currently on YouTube, it’s probably gotten well over 3  millon views.

So, being the type of artist who likes to know what type of audience he’s attracting, I thought, “hey, why not see how many instances I can find of people reposting their own home-made videos involving my ‘Obama’ song?”

3 hours later, and I just finished looking at a good majority of them. Man, oh, man…


Above: Two girls singing along to “O-bama O-bama.”

Okay, there’s a little something you should know about me: I tend to underplay my importance on other people’s lives.  I’m the person who will pick up and move at the drop of a hat without saying “goodbye” to people – not because I hate them, but because I figure, once I’m gone, they’ll eventually get over me having been there, and it will be like I wasn’t there at all.


Above: A girl running around in an “Obama” mask campaigning.  And guess what the background music is??

So, for me, when this “O-bama” song dropped and took off, I really, REALLY didn’t think it would last that long.  I thought it would be good for a few thousand YouTube views (not MILLIONS); that it might, if I was lucky, play on a few morning radio stations where they usually play parody songs (as opposed to getting play on WORLDWIDE radio stations); that a few people might visit my site and download it (over 8000 downloads of the song between the song itself, the “The O-bama Mixtape” downloads and sales of the song at 99 cents each); and that, maybe, just maybe, a famous person might come across it and hear it (as opposed to rappers, DJs, radio hosts and celebrities quoting my lil’ catch phrase ad nausea).


Above: Two kids from Chi-town rocking out in their… I dunno, basement?? – to the “Obama” song!

Furthermore, since I did the song almost as a joke, I had NO idea it would have any influence on the election at all.  It might sound cocky to say that, but in looking at the videos I just saw on YouTube, it can’t be understated that the song definitely got some butts to the booth to vote.


Above: Two teens at a high school in Las Vegas beat-box the “Obama” song!

And what did I see in these videos, you ask?  People of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds… posting up home-made videos to my song.  I saw:

  •  A video of an older Latino woman listening to it on her computer
  • A video of two younger white girls dancing in their kitchen to it
  • Young kids in their den rapping along to it
  • Countless video blogs where people used the song as their intro
  • A video of a homecoming rally where a guy was dancing to my song in the middle of a gym
  • Countless videos with people wearing Obama masks, doing silly things on camera while my song played in the background
  • An awesome video of a guy trying to persuade young people to vote by hip-hop dancing to my song in his living room

I could literally be typing for another 30 minutes about the videos I saw posted that included my song.  Clearly, it made a MAJOR impact on people’s decision to vote for Obama! (BTW: CUT THE CHECK, BARACK!)


Above: A woman from France – FRANCE! – drawing a picture of Obama while my song plays!

So, what have I learned from all this?  One, it’s made me very, VERY confident in my abilities to be successful.  They (whoever “they” may be) say it’s hard to become successful, and even harder to duplicate it.  I don’t want to duplicate it, I want to go BEYOND what I’ve already done with this one song.


Above: At SVHS (I’m assuming that’s a high school), the “Obama” song was played during their homecoming rally!

Two, I’ve learned what it takes to make something that will affect a large group of people.  Even when I made the song, I knew that if there were people out there who (a) liked Obama, and (b) liked Lil’ Wayne, they would definitely like my song.  The secret, then, is to do a focus of the audience I’m trying to reach, and figure out what will best connect with them.  This relates not just to my music, but other things as well: books I want to write (or have written), ideas for inventions/products I may have, and so on.


Above: Jerrell Puttin, of “The Obaminators” dance crew, encouraging others to vote by dancing to my “Obama” song!

And three, I’ve learned that, regardless of how much I may try to downplay it sometimes, I do – and can – play an important role in the lives of others, both good and bad.  Personally, though, I prefer it to be on the “good” side – this is why I try to keep my music as upbeat and positive as I can.


Above: DJ Ice chops and screws “O-bama O-bama!”

As a sidebar: if there’s one regret I have, it’s that I didn’t get to perform the song live. Actually, I performed it live one time – at my brother’s 25th birthday party in July – but, aside from the countless times I did it in my apartment, I was working so much to support myself while in Atlanta that I didn’t find the time to go out and perform it.  Plus, with the way the train/bus system was in Atlanta, I wouldn’t have had a way to get home were I to go to clubs because most open mics started late (around 10:30 PM), and most of the buses stopped around 11 PM.  Kinda limits a person’s performing ability. 

However, I DO hope to be able to perform the song a few times once I get to L.A. – heck, once I get there, it will still be 10 days before Obama is officially sworn in, so I’m sure demand for the song will be back up (not that it’s gone down – people are still posting up new videos to my song to this day.  Believe me, I’ve already checked!)

