Category: Hip-Hop


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

As you can see from the big-@$$ advertisement that sits above this sentence, my NEW album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back,” is coming out on June 8th.

Ideally, I would LIKE for the album to show up at iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and other retail outlets on the same day.  However, it’s very well possible that the album could end up at those stores either BEFORE that date, or afterward.

The service that I use to get my songs to iTunes – Tunecore – gives a list of what online retailers they send your music to, as well as how long it takes for each site to actually have your songs LIVE in their system.  The amount of time it takes for each store to post up your song can vary from “a very, very short amount of time” to “dang near forever” before your songs go up.

Amazingly, this can actually be true of the SAME retail store.  For example: I’ve sent songs/albums to iTunes where it took the song dang near 3 to 4 weeks to post up, while at other times it only took a matter of 3 to 4 DAYS.

This is the only part of using an online service that is frustrating.  It would be ideal for me to be able to have an album done, send it to Tunecore and say “Hey, make sure this album posts up on June 8th.”  However, I’m sure they have to go through all the songs and listen for various items (explicit content, type of music, any obvious samples) as do the various online stores before they can post it up.

With that said, the album will still be coming out on June 8th.  I have other stores and online sites I can use to GUARANTEE that my album gets posted on that date, and I can post those links at this site.  Hopefully, though, those online stores will be swift enough with my music to post it up by the release date, if not sooner. 🙂

-A.P.T.

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

In gearing up for my album – “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back,” out June 8th, 2010 – I’ve been going through tracks and trying to cut down the amount of songs on the album.

Now, in this day of and age of music where an artist can post up their own songs on iTunes, one could technically post up however many songs they want to, collectively, on ONE album.  The service I use allows you to post up an album for $46.99, and the LIMIT for the amount of songs you can put on that album is – are you ready for this? – one HUNDRED songs.

A new artist might look at this and think: “Oh man oh man, that’s AWESOME! I can put up an album of 100 songs, and it’ll only cost the buyer 9.99?!?  I’m going to post ALL my songs up right now!”

And logically speaking, it would appear, at first, to make sense.  After all, $9.99 is a BARGAIN to pay for so many songs.

BUT…

An artist who did that would be lucky to sell even ONE album.

Placing TOO many tracks on an album – especially for an artist that’s unestablished – is a DEATH sentence for your career.

A few things new artists should consider:

  • Music is a activity of choice and time.  When someone sees your name or hears about your music, they are making 2 choices: (a) whether or not they want to get to know your stuff, and (b) how much time they want to invest getting to know you.
  • If they don’t know you, they don’t want to hear much from you.  This is why when record companies have a new artist, they start off by releasing ONE single at a time.  It’s a way for them to say: “We have an artist you might like.  We  know you don’t want to hear a lot of music from this unknown artist, but give this ONE song a chance.  If you like it, there is more, and we can tell you where to get it.”
  • If someone DOES like the ONE song you put out, they may want to test out more of your stuff by buying your album… but if there are too many songs or it’s too long, their brain starts thinking about how much time they’ll have to spend with you (via listening to your album) and they may back off.

Remember: things often work the OPPOSITE of the way we think they should.  One assumes that offering more songs at a discounted price would make people want to buy their stuff, when in actuality they’d be better off putting together an album of 10 to 12 songs.  The possible consumer will see the album and, instead of thinking:

  • “Aw, this album doesn’t have enough songs on it! I’m not gonna buy it at all!”

They will think:

  • “Hmm, a new artist, eh? Well, I liked that one song… I guess I could buy it.  It’s only 10 songs – what’s that, like 35 minutes? I can spare some time listening to this!”

As for me… well, I’ve had a hit song, and I’ve released an album on iTunes, “Attack of the Obama Milli Remix Guy!” That album was 12 songs long, which sprawls out to about 46 minutes.  It’s long enough so people think they’re getting a good deal, but not so long that people will start to get bored with me.  Yes, I’m an artist and I think my songs are the shiznit, but I also know that, after a while, no matter how good an artist is, people are going to want to listen to someone else.

And if they just want to listen to my stuff? Well, having a shorter amount of songs will leave them wanting for more, which only helps me to sell the NEXT album (coming in… oh, wait, let me get this NEW one out the door first before I start talking about THAT)!

-A.P.T.

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

Greetings, people!

Just wanted to do a mini-update to let you all know… I’M HEADING BACK TO THA STAGE!

Yep, A.P.T. – that’s me – will be performing in Hollywood this Saturday!!  Woo-hoo!

I haven’t performed since January, so I’m uber-excited to get back in front of a crowd.  I’ll be performing NEW material from my upcoming album, “The Obama MIlli Remix Guy Strikes Back” (out June 8th, 2010).  I always like performing new material in front of crowds just to see what kind of reactions I’ll get.  One thing is for sure, though: it will DEFINITELY be some good promo!

I’ll hit you all up with more details tomorrow.  In the meantime, keep on watching my music videos at http://www.YouTube.com/APTsongs. The album’s on the way, y’all!

-A.P.T.

For performance requests, fan mail and more: APTsongs@hotmail.com.

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.

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

– – – – –

Over the past 2 years I, Aaron P. Taylor (a.k.a. A.P.T.), have learned a lot about how to put together songs and music videos that grab people’s attention and gets lots of views.  It’s the reason I’m able to get people to buy my music on iTunes despite getting limited radio play and not performing nearly as much as I should.

Now, if you’re an artist reading this who IS getting radio play and IS performing… but isn’t making any money… then I’m sure some of my info would be very valuable to you.

So, in the interest of… well, just wanting to help people out, I’ve decided to share a few secrets on here from time to time to help some of you upcoming artist out there get you and your songs the attention you need to start making people pay attention to you.

SECRET #1: TIMING YOUR SONG/VIDEOS WITH CURRENT EVENTS.

What do the following three videos of mine have in common:


Music video for A.P.T.’s “Obama Milli Remix”


Music video for A.P.T.’s “Imma Let U Finish” featuring Kanye West


Music video for A.P.T.’s “Kate Gosselin is a B!tch”

All of these songs/videos deal with different topics and have different rhythms.  They are also 3 videos I’ve made that have garnered over 10 million, 40,000 and 27,000 views respectively.

So what’s the common link?  ALL OF THESE SONGS/VIDEOS WERE RELEASED DURING TIMES WHEN THE EVENTS AROUND THEIR CREATION WERE AT PEAK INTEREST.

For example, the first video, “Obama Milli Remix,” was released almost a week after two important events back in June 2008: the choosing of Barack Obama as the Democratic National Committee’s Presidential Candidate, and the release of Lil’ Wayne’s “The Carter III” album, which was the first album in a long time to debut at number 1 with over a million copies in the first week.  The CD’s most popular song, “A Milli,” was being remixed by EVERY rapper known to man.  I decided to go a different route and do a parody of it.  Because I knew the right time to create and release the song/music video for it, I was able to get a TON of views from it (which I continue to get from this day).

The second video, “Imma Let U Finish,” was released 3 days after Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards back in September 2009.  People began posting photoshopped pictures of Mr. West interrupting other events throughout history, and I figured it would be a good idea to somehow make a song using audio snippets from his rant while using these various pics as the focal point of the video.  I didn’t even appear in the video, and it’s gotten 40,000 views – not to mention the money I made off it when I placed it on iTunes!

Now, the third video is a GREAT example of knowing when to capitalize on something going on in the news.  My original video for “Kate Gosselin is a B!tch” was posted up in September 2009, before the “Imma Let U Finish” video.  At the time, everyone was jumping on Jon Gosselin while their divorce proceedings were going on, and I wanted to put a song out that put the focal point back on Kate – specifically, at how much of a you-know-what she was while on TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus 8” show.

