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Hey All:

The election is in two days! I’m already starting to see a spike in video views, song sales and blog traffic, so I figured I would put all my Obama-related stuff in ONE place for you guys to look at, buy, repost, retweet, email and share!

First off, all my current Obama songs can be found on my NEW album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Here’s the full track list:

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

You can download this album or the individual songs from a plethora of online retailers – here are the links to all of them:

ITUNES – Click HERE!
AMAZON – Click HERE!
eMUSIC – Click HERE!
GOOGLE Play – Click HERE!

But wait! If you’d like to get the 99 cent “Vote Obama Style” ringtone, you can either go to the online link and get it (click HERE) or text VOTEOBAMASTYLE 1 to 69937!

Now, check out the videos for some of the album cuts below!

VOTE OBAMA STYLE!! (GANGNAM STYLE PARODY)

I’M NEVER EVER GONNA VOTE FOR ROMNEY (WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER PARODY)

OBAMA MILLI REMIX 2012 (A MILLI PARODY)

BLACK PRESIDENT (RACK CITY PARODY)

CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (NI**AS IN PARIS PARODY)

Thanks for all the views and shares, and don’t forget to VOTE OBAMA STYLE on Tuesday, November 6th!

-A.P.T.

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Today’s insights are for my NEW music video, “I’m Never EVER Gonna Vote for Romney,” a spoofing of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together!”

From the album “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Now available on iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, and Google Play!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

After “Vote Obama Style” took off, I knew it would be smart of me to release an album soon after. I had a ton of songs from my previous mixtape, “Justin Beeber Must Die!!” that I knew I could use for purposes of the new album (since, admittedly, the album hadn’t been downloaded by hardly anybody). However, I also knew I needed to record a couple more Obama parodies in order to increase the chances of the album actually selling.

I already had “Vote Obama Style,” and back in January I had recorded “Black President (Rack City Parody).” Aside from an original song I had recorded called “The Next Black President” (from the “The Next Black President” mixtape) I had NO other Obama songs recorded.

So, I went to work. I updated my very first parody, “Obama Milli Remix,” into a 2012 version that mentioned Mitt Romney. However, I still wanted to record at least ONE more parody of a song that was most current. So, I went to Billboard.com to look up the Hot 100 songs in the country, and – at the time (waaaaay back a month and a half ago) – the number 1 song in the land was Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

The song is catchy as heck and it’s one of the FEW songs of hers that I like. However, what was even MORE appealing about parodying the song was the logistics and timing with which I could use the song to my advantage. The way I saw it, the album the song was on – “Red” – was going to drop on October 22. This meant I had time to give some more breathing room to the life of “Vote Obama Style,” drop a video for “Obama Milli Remix,” and then release the video for MY version of Taylor’s song on or around the release date of her new album. Genius!

And so, I decided on a title – “I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney” – and then… nothing.

At least for a little while. I knew I wanted to mention reasons why I wasn’t going to vote for Mitt, but I didn’t want it to just be me saying mean stuff about him for no reason. I don’t hate the man personally, I just don’t want him as my President, and that needed to be said in a way where even people who want to vote for him would be like, “Well, at least he gave a decent reason for not choosing him!”

As the release date for my album neared, it was becoming a bit harder than I though to write something for the song. And then, as luck would have it, I saw a video on YouTube where someone had placed together numerous video clips of Mitt Romney being a “flip-flopper,” i.e. someone who changed his views and/or positions on issues based upon what was best for his campaign. Abortion, raising taxes, amnesty – all issues that, at one point (or more!) Romney had changed his mind about.

And that’s when I realized what my reasoning in the song should be: he’s always changing his mind to appease voters, so he can’t really be trusted. PERFECT!

This was the last song I recorded for the album and, admittedly, due to the time constraint I had I recorded it pretty quickly. Once I knew what angle to come from, writing the song took about 20 minutes, then I started recording it right away.  The funnest part for me was having to harmonize with myself – this was the first country parody I’ve ever done, and since I rarely sing these days it’s fun when I have to use different octaves of my voice (especially on the “Meeee-EE!” part where one version of me had to sing in a high falsetto).

Once it was finished, I KNEW I had a hit. I was able to put it on the album, which I am definitely happy about…

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. All of the things mentioned in the song are true – everything from Romney saying he wouldn’t raise the tax then turning around and saying he might, to him being for a woman’s right to choose then reversing the position have been captured on video and placed on YouTube. Look it up!

2. So, after I released the song, the debates began, and Romney kept saying stuff that was “meme-worthy.” In the second debate, he said that, when trying to look for women to fill positions in his cabinet, he had people bringing him “Binders full of women.” I KNEW that line needed to be used in the video version of my song, so I had to go back and re-record part of it. However, that line is NOT in the iTunes version of the song. Sorry 😦

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Initially, I wanted to shoot a video for “Never” that was just as populated with people as “Vote Obama Style” had been. However, whereas “Obama” seem to just come together in terms of people’s schedules working out, it wasn’t the same way with this video.

I knew I needed to get the video out by October 22 for it to be effective since it was the same day of Taylor’s “Red” album coming out AND the date of the last Presidential election.  Then, while watching the second Presidential debate last week, which was a town hall meeting styled debate where undecided voters asked both men questions, it hit me: I could take footage from this debate and green screen myself in as one of the questioners!

And so, once the debate was over, I downloaded it from YouTube and started piecing together the parts I could use where Romney was in the shot with empty space in front of him. Next, I decided on what “people” I wanted to sing in front of him.  I decided to go with four: A.P.T. (myself); a blond girl who may or may not be Taylor Swift; Mario, and a pink bunny (the last two of which I just happen to have costumes for – don’t ask why, I just do).

To be the blond girl, I had to actually buy a wig! I went to the swap meet and bought a wig for $28… and let me tell you, putting that wig on was the hardest part of the shoot! I had NO idea why girls made such a big deal about their hair, but now I do – just trying to get it on took 20 minutes, and the hair kept falling in my face and wouldn’t stay in it’s place for longer than 5 seconds… I probably would have had more shots of me with it on in the video, but it just got more and more annoying!

Anyway… to make it consistent with the Romney footage I had chosen, I had to film each character facing to the right, then to the left, so that it would look cohesive when the angles of where Romney was standing changed.  About 9 takes in all. By the time I was done filming everything, I only had about 3 hours to edit before the debate began.  I imported all the footage, keyed out the green screen from each clip and placed them in front of the pre-chosen out Romney backdrops, exported them, imported them back in, then figured out which parts went where.  I was still editing when the debate began, but I was on a mission to finish the video and post it up before the debate ended – which I was able to do about 12 minutes before it did!

In a way, making this video was bitter sweet. It’s the final Obama parody I plan on making – after the election, regardless of who wins, the importance of making any Obama-related songs will go down significantly – and I’m glad to have been part of doing things that have helped get the word out about Obama and voting for him.  I’ve been making parodies about random topics for years, but to be able to make songs about a more focused topic has been very fun – AND beneficial to my career thus far!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits

1. Okay, costumes in the video: the first one – as myself – is the same outfit I wore in the “Vote Obama Style” video. The second one – me as a blond – was supposed to be me as Taylor Swift. However, I still have a thing about dressing completely in drag, so I wore my “Vote Obama Style” T-shirt and khaki pants instead (it looked like something a voter registrar would wear). The third one – me as Mario – I got that costume last Halloween, and have been making use of it ever since! And the fourth – me as a pink bunny – is a costume I got when I did a project for this website called “Very Smart Brothas.” Their site is excellent, btw, you should check it out!

2. When filming the video, I hadn’t recorded the “binders full of women” line yet, but knew I wanted to include it in the final video. So, I made sure to have each character say it, not knowing which one I would ultimately use. Then, while filming as Mario, I thought it would be funny to have him hold up a binder with a “Binder full of women, Vol. 1” cover on it. And so, that’s how he got chosen to be the character that says it!

3. While filming as the blond girl, my roommate stopped by from work to pick something up. The look on her face seeing me in a blond wig: priceless.

4. Initially, I was  going to have “Taylor” playing the guitar. However, when I looked at the video again, I realized that she does not, at any time, play any kind of instrument in the video. However, there WAS a party scene where a bunch of guys dressed like different animals were playing instruments. I didn’t have a guitar, but I DID have a tennis racket that could be played by a pink bunny, so that’s what I went with!

5. I don’t normally do “full shots” of myself when using green screen. I record most green screen videos in my bedroom, where the space isn’t wide enough to get a full body shot. However, when I DO need full body shots (like in this video for A.P.T. and the pink bunny) I will move the green screen out to the living room and place my camera in the hallway so I can get a full shot.  The hardest part? Getting the wrinkles out of the part of the green screen that’s on the floor – if you don’t, you end up getting black shadows that show up later (check my feet as A.P.T. in the later part of the video – those black parts aren’t feet shadows, they’re the parts where wrinkles caused the green to shadow so I couldn’t remove it!).

And that’s it! Hope you enjoy the video, and be sure to get the song or my album from the links above!

-A.P.T.

Hey everybody!

As far as I know, the songs from my NEW album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style” are selling! I won’t know until next month what the sales are for September (all monies I make off my songs are reported 45 days out – grrrr!), but I DO know that people are buying my stuff.  It’s a GREAT time to have anything election-related out, especially as it pertains to Obama, and I already know that election week is going to be HUGE for me in terms of music sales and video views.

With that said, I do have ONE more Obama-themed parody I have to put out.  It’s the last song I recorded for the album, and one I feel will be a perfect note to end on in terms of me doing any more Obama-related songs. Call it my last hurrah if you will (unless, of course, I think of a new song some time between Monday and the election).  It’s a spoofing of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” called “I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney!”

I had a few ideas for how I wanted to do the video, but in the end I decided to keep it fairly simple. It’s going to be me, in front of a green screen, acting silly while singing the song. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, trust me when I say this is FAR from a detailed explanation of what I’m going to do for the video. TRUST, the video will be hilarious, up-t0-date, and share-worthy!

After that, I have a couple more songs I need to do for songs that have proven to be popular from the album – one for “Your Mama is So Ugly” and one for “I Wanna Do Nicki Minaj.” Plus, I’ll be re-releasing “Christmas in Paris (Jay-Z/Kanye Parody)” on November 1 to get everyone ready for the holidays!

That’s all for now – see you guys on Monday with my NEW video!!

-A.P.T.

Today’s song insights are for the video “Obama Milli Remix 2012 (A Milli Parody)!” (Directed by Joe Hollywood)

AVAILABLE ON “THE O-BAMA MIXTAPE II: VOTE OBAMA STYLE,” available on iTunes – to preview/download, click HERE!

INSIGHTS INTO A SONG:

Well… okay, if you’ve been to this site enough times, I’ve already talked about how HUGE of an impact my original “Obama Milli Remix” had, not just on the election, but on my life as well. When I made the first song 4 years ago I was living in Atlanta trying to get into the entertainment industry so I could make music and/or do behind the scenes work. Thanks, in part, to the song, I’m now living in California working as a video editor/creative consultant and still making music. Yes, dreams really DO come true…

Anyway, during these last 4 years I’ve received one question from countless fans of the song: “WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DO A REMIX FOR THIS ELECTION?”

Initially I didn’t feel the need to do one. And, to be honest, I still don’t think it’s necessary. The song I did was a parody of a Lil’ Wayne song called “A Milli,” which was at the height of its popularity back in 2008 when I made my version.  The thing about parodies is that they are normally only so popular for so long, and with the people of the generation that were around when the song came out. It’s 4 years later, so even though “A Milli” is still a great song, it’s nowhere near as popular as it once was.

Subsequently, me doing a re-remix of my parody would not necessarily have the same impact as a newer parody song about Obama would. For example, my newer parody about Obama – “Vote Obama Style” – became successful because the song it parodies, “Gangnam Style,” is the “it” song of the moment. As for “A Milli,” there may be some kids today (yes, 4 years later) who haven’t even heard the song before.

So, why do an update?

For one, it was fan-requested.  The original song got well over 15 million spins on YouTube and continues to get re-posted every so often. I try to stay humble about how big the song was, but people really DID gravitate to it and continue to play it, so I figured this would be like a “thank you” to all who enjoyed my song the first time around.

The second reason: I have better equipment now than I did 4 years ago. Back then I had an HP laptop, a radio mic and PC’s sound recorder program to record on. The song came out good, but some of the vocals weren’t that crisp and I didn’t know about things like reverb, pitch, or other audio-editing things.  With the updated version, I finally have a version of the song that sounds professional, and could be played over a sound system at a club without too many audio problems.

And the third reason? I needed one more parody song for my mixtape, and couldn’t think of any other parodies to record outside of the ones I had already recorded. Heck, I still get monthly sales off the first one, so why not make an updated one and get even MORE sales?

The updated version keeps in about 75% of the original version’s lyrics. The only things I had to change in the song were the parts where I talked about Obama’s 2008 opponent, John McCain. All of those got changed to Mitt Romney references. Other than that, it’s basically the same song – different introduction (Michelle Obama introducing him at the DNC Convention instead of Al Gore) and a few “2012” mentions, but basically the same song.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits

1. The last 4 lines of the first verse had to be changed. In the original one, I talked about him beating Hilary in the primaries. Obviously, Obama didn’t have to face any other opponents this year from his own party, so I had to change them up with lines about Romney instead.

2. I debated on whether or not to keep the line in about how I’d “hit” (i.e. get freaky with) Michelle Obama.  I did it in the first version because I was mocking Lil’ Wayne, and figured it was a line he would say.  However, some people were bothered by it (including my Mom) and viewed it as me being disrespectful towards the first lady.  In the end, though, I decided to keep the line in for this one, adding in “I’d STILL hit.” It still sounds like something Lil’ Wayne would say, and I still find it to be a funny way to end the second verse.

3. I also changed up the lines about Oprah supporting him. I wanted something there that sounded more updated, so I threw in a couple lines about him being the reason we found and killed Osama Bin Laden.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

Aside from updating the sound quality of the original, I also wanted to do a slightly better video.  The one I made 4 years ago was me in front of a blanket I hung up in my studio apartment, along with 3 “Vote for Obama” pictures I printed off in my printer, dressing up in 3 different outfits and doing the song.  I filmed it on a Kodak picture camera that just happened to have 6MB video quality, and edited the whole thing on an HP laptop that wasn’t built for video editing – and on Windows Move Maker, no less!

Oh, how times have changed.

Now, I have access to HD cameras, 2 Macs (laptop and a desktop), Final Cut Pro X for video editing, a green screen, and I live in Cali, where there are tons of backdrops to choose from when filming.

Bottom line: I wanted to make a video version of this song that was more colorful, had more flavor to it and looked crystal clear.  And so that’s what I did – me, along with my friend/director Joe Hollywood, found a couple of places around town that had nice, colorful backdrops where I could recite the words of the song and dance around. Even though we were updating the video, I still wanted to keep it relatively simple. “Vote Obama Style” was shot in so many places, but sometimes I just want 2 or 3 shots I can use and jumble up into something that still looks nice.

Once we filmed my parts, I still had to go online and find various media clips and pictures to place in the video. The funnest part for me, though, was the color correction: I wanted each shot to have its own style to it, so when put together they all look dynamic despite their simplicity.  That’s why I did some really tricked out stuff, like making myself look green during my “on the wall” shots or fuzzing out the screen in the shots where I’m in front of the “Obama 2012” banner.

Now that the video is done… it’s kind of bittersweet, ’cause it feels like I’ve come full circle in terms of my journey with this particular song. I’ll have more songs and videos and successes in the future, but this will always be the song I remember as the one that started off everything for me. I’m glad I got to film a version of it that cements this sentiment for me!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits

1. The opening of the video – I tried to get this thing finished before the debates last night, but couldn’t. So, I watched the debates, during which Mitt Romney made a comment about cutting funding for PBS and Sesame Street. Instantly, there were memes and pictures online of Big Bird being in dire straights about the whole thing. Because of this, I thought it would be cool to include a “Special Message” from Big Bird at the beginning to open up the video.

2. The Obama mural I’m dancing in front of was painted at a high school near downtown L.A. 3 years ago. Joe found it online and thought it would be good for us to use for the video. We went to the school on a Saturday, found the painting… and the rest is history!

3. The wall I’m dancing on top of was located behind a Subway restaurant off La Brea and… crap, I forget the cross street!

4. I went online to find another mural to dance in front of. It was a painting of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and President Obama, and had a red backdrop. However, we were dismayed to find that the painting had been painted over by another mural – one with the Presidents of Mount Rushmore! However, I liked the colors used in the painting, and it had a picture of Lincoln, who Obama is a fan of. Plus, I didn’t feel like going around town looking for other Obama murals that may or may not be there were we to go.

5. HAMPTON UNIVERSITY SHOUT-OUT!! When I made the first version, I had wanted to perform the song later that year at Homecoming. However, despite the popularity of the song on my former Home By The Sea, no one knew that the person who made the song had gone to the school! So, I wore my HU Alumni shirt in this version just in case someone from the school sees this video and wants to put me on the performance list for homecoming this year….

6. There’s a 2-second scene in this video where the DNC donkey is jumping on the RNC elephant. That lil’ scene took me almost an hour to put together. I had to go online and find a picture of a donkey, an elephant, a stage, and a podium, then maneuver the donkey to look like he was jumping up and down. I mention this because people always ask me why I charge $35 an hour for editing, and it’s because the creative aspects of putting together a video really DO take a whole lot of time. Even with the color schemes I picked out for each shot, I spent at least 30 minutes each getting the colors I wanted right.

7. The blue striped shirt and black pants are the very same ones I wore in the first video – consider it an homage if you will. The only other thing borrowed from the first video is the picture of Barack Obama with a bucket of KFC chicken in front of him.

8. At one point, I do the hammer back-and-forth dance on top of the wall. Joe requested this, and it was easy to do, but I still felt like I might fall off at any minute!

And that’s it! Hope u enjoy, and I’ll see y’all on the next video!

-A.P.T.

NEW ALBUM, “The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style” now on iTunes! Click HERE to preview/buy it today!

Hey all!

First of all, I don’t know why I’m still shocked that people actually stop by my webpage and read stuff.  I’m definitely thankful, but considering I don’t advertise my website nearly as much as I probably should, it’s cool to be getting an average of 20 to 30 readers a day looking to see if I made any updates.

Well, readers, here’s some stuff to tide you over for a while!

For starters, the “Vote Obama Style” video is doing very well. On average it’s getting somewhere between 6000-9000 views a day, and even that number is starting to rise. Between all the channels I have the video on (my two youtube channels, plus some guy who downloaded the video and posted it up on his page – don’t worry, I made sure he provided the iTunes link so I could still get sales off his viewers), the video’s currently up to 150,00 views in less than 3 weeks! Best of all, I’ve had a couple celebrities re-tweet my video – Brandon T. Jackson and Vivica A. Fox – both of which definitely helped boost my video views. So… yay!!!

I also got some more good news this week… um… dang… but I don’t want to jinx it until it actually happens. What I can say is, I’m doing another video shoot that I will insert into the current video, one that will result in me being able to get even more exposure for the song and video.  Yeah, that’s a good way to word it for now!
Lastly, now that the album – “The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)” – is up on iTunes, I still have a few more videos I need to do to make sure I get good sales within the next month. I’m realistic in my understanding that there may be a dip in sales for Obama-related stuff once the election is over, so any Obama songs I have need to be out with videos before November. To that end, I have 2 more of those types of videos coming up – one for my Taylor Swift parody, “I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney;” and, a video for a song people have been asking me to do since 2008: a remix to my “Obama Milli Remix” song (I guess that would make it a re-remix? Would that be a double negative? LoL!).  That’s right, there’s a 2012 version of “Obama Milli Remix,” which means I had to make a video for it. That one will be released on October 3, the same day as the first debates, so be on the look out for it!

That’s all for now, peeps! Be sure to get the album, on sale at iTunes now – just click HERE to preview/buy it today!

Well, it’s finally here…

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

Track listing:

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

Insights into the album:

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

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

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

Fast-forward 4 years later…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

Get the album NOW – click HERE!

Greetings, well-wishers!

Just wanted to let you all know, my NEW album, “The O-Bama Mixtape 2: Vote Obama Style” has been sent off to iTunes! It should hit the stores tomorrow (or, at the latest, 10 days from now). Once it’s actually up, I will blog about it here and give you all the details on the album.

BTW, the “Vote Obama Style” video is very close to 100,000 views! Thanks to all that have viewed it, shared it, retweeted it, or played it repeatedly – all those views mean a LOT to me, and I can’t wait for you to see the other videos I have coming up for this album cycle!

-A.P.T.

ImageThis is the album cover for my NEW album, “A.P.T. Presents: The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Shout outs to Joe Hollywood for the instagram pic, as well as http://www.Cartoonize.net for implementing the oil paint-style look!

As for some album info, the album will have 12 songs* on it. Most are original songs but there are a few parodies on there too – obviously “Vote Obama Style,” but also “Black President,” “Christmas in Paris (Jay-Z and Kanye West Parody)” and one more parody I’m currently working on that I won’t reveal just yet 🙂

Once I record the last parody, I’ll be sending the album to iTunes and other stores for you to purchase, but it will definitely be sometime within the next 7 days. Stay tuned!!

-A.P.T.

*12 songs is the current amount planned, but may change.

Hey all!!

Well, after YEARS of trying to repeat the success of “Obama Milli Remix,” I have finally done it!

Yep, my new song/video, “Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)” is taking off better than I thought it would! It’s already reached 40,000 hits in a week’s time, and continues to get thousands of hits each day!

Since I got a buzz going with the song, now, it means I need to release an album. And, since people STILL remember the title of my first mixtape – “The O-Bama Mixtape” – I’m going to release part 2 in the series sometime next week!

The album title will be… hmm… well, right now I’m deciding between two titles: The one I’ve had in my head for years, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Back in the White House”; or, a title that correlates with what will be the most popular track on the album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style.” I figure people will probably go to iTunes and type in “gangnam obama style” or something similar, so it may be a good look to have that somewhere in the title.

As for the songs on the album… my last mixtape, “Justin Beeber Must Die,” had a LOT of good songs on it, but the album didn’t get downloaded as well as I wanted, mostly ’cause I had no videos for it and no real promo. So, I’m going to take some of the songs off that album and put them on this album. I’ll also include previous parodies not ever placed on an album – i.e. the Eminem “No Love” parody “No Glove,” Rack City parody “Black President,” and a few recent ones I did featuring Non Juan. I also plan to record at least 2 more parody songs and 1 original song, possibly as it correlates to the election.

The album will be released later in the week, and I’ll add a promo annotation to the “Vote Obama Style” video letting people know it’s out. I’m just glad to have a buzz-worthy single helping me get the word out about it!

-A.P.T.

Hi! Remember me! Well guess what?!? I’m making videos again!!

I actually have another video I made before this video, BUT… since this one is of the utmost urgent importance, I’m putting it up first. So, without further ado….

Today’s song insights are for the music video, “Vote Obama Style,” a parody of Psy’s “Gangnam Style!”

DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES TODAY – CLICK HERE!

INSIGHTS INTO A SONG:

I’m going to assume everyone who’s on this page has heard Psy’s “Gangnam Style” song. In short, Psy’s a Korean rap/pop artist who’s “Gangnam Style” song/video have received over 100 million views (and counting) on YouTube, and has been seen on various TV shows. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

I forget how I ended up watching the video – probably after seeing it posted on Yahoo, Google and friends’ Facebook pages – but when I saw the video and heard the song, AND saw how many views it was getting, I knew I HAD to make a parody of it.

I went through the usual process, trying to find things that rhymed with “Gangnam.” “Condom” was the easiest thing to think of, and I almost went this route (“What’s Your Condom Style?”) but didn’t know how much mileage I’d get out of it.  I thought of a few funny things here and there, but nothing that was really popping off in my brain enough for me to want to record anything…

Then, I took a mini-trip to Palm Springs for the day. While relaxin’ in my room, I got a chance to look at the video again, and as I started going over parody ideas, it suddenly hit me:

“Vote Obama Style!”

There it was – the elusive hit I’d been looking to parody an Obama song with. I thought I had done it with my “Rack City” parody, “Black President” back in January, but by then the song was actually starting to die down in popularity. (Had no idea it had been out since summer 2011. So much for being on the radar anymore!)

But THIS – this song had the same elements that made “A Milli” such a sure-fire winner. Infectious beat? Check. Crazy artist saying cool stuff that didn’t make sense (unless you know Korean)? Check. Worldwide popularity? Check. The only REAL question was, could I write a song to it?

The only thing really standing in the way was the language barrier – aside from “Heeeeey, sexy lady,” I have NO idea what the rest of the song is saying. Then I realized, when I make parodies, I don’t really base the words I use off what the other artist wrote, so much as I try to follow similar song patterns and syllables.  As long as I could make my ending rhymes sound phonetically similar to what Psy was saying in Korean I’d be good.

So, I got to work. I went into work on Saturday night and just started coming up with ideas. As per usual, I thought of the second verse first, then went back to the first verse for a bit, got stuck, worked on the 3rd verse instead, then went home and worked out the first verse. By Sunday, I had a full song written and, later that same day, recorded (after finding a remade instrumental online)!

For this Obama song, I focused on two things. In the first verse, I talk about how Obama is at a turning point after 3 years, then mention how I’m going to vote for him on election day. In the second verse, I talk about Mitt Romney looking like a super villain, then listing a few of the various accomplishments made by Obama in his first term. On the refrains, I talk about Obama being the better candidate and how people should vote for him instead of Mitt Romney.

Pretty simple stuff, all said in ways that are funny, insightful, and thought-provoking. What can I say, it’s what I do best!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits

1. The way I say “Vote Obama Style” sounds similar to the way Psy says “Oppom Gangnam Style.” I was doing the best impression of him that I could for that part. It’s also the only part of the song that’s not layered with other vocals.

2. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what I was going to replace “Heeeey, sexy lady” with. I finally settled on “Heeeeey, Romney’s shady,” mostly ’cause it was the best thing I could think of. If I could put something else there that worked better I would, but it’s a fine replacement for now…

3. I added in the line about Romney looking like a super villain because I think I saw a picture comparison of him and Magneto or some other villain on some fake news show (Stewart or Colbert, I think).

4. Believe it or not, the hardest part of the song for me to think of was the 4th line in the first verse. I was trying to rhyme words like “election,” “introspection,” and needed a forth one… but couldn’t think of anything. I finally decided on the word “objection.” Then, I had to think of what rhymed with… whatever those words were Psy used in the first half of the 4th verse that sound like “Good or bad.” Finally, I said “screw it” and decided to mention Michelle Obama’s fineness once again. I don’t think I’ve gotten through a whole “Obama” song without mentioning it, so why start now? 😛

INSIGHTS INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Once I finished recording the song, I KNEW I wanted to make a video with an impact. However, at the time all I knew was (a) I had a flip camera, a green screen and a camera tripod to use.

My original plan was to take my tripod with me around town to various spots, set up my camera, and dance like a madman while mouthing the words to the song. It would have been an “okay” video, but nothing like what I ended up shooting…

You see, as it turns out, in the 3+ years I’ve been in Los Angeles, I’ve made friends with people who will actually show up for video shoots. And who have state-of-the-art cameras. And who don’t mind making a fool of themselves for the purpose of a video.  These are the people I call “friends,” and they help make what could be an “okay” video something that’s worthy of showing to other people.

And so, I looked through my phone list and sent out a mass text… and, the people who I truly wanted to be in the video were able to show up, including my friend Tamika (you know her from… well, MOST of the videos I shot last year). She moved to Texas late last year but was in town for a friend’s wedding and agreed to show up for an hour and shoot stuff.

As for my camera, I didn’t even have to use it for the majority of the shoot. My friend Joe Hollywood (who makes a cameo in dang near ALL of my videos) had gotten a new camera the same day I wanted to shoot, so the video ended up being a tester for the camera (and man, oh man, does it work GREAT). Aside from a few pick up shots here and there that I got via the Flip, the rest of the shoot ended up being done on a Canon T2 camera.

Anyway… the shoot itself ended up being 3 days at various times. Day 1 shoot day was at the La Brea/Expo train station, where we did a LOT of outside shots mocking Psy’s original video: The elevator shot, the shot with him and two girls walking forward, and the dance sequence at the end of the video were all done at this one location.  As we were filming it, Joe’s battery died, so we had to wait until the next day to shoot.

Day 2 shoot was LONG. Joe and I met up at the Culver City train station at 10 and shot a few more train shots, both outside AND inside the train. Then we went to Fox Hills mall, where we shot inside Target and at the food court. Next, we went back to my apartment to dump the footage and get some shots of me in the pool and next to the pool. Then, it was off to the park to shoot the opening scene (as well as a cool dance scene with me on top of a picnic table). Next, we went to the Rave cinema (a.k.a. “The Bridge”) to use their parking garage as an imitation to Psy’s garage usage in his video.  Before we left there, we also filmed a short bit of me doing the famous “arms crossed while galloping” dance from the video.  Finally, we went back to Joe’s apartment, dumped some more footage, and filmed one more scene before I headed home.

I was able to take Joe’s camera home and film some additional stuff. My roommate wanted to be in the video, so we filmed a scene where she was opening the door and I was bursting in; plus a cool scene where we danced side by side doing some more goofy dancing.

At this point, I figured my filming was done… but then I mentioned to my roommate that I had wanted her son (a.k.a. my Godson) Ajani to dance in the video.  That’s when she mentioned an Obama wall painting downtown that ended up being a PERFECT backdrop for the opening of the video, as well as getting a few clips of Ajani dancing.

Good grief, that was just the short version of what happened, and I haven’t even gotten to the editing part yet!

Well, in short: it was a LOT of color correction, adding things in so the video would look as bright, joyful and colorful as Psy’s video.  I added in subtitles typed in “Hobo Std” font (I wish I was making that name up) so people could understand all the words being said.

I also made sure to add in things like my YouTube station name, as well as where viewers could buy the single (on iTunes) as well as past Obama songs and the “Vote Obama Style” T-shirt.  I have found that my videos sometimes get “borrowed” and uploaded to other people’s channels; I figure, if it’s going to happen, might as well use them to send people back to my page and to buy my merchandise, right?

All in all, a very, VERY ambitious video, and one I’m proud to have made!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. This is the first video I’ve made in a LOOOOONG time that didn’t use green screen or excessive pictures! I really wanted to give the feel of it being a “real” video, and those elements can take away from that effect.

2. On Day 1 after Joe’s camera died, Tamika wanted to get Roscoe’s chicken and waffles for lunch – the same place Obama got food from when he visited Los Angeles last year. I had my Flip Camera on me at the time, and figured I should get some shots in there for the vid. Thus: The shot of me with a waffle house menu, and a shot of me pointing at the picture of Obama with the Roscoe’s staff hanging above their register!

3. If you notice, in about 90% of the video, the words I’m saying don’t match what’s being said. This stemmed from the elevator scene, when I realized I didn’t know all the words to my own song (since I had only just recorded it the day before)! So, I decided to act like I was speaking a gibberish language and being subtitled so people could understand me.  I wish I had known the song better, but the video still came out lookin’ dang good in spite of the situation!

4. While filming the dance sequence, the cars on La Brea kept honking at us. The majority of them were cheering us on… and then, one random guy yelled out “stop that!” LoL!

5. I wanted to get a video shot in the train since Psy had one in his video. We met up at the Culver City station because it was the end of the new Blue line, which meant the train would be stalled there for 10 minutes and we’d have time for me to film inside the train with no one there. Only problem: when we got there, people WERE in the train. I didn’t want to interrupt them or make things awkward, so I nixed the idea. Turns out, though, fate was in our favor: as I was shooting a solo scene at the station, another train pulled up. This meant I now had TWO trains in the solo shot; more importantly, though, when the train arrived, EVERYONE got off, meaning I now had time to shoot a scene on the inside of the train! We only shot for 2 minutes, but I made SURE to make them shots that could be used in the video!

6. My friend Joe was leery about shooting in Target – having to sneak around to get various shots, possibly having people walk up, etc. – but had no problem wanting to shoot in the mall food court. In fact, that suggestion is what got me the shot next to the bamboo trees in the food court!

7. The pool used in the pool scene is in the courtyard of my apartment complex.

8. For the park scene, I didn’t know of any little kids that would be available to dance in front of me like in Psy’s video. We later found out that one of Joe’s nephews was actually home during the day of our shoot and could’ve done it.  Um… shouldn’t he be in school?!?

9. In the parking garage scene, I kicked Joe in the allzbeys by accident while dancing. Terrible for him, GREAT for film footage!

10. While filming the scene where I’m dancing while crossing the street, Joe’s camera battery ran out of juice. Luckily, it shot just enough of what I needed for me to use – where it cuts off in the video is where it cut off while filming!

11. The line about Mitt Romney looking like a super villain prompted me to want to find a pic of him being compared to one online. Instead, I found a pic someone made of him looking like he was wearing Bane’s mask. Worked for me!

12. We went to 3 different toilets when trying to figure out where I could shoot the infamous bathroom scene.  We first stopped at a library next to the park, but it had a homeless guy in there shaving and washing up. The next place we went to was a hotel that had a GREAT bathroom… but bad lighting. Finally, we stopped at a bowling alley. I was going to use their handicap bathroom stall, but when we opened the door we saw crap sitting on the seat. So, I ended up having to use the small stall instead.

13. The kid in the video is my Godson, Ajani. That kid usually has so much energy, yet on the day we needed him to dance he didn’t really want to do it. Thus, the reason he’s only in snippets of the video. Ironically, once we got him home, he was all ready to be bouncing and dance. Darn that kid’s bad timing!!

14. Estimated editing time for this video… I can’t even tell. I started on Tuesday night, which went into Wednesday morning before I fell asleep at 2 A.M., then woke up at 7:45 A.M. to continue on… then I shot some more stuff for the video, so… eh, let’s just say it took a long-ass time. I thought not using green screen would make this stuff easier!

I’m very, VERY proud of how this video turned out! Even if it doesn’t get as big as my “Obama Milli Remix,” I feel the effort put into this project makes it a winner. But really, now, PLEASE share this video with your friends!

-A. P. T.