Category: Rap


Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to announce the release of my first ever collaboration mixtape…

Manifest Destiny: The Takeover Mixtape Cover12 Hot songs (plus some bonuses) from me, A.P.T., and my partner in rhyme (and beats) Kaptain Kutta!!

FREE DOWNLOAD – CLICK ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING LINKS TO PREVIEW/DOWNLOAD:

DATPIFF.COM

MIXTAPEPASS.COM

YOUSENDIT.COM

Track Listing:

  1. The Takeover
  2. I Don’t Mean to Brag
  3. V.I.P.
  4. Wade in the Water
  5. No Tomorrow
  6. The Break Up Song
  7. When The Doves Cry
  8. Heads Will Roll
  9. Take a Look (So Fly)
  10. All Thanks to the Dope Man
  11. Choose One
  12. About to Blow (plus 2 bonus songs!)

INSIGHT INTO A MIXTAPE:

This is my first collaboration mixtape, and it came about for one very simple reason: I wanted to put new music out but didn’t feel like writing full songs.

No, really – most rap songs are 2 to 3 verses, 16 bars or more each, and it can be hard to have to come up with all those words yourself and keep the song interesting. So, I figured it would be a good idea to do a collaboration album.

Why Kaptain Kutta? Well, for those of you who don’t know, this dude is a beat-making GENIUS!! Some of my biggest youtube hits (like “I’mma Let You Finish”) he actually made the beats for, and he’s had quite a few beats on each of my albums. He also raps and puts out a slew of mixtapes each year – way more than me, like every other month or something. He’s got the work ethic and drive for this game, and figured he’d be someone that would actually finish a project with me, as well as make me want to finish a project.

We started making songs in April 2013, with him cooking up beats himself (or with Chris Wayne, his beat-making partner) and me coming up with song concepts and lyrics. It wasn’t until May that I actually had the name for the album. I wanted a title that would symbolize how me and Kutta planned on using this album to take over the industry, if force by necessary. And so, I came up with the idea of calling the album (and later, our group) “Manifest Destiny: The Takeover Mixtape!” (And if you don’t know what “Manifest Destiny” is, I suggest you repeat your 9th grade history class or google it.)

This is a very fun album, but it also gets deep as well. I’ve never been an artist that was good with just creating filler songs or party songs – at some point, it’s always good to have songs with social commentary, or ones that reflect on life, etc. There’s a good mix of songs on here – you have your party songs like “V.I.P.” and “No Tomorrow;” songs about relationships like “The Break Up Song” and “Choose One;” songs about things like the effects of drugs on family (“All Thanks to the Dopeman”) or being tempted by the wrong things (“Wade in the Water”); and some tracks that are about displaying our skills like “The Takeover” and “About to Blow!”

All in all, this album came together real well, and we really want people to hear it. That’s why we’re providing it as a FREE download! You download the album at the following link(s):

DATPIFF.COM

MIXTAPEPASS.COM

YOUSENDIT.COM

That’s all for now – enjoy the mixtape, everybody!! (And yes, videos for songs off the mixtape are coming soon!!)

-A.P.T.

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Greetings!

For those of you who weren’t able to catch me on uStream yesterday, here is the full 24:35 video of that session.  In the video, I talk about the inspiration for the NEW album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back” (out June 8), plus I give you a sneak peak into some of the beats used for the album, as well as an EXCLUSIVE preview of a never-before-heard track.

Oh yeah – in case you’re wondering how I was able to post up a uStream video into a wordpress blog… well, I’ll save that for another blog.  Enjoy the video!

-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

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.

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.

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.

Follow me on Twitter! Twitter.com/APTsongs

Today’s music video is for the song “I Got Some Haters (Remix)” with King Kut and me, A.P.T.!

Available on King Kut’s new album, “The Last Man Standing.” For download info, go to King Kut’s page at http://www.kingkutonfire.wordpress.com

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

First off: Hi! It’s ME again, A.P.T.!

Yes, I’ve been gone for a while, and with good reason: I wasn’t making any videos!  After I finished my 52-week project in May, I ended up making two more videos – one for a contest I entered for Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night” show, and one for a song where I dissed Tyga – and then took a much-needed break.  It’s not easy making 56 videos in a row for release each week, so I figured it would be a while before I even THOUGHT about making another video.

Meanwhile, one of my fans, King Kut, had started his own “One-Song-a-Week” project earlier this year.  His goal was to make 50 videos by September.  I became aware of this back in March, and was impressed enough with his beats and one song in particular – “Rock and Roll” – that I asked him if I could jump on the remix for it AND make some video clips for a remix video.  He agreed, the song was made, the video was made, and it ended up being my video #50 and his video #28.

Since then, I’ve been keeping up with his weekly videos.  There were a few times where he’s release a song without a fancy video – songs that were not officially part of his project – and one of them was a song called “I Got Some Haters.”  I heard the song, and as soon as I heard the chorus and the beat, I started doing what Jay-Z calls the “rain man”: I started mumbling off words that could go with the song.

Not knowing if I’d actually have a full 16 bars to spit on the track, I logged into my hotmail account and begin typing.  The words came to me effortlessly, and in no time at all I had a full 16-bars written. After I sent them to myself, I wrote King Kut and told him that I liked the song, and that I wanted to do a remix to it.  He sent me a copy of the track with a blank space in the third verse area for me to “do my thing,” and the rest is history!

As for the song itself, the chorus is simplistic but catchy – the perfect formula for a memorable chorus.  The song is basically an attack on people out there that might be hating on what it is me and King Kut are trying to do.  Hopefully the song will catch on!

Some Interesting Song Insights:

1. When I asked King Kut to send me a copy of the song, he decided to remix his verses.  While the remixed words were okay, they deviated from the original concept of the song.  Therefore, I ended up using his original verses, then cutting and pasting the blank verse part he had sent onto the end of the original version.

2. I hate hearing songs when everyone on the track is rapping at the same pace/tone/etc.  The purpose of having a guest artist on a track is to bring a different element to the song that’s not already on there.  Since King Kut is rapping at a slow pace in his verses, I felt it necessary to be faster and/or more high energy, especially since I was the 3rd part of the song.

3. At the part of the song where King Kut is introducing me, I added in the effect of the crowd cheering.  Gotta love the MAC sound FX department!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

Like I said before, I’ve been watching King Kut’s videos each week and keeping up with his progress.  His videos are pretty enjoyable, and I was looking forward to seeing him get to his 50th video.

Then, bad luck struck: his PC, much like my laptop had after video 39, started acting up and quitting on him when he tried to edit his videos.  He placed a notice up on his site one day that said he would no longer be able to make videos due to technical issues (along with some other things).

I’ve always been a big believer in finishing something you start.  So, I sent him an email encouraging him to try and do so, along with a few suggestions about how he could overcome some of the computer problems by doing simpler videos.  He thanked me for the advice, but still didn’t think his computer would be able to handle it.

Sunday approached, and I was sitting at home thinking about his project.  He had stalled out at 44 videos… but to me, everything looks better in fives.  Like, even if he couldn’t finish the project, it would be better for him to be able to say “I did 45 videos” instead of just 44 (don’t ask me why, though – it just sounds better).

Then, it dawned on me: I could help him edit together a video for our “I Got Some Haters” collaboration!

I wrote him and asked him if he could possibly send me a single-footage shot of him mouthing the words to his song.  Lo and behold: he was originally going to do the original version of the song as a video, and had already shot some footage which he sent to me.  Prior to that, though, I had already thought out a simplistic enough idea for the video: intertwine shots of me and him mouthing the song with pictures of people mean-muggin’ (i.e. “hating” on us) and pics of slogans denouncing their hater ways.

Once I had everything together, the last part I had to do was my performance.  I thought it would be cool if I had half of my face showing towards the ends of the screen so that I could flip-flop them later – turned out pretty good, actually!  (Incidentally, I also shaved my face for this video – you’re welcome, King Kut!)  I also did a few takes of me directly in the middle of the screen (I filmed my part using my built-in MAC computer camera).

The last part was doing the post-edits.  I had to add in the parts advertising King Kut’s new album, “The Last Man Standing.”  I also added some nice effects to some of the shots so they wouldn’t get too boring.

Note: he usually posted up his videos every Monday; however, I forgot how long these things can take to edit, so I didn’t get the video to him until around 2 or 3 A.M. EST.  Sorry about that!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. I shot my part of the video in my room, sitting on my futon.  I had to clear out my background so it just looked like I’m sitting in front of a clear space.

2. This video didn’t take long to edit per se, but I had other stuff I was trying to do in the midst of editing this video.  I just found out I have 30 days to move out of the place I’m currently staying in, so I spent a good portion of the day looking up new places to live!

That’s all for now! Once again, you can get this song off King Kut’s newest album, “The Last Man Standing” (FREE Download) over at http://www.kingkutonfire.wordpress.com!

-A.P.T.


Above: A.P.T. video blog #8, “Grammys & Cough Syrup!”

Another week, another video in the can…

Yet lo and behold: another video already?!?  

Truthfully, I’ve been wanting to do regular video blogs for a while now.  They’re great for (a) making people know more about me, and (b) connecting with people to where they feel like they know me – and, therefore, are willing to buy my stuff.  Yes, I’m blatantly honest about that last part, but any celeb on YouTube who has a blog (i.e. Diddy) is doing it, ultimately, so you’ll buy their stuff.  I’m just more up-front about it!

I wasn’t able to do this too much on my PC because they aren’t really equipped to do the amount of videos I really wanted to do. Plus, since it’s slower, doing a daily video blog would have been a chore.  I would have had to:

  • Film it
  • Upload it
  • Re-convert the video back into a Windows Media File
  • Place it into Windows Movie Maker
  • Add title, ending, and music
  • Publish it
  • Check the video to make sure it came out the right way
  • Go online to YouTube
  • Post it

With the MAC, though, the process is the following:

  • Film it – FROM THE BUILT-IN CAMERA! (No uploading necessary)
  • Edit, add title, ending and music
  • Click the button that says “post to YouTube”
  • Fill out the info, then post to YouTube.

And that’s it!  Very, very simple.  Plus, since the camera is already built into the computer screen, I don’t have to worry about upload time.  It’s great!

So, I’ll be doing these video blogs on a daily basis, talking about anything I feel like.  Enjoy the video above!

-A.P.T.


Above: NEW song, “Goodbye Bush (Nah Nah Nah),” my ode to G.W. Bush leaving the White House! FREE download at http://www.4shared.com/file/81716173/f6ec79ea/APT_-_Goodbye_Bush__Nah_Nah_Nah_.html!

Also available on “The Next Black President” Mixtape – FREE Download at: http://www.zshare.net/download/5455995741ddef5e/

Lastly, you can now download the VIDEO to re-post on YouTube!
http://www.zshare.net/video/5453399977ea009e

This week’s video… er, I mean, today’s video… is for the song “Goodbye Bush (Nah Nah Nah),” produced by ME!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

First of all: Those of you who normally stop by my website know I tend to post up videos every Sunday.  Clearly, as I am posting this video, it is Thursday, meaning it’s not Sunday.  Therefore, you may be a bit confused. 

Allow me to tell you a fascinating story…

So, Tuesday was Barack Obama’s official swearing in as the 44th President of the United States of America.  Which also meant it was the day George W. Bush was finally LEAVING office.  I, along with the rest of the nation, couldn’t have been more happy about this moment – both for a Black man entering the White House, and a White man who was LOUSY at his job as “President” finally being given the boot!

After watching all the events unfold on TV, I started surfing the net.  A story popped up on Yahoo.com saying that, as Bush was being helicoptered out of the area, there were people in the crowd singing rock band Steam’s classic hit chorus:

“Nah, nah, nah, nah… nah, nah, nah, nah… hey, hey, hey… gooood-byyyyye!”

I thought that was extremely hilarious!  The more I thought about them doing that, though, the more I thought I could make it into a song. So, I went on YouTube to figure out the band that did it, then downloaded the song off Limewire.  I was hoping I could find the instrumental somewhere, but it wasn’t meant to be. 

Luckily, the opening part of the song has no words being said in it, so I was able to take that part of the song and re-loop it.   FYI: people think re-looping a sample is easy. WRONG!  I had to cut and paste a small part from another part of the song and paste it near the opening part where there’s drums but no other music so it would sound like a seamless loop, then I had to copy and re-paste the song in the right section over and over again, not to mention having to mix in the various parts where the “Nah nah nah’s” would come in… it took about 2 hours to make that “simple” little beat, people!

Once I had the beat done, I had a freestyle/writing session.  I wrote down some lyrics, then freestyled to the beat for a bit, and used bits and pieces from both to create the 2 verses of the song.  Then, I recorded them.  It took me a few takes to get the feel/flow down of the song since I didn’t want to just rap it all sing-songy.  There are lots of stops and pauses in the verses, so I had to record several takes before I got it right.

When it came time to do the talking part during the drum solo, I just freestyled it.  I didn’t know what I was going to say – all I know is, I wanted to summarize a few points: (1) That Bush did a bad job, (2) that his administration was no longer in power, and (3) that hope could now be restored.

I mixed and mastered the song as best I could… but somehow, the sound sounded a bit fuzzy.  I was going to work on the song some more before releasing it, but I knew that time was of the essence.  Now that Barack’s in office and the parties were winding down, I knew it would only be a matter of days before any song released about Bush or Barack would be of less importance/meaning.

So, I figured I’d post it up as is – after all, my videos as of late, while great, hadn’t been getting as many views as I’d like, so I thought not too many people would even hear it.  I was going to just post it up with a black screen saying “Free Download, Stop By My Website…

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

…but I couldn’t just do that!

I hate when I go to YouTube, and someone has a song up but no “real” video to go with it.  I figured that, even if I just posted up a video of me dancing to or miming the song, it would still be better than having the viewer look at nothing the whole time!

I didn’t want to do a big shoot or one that would take a lot of time (I’ll save that for this Sunday’s video), so I decided to keep it simple.  I placed my camera on top of a printer box I sat atop a stool in the kitchen next to the table, and proceeded to ACT A FOOL.

Since I didn’t know the words to the song completely – I had only just written and recorded it that day – I decided not to try and mouth words, but use my actions to (hopefully) match the words of the song.  Combine that with some out-of-date dance moves (Hammer Time!) and moving arm gestures, and voila! – instant video!

WHY I’M POSTING THIS ON A THURSDAY:

After I was done with the video, I placed it on YouTube.  I like for my videos to get views, and the page on this site where the “Obama Milli Remix Page” is, continues to get high views.  So, I placed the video/song atop all the pages with “Obama Milli” on it.

Lo and behold: while going out and about doing business today, my roommate/best friend from college keeps calling my phone.  I call him once I get home, at which point he tells me that the song has been posted on www.worldstarhiphop.com, a respected Hip-hop site who, during the summer, had also placed up my “Obama Milli” song.

I go to inspect this myself – yep, it was up there – and also look up the YouTube accounts I placed it on, both of which have a stream of viewers for the song (250 at the aptsongs account, over 600 and counting at the aptistheman account).  I also looked on the account I have where I have my songs available for FREE download – over 43 downloads and counting. 

Not too bad, considering the song’s been up for ONE day!

However, I hadn’t even considered adding this video to my “One-Song-a-Week” collection because (a) the video was REAL simple, and (b) it’s not Sunday. 

At the same time, though, that saying of “striking while the iron’s hot” rings true.  If people were singing the song I sampled for mine, both during Inauguration AND on the night Obama got elected (thanks for the word on that, B.C.!), and I have a song out now with that same sample in relation to Bush, I HAVE to release it while his name is still in the papers.

And, since I have a video related to all of that, I have to release it now and add it to the collection.  Plus, it’s already gotten more views in one day than some of my other videos have in the weeks they’ve been released – must mean I have a hit on my hands again!

Oh yeah – I also went back and re-mixed it so the vocals sound clearer.  For purposes of advertising that I have other material available, I also added some promo-stuff for “The Great Black Hope” onto the end of the song so people will think, “Wow, I should really buy this guy’s stuff!”  Gotta think of it like a business, people!!

That’s all for now – yes, there will still be a video Sunday!  See ya then!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

Okay, so I’ve done 30 videos now. As a result, I’ve been able to: (a) have a worldwide hit single, (b) get my music to a wide audience, and (c) collaborate with other up-and-coming MCs. I’ve also done a lot of other cool things – I just don’t feel like listing the whole alphabet here 🙂

However, the one thing that has eluded me is actually getting PAID to work with other people via my music. Oh sure, I’ve sold some albums and a LOT of copies of the “O-bama O-bama” single. But the whole point of this project is to get noticed enough to have OTHER people want to pay me for use on their projects.

And yet, it hasn’t happened… UNTIL NOW.

Imagine my surprise this week when, upon checking my hotmail account, I get a message from a guy (name withheld for now) telling me he wants to PAY me to come up with a theme song for his website! I won’t go into details until the entire project is complete, but I will say this: he is a multi-millionaire who is looking to help others find ways to make their fortune via his books and speeches, and – important to me – he wants to PAY me for my services!

As to how much I’ll get paid… well, we’re still negotiating that part. But regardless, it’s nice to think that someone out there actually thought enough of my music to say, “Hey, ya know what? Let me give this guy a shot!”

So, I’ve already completed the song… it’s weird doing songs for hire because it’s a completely different beast from a creative standpoint. I usually come up with my songs just out of the blue, and I can take as long as I want on them because… well, they’re MY songs. Having to write a song with a deadline is different – it’s almost like “forced creativity,” which isn’t a bad thing. However, it certainly does add a bit of pressure for a person to write something that, not only will they like, but the person they’re writing it for, as well as their audience of people AND your audience of people.

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, this week’s video is going to be AWESOME!! I’ve actually had the idea in mind for the longest time, and it’s going to be EPIC. I try not to make my YouTube videos too long (people have short attention spans these days), but who knows what will happen once I start filming??

That’s all for now – see ya on Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT
Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Gentlemen and Ladies, to you I present proudly…

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

THE NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT (a.k.a. BACK ON MY GRIND) – The BRAND NEW A.P.T. Mixtape!

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

Click http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=223462  to download! (For mixtape insights, scroll down below the track listing!)

Track Listing for “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back on My Grind)” (Highlighted links have a music video for that song!):

01. Intro – The First Black President (feat. Barack Obama and Katie Couric)
02. The Next Black President – Produced by Chris I
03. Back on My Grind – Produced by SINIMA Beats
04. Killed the Beat (feat. Myxtape) – Produced by Myxtape
05. Shine 4 Obama (feat. Luther Vandross)
06.#1 (feat. Jay-Z) – Produced by ME!
07. Go Hard – The Unofficial Remix (DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain) 
08. Another Unnecessary Interlude
09. Crank Dat (Yeah!) – Produced by Fire Kraka 
10. Your Mom’s a Ho! – Produced by Mister KA
11. You Ashy (feat. Black & Broke) – Produced by Black & Broke
12. Where My Money At – Produced by Mister KA/ 
13. Get Your Paper (feat. Paul Ma$$on)
14. Interlude – T-Pain Sings “O-bama O-bama” on 106 & Park
15. O-Bama Mega-remix (feat. Tyga) – Produced by ME!
16. Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father) – Produced by SINIMA Beats 
17. BONUS: A Rhymestyle Podcast Interview with A.P.T.
18 .BONUS: The A.P.T. LP Preview (Short Version)
19. Outro for The Next Black President

INSIGHT INTO A MIXTAPE:

First, I want to thank everyone who downloaded “The O-Bama Mixtape,” and/or purchased “The A.P.T. LP!“  It’s been my dream for a few years now to expose my music to a wide audience, and, between these two albums, I have been able to fulfill a good portion of that dream (the other part, of course, is being able to make a living off it – I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working on it daily!)

It’s funny how things come about in life – I wanted to get noticed in the music biz, so I started this website with the goal of putting out ONE music video a week, every Sunday, for a year.  Video/song number five, “O-bama O-bama,” was a song I put together almost as a joke, yet it ended up becoming WAY more popular than I could have imagined.

As a result of its sudden popularity, I had people asking me when I’d be putting out a mixtape.  At the time, I was only on song number 7 or 8 so it hadn’t dawned on me to even put out a mixtape of full songs, as I was concentrating on just doing ONE song a week.

But lo and behold: I started making more songs, and thought: “Hmm… instead of making all these songs and putting them out one by one as the videos were made, maybe it would be a better idea to release the music first, THEN make videos for the songs on the albums so that they’d be fresh and new for people being exposed to them each week, thereby making them want the song THEN verses LATER!”

“The O-Bama Mixtape” was put together in a quick amount of time – almost 2 weeks – but I was able to do it fast because I had been recording material throughout the months prior, and didn’t really have to record that much new stuff.  I also knew that, given the momentum of the song, it would be a great way to let people hear my talent outside of just parody songs (even though I put quite a few parodies on the mixtape).

Long story short: “The O-Bama Mixtape” was released on July 27th, 2008.  Prior to the week of the election, it had been downloaded over 1300 times. 

I was pretty happy with that number, though I was still wishing that more people had gotten it.  I didn’t know too much about the rate at which mixtapes get downloaded, so I just assumed that 1300 was a good number, given that not too many people knew who I was.  Plus, I assumed it was bootlegged by even MORE people – hey, it was free anyway, so what did I care how people got it in their hands?!?

And then, the week of the election came.  On the website, I’m able to check my blog stats daily (i.e. the number of people stopping by to view my site), and I noticed that, as election night neared, I was starting to get more and more traffic to my website.  Between September and the end of October the daily rates had gone down to about 200-300 people per day… but during the election week, the numbers were shooting up into the late hundreds, then the lower thousands.

I also started to notice that “The O-Bama Mixtape” was starting to pick up numbers in terms of downloads.  It went from 1300 to – and I’m not making this up – 2450 the day of the election!  As of now, it’s been downloaded over 3000 times (and I’m pretty sure that number will go up even more once Obama’s Inauguration time comes around!)

More importantly, though, my album, “The A.P.T. LP,” was starting to sell units!  In the week that Obama was elected, I sold about 25 copies of the album, both the MP3 version AND a few mail-order CDs.

On the day before the election, the number of viewers at my site was around 2000.  It was then that I realized I had yet another opportunity to let people know about my music – all I had to do was advertise for it, and make people aware of some new product I had coming out…

Only problem was: I didn’t HAVE anything coming out!

I had nothing planned – no new album, no merchandise, NOTHING.  Clearly, I had to think of something…

I looked through the catalogue of songs I had to see if I had enough to put together a new mixtape that I could advertise.  As it turns out, I actually had MORE than enough songs to put together a decent mixtape, plus I had beats for songs not yet written, save for the chorus in many occasions.

I also had some collaborations stored up that hadn’t yet seen the light of day.  Back when the “O-Bama O-Bama” song came out, I posted a video on Youtube telling people to e-mail me if they wanted to do a collaboration.  I ended up recording 2 “official” collaborations – one with Myxtape on the track, “Killed the Beat” and one with Black and Broke for “You Ashy” – plus an unofficial collabo with Paul Ma$$on on a song he did called “Get Your Paper.” 

Lastly, there were songs I had made videos for – “Your Mom’s a Ho!”, “Where My Money At,” “Smile 4 Dad,” and more – that hadn’t been placed on any of my mixtapes.  Some of these were songs I released prior to “O-Bama O-Bama” though, so they didn’t get much exposure.  And, because I don’t have the lease rights to these beats, I wasn’t able to sell them (or else I would have put them on “The A.P.T. LP”), but per the beat holders’ site rules, they COULD be used for mixtapes!

Once I decided that I could actually put together a mixtape, all I had to do was think of a name.  That part was actually easy: “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind).”  I figured if Obama won the election it would be a great title to use (and if he lost, I could just call it the First Black President instead).  As for the tag line – Back on My Grind – it was the name given to the beat I used for the second song.

I placed an ad up for it the night before the election.  And I’m glad I did – the next day, my site was viewed over 4,000 times! And, in the days that followed, my views hovered above the 1500 per day mark, meaning that more and more people were being told of the news about my upcoming mixtape!

And now it’s here!  I actually finished this whole thing a couple of days early, so I spent the last few days mixing, mastering, and even recording a new song – the “Go Hard (Unofficial Remix)” – that I ended up making the first video off the mixtape!

Now for the fun stuff!  For those of you who like mini-insights into songs, here are the tracks with all the commentary you could shake a stick at!

TRACK 01: Intro – The First Black President (feat. Barack Obama and Katie Couric)

My last mixtape started off with O-Bama talking about why he was running.  Now that he won, I thought it would be a good idea to recall that historic night with a news announcement of the win as well as part of his acceptance speech.

TRACK 02: The Next Black President (Produced by Chris I)

The beat on this one is siiiiick!  As for the song, it basically talks about how I feel I can achieve anything now that he’s in office, including being the NEXT Black President!  Incidentally, the chorus of the song is inspired by Diddy – in one of his songs on the “Press Play” album, he says: “The potential to be the first Black President/I-tunes, download me in every residence.”  Seemed fitting to use here!

TRACK 03: Back On My Grind (Produced by SINIMA Beats)

This is what I call a “Fighter Track.”  It’s one where you just pummel the beat over and over with words, almost to the point of over-whelming it.  When I heard the beat, I knew that’s how I had to go at it.  The song’s not really saying anything – just showing my skill and talking about how I’m still handling my biz!

TRACK 04: Killed The Beat (feat. Myxtape) (Produced by Myxtape)

An artist named Myxtape sent me this track and asked me to spit vocals on it.  His only instruction: “Make sure you kill it!” So, I took him literally, and killed the beat!  His verse on here is pretty sick, too – you can check out more of his songs at www.myspace.com/myxtape!

TRACK 05: Shine 4 Obama (feat. Luther Vandross)

After the “O-Bama O-Bama” song got big, people started trying to make their own versions and claim it as their own.  My uncle thought it would be a good idea to create another Obama song, only for the grown and sexy crowd (and a song that was a little less crass – no mentioning of Michelle’s behind in this one!).  I found this Luther Vandross track called “Shine” and made a song called “Shine 4 Obama.”

TRACK 06: #1 (feat. Jay-Z) (Produced by ME!)

I actually recorded this track back in 2005!  I recorded some accapella vocals from various Jay-Z songs, and sampled the music from the Guile fighting stage ot “Street Fighter II” (yes, I look for samples EVERYWHERE!!) to make this song!  It’s basically me talking about how I’m better than everyone else.  Typical rap track, with a not-so-typical soundtrack!

TRACK 07: Go Hard – The Unofficial Remix (DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain) (Produced by The Runners)

I heard this song quite a few times in the past week, and became such a fan of it that I HAD to do a remix to it!  This was the last track I recorded for the mixtape – I basically found the song, found the beat, and edited it to where Kanye’s first verse was left in tact, while the second verse was blank for me to spit lyrics about how hard I go on the mic.  How hard it is?  Listen to the song/watch the video to find out!

TRACK 08: Another Unnecessary Interlude

An unnecessary interlude, talking about dumb stuff.

TRACK 09: Crank Dat (Yeah!) (Produced by Fire Kraka)

This was the ninth video I recorded for YouTube.  It was one of those songs where I heard the beat, started freestyling some dumb lyrics, and thought it would be good to put out just to show that I could make those types of songs (even though I usually don’t).  Lo and behold, it became one of my more popular videos on YouTube.  And as they always say, “Give the people what they want!” I recorded it because every time I went to a club, people were doing the “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” dance to EVERY song.  Thus, the chorus of this song – “No matter what the song, you gotta crank that (yeah!)”

TRACK 10: Your Mom’s a Ho! (Produced by Mister KA)

This was the third song I made into a video.  It talks about your mom.  And guess what? She’s a ho.

TRACK 11: You Ashy (feat. Black & Broke)

These were the very first guys to ask me about doing a collaboration.  The song concept itself was funny, and I only had to write 8 bars worth of lyrics, so I said, “Sure!”  The song talks about… well, people being ashy! Put some lotion on your skin!  You can check out their stuff at www.myspace.com/blackbroke.

TRACK 12: Where My Money At (Produced by Mister KA)

This song was the eighteenth music video I recorded.  Actually, I recorded it BEFORE I started my sight, but I post it up much later.  Sadly, this song is based on a true story: I had a money deal go bad involving some iphones that turned out to be fake, and I was so mad that I wanted to find the guy and beat his ass.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it in REAL life, so I did it in a song instead!

TRACK 13: Get Your Paper (feat. Paul Ma$$on)

Another collabo, only not originally requested by the artist.  Paul Ma$$on sent the track out to a bunch of people; however, he only recorded over the first two verse parts of the song – the third verse area was left completely blank!  So, since I had a music program and liked the song/beat, I recorded a verse over the untouched area of the song and sent it back to him.  When it came time to put songs together for this mixtape, I asked him if I could use it, and he said, “Sure!”  Mr. Ma$$on is a REALLY good artist, and you should hear some of his other song – which you can, at www.myspace.com/PaulMa$$on!

TRACK 14: Interlude – T-Pain Sings “O-Bama O-Bama” on 106 & Park

Just like the title says: T-Pain went on 106 & Park, and, while talking to the hosts about registering to vote, guess what song he starts singing?!?

TRACK 15: O-bama Mega-remix (feat. Tyga) (Produced by ME!)

So what happened was this: I created the song, and provided it for a FREE download.  Another guy on YouTube took the “O-Bama O-Bama” part of the song where there is NO music, and made his own “O-Bama O-Bama” beat, only with a more southern bounce to it.  Tyga contacted the guy and asked him for the beat so he could make his own “Obama” song, promising the guy he’d give him and me a shout-out.

Long story short: He made his song, I got NO shout out.  Worse, people started questioning if I was the original creator – despite the fact that it’s ME saying “O-bama O-bama” in the background!

Unfortunately, I don’t have the clout yet to go around suing everyone who steals my good ideas.  At the same time, I thought it would be a bit hypocritical of me to be mad about him stealing my song, seeing as I got the idea from Bangladesh’s original beat and Lil’ Wayne’s original song.  (I was more mad about the fact that he was able to perform the song in front of LIVE audiences and get PAID, while I was not.)

So, instead, I decided to fuse the two versions together and create an “O-bama Mega-remix!”

TRACK 16: Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father) (Produced by SINIMA Beats)

A song I created the week of Father’s Day, and the fourth song I directed a music video for.  It’s a love-letter to my father, who passed away when I was 9. 

TRACK 17: BONUS TRACK – A.P.T. Podcast Interview With Rhymestyle

This is a bonus track for those interested to learn a bit more about me.  Rhymestyle, a rising music industry insider, has a pod cast show he does almost every Friday, and back in August he asked me if he could interview me for the show.  Uh… heck yeah!  The questions and conversation are pretty interesting, so it’s definitely worth a listen!

TRACK 18: BONUS TRACK – “The A.P.T. LP” Preview

Why? Because I’m still trying to earn money, that’s why!  It’s a mini-sampler of 5 songs from “The A.P.T. LP!”
And that’s it!  I hope you all enjoy the mixtape, and be on the lookout for my next official album, “The Great Black Hope,” out Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 – i.e. my BIRTHDAY!!

-A.P.T.