Category: Parody


Well, it’s finally here…

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

Track listing:

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

Insights into the album:

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

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

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

Fast-forward 4 years later…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

Get the album NOW – click HERE!

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

DOWNLOAD NOW: iTunes or Soundcloud

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

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

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

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

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

– A.P.T.

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

Download from any of the following:

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

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

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

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

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

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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