That’s really all I have to say.  After seeing all those videos, I feel really good about myself, and even more positive about my move to California.  I know I’ll be able to impact even more people for the good once I get out there, and I look forward to seeing what develops.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

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Memo to YouTube: You can’t stop me, bitches!!!

Yeah, they took down my entire site, but so what?!?  I’m on a mission people.  One video/song (minimum) every Sunday for one year.  That’s 52 videos (minimum) from May 2008 to May 2009.

I hope you didn’t think losing all 316,000 views for my “Obama Obama” video, or the 4500+ views for my “The N!@@er Song” would cause me to go crying off into the sunset.  

And yeah, who cares if you messed up my advertising plan for my album – I STILL sold a few copies, and guess what?  I’m going to sell even MORE once the videos come out — on YOUR site!!

So… with that said, this week’s video is already in the can.  It’s from one of the songs off “The A.P.T. LP”, a hot dance song with a bangin’ beat and some… interesting… lyrics and scenarios.  Yeah – that’s all I want to say about it for now!

Okay, I’m done!  And HA HA HA to YouTube – you can’t stop a man with a dream, people!!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

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

Well… my world was certainly rocked yesterday.

I spent over 32 hours straight the 2 days before (from Saturday til Sunday morning) editing my album, “The A.P.T. LP,” with no sleep, resulting in me not feeling too good on Monday. But that wasn’t the bad part. No, the bad part was when I went to check on my YouTube views, only to discover that my page had been taken down.

No page, no videos, no views… and, most importantly, NO advertising for my album.

Yes, all those videos I had that included links to my site where people could get my albums and mixtapes were taken down. Takes quite a toll on your album sales when you can’t even tell people where to find your stuff.

So, what do I do now?

Rebuild. Rebuild, rebuild, rebuild!

I went back and read the terms and conditions of YouTube, and have a few theories as to why they may have taken my stuff down. One, I had quite a few videos up where I used other people’s beats without permission. Two, I was advertising my products on the site, mentioning the price in the process. Apparently if you’re not paying YouTube for ad space you aren’t allowed to do that. And three – and this is my uncle’s theory – someone from either McCain or Obama’s campaign took it down. My site was getting a LOT of attention and subscribers, and, with the Democratic/Republican conventions happening this week and next week, more and more people would probably be seeing my videos – and lord knows that might be disastrous for their campaigns!

Regardless of the reason though, I always like to learn lessons from my mistakes. The first lesson: if you’re going to use other people’s beats, get a license saying you can do so. That way, you can legally use them and not have your stuff taken down.

The second lesson: don’t put your eggs all in one basket. I placed all my videos on YouTube, but didn’t even consider uploading them to MySpace, photobucket, or other sites where it would have been hard for them to take down every post I had out there.

And the third lesson: utilize MySpace more. The site is set up so musicians can advertise and/or legally sell their music. Now that I know how to gain friends on the site, it should be easier for me advertising-wise to get to more people, and, hopefully, sell a few albums.

Am I down about all this? A lil’ bit – I had high expectations for how this whole album would roll out, and now I have to re-think my strategy on how to get people to know my stuff is out there. But hey, I’ve always been a person able to get knocked down, pick himself back up and try again, and this time is no different.

By the way, my new YouTube site address is www.youtube.com/APTsongs. There’s always a chance it could be taken down, but for now it works.  In the meantime, I’m still trying to figure out a way to re-post up my videos on this site – because wordpress doesn’t allow for HTML code, I can’t just load up the vids at another site and paste them on here.   Worst-case scenario, I move all this stuff to blogger.com, where HTML code is appreciated!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt

Another week, another video…

Hey, wait a minute: where’s the video?  Oh, wait, that’s right – YOU CAN’T SEE IT!

So, I woke up this morning to upload an ad for my album, “The A.P.T. LP” onto YouTube.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I go to click on my YouTube page… only to find that it’s been disabled!

Yep! They disabled it.  ALL my videos were taken down, and my account was suspended.

Why?  Well, after reading through the site’s terms of use, I think I may have broken quite a few rules, including:

  • Using other people’s copyrighted works (i.e. any remixes I did to other people’s songs without their expressed written permission)
  • Using the site to advertise my projects for the purpose of making money (i.e. telling people how much my album was vs. just telling them where to get it without mentioning price).

So… talk about bad timing!  I mean, I JUST released my album yesterday, and now all my videos and ads for it have been taken down!

Oddly enough, I’m not frustrated about it… yet.  I think for right now I’m more in the “What step do I take next” mode.  The first thing I’ll probably do is open up another account and try to repost some of the videos with original content.  The only thing that sux is, I had so many subscribers on my channel, and now I’m essentialy going back down to zero.

On the plus side, I have a lot of MySpace friends now, so I’ll probably just work on cultivating more of them.  And, for future videos/content, I’ll know to only film or release stuff that I personally own.  So, in essence, it’s a learning experience, and at the end of the day, I’m just glad I didn’t get sued!

I’ll keep you all posted – in the meantime, get the album, “The A.P.T. LP!” Only 5.99 for the MP3, 7.99 for the CD!

-A.P.T.

E-mail – aptsongs@hotmail.com; MySpace – www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

This week’s music video is for the song “Tha Hood vs. The ‘Burbs” (Produced by ME!)

INSIGHT INTO THE SONG:

This is one of those songs I created backwards.  Usually I’ll have a song idea and try to either make or create a beat to go along with it.  In this case, I was messing around on my Fruity Loops program and created the beat, and, in the process of doing so, came up with the song, “Tha Hood vs. The ‘Burbs.”

The song came about because I was tired of hearing people complain about how hard life was for people living in low-income areas, more commonly referred to as “the ‘hood.”  People always assume that those living with little money are the only ones with problems.  However, as a person who grew up in the suburbs, I knew that there were just as many issues being faced by suburbanites as there were for people in the hood.

Growing up, I lived a fairly privileged life: I lived in a planned community, went to private schools (high school and college), and have been very good at keeping the amount of drama in my life to a minimum.  Even so, hardships hit people in the ‘burbs just as bad as people from the hood.  My Dad died when I was nine; I got sick a LOT as a kid; and, because I didn’t think like most of my peers (especially when it came to doing stupid stuff), I got teased a LOT.

Furthermore, it was hard to get along with other black kids, who were either trying to act like they were hard (courtesy of their perceived ideas on what it meant to be “black” – thanks, rap videos!), or who grew up in the hood and thought I was trying to act White simply because I spoke good.  Er, spoke “well” – did u catch that?

Anyway, with all this life experience, I figured it would make good fodder for a song.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. There’s a line in the song where I say:  “Down south in Virginia, born and raised/In the suburbs is where I spent most of my days.”  It’s a play off a line from the opening of Will Smith’s TV show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (“In West Philadelphia, born and raised/on the playground is where I spent most of my days…”).  I don’t think Mr. Smith gets the recognition he deserves for bringing rap to the forefront of people’s consciousness via his family-friendly raps, so this line is a shout-out!

2. All the stuff I mentioned about either me or my brother’s experiences growing up in the suburbs are true.  Our neighbor from across the street had a daughter around my age whom he didn’t want playing with my brother and I because we were Black.  (Our Mom told us to respect her parents wishes, so we stopped playing with her for 2 days.  She wanted to hang out with us so badly, though, that her parents finally relented.  I think they were shocked that we were actually respecting their wishes!)

And the incident with my brother happened more than once while he attended James Madison University. He’d be a passenger in a car full of white people, and the car would be pulled over so cops could search him – and ONLY him – for drugs.  Ain’t that f–ked up?!?

3. My favorite line in the song: “(In the hood) Whole neighborhoods get shot up/(In the ‘burbs) Whole colleges get shot up!”  It’s tragic, but it’s funny when you think about it!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I actually shot a video for this earlier in the year, back when I had grown my hair out for 6 months.  I was on my way to get my hair cut off, which meant I would have to go back to my ol’ stomping grounds, Campbellton Road.  For those of you not from ATL, this road is like a dividing line between the hood and Black suburbia.  When I first moved here I live in a basement apartment on the suburban side of Campbellton; however, whenever I had to catch the bus or go grocery shopping, I had to walk a block up the street to the ghetto portion.

I live in Midtown now, which is  much nicer area, but since this was the only place I knew of that had a barber shop I liked, I decided to head back to the ghetto and get my hair cut. Whilst doing so, I figured, “hey, why not get a video of yourself getting your hair cut?”

Then, while I was on the train, I said, “hey, why don’t you film a video for your hood vs. burbs song?”

For the video, I wanted to do a contrast from what people normally expect when they think about the hood.  People’s minds automatically go to gun shoot-outs, drug dealers, prostitutes, and other negative images; however, having lived around it, the majority of people in the hood are much like those in the burbs: they’re decent people simply living their lives day-to-day trying to survive.

The shots I took in the video are from areas surrounding the barber shop: the grocery store, laundry mat, Chinese food place, and – of course – Church’s Chicken.  You ain’t in the ghetto until you see a Church’s Chicken!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I hadn’t got my hair cut in 6 months.  The place I went to in the video was now owned by new owners – they still cut hair, but man was I surprised!

2. Amazingly, as many shots of people that I got in this video, most were unaware that I was filming.  Odd, ain’t it? Guess it’s a good thing my “filming” cam is also a picture cam – most people probably aren’t even aware!

3. Check out the shot of me at the end of the video with my half-hair, half no-hair scalp!

That’s all for now – this song is on “The A.P.T. LP,” so go get it!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Ladies and Gentleman… I present to you…

 

“THE A.P.T. LP!”

This project has been quite a learning experience, and a true labor of love for me!  I just spent 32 hours up straight putting this album together, and a lot of hard work went into making these songs!

Here are all the important links you need to know:

*** To purchase the MP3 Version of “The A.P.T. LP” (5.99): Click HERE!

You will be greeted at my Payloadz site by three men dressed as hunchbacks named Sam.  Okay, not really – but you will be able to pay and immediately get the download file for the album!

*** To purchase the CD version of “The A.P.T. LP” (7.99): Click HERE!

CDs will be shipped out every Tuesday and Friday (I don’t have a car yet, so I have to schedules these types of trips to certain days.)  It will arrive in your mailbox in an envelope, which will contain a CD inside a packaging sleeve for added protection.  The CD will have a cover with a list of the songs on the album.

Oh, yeah – here is a list of all the tracks on “The A.P.T. LP”:

  1. Intro – “And the Award Goes to..”
  2. A.P.T. (What’s My Name?)
  3. Hooptie (Guest Appearance by S. Stephens)
  4. What We Do
  5. Tha Hood vs. The ‘Burbs
  6. Smooth Talker
  7. It’s Over
  8. Stop Cockblockin’ (feat. Ms. Theory)
  9. The N-word Song (a.k.a. The KKK-ramer Song)
  10. Fly Chick
  11. Blow It All
  12. Skit – An Interview w/DMX (feat. Mr. Smallwood)
  13. Bust My G.A.T.
  14. Retirement Home
  15. A Commentary on Each Album Track
  16. BONUS TRACK: F–k New Orleans (feat. G.W. Bush)

I’m still working on getting each of the songs posted as an individual purchase – for right now, though, GET THE ALBUM!! It’s hot!

More from me later as other things develop!

Okay, it’s now 12:19 AM on Sunday, August 24th.  I suspect I will be up all night finishing up my album, “The A.P.T. LP!”  Wow, this is like being in college all over again, pulling an all-nighter and stuff.  Only difference is, I’ll actually be able to profit off this one, instead of having more homework to do!

I figured I’d give you all a run-down of how you will be able to purchase the album.  Check it out:

  • I’m going to make it available as an MP3 download for 5.99.  This will be the fastest way to get the album.
  • A lot of people have written me asking me if I was going to have an actual CD available for purchase.  The answer is YES!  The CD version will be 7.99.  This covers the cost of the physical CD and the packaging, as well as shipping and handling.  The CD will come in a paper slip, and the CD itself will have a cover on top with a picture and song listing.  Plus, since my laptop’s CD burner is acting like an @$$hole, I’ll probably have to go to the FedEx down the street to burn the songs onto a CD.   Of course, depending on how many CD orders I get, I may go ahead and hire a CD manufacturer to burn me 100 CDs for a low price. 
  • As a BONUS(i.e. something I really, REALLY don’t have to do), those who purchase the CD will also get a FREE copy of “The O-Bama Mixtape!”  The reason?  I figure if you’re buying a CD, chances are you didn’t have the means of downloading the mixtape either, and it’s a REALLY good CD.   Again, its FREE (since I can’t legally sell it), and you’re already paying for the shipping, so YOU’RE WELCOME!
  • For those who CAN download “The A.P.T. LP,” a link will be provided where you can download my “Obama Obama Mega-Remix” featuring Tyga!  I made the remix because he took my song idea and didn’t give me a shout-out like he said he would, but I can’t put it on the CD because I can’t sell it.  However, I CAN sell the information that will allow you to download the song for free, and – if you’ve seen it on youtube – you’ll probably enjoy adding the song to your collection of A.P.T. songs!

Lastly, all the songs will be available individually for 99 cents.  I’d charge less, but this is the lowest amount I can charge via credit/debit card on PayPal and still make a profit. (They take out 30 cents every time someone buys a song from me – how messed up is that?!?)

Okay, enough typing – I have an album to finish up!

A.P.T.

P.S. Oh yeah – Ringtones are also being worked on for ALL the songs, and should be available within the week!

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Sorry I haven’t been updating as frequently as usual… actually, I’m not sorry – I’m mixing together an album!

Right now, as I type this, it’s 8:39 PM. And the album is still NOT done.  Why?  Because I do EVERYTHING last minute.  I’ve been “working” on this all day, but won’t really start kicking things off until around 9:30 or so.  The album will be posted before I go to work (sometime around noon), and I may or may not post this week’s video before then also – if not, I’ll just post it up after I get home from work.  It’s already done, so all I have to do is add the intro and ending to it, and voila!

Anyway, here’s promo videos 4, 5 and 6.  The fourth one is footage I took of myself playing this very scary maze game online – watch the video for my reaction!!  The fifth one is me talking about how much it actually cost me to put this entire project together.  In short, I need to sell at least 76 albums to break even.

Promo video number 6 is a remix I did to the “Obama Obama” song.  I thought people would be tired of it by now, but it still gets close to 5,000 views per day on my page, plus other people have posted it as well.  However, the reason I did a remix is because this rapper named Tyga, who is, ironically enough, signed to Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment label, took my “Obama Obama” beat and made his own Obama song.  I wasn’t too mad about this, until I figured out he’s actually performing it and getting PAID for it, while I sit here in my apartment going, “WTF?!? That should be ME performing it!!

So, rather than do a diss song or snap at him, I fused his version together with my version, and created an “Obama Obama Mega-Remix.”  Instead of making a real video, I put up all the info about my album dropping tomorrow, along with mentions of “The O-Bama Mixtape” and a call for people to tell Tyga to shout me out.  I put it up 3 hours ago, and it’s already gotten a LOT of views – talk about a great advertising idea!

Enjoy the promo videos, and get “The A.P.T. LP” tomorrow, Sunday, August 24th!


“The A.P.T. LP” Promo Video #4 – Scary Maze Game Reaction


“The A.P.T. LP” Promo Video #5 – Recording Expenses


“The A.P.T. LP” Promo Video #6 – “Obama Obama Mega-Remix” feat. Tyga

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt

 

 

I’m starting to see why most artist don’t get paid their royalties and/or monies until after recording expenses are paid.

I want this album to sound right, which means I’ve gone out of my way to buy items and/or pay for studio time that will make “The A.P.T. Album” sound like a high-quality product.  Little did I know when I started this just how much money it would cost for me to do so!

Let’s just look at some of the math, shall we:

1. STUDIO MIC: This was a freebie, as I already had one.  However, what I did NOT have was a way to hook it up to my laptop.  I had to get this thing called an interface which allows me to plug the mic into a box which then goes into my computer. 

Cost of Interface box: $149 (plus tax)

2. BACKUP DRIVE: I wanted to make some extra space on my computer so that my music program would work better.  So, I went to Wal-Mart to pick one up.

Cost of Backup Drive: $79.99 (plus tax)

3. STUDIO TIME: I can’t yell in my apartment, but some of my songs require it.  So, I found a studio in downtown Atlanta where I was able to use their sound-proof room.

Cost of Studio Time: $60 for 3 hours (but I got there 3 minutes late, so 2.5 hours)

4. SOUND MIXING: Fruity Loops sucks ass as a recording studio because you can’t directly record onto it; you have to cut-and-paste everything, and it takes a long-ass time.  So, courtesy of a friend’s suggestion, I got a Magix Studio sound studio.  I did the trial version, and it made putting together a song so damn easy and less time-consuming that I had to get it.

Cost of Magix Studio: $74.99

In total, I’ve spent a whopping $363.98 on this album.  In short, before I see any profit, I have to sell at least 73 copies of the album at 5.99 just to break even.  (Incidentally, I also see now why record companies charge $9.99-$14.99 or higher for CDs – this doesn’t even take into account how much it costs them to package and ship the items.)

Assuming this project goes well, the good news will be that I won’t have to spend any more money on getting items I now have (except for the studio time part).  I’ll also be able to charge a bit more for any future CDs – probably around 7.99 – since people will realize my albums are more than worth the amount. 

Because I’m still finishing up the project, I didn’t have time to film a “new” video this week.  However, it just so happens that I filmed a video earlier this year for a song that’s going to be on the album.  And, since hardly anybody saw that video since no one knew who I was prior to the “Obama Obama” song, I can bring it out of the archives and post it back up!  Three cheers for future thinking!

That’s it for now – get “The A.P.T. LP,” dropping Sunday, August 24th!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Greetings, everybody!!

Here are the second and third promo videos for “The A.P.T. LP,” Out Sunday, August 24th!

Above: The second promo ad, where I talk about the ups and downs of signing to a major label.

Above: The third promo ad, where I give you all a sneak preview listening to some of the songs off the album!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT