Category: the apt lp



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

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This week’s music video is for the song “Bust My G.A.T.,” produced by me, A.P.T.!

SONG AVAILABLE ON “THE A.P.T. LP” – Preview it at www.Myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This song is four-and-a-half years old, and has been on every album I’ve put together, from “The A.P.T. EP” to “Check The Resume,” and now, “The A.P.T. LP.”

Why, you ask?  Because I just really, REALLY like this song! Plus, it’s hilarious as heck, and any time I play it for people, they usually end up laughing their ass off!

The journey for this song begins in January 2004.  I was still in college, and was starting to take this whole “wanting to rap” thing seriously.  I had been on tour the year before, and had bought myself a drum machine and an interface device that I could record songs on. 

I made a song called “Imma Skitzo” which used a very minimalist-type beat – just drums, a few taps and a long hold note for the chorus.  One day I went to tweak the beat I made for the song, and I inadvertently came up with another lil’ jam using the same chords, only at a different pace and with a different pitch.

I also found that this particular drum machine also had sound files with sound effects, one of which was a range of gun shots.  I thought it would be cool to make a beat using the drum shots.  However, there was just one smaaaaall problem: I’m not exactly a gangsta rapper, and beats with gun shots in them are usually reserved for an MC that’s talking about bustin’ proper on his haters.

Yeah, I can talk that slang too, yo!

Furthermore, one of the concerns others had about me being taken seriously as a rapper was that I wasn’t… well, I wasn’t a LOT of things: I wasn’t from the hood, I wasn’t hard, I didn’t have a hard life growing up, I didn’t “sound” black enough to be a rapper (what a f–kin’ insult – what, I gotta sound ig’nant to be black?!?)… and so on.

So, in finding this gun shot sound, I thought it would be funny to put together a song with the following question in mind: “If I really WAS trying to be a hard-core gangsta rapper, and I claimed to have a gun like all the other ones do, how would I go about using it?”

From there, the song just kind of flowed out on its own.  I typed up 3/4 of the song in Hampton University’s library (when I should have been doing REAL work), and came back the next day to finish up the rest.  The hardest part was trying not to laugh as I was typing up the lyrics – they just seemed so damn ridiculous and funny to me.

4 years later, and the song STILL cracks me up!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Rappers like to say lines that are similar to an old-school artist as homage to their rap forefathers. And I am no different; the opening lines of the song – “Now what you hear is not a test, I’m rappin’ to the beeeat/It’s just A.P.T., and his gun, we gon’ knock you off your feeeeeet” – is similar to the very first popular rap lyrics spoken by Sugar Hill Gang in the song “Rapper’s Delight.”

2. A LOT of people get killed in this song – not to mention animals, objects, and other MCs.  I figured the more absurd I made the song, the better I’d be able to get across my point of how stupid I think MCs are who rap about using guns like it’s a GOOD thing.

3. Incidentally, I eventually sold my drum machine when I needed money for something else.  I saved the beat somewhere, but I have no idea where.  In other words, this song has only been recorded once, and the same version has been placed on all my albums ever since.  I hope to find the beat and re-record it, but to be honest with you, the song always sounded good to me ever since the first time I recorded it.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

This song was NOT going to be made into a video. 

I want to make a video for all the songs on my album, but for this one I had NO idea what I’d do.  In fact, I was supposed to be shooting another video this week, but I’m still waiting on footage from a friend of mine in Cali to do that other video (hit me up, J!).

I hadn’t gotten the footage by Tuesday, so I started thinking about other videos I could do.  And “Bust My G.A.T.” kept coming to mind.  I have a Nintendo 64, and my original plan was to be completely lazy and film shots of me playing “Goldeneye 007,” which is a first-person shooter. 

Then I thought: “Hey, wait a minute: instead of filming a TV screen with ‘Goldenye 007’ being played, why don’t I film a real-life version of it instead!? I could walk around town, holding a gun at the bottom of the screen like in the game, and ‘shoot’ the various people/things/animals mentioned in the song!”

One problem: I didn’t have a gun.  Of any kind – no real gun, toy gun, water gun, nothing.

And I try to keep the budget of these videos to ZERO if possible, so I didn’t feel like spending money on a gun I’d only be using once.

Then, it hit me again: “Why don’t you just use a Nintendo 64 controller as the ‘gun?'”  Now THAT sounded hilarious!

Once I had the basic idea, I started searching on the Internet for the items I mention in my song.  Pictures of nuns, pee-wee baseball leagues, cashiers, models, other MCs – I wanted to make it a “game” where the player walks through the city shooting people as a means of gaining street credibility, and thus, increases his popularity as a rapper.  Every time one of these items pops on-screen, the player would shoot at them, thus gaining points.

In terms of the playing aspect, I really, REALLY wanted to use a Wii controller so I could act like I was actually shooting the objects on the screen. One problem (at this point, hasn’t it really been more like 3 or 4 problems?) – I don’t own a Nintendo Wii.  Oh well, I figured – I could just act like I’m playing it on the N64 with a regular controller.  No big deal.

I had everything mapped out, and I wanted to shoot during the daytime on Friday… but then I had to go to work.  CRAP!

“But wait!” I thought to myself, “Since you have to walk to work anyway, why not just take your camera with you and film the damn thing while you’re out and about and/or on break?”  And so, I did! 

The funniest part of this whole shoot was seeing people’s reactions as I was walking around with a camera in one hand, and a Nintendo 64 controller in the other (with the wire going into my right pocket).  Nevertheless, I was able to get the shots I wanted throughout the course of the day.

Of course, not only did I have to shoot the scenes where it was a video game, but also the scenes of me playing the game.  While on break from work, I decided to head to the mall and film scenes of me buying the game – “How 2 B A Rapper: The Action-Adventure Game” – from an EBGames store.  After filming one or two shots, I remembered that the store had a Nintendo Wii kiosk set up for people to test out some of the games.

And it hit me: OMG, I could film myself playing the Wii in the store, and act like I was playing “How 2 B A Rapper” on it!!  The Wii has gun games out where the motion-censored controller is used as a gun, and this would be a perfect fit for what I wanted to do in the first place!!

I placed the camera on the shelf next to the Wii kiosk and filmed 2 minutes of me doing various “reactions” to the game.  And it came out PERFECT.

Once everything was filmed, I loaded up the footage on my computer and worked on the graphical look of the video-game portions of the video.  Because it’s supposed to be a game, I had to type in all the parts where you see “Status,” “Life” and “Street Cred Points.”  I also had to right down what sequence everything was in so I could place the right point numbers on the right footage.  For example, the shots before the nun getting shot had to have a Street Cred point reading of “000,” whereas the footage immediately afterward would have to say “010,” or 10 points.  It was pretty easy keeping all the info together, and I’m glad the ability to type text onto the screen (as well as include the water-color effect of the video to make it look almost like “Grand Theft Auto”) is already included in my two video-edit programs.

All in all, this has to be one of the more ambitious videos I have shot in a while, even more so than “Smooth Talker” and “Obama, Obama.”  And, so far, it’s one of my favorites!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. Shout-outs to two of the girls who participated in the video (both of whom I work with): Michelle, who’s the girl paying for our date; and Dolly, who, sadly, gets killed for the benefit of me earning more points for Street Cred!

2. The parts of the video where I mouth the words to the song came out pretty good, especially considering that I had NO actual music playing in the background.  I thought I’d be filming my parts for the video at my apartment, so I didn’t bring any audio equipment with me.  Yet, lo and behold, the mouthing of the words match up perfectly with the video.  Why? Because I KNOW THIS SONG THAT DANG WELL!

3. The area for the shots took place in Midtown Atlanta, Dunwoody Mall, and the Dunwoody area of Atlanta, which is actually a bit outside the Atlanta loop… but let’s not be picky!

4. The ending of the video was spontaneous as well.  In the song, the last line is, “How come u in prison, dog?/I bust my gaaaaat.”  Problem was, I didn’t know what I could use for a jail.  However, I thought it would be sweet justice if, after having spent a whole day killing people, I myself were to get shot at by day’s end.  So, while walking home from work at night, I filmed the last part of the video.  In keeping with the “Goldeneye 007”-type theme, I get shot, the gun goes out of screen’s view, and I do a dizzying fall to the ground. Ha ha, hilarious!

5. For the grocery store scene, I went to Wal-mart (why I end up shooting a Publix employee is beyond me), and filming myself with a gun while trying to push a shopping cart proved to be quite hard.  The small footage I used in the video is the best out of a whopping 1 minute and 42 second shot I took where I kept trying to avoid pushing the cart into the actual groceries!!

6. I have no idea WHERE I found the shot of the cat shooting with a gun, but it sure does look funny!

7. It may be a bit blurry in the video for the part of the night scene where I’m standing in front of a big lit-up sign.  That’s the Woodruff Arts Center, where they hold plays, concerts and other things involving performance.

8. Edit time for this video was LONG. Between having to add in elements like graphic effects, pictures, etc., the whole thing took me about 9 hours.  All for a 4-minute clip – what kinda bull-crap is THAT?!?

That’s all for now – enjoy the video, download “The A.P.T. LP” today, and I’ll see ya next week!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Another week, another video in the can…

Man. That’s 16 videos so far. I did 2 this week, one for a video called “Shine 4 Obama” which got taken down by YouTube because it featured Luther Vandross. I’m sure Sony probably caught wind of that one… I re-post it on a different site and then post it up on my MySpace page, so it’s now a “MySpace Exclusive.” I’d post it here, but this site doesn’t allow HTML.

Friggin’ sux.

Anyway, people really seemed to like the “Smooth Talker” video, and I couldn’t be happier. At the same time, while people are watching that video I’m already thinking of next week’s video – and, to be quite honest, thinking of a video every week can be straining at times.

Sometimes, these ideas will come to me waaaay early in advance. I had the idea for the filming of the “Smooth Talker” video as far back as July. For this week’s video, though, I’m still thinking up ideas of how I want it to come together.

I actually had another song in mind for this week’s upcoming video, but it requires one of my friends to film her part for me – from California – and then send me the footage to edit. I don’t know if she’ll have filmed it in time for Sunday, though, so I always have to have a “just in case things don’t come through” back-up plan video. Of course, I didn’t start thinking about that until Tuesday, so trying to pull an idea out of my ass is, as you can assume, quite painful (as would pulling anything out of your ass in general).

With that said, the video is for a song that’s on “The A.P.T. LP,” and over 4 years old. The song is quite hilarious, and the idea I have for the video it is semi-ambitious. If I can pull it off, though, it will be AWESOME. I start shooting for the video tomorrow – I don’t have to work tomorrow night, which will give me Friday night/Saturday afternoon to film it, then Saturday night to edit. I’m going to try and actually write out a plan for the video this time (usually I just film on the fly) so I can save myself some time.

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

 

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

INSIGHT INTO THE SONG:

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Ladies and Gentleman… I present to you…

 

“THE A.P.T. LP!”

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

Here are all the important links you need to know:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More from me later as other things develop!