When I first released the video, it got an okay amount of views… however, I had released it almost 3 months after their divorce had been announced, so I wasn’t getting nearly as many views as I would have liked (about 2000-3000 or so at the time).

BUT THEN, almost 6 months later, Kate became a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” And, during her first week on the show, she started getting uppity with her dance instructor.  My friend from college wrote on my facebook wall how accurate my song about her was in terms of calling her out on her attitude, and it was at that point I realized that NOW was a good time to re-post the video, with clips from her DwtS spazz-out thrown in for good measure.

Sure enough, I did.  In the first 2 weeks alone, the video received over 20,000 views (now currently at 27,000).

As you can see, if you’re well-read and caught up on major current events going on, you can make songs about those subjects that, if entertaining enough, will draw people to your material.  It’s really not that hard – just do what I do: go to Yahoo, find a news story you find interesting (I find most of mine in the “Entertainment” section), and figure out a creative way to express your feelings about said subject.  If you do it enough times, people will start looking forward to your videos and will tell their friends all about “this awesome artist who ALWAYS gives their opinion on things going on in the world in an entertaining way.”

Well, that’s the only tip I have for today.  As we speak, I’m working on TWO songs/videos dealing with things that are either happening this weekend or are on-going.  Either way, both videos are sure to get me lots of views, which is what I need since I’m promoting my upcoming album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!” (Available June 8, 2010, at online retailers everywhere.) I’ll keep u all posted on their progress!

-A.P.T.

Another day, another wonderful blog!

Okay, so prior to me having this whole resurgence in blogging, I was neglecting this site for quite some time.  I didn’t have much product coming out, either musically or with videos, so I didn’t do a whole lot of maintenance on this site.

Now that I’ve been at this site more often, I’ve noticed something: all of the links to my FREE mixtapes are no longer working!

I posted the majority of the mixtapes up via zshare.net which, at the time, only stored up mixtapes at their links for as long as people were downloading them.  If no one downloads from said link(s) for over 60 days, they take down the link.

Well, the last mixtape I uploaded was in April 2009.  The project ended the very next month and, aside from 2 or 3 more videos, I didn’t blog much here or give people a reason to check the site.  So, people stopped downloading my mixtapes from the links, and they eventually expired 😦

I didn’t think anyone would be interested in downloading my old mixtapes.  Not that they’re really THAT old – only about a year or so – but I just figured the fans would be searching out for newer material.  It just dawned on me, though, that if those fans hadn’t heard those mixtapes yet, the music would STILL be new to them.

So, will I be posting the mixtapes back up on the site again?

Eh. I haven’t decided.  Truthfully, there is an advantage to not posting them back up – namely, I can re-use some of the lyrics from those songs and post them on “new” songs with beats that I own or can use in a sellable song (as opposed to when the songs were on the mixtapes with beats made famous by someone else, meaning I can’t sell the song unless I get resale rights that I can’t currently afford).

However, there is something to be said about giving people new (old) music to hear to tide them over while waiting for my NEW album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back” to come out on June 8th. Hmm…

Hypothetically, if I DO decide to put them back up, I’ll have to find a more reliable source to post them where they won’t be taken down so easily.  I’ll do some research on it and see what’s what.

In the meantime, I’ve got some EXCITING musical ideas and videos to share with the fans, some of which will be dropping very, VERY soon.  But I’ll leave that for tomorrow’s blog – adios!

-A.P.T.

Hey people, it’s me again!

Okay, so now that I’ve announced the date for the “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!” album – June 8, 2010 – I figure I should start blogging on a regular basis.  I haven’t done much of it in a while, but in looking at my page stats I realized that people actually DO read what I have to write.  So, here I am!

Consider this one form of “promo.”  I have an album coming out in a month, so I’m trying to figure out ways to get the word out about the album.  So far, I have this page, as well as a fan page on Facebook.  I also have a YouTube site, where I’m going to start posting up more videos – some vlog videos, some music videos.

Beyond that, though, I’m really trying to find places in L.A. that I can perform at.  Truthfully, I don’t really like to perform, – but to be fair, almost anything that requires me to work with other people isn’t fun for me.  It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that, oftentimes, I have a vision for how I’d like to do something, and working with people means having to compromise parts of those vision. This is probably why I prefer making videos and sending out songs from my apartment versus really pushing for a performance.

At the same time, though, there are moments where I DO like to perform.  Anytime I create a new song that I think will be an “audience-shocker,” I want to go out and perform it right away just to see if I get the desired reaction.  It’s what happened to me a few months ago, when I wrote a NEW SONG that will be on my album.  I went out and performed it later that week, and the audience was seemingly SHOCKED at the audacity I had to perform such a tune.  Amazingly, I was at a club a couple of days later and got recognized by someone who not only remembered me, but the song I performed!

Needless to say, I’m definitely going in the RIGHT direction with this album.

I could always use more promo ideas, though. So, if you like my music and have any ideas on how I could promote my new album (aside from the ways previously mentioned), please leave a comment or send a message to aptsongs@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

-A.P.T.

Today’s video is for the song, “Frontin’ in L.A.” (beat by Mister K.A. beats).

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Aaaaaand I’m back!

So, I’ve been in song-writing mode for a while now, and I’m putting together a new album called “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!”  I’ve been recording on professional equipment, courtesy of my new roommate.

However, my roommate left town for a couple of days, and took his equipment with him.  While he was gone, I began thinking of song ideas, one of which became this song, “Frontin’ in L.A.”

I was listening through some of the beats I’ve collected on various online sites, and came across a beat by Mister K.A. beats that stuck out to me.  I didn’t know what the song topic would be, but I know I wanted to use the beat.  Then – literally, out of nowhere – I thought of a chorus:

“The cars, the clothes, the jewels, it’s nothin/’Cause everybody out in L.A. stay frontin’/Wooooo!”

As for the topic idea, I think it actually stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend of mine in Hollywood whose been getting his grind on heavy.  I won’t divulge names (Hollywood is already a gossipy enough town, and you never know who knows who), but my friend told me that a particular person who used to be pretty well-known had just asked him for money to pay his rent.  I thought this person was doing pretty well, so it was shocking to hear that this person had asked my friend for funds.

And that’s not the first time I’ve heard of that happening.  There are so many stories of famous people who, upon first glance, seem to be doing well… until a story comes out about them being bankrupt, or being involved in some type of money scandal.  Then you realize just how much of a front people really put on out here in Holly-weird!

I thought it would be a good topic to do a song about.  In the year and 3 months I’ve been here, I’ve learned all about how phony people here make their lives out to be just so they can put up the smoke-screen of “success.” It’s just the way the game is played out here, people!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. There are SO many truthful statements in this song.  Just a short list:

  • I have been on video sets with “stars” who don’t have much money
  • Anytime you ask someone “So, what do YOU do?” they always feel the need to come up with an answer that’s impressive
  • Statements I hear WAY too much: “I’m working on various projects;” “I know so-and-so” (why am I supposed to care?); and the oh-so popular “My project is about to BLOW!!” Yeah, it BLOWS, alright…
  • I have gone to clubs to perform where I had to put on the “costume jewelry,” i.e. the Folex watch, the $10 chain
  • I WAS in a Tyler Perry movie – “Meet the Browns” – as an extra in the school basketball scene

2. I downloaded this beat last year.  I was going to lease it, but didn’t have the money at the time. It has since been purchased, meaning I can’t legally sell the song.  I may end up recording it over another beat, or just releasing it for free…

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

So, after I wrote the song, I was going to put up another simplistic video, much like I did with “Mini Me.”  But for some reason… I don’t know WHY I was needing to look up Tiger Woods’ recent Nike commercial, but I was, and I started thinking: “Hmm, maybe I could use the part where his Dad asked him if he learned anything, and use it as a way of segueing into what I’ve learned about people frontin’ in L.A…”

I set up my camera in front of my green screen, dressed up in some clothes similar to what Tiger wore in his commercial (hat, vest, nice dress shirt), and filmed it.  Then I downloaded some pics to fit certain parts of the song, pasted them all together, then made the whole thing black-and-white.  Oh, and I also added in captioning so people could read the lyrics to the song.

It all sounds pretty simple, but editing this thing together probably took me a good 6 to 8 hours.  It made me remember why I’ve taken such a long break from making videos, but it was worth it for the end result!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I decided to go with the chipmunk-sounding voice over as a contrast to the deep voice Tiger’s dad had in his commercial.

2. The REAL reason I used captions? I wasn’t able to use my roommate’s studio mic, and had to go back to my USB radio mic.  It’s an okay mic, but it doesn’t always catch the end of words well, despite my excellent enunciation. So, I put them in to make sure people knew what I was saying.

3. Also: I used pics in certain places because I had only finished recording the song the day before, and didn’t really know it.  So, on the parts where I messed up the wording, I could use pictures.

4. Because I didn’t know the words that well, I had to print them out and place them on the top of the camera.  However, I couldn’t make it look like I was reading the words, so I placed the camera farther away from myself.  The words were placed above the lens.

5. There are several pics in this video with me and celebrities.  Specifically:

  • There’s a pic with me and the guy who played “Mini Me” (taken at a Playboy Mansion party I attended – for FREE)
  • There’s a pic with me interviewing former music video vixen Vida Guerra (whose name I pronounced incorrectly – thanks a LOT, Game!)
  • There’s a pic with me and The Archbishop Don “Magic” Juan

I placed them in the video, not to show off, but to stress the point: all of these people are famous… however, that does NOT mean they’re rich, or well-off financially.  That’s all part of the “front.”

6. The picture used on the line “How else u gonna score an L.A. chick” is Jovana, who I went to college with and now lives out here.  (And, in case you’re curious, her dress is yellow – but u can’t tell that since she’s in black-and-white.)

Aaaaaand that’s it!  Okay, so I’m clearly doing videos again.  This time, though, there’s no schedule for them – I may put another one tomorrow or next week or next month – but they’re all leading up to videos for my upcoming album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!”

-A.P.T.

Greetings, people!

Well, I’ve finally decided to provide a little insight into my newest album project.  It’s at the “near completion” stage, and I’m sure I’ll be doing promo for it REAL soon (i.e. videos, interviews, etc.), so for those of you who have been patiently waiting for some new material from me, here’s some of what you need to know!

1. The album will be called…

THE OBAMA MILLI REMIX GUY STRIKES BACK!!

Pretty cool title, eh?

There are two reasons why I chose this title:

(a) For marketing purposes.  It may be surprising to some, but the song is almost two years old and still pretty popular.  I continue to get monthly iTunes residuals from it each month; furthermore, if you go to iTunes and type in “Obama,” my song is still in the top 10 of all things Obama-related being sold on the site.

My last album was titled “Attack of the Obama Milli Remix Guy.” You may notice a theme here – my iTunes albums having the words “Obama Milli Remix” in it – but it makes it easier for people to find all of my songs.  Anytime someone types in the name of the single, all twelve songs from “AotOMRG” album pop up, thus letting them know that I’ve made more than ONE song.  Now, with this new album having those same words in the title, people will get even more of a variety of songs from me to choose from when they search out my most popular tune.

(b) The “Strikes Back” is also purposeful.  The opening tunes on the album are more aggressive – not in the 50 Cent sense where I’m trying to kill people, but more of a retaliation against certain things and/or people.  Prior to the “Obama” song blowing up, people ranging from those close to me to radio DJs and more wouldn’t even consider me being a “rapper.”  Then, once the song blew up, there were DJs and certain artists who tried to steal my song without giving me credit.  So, while the majority of the album is not an angry album – in fact, many of the songs range from being hilarious to club-oriented – I wanted some of the songs to give a feeling of “I’m not taking your crap anymore” to the listeners.

2. The tracks are very eclectic.

My goal for this album was three-fold: to strike back at some of the people who pissed me off during the height of the “Obama Milli Remix’s” popularity; to make songs that would prove how much of a hit-maker I really am; and to display some of my beat-making skills, as well as those of K.K.O.F., a beat-maker from ATL who is really on the verge of being a major producer in the game.  Allow me to be more detailed in each of these (without giving away the names of the songs):

(a) STRIKING BACK!

I’ve already detailed this in the previous paragraph.  Needless to say, I had some pint-up anger I needed to get out, and I tend to do that best through writing.  On one track, I display my lyrical skills just in case people think I’m BSing about being a major player in the game. On other tracks, I go after everyone from DJs to old school rappers, and jealous haters.

(b) I MAKE HITS, TRICK!

At the end of the day, making music is a GREAT hobby, but it’s supposed to make me money.  I’ve become real good at creating choruses that are catchy, and picking out beats that will get the butts moving on the dancefloor.  Amazingly,  I can do this without having to talk about booty-shaking, smoking, drinking, killing, sexing, or the majority of other things most rappers tend to talk about.  You’ll get to hear a little bit more about my life on this album than I usually talk about, but it will be done with up-tempo beats, in true A.P.T. fashion.

Speaking of fashion, there are also a few songs that are geared towards fashion-shows and other areas where my songs could be used for product placement.  Most rappers put together albums without thinking about that part, but if your album doesn’t sell like you want it to, you can still make a killing off it if you have songs you can sell to sponsors.  Example: Kanye West probably made more money off the song “Amazing” from his “808s and Heartbreak” album than he did from the album’s actual sales.  Why? ‘Cause he sold it to the NBA to use during the finals last year – and THOSE checks ain’t no joke!

I say that to say, some of the songs were made with the thought that I could pimp them out for other purposes aside from just having people listen to them.  a 99 cent buy from a “fan” is great, but a 99 THOUSAND check from a company that wants to use my songs is even better.

(c) WE MAKE BEATS TOO, TRICK!

The original reason for me making songs in the first place was to not only display my writing skills, but my beat-making skills as well.  Now that I’ve got some notoriety, I’m still working on getting my own beats out there, as well as those of some people I’ve come across since opening the site.

On this particular album, I’ve got a few beats I made that I feel are really going to hit hard with the public.  Some of them revolve around certain concepts, while others are just dope-sounding beats.  My particular beat-making style is actually pretty simplistic: much like Dr. Dre, I like to make beat patterns that are relatively not-complicated in theory, but are extremely effective in execution.

Another beat-maker on the album is K.K.O.F., formerly known as King Kut (which, for the record, he SHOULD go back to being called since he yells it as his tag on all his beats).  He lives in Atlanta, and his beats have that southern bounce and jive that reminds me of stuff T.I. would rap on.  I used a couple of his beats for the last project (as well as the Non Juan album, “909s and Heart Flatlines”), and since then he’s been working with some other guys in the rap game, like Yo Gotti and the Cash Money/Young Money crew. I’ve created some killer concepts for the songs that use his beats, so hopefully his star will continue to rise!

I’ve got a couple other beat-makers I’m using, but not too many more. Overall, though, all of the beats used work well together to make an album that sounds cohesive.

3. The promotion…

I’m still working on this part of the plan.  One thing is definite: There WILL be videos!

Some will be in-house and shot on the green screen, while others will actually have a budget and be shot OUTSIDE my apartment.  I haven’t made any A.P.T. music videos since September, so I got a few tricks up my sleeves for the visuals which I’m sure will ROCK YOUR WORLD!!

Aside from the videos, I’ll be doing the usual stuff associate with an album release, some of which I haven’t done before: Electronic Press Kit, radio interviews, performances, and some other fun stuff.

Aaaaand that’s about it!  I’m looking to finish up the album this week and send it to iTunes so it can be up sometime in May.  I’ll keep you posted!

-A.P.T.


Above: The new video version of “Kate Gosselin is a B*tch”


Above: The original version of the video I put out back in September 2009.

This blog is about the music video I made for my song, “Kate Gosselin is a B*tch” (Produced by K.K.O.F.)

Available on A.P.T.’s album, “Attack of the Obama Milli Remix Guy!” Now on iTunes – Click HERE!

NOTE:

Before I go into an explanation of the song and video, let me state this: I did a mini-blog about the creation of this song yesterday, along with about 5 other videos I’ve shot and posted on YouTube since September.

So why am I re-posting a more detailed blog for this particular song? Two reasons:

1. I made the original video back in September of 2009, and recently remixed the video a bit to coincide with Kate Gosselin being on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.  Since the new video was made, it’s been getting HELLA views, and is starting to jump at the same rate that my “Obama Milli Remix” song did.  So, I figured it was worth going into more depth describing its creation.

2. I want people who surf Kate Gosselin’s name on the internet to be able to find this video in their search.  The more places I post it, the more hits I’ll get.  So now, if someone types in the words KATE GOSSELIN or DANCING WITH THE STARS, this blog will pop up!

Okay, onto the insights:

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Kate Gosselin got divorced from her husband during the summer of 2009.  As the divorce was happening, the media took note of the fact that Jon was dating various women, and made Kate look like the poor victim of the divorce.

I watched all this coverage and thought to myself: “PUUUL-EEEEEEASE!!”

I don’t mean to sound like a “manist” (the male version of being a “feminist”), but I always hate it when the media makes the woman out to be the victim, and doesn’t shoulder any of the responsibility on her for what happened.  As much as they may have wanted to pin the whole divorce as being Jon’s fault, I clearly remember sitting through a marathon of “Jon and Kate Plus 8” shows during Thanksgiving of 2008 and seeing all the harsh words and actions Kate was dishing out to Jon.  I won’t go into too much detail, but suffice to say, there is MORE than enough evidence on tape of Kate emasculating her husband that would display MORE than enough reasons for him to want to (a) leave her as quickly as possible, and (b) find another girl to latch onto who would show him the attention he wanted.

Since everyone in the media was treating him like the “bad guy,” I figured I needed to make a statement defending Jon, and remind the world how much of a bitch Mrs. Gosselin actually was (and still is).

My man from the ATL, producer K.K.O.F. (http://www.kkof.wordpress.com) had sent me a gaggle of beats to use for my upcoming album (coming very, very soon).  I don’t remember if I wrote the song or picked the beat out first, but I liked the way the steel drums sounded on the beat and the bounce of it, so I  decided to run with it.

As for the song itself, I basically went through and reminded people of how bad Kate’s attitude was.  I mention watching the TV show and thinking she was crazy; the times she treated him like a kid; her lack of appreciation she showed when he tried to help (simply because he wasn’t doing it HER way); and so much more.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The most important part of any song is the chorus.  It has to relay the thought of the song without being too complicated so that people will be able to easily chant it and get it stuck in their heads.  I’ve gotten very, VERY good at this.  I knew I didn’t want the chorus to be too wordy, and at first I was just going to say “Kate Gosselin is a biiiiiiiiiiitch” like it says in the song.  Then, I realized it would be more powerful if there was something else for people to chant.  Thus, I added the lines “You already know” and “She’s a crazy ho” and repeated them each 3 times at different parts of the chorus.

2. There’s a part in the song where I say: “…cause a mid-20s dude with 8 kids is CRAZY!”  Its been proven that men do much better raising kids if they start at a later age.  And that’s just with ONE kid – apparently, the more kids a man has, and the younger he is when he has them, the less stable of a father they are, and the more likely he is to divorce.

3. Another line I like is when I say: “…you can claim all day that Jon’s the bad guy in this.”  Realistically, a divorce occurs because BOTH parties are at fault – for the media and Kate to give all the blame to Jon is just darn ridiculous.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO:

There are 2 versions of this video, both of which have most of the same elements.

After completing my “One-Song-a-Week” video project last year, I got tired of trying to think up different scenarios for my songs.  Finally, I thought to myself: “Hey… Soulja Boy got discovered posting up a video where all he did was dance in front of a camera – I don’t need no stinkin’ complicated concepts for my vids!”

So, whenever I would think of a song, I would either post up pictures, film myself sitting on my bed mouthing the words or, in the case of this video, both. I found some pics online of Jon and Kate that I could occasionally flash throughout the video, then recorded myself “performing” the song on my bed.

Of course, I didn’t want people watching the video to KNOW I was sitting on my bed, or that I was in my bedroom.  So, I made sure to move myself close to my iMAC camera (yes, I used my built-in computer camera to record this) and change the color in post – the white background was actually my bedroom wall!

I posted the original version of the video up in September, and as of last week it had gotten up to 4000+ views. I hadn’t thought about the song in a while, and after that video I had posted up quite a few others (most notably, my “Imma Let U Finish” video featuring Kanye West’s MTV rant as the chorus – video currently has 38,000 views) The last thing I did with the song was include it on my “Attack of the Obama Milli Remix Guy!” album, which I sent to iTunes that same month.

And man, oh man, am I glad I did THAT!

See, back in September, I had NO idea that, come March of 2010, Kate Gosselin would be one of the celebrities on “Dancing With The Stars.”  Nor did I know that she would be such a huge you-know-what to her instructor that people who may have disagreed with the sentiment of my song back in September 2009 were in full agreement with it after seeing her on the show.

But then, my friend Antwon posted a comment on my Facebook page that said:

You hit the nail on the head about a year ago: Kate Gosselin is a (insert bad word)….I watched DWTS, and she is too much to deal with…smh

I don’t actually watch “Dancing With the Stars” and had no idea what he was talking about.  So I went to YouTube.  And I saw the footage.  And I thought to myself: “Wow – it would be a GREAT idea to take this footage and mix some of it in with my ‘Kate Gosselin is a B*tch’ video!”

So, that’s what I did: I got the footage, cut up the juicy parts from the segment, added it into my video, and reposted it.

And now, not even a whole week later, it’s up to 3800 views as of this typing. And counting.

AAAAAND… the best part? The song’s already up on iTunes, so hopefully people will buy it as much as they’re still buying the “Obama Milli Remix,” which is a LOT!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. For the second video, I was going to paste the clips of Kate in, and have the music playing underneath.  However, the dialogue was just too darn good to not be heard as a result of music covering it up.  So, I went with the technique of stopping the song and playing the clips instead, except for the end (by which time everyone should know the chorus enough to where they know what’s being said underneath).

2. The “Beartoons” cartoon at the end – I found that while doing a search, and thought it was the perfect way to end the video.

3. In case you’re curious: yes, all three chorus shots are EXACTLY the same.  I did it one time, then cut and pasted it at each chorus part.  Why? ‘Cause I’m lazy, and didn’t feel like filming it 3 times, okay?!?

4. In the past, I was worried that people might not be able to hear what it is I’m saying. So, for this video, I added captions.  I wish I had done them in a different color, though: I did it in yellow, which works great.. until you get to the parts where there are people in the shot – then it gets kinda hard to read 😦

5. The sound quality on the first version of the video is actually better.  This is because, for the second video, I couldn’t find where I had saved the video on my hard drive, so I had to download it off YouTube and re-use it.  Not only does this slightly lower the video quality, but also the sound quality. Sorry 😦

That’s all for now – I’m glad the video is taking off! You can find it on iTunes courtesy of my “Attack of the Obama Milli Remix Guy!”album!

-A.P.T.