Category: www.aptsongs.wordpress.com



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 video is for the song “Can’t Leave Rap Alone,” featuring Jay-Z on the hook.

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON “THE O-BAMA MIXTAPE”!  Click HERE for download info!

New A.P.T. EP, “The Great Black Hope,” available Wednesday, January 7th (a.k.a. MY Birthday!)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

My New Year’s goal for 2008 was simple: to get at least ONE song on radio.

Now that it’s 2009, its easy to see that I was able to make that happen with “O-bama O-bama.”  However, back in March, I was simply doing what I needed to do to reach my goal: listening to beats from www.soundclick.com, finding the ones I liked (on pages that said the beats could be downloaded and used freely for promotional use only) and making songs that I found amusing.

One of the beats was for the song used in today’s video, “Can’t Leave Rap Alone,” made by One Dollar Beats.  I don’t know why he calls himself that – the beat is infectious, and smartly uses the “Can’t leave rap alone, the game needs me” line from Jay-Z’s “H to tha Izzo” song.

Because of the chorus, I wanted to write lyrics that would prove to people how serious I was about doing this rap thing.  So, I wrote up as many funny lines I could think of, then put them into rap form.

At the time I wrote the song, I didn’t have much of an audience, so using cuss words here and there in some of my songs was no big deal to me.  This is one of those songs where some of the lines I used HAD to use cuss words to make them understandable.  My favorite line in the song is, “But I’m constipated, plus I cut my d*ck off/so I don’t give a $#!+, and I don’t give a f*ck.” Without the cuss words, though, that line wouldn’t make sense!

Of course, now that I  have an audience, including family members, I try to watch what I say in songs.  Still, I figured that if people heard I had a song with Jay-Z on the chorus they’d pay more attention.  Not that it’s really needed now since more people know who I am; regardless, though, this is, lyrically, one of my favorite songs I’ve written.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This song is time-stamped by the fact that I mention Elliot Spitzer, the NY governor who was outed from office after his affair with a high-end prostitute was turned into a national saga in early 2008.  Thus, the line in the song… ah, you’ll have to hear it for yourself!

2. Also, at the beginning of the first and second verse, and the end of the third verse, I start all of those lines off the same way.  I don’t want to give away how I start those lines off… but the way I start off the first verse is the way I’ve had the line in my head for over 3 years, and was happy to be able to add other examples as puns in the song!

3. The original beat actually went a bit slower.  However, once I loaded it into my Fruity Loops program, I was able to take it up a few keys on the FL Piano, thus making the song faster and at a slightly higher tune.  I already had to talk slow in the song, but talking the song at the original pace was straining, and made the song sound boring!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

As you may know, I have an NEW EP coming out on January 7th called “The Great Black Hope.”  And I’ve recorded most of the songs for the album as well.

So, why did I decide to do a video off “The O-bama Mixtape,” which was released over 5 months ago?!?

Easy: I checked my MySpace mailbox one day, and I got a message from a fan named Sherod asking me if I ever planned on making a music video for one of his favorite songs of mine, “Can’t Leave Rap Alone.” 

I wrote him back, saying that I had actually had an idea for a video for tha song, but due to the fact that I had been making videos for songs off “The Next Black President” mixtape and was going into video productions for “The Great Black Hope,” I hadn’t gotten around to making it.  I told him I’d probably end up making a video for it once I’d made a few videos for my new songs…

…and I really did NOT plan on making a video for it until much, much later…

…but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I actually had an idea for how the video for it could be shot – so, why not shoot it now?

In retrospect, I’m glad I did – the video actually turned out to be one of the more inventive shoots I’ve done lately.  Peep the insights…

So, the idea for it was simple: I’d film myself attempting to record a song, get frustrated and say “Aww, screw it, I quit!” Then, I’d go to sleep, and have a dream where a phantom version of myself would tell me that I couldn’t escape my destiny of becoming a rapper.  From there, I’d film myself running away from whatever is chasing me, only to be caught by it in the end.  Then, I’d tell myself not to give up, and, upon awaking from my dream, finally have a song idea to record.

Pretty cool, huh?

And, as it so happens, I was staying over at my friend Brooke’s apartment, whose building had everything I’d need for an awesome dream sequence shoot.  Long hallway outside her door? Check!  Dark room to film spooky-looking guy?  Check (the building had saunas on the very top floor)! 

Most importantly, since Brooke was there (after all, it WAS her place), she agreed to be my assistant director!  I finally had someone to follow me around and film while I did stuff, instead of having to hold the camera while running (thus looking like I was chasing myself)!

We filmed the hallway chase scene first, where I ran along the 8th floor’s hallway while Brooke chased me with the camera.  Next, we filmed me in the sauna (minus actually turning it on) with a flashlight rapping the song.  Because I wanted the film footage to look slowed down while having my lips be in pace with the song, I had to double-up the speed of the song and rap it really fast, which proved to be challenging (though it came out looking great in the end)!

Once I filmed those scenes at Brooke’s apartment, which was on Friday, I had to wait until Saturday night to finish filming the parts where I was in the real world.  I’m moving to California next week, but because our previous landlord cut off our electricity, my Mom took me back to Richmond to stay with her for a few days.  While here, I filmed the opening (where I’m at the table trying to think of a song) and the parts where I’m trying to sleep but can’t.

And, of course, I couldn’t forget to let people know I had a NEW collection of songs coming out.  I put an ad in there with the cover of the EP, but I wanted to give people a taste of what to expect.  So, I decided at the last minute to make the song I ended up thinking of be one of the songs off “The Great Black Hope!” If you watch until the end, you’ll get a 20-second sneek peak at one of the songs from the EP called “Hands UP!”

Overall, a very ambitious video, but one that I’m very proud to have made.  Thanks for the suggestion, Sherod!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. Argh! I hate video discrepancies!  Okay – when the video first opens you’ll see a side view of me at the table with the laptop. Look carefully at the left part of the table behind the laptop – there’s nothing there, right?  Yet, in the footage where I’m looking directly at the laptop, you’ll see a big box of Raisin Bran!! I shot the footage with the Raisin Bran first, and must have moved the box before filming at the wide shot angle.  Darn it!

2. At the end, I credit my brother for wardrobe.  This is because, in thinking back on the video, all the shirts and pants I wore were either (a) things he bought me or (b) things he used to wear.  I had no idea I couldn’t pick out my own clothes!

3. The reason the dream sequence is in black and white is because, according to dream experts, people dream in black-and-white.  The only other dream-type video I’ve done was for video #4, “Smile 4 Dad,” and the dream sequence for that was filmed in black-and-white as well.

4. The girl near the very end of the video is Brooke, who was gracious enough to lend her time to helping me direct my video, and came up with some pretty good ideas about a future video of mine… but I’ll talk about that more once it’s released!

5. Estimated time for editing: about 6 hours.  Plus, as I’m typing this, it’s taking a LONG time to load up on YouTube due to the large size of the file – an enormous 98 MB of memory (the biggest since video #4, “Smile 4 Dad,” which clocked in at 90 MB). My average videos are in the 30 to 40 MB range, so you KNOW it’s going to take a while.  I just hope it loads up before the day is over…

That’s all for now – only 18 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

This week’s video is for the song, “The Next Black President” (beat produced by Chris I).

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind)” mixtape! Click HERE for download link!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Since I decided to give my newest mixtape the headlining title of “The Next Black President,” I thought it would be fitting to make a song with the same title.

I actually had the idea for the song about a week before Obama won the election. At the time, I didn’t know if he would win or not, but since it was so close to the election, I started thinking of other presidential songs that had already been made (see:  “O-bama O-bama” by me, “My President is Black” by Young Jeezy, etc.).

Amazingly, I kept thinking back to a song that Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy, had made on his album, “Press Play,” called “The Future.” There’s a line in the song where he says: “The potential to be the first black president/I-tunes, download me in every residence.”


Above: Diddy’s infectious song, “The Future,” from his “Press Play” album.

I kept singing that line over and over again, and thought it would make a good chorus for a song. Of course, I couldn’t use the line with the word “first” in it if Obama won, but I figured changing it with the word “next” would still make for a good song.

And then Obama won. And so, I had to change “first” to “next.”

As for the beat, I had downloaded it about 2 or 3 months prior to using it for this record. I go to a website called Sound Click (www.soundclick.com) to download free beats for use on my mixtapes. An up-and-coming producer named Chris I made this beat that was pretty simplistic, but jammed so damn hard – it sounds almost like some military marching stuff!

What I liked about it, though, was that it didn’t have the normal beat set-up of 16 bars/Chorus/16 bars/Chorus. Instead, the beat was set up to change in sound after every 8 bars. So, for this song, I did it where I’d rap 8 bars, then do the chorus for 8 bars, then I’d do another 8 bar verse, then 8 bar chorus, then 12 bars, then a final set of 8 bars for the chorus.

The words themselves took a few days to come up with. Right after he won, I thought of the opening 4 lines of the song… and didn’t have anything else for the next few days. Once I decided to interject the chorus after every 8 bars, the song actually became much easier to write.

The song attempts to convey the thought that, now that a man of color has been elected, it really IS possible for another minority of any race to be elected in. I also interject some humor in the song by mentioning things like him technically being “half” black, yet still an acceptable “black” candidate, and other things that you’ll have to hear for yourself!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The second-to-last line of the song… I almost didn’t include it in the song. I’m a believer that the words we speak can come true, so I try to stay cognoscente of what I say when I do these songs. However, seeing as this particular sentiment has been said by almost every well-known black comedian, it’s already been vocalized, so I kept it in. Hopefully it’s not too controversial – but if so, it makes for good publicity!

2. The date 2025 would not actually be the campaign date – it would be the year I’d start my term as President were I to win the election in 2024. However, the word “time,” used at the end of the sentence in the line prior, rhymes better with “five” than “four.” Plus, I figured that (a) people wouldn’t really pay too much attention, and (b) seeing as Obama starts his term in 2009, I can always say that he was technically campaigning for that year’s Presidential opening.

3. My initials – A.P.T. – and the word “apt” are spelled the same, so I decided to play off it in this song. For those of you who are curious, my initials actually stand for my name – then again, you really should know that by now!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I knew I wanted to do the video like a campaign TV commercial. I was actually planning on dressing up like a candidate and mouthing the words into the camera as the video.  I also had the idea of setting it up to where I’d be debating myself, but since I chased myself around in last week’s video (“Killed the Beat“), I didn’t want to do that two weeks in a row.

I also had other things I was working on this week – songs for other people, visiting friends about to go on vacation – and I didn’t have time to shoot a video that would require long hours of editing.

Then, at the last minute – like, about 10:30 PM last night – I had an idea. For the initial idea, I was going to interject my speaking parts with pics of Obama, only instead of his face it would be MY face pasted over his. I was going to use that as my “examples of me out on the trail” shots… but then it hit me that, between the “O-bama O-bama” and “Shine 4 O-bama” videos, I had enough pics of him downloaded on my computer to make a whole new video!

Consider this “video recycling” at its best. The pics of him I used in those previous videos are made anew, thanks to me simply pasting a picture of my head over his. The “shoot,” if you will, consisted of me taking a picture of my face, then pasting it onto pictures of Obama. I actually took about 6 or 7 different pictures with my head turned at different angles, but the one of me with a goofy-looking smile on my face was so funny, it was the only one I decided to use!

I also have a newspaper from the day that Obama won the election. I used it as the opening shot and ending shot, only in the ending shot I… well, you’ll have to watch the video to find out!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. I thought I’d save time on “filming” by simply printing out Obama photos, placing my head on his and re-taking the photo. Boy, was I wrong. After I took the pics of my face, I had to make them different sizes to match up with the various sizes of Obama’s head in the photos. Then, I had to print and cut them out. THEN, I had to place them properly and take the pics, of which there were 30. Then, I had to load THOSE photos into the computer. On the plus side, there was NO film to have to re-edit.

2. Once the pics were in, you would think it wouldn’t take long to edit, right? WRONG. Admittedly, it didn’t take as long as some of my videos have, but considering I was just using photos, it still took me about 3.5 to 4 hours. The reason? Figuring out what order to place the photos in, as well as what movements and/or alterations should be made to each photo, takes time. And that’s not even including the voice-over parts of the video!

3. And yes, that is an actual copy of the first page of a newspaper I got from the day after Obama won the election.  How did I obtain it you ask?  Let’s just say, I have people that look out for me in terms of getting me what I need…

That’s all for now – only 20 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

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

 

Memo to YouTube: You can’t stop me, bitches!!!

Yeah, they took down my entire site, but so what?!?  I’m on a mission people.  One video/song (minimum) every Sunday for one year.  That’s 52 videos (minimum) from May 2008 to May 2009.

I hope you didn’t think losing all 316,000 views for my “Obama Obama” video, or the 4500+ views for my “The N!@@er Song” would cause me to go crying off into the sunset.  

And yeah, who cares if you messed up my advertising plan for my album – I STILL sold a few copies, and guess what?  I’m going to sell even MORE once the videos come out — on YOUR site!!

So… with that said, this week’s video is already in the can.  It’s from one of the songs off “The A.P.T. LP”, a hot dance song with a bangin’ beat and some… interesting… lyrics and scenarios.  Yeah – that’s all I want to say about it for now!

Okay, I’m done!  And HA HA HA to YouTube – you can’t stop a man with a dream, people!!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: http://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

Join the facebook group, “Help APT Get a Record Deal… JOIN THIS GROUP + INVITE FRIENDS!” at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20572244931

Become a friend on my MySpace page at: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt!

Check out all my music videos on my YouTube page: www.youtube.com/aptistheman!

“The O-Bama Mixtape” is out NOW – FREE Download here: https://aptsongs.wordpress.com/merchandise-ringtones-and-more/

“The A.P.T. LP” – Available HERE on Sunday, August 24th!

– – – –

Okay, so now that I’ve gotten THAT out the way… hi, how are you doin’?

As you can see from above, I’m in full advertisement mode right now.  I have an album coming out on Sunday, August 24, called “The A.P.T. LP,” and, since I’d like to make money off the album (only 5.99 for the download version, 7.99 for a CD), I figured it might be beneficial to tell people where they can see my songs and join my fan sites.

It’s still a bit weird to me that people actually want to buy an album from me.  I’m already getting messages from people telling me they can’t wait until August 24th to buy it, which is just fantastic!  Between YouTube, facebook, MySpace, and this site, plus the thousands of people who have downloaded songs and/or mixtapes from me, I figure that even if only 10% of those people decide to make an album purchase, I should, at the very, very least, be able to make back the money I’ve spent on this album.

Oh, what? You thought I was just going to put together a bunch of crappy beats and just spit whatever garbage first came to my mind? HA!

Oh man, you’d be SO wrong!  For starters, I’ve actually PAID for a few of my beats.  Yes, I think my beats are pretty good, but I want a full sound for my album, and there are a lot of talented unknown producers out there that, in my opinion, make better beats than some established beat-makers.  Because I leased the beats they were relatively inexpensive, but sound sooooooo good! 

On top of that, I’m considering getting an interface for my laptop so I can use my studio mic.  Up until now I’ve been using an H2 Zoom mic, which, in my opinion, is okay, but it’s not as studio-quality sounding as a studio mic.  Unfortunately, the jack for a “real” mic is bigger than the plug in my laptop, so an interface will allow me to connect the two.  Then again, if it cost too much I might not get it – after all, “Obama Obama” became a hit, and I recorded that on the mic I have now. Plus, the song wasn’t even mastered!

Which reminds me: the songs on this album WILL BE MASTERED.  My man Rhymestyle, who I did a podcast interview with (to be posted soon) agreed to master my songs for me.  I had no idea what difference that made until he sent me a copy of “Obama, Obama” mastered. Man, oh man, did that song sound even BETTER – it sounded like my voice was actually IN the song, instead of just pasted on top of it.  Also, a guy named Aaron Thompkins has agreed to do my album cover!  He’s the same guy that did my “Obama, Obama” mixtape.  His artwork is good, people, and I plan to use his cover to advertize for the album as well, because he definitely deserves to get some shine for his work!

Lastly, there’s the advertizing!  As a musician, there are two parts to selling an album: selling the album itself, and selling yourself to people so they’ll “know” you and want to buy your stuff.  To that end, I’ll be recording a few YouTube “commercials” for the album – footage of me recording, small snippets of songs, stuff like that.  I’ll also be doing some “get to know A.P.T.” video spots where I talk about my upbringing, my intro to music, and other things people might want to know about me.

All this, and I still have videos to do!  I have some pretty big ideas for some of the songs on the album… of course, if I’m getting the same amount of help that I am right now, I’ll probably have to shrink some of those ideas down… but some of the songs on this album are going to be so HUGELY popular, I might not even need a big-idea video to sell them.  You might be thinking, “yeah, A.P.T., EVERY ARTISTS says they have that one big hit that’s gonna be huge.”

Um… have you HEARD some of the stuff I’ve released so far?  Just among the freebies, “Obama, Obama” was HUGE, “The Nigger Song” was HUGE, “Kick Bush” is shaping up to be HUGE, and “The O-Bama Mixtape” has been downloaded 775 times as of this typing.  I have a LOT of confidence in some of the songs on here, and I’m going to take them to clubs around ATL, get them played, and watch them get more and more popular.

And if that sounds cocky… well, good!  You gotta be self-confident about yourself to make it in anything, especially the music biz!

Aight, that’s all you get from me for now – in the meantime, get “The O-Bama Mixtape” if you haven’t already, and get “The A.P.T. LP” when it comes out August 24th!

-A.P.T.

P.S. Incidentally, I mentioned “The A.P.T. LP”, coming out August 24th, about 5 times now. They say a person has to see something 4 or 5 times before they consider buying it.  Just doin’ my job, people!