Category: The great black hope


This week’s video is for the song “That Boy is Cra-Zy!” from my “The Great Black Hope” album!

AVAILABLE ON “THE GREAT BLACK HOPE” ALBUM – Click HERE for download info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

It’s time to get your b-boy on!

This song started out with the beat.  After being inspired by Soulja Boy and The Ying-Yang Twins – both of whom were able to make hit songs with beats that didn’t really have a lot of instruments involved in the beats – I decided to make an instrumental that only had drum sounds in it.  I used high-hats, whoops, turn-table scratches, and that’s pretty much it. 

I had this beat on my computer for MONTHS.  Like, I made it back in May of 2008 (I think) and knew I wanted to make a song to it, but had no idea what type of song.  All I knew is, with the way the beat sounded, it made for a good old-school rap sounding song.

Fast-forward a few months later: I was coming up with songs for “The Great Black Hope” album, and, because I was short on cash, I had to make most of the beats myself.  This meant going back and using anything that was in my arsenal, no matter how odd it may sound, and making a song out of it.  I came back to this beat, and…

…well, I still didn’t have a song to it, let alone a chorus.  

Sometimes, when I get stuck, I’ll go back and listen to previous songs I made for inspiration.  On my very first album – “The A.P.T. EP” – I made a song called “Imma Skitzo.”  The song is very much in the same vein as an Eminem song; I basically say whatever I want, regardless of whether it’s insulting or not, and I put together a lot of words and phrases that don’t really cohesively go together.  Yet, because of the song title, I was able to get away with it.

I thought about that, and realized that I hadn’t made that type of song in a LONG time. Because of the whole “Obama Milli” song taking off I had grown a fan base, and didn’t want to say anything too outrageous to upset them or chase them away.

BUT, seeing as I still wasn’t selling as many albums as I would like, I figured that the small number of people who might buy my new album wouldn’t mind that type of song, so long as it was ultimately entertaining.

In the chorus for “Imma Skitzo,” the very last line I say is, “That boy is craa-zy!”  I liked the way I said it, and thought I could actually make that into part of a chorus.  All I had to do was figure out WHY I was crazy in the song, put those parts in the chorus, then make a song up where I said dumb stuff.

I finally figured out the chorus, then went about writing the song.  The nice thing about these types of songs is I’m able to do them the same way I do my freestyles – namely, write a bunch of random ideas down, figure out which ones sound the best, place them in an order that flows well, then record!

This song isn’t as crazy-sounding as “Imma Skitzo” was, but I did make sure to mention a few things in there that may make people do a re-wind.  Specifically, I mention Lance Bass, Michelle Obama, Toby Keith, and Tyga, a.k.a. the bastard who took my “Obama Milli” song and not only performed it on tour, but tried to take credit for it as well.  What a punk!

This is one of my favorite songs in general.  The beat is bangin’, and it’s even got a break-down in the middle of the song!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. In the “Obama Milli” song, I did a whole 4 lines where I talked about how fine Michelle Obama was and how, if she were single, I’d “hit.” Many people who liked the song took a pause at these lines and thought they were disrespectful.  So, for this song, I decide to “apologize” to her, only to end up reiterating what I said I’d do but in a nicer way 🙂

2. I mention Tyga in this song because, as the story was told to me, the person who re-made the beat I re-made with the “Obama’s” in it gave it to Tyga on the condition that he’d give me and him a shout-out.  Which he never did.  Admittedly, him being able to make more money off the song than me, AND perform it, pissed me off more than you can imagine.

3. I figured since “B-boy” is a popular term, there had to be a way to include girls into the equation – thus, the word “G-girl,” which I made up.  At least I think I did…

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I already knew this was going to be a dance video.  I just didn’t know how much energy it would take up!

I did the first shots with me wearing the blue sweatshirt top.  2 minutes in, I was dang near ready to pass out.  Dancing for a long time is HARD, especially when you don’t work out or run or jog.  (In case you’re curious, I have a high metabolism.  That’s why I’m so skinny despite never working out).

Nevertheless, I knew that once I started down the dance path I had to finish up.  I did four different shots, in four different outfits, at four different angles.  Even though it would just be me dancing in the entire video, giving people different things to look at makes it less boring than if I were to simply stand in one place and dance the whole time!

I also wanted to have each dressed up character have a different attitude.  I don’t know if I pulled this off too well, but the guy in the blue sweatshirt was the “dance for fun” guy; the one with the low-floor angle was “B-boy dancing” guy; the dressed up guy was the “Dance with flavor” guy; and the guy with the brownish shirt on was the “old-skool dancing” guy.”

Midway through filming, I realized that I wanted to not only take a musical jab at Tyga, but a video one as well.  So, for the fifth shot, I dressed up in a hoodie and wore some nerdy classes.  I made sure in post-edit to mention that the person I’m doing a bad impression of is Tyga, and people familiar with both versions of the “Obama Milli” song should appreciate my get-back at him.

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. I filmed this entire thing in my apartment.  It’s a smaller apartment than my last place, so figuring out how many angles I can actually use gets harder with each video!

2. The place where I’m dancing with the brown shirt on is my kitchen.  I had to move the glass table all the way over near the fridge to have it out of the shot.

3. In the last shot, that fall into the bathroom was PLANNED.  It was a last minute idea, but one I figured would end the video on a hilarious note.

4. In the first chorus, I mention making out with Eartha Kitt. In the last part, I mention Amy Whinehouse.  However, I cut out the second chorus in the song where I mention making out with Anna Nicole. Why?  ‘Cause I know how people attention spans are on YouTube, and with me adding the Tyga jab in, it would stretch out the video longer to keep the entire song in.  If you want to hear it, GET THE ALBUM!

5. Estimated time for editing this video: about 4 hours.  I tend to dilly-dally around now that the MAC edits these things so much faster, so the actual edit time was probably shorter.

That’s all for now – only 11 more videos left to go! See ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

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Above: A.P.T. Video #39, “Hands UP!” Download this video – click HERE for info!

This week’s video is for the song “Hands UP!” produced by SINIMA Beats!

Download for .99 cents: http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=226695
Available on A.P.T.’s “The Great Black Hope” album – Click HERE for info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I went to Soundclick.com and downloaded a beat from SINIMA beats called “Hands Up.”  It was a funky beat that sounded ready-made to be a party jam.  This was back in August when I was still working on “The A.P.T. LP,” but, at the time, I didn’t have a song ready for the beat nor had I leased it to legally re-sell. 

After I released the album, I figured it would be wise to lease the beat before someone else snatched it up.  I didn’t know if I’d ever actually write a song for the beat, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry, as I’ve had too many beats that I liked taken away before I could use them!

A couple of weeks later, I was driving around Atlanta looking for someone’s house, and I had the beat playing in the car I was renting.  I started to freestyle, but instead of talking about party stuff, I went a different route.  In the first verse of the song I started talking about Amadou Diallo, the guy who got shot 41 times by the cops back in 1999 after taking out his wallet too fast, while in the second verse I freestyled the scenario leading up to the shooting of Sean Bell by the cops in 2006.  I think it was the fact that the chorus went “Hands up, everybody hands up” that made me think about cops yelling that out, like when they bust into people’s places unannonced. 

Since it was a freestyle, though, and I was driving, I didn’t write it down or record it.  However, I knew that, based on the freestyle, I had the topic and structuring of how the song would go…

Fast-forward a few months later: after I released “The Next Black President” mixtape, I began thinking up songs for “The Great Black Hope.” I remembered the “Hands Up” freestyle I had done months earlier, and got to work on writing the song.  The song I ended up recording is similar in topic to my freestyle, with the first verse being about Diallo and the second one being about Bell. 

This is one of those songs where the topic is serious, but I deal with it in a sarcastic way.  I’ve done this in the past (see: “Bust My G.A.T.,” “The KKKramer Song”), and I talk about serious stuff in this way because (a) I don’t like to take life too seriously, and (b) even when something is serious, I find that people are more willing to listen to my opinions on stuff if there is humor injected into what I’m saying.  Plus, it’s less boring the way I do it!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. I don’t actually mention either Diallo or Bell’s name in the song.  I wanted people to hear the song and think it’s a party jam initially, then get surprised when they figure out what the song is acutally about.  Element of surprise, people!

2. The amount of time it took for me to write and record this song was an hour and 15 minutes.  I was staying at a friend’s apartment, and she went to go shopping, giving me a window of time to do all this without disturbing her!

3. Even though I mention both the NYPD and LAPD in this song, the two incidents mentioned in the song both happened in New York City.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I had a litany of video ideas for different songs, and I was going to film a more elaborate video for either this song or one of the other songs…

But then I remembered: today is Super Bowl Sunday.  Which means the odds of anyone really paying that much attention to my video today is less than stellar.

That’s not to say I didn’t want to make a good video.  It just means I knew that it would be better to film one of my more elaborate videos for a later week.  Combine that with the fact that my computer has been getting progressively worse in terms of the amount of times it wants to slow down or half-way crash during the editing process… and the fact that last week’s video, which should have only taken 3 or 4 hours to edit, took almost 10 hours out of my day…

Well, you could see how I’d want a little bit of a break.  Luckily, I’m upgrading my equipment soon… but more on that in a later entry!

I decided to keep it simple: show some pics of the victims, and be done with it.  Well, okay, not THAT simple.  Since I still wanted people to want to watch the video, I decided to make it semi-interactive.  I created a game called “Hangman: The Police Brutality Edition” where the viewer has to try and guess the name of the victim being pictured.  To make it somewhat hard, each person’s picture is altered in a way that you can’t tell who it is until the end of the verse.  The song itself gives clues as to who the person is, so listeners with good guessing senses should know who’s being talked about before the verse ends.

In the last part of the video, I use a picture of the most recent victim of police brutality, Oscar Grant, who was killed in San Franscisco by the cops on New Year’s day.  Specifically, he had been pushed to the ground by the cops and was yelling “Please don’t shoot me” when – lo and behold – one of the officers decided to shoot him in the back of the head.  This happened AFTER I had recorded the song (otherwise I would have mentioned it), so I figured putting him in the video would be just as good.

Mixed in with pics of the victims are pics of the various protests, cops, and news stories that surrounded each of their situations.  All in all, it’s an okay video – like I said, I had other ideas for it that were more elaborate, but I can’t lie: I wanna see the Super Bowl too, and I was NOT going to be spending all day editing a video and missing it!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. The longest part of editing this video was adding in the “Hangman” portion of the game.  Once I made the video, I had to go back and load it into my AVS video editor, which allows you to add text anywhere you want on your video.  From there, I had to paste in line after line of text for when I wanted certain letters to appear in each person’s name.  There were three of them, and the total time it took to do all that was about 2 hours.

2. Estimated editing time for this video was about 4 hours.  That may not seem long, but considering the video consist of all pics and NO filmed portions, it should have been shorter.  As such, my computer is not equipped to hold all the videos I make for it.  Like I said, I’ll be upgrading REAL soon…

That’s all for now – only 13 more videos left to go!  See ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT