Tag Archive: apt music video



Above: Video #26, “What Do I Do” – the official half-way point of my “One-Song-a-Week” Experiment!

This week’s music video is for the song, “What Do I Do,” from “The A.P.T. EP” – i.e. my very FIRST album!!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Before I get into the song itself, let me give you some background on “The A.P.T. EP.” In short: it was a disc I made in college as a result of interest I had built in my music from some of the students around campus.

Much like I did with the “Obama Obama” song, I was known around campus for taking current songs, and changing them up for my voice message greeting. I did this over the span of 4 years, and people knew I was the guy to go to for parodies.

When I hit my senior year, I wanted to put out a whole CD of parody songs, along with a few of my own original songs as well. I bought myself a drum kit and a Pocketstudio, and, over the span of a few months, put together “The A.P.T. EP (This is ONLY a Demo)” I added the “demo” tag because I knew that, since I was sampling other people’s beats (and, in some cases, blatantly re-using them), I had to let people know it was strictly for demo purposes (just in case a big-wig record company guy ever came across it and said, “Hey… this guy used somebody else’s beats!”)

Anyway, I gave a few copies to my friends, as well as some people who didn’t know me too well but liked my music. This was 4 years ago, when I was still in college.

Since then, I’ve made other musical disc (see: “Check the Resume,” “The O-Bama Mixtape,” and “The A.P.T. LP”), and, in the hustle and bustle of life, I managed to misplace all the copies of “The A.P.T. EP” I had made all those years ago.

Then, I went back to my Mom’s house 2 weeks ago to help her pack up the house for her move. In the process of going through my things, I managed to come across two copies of “The A.P.T. EP,” still in good condition!

I was ecstatic! I went to run an errand in my Mom’s car (still don’t have one of my own yet) just so I could have an excuse to listen to the first disc I made so long ago.

Man… it’s weird to hear the first set of songs I made. I made it in 2004, so some of the references on the songs are outdated, and the songs I parodied aren’t relevant any more. As for how I sound on it, I think I was still going through my “trying to sound like Eminem” stage, as a lot of the songs and concepts I used were similar in style to what he would have done at the time.

Nevertheless, it’s still a pretty good listen, and, even in my recording infancy, there were some songs I made on there that stood out.

One of the songs is the one I chose to make a video for this week, “What Do I Do?” It’s a song where I talk about my realization that (a) girls have finally started to show interest in me, and (b) that it took so long for them to notice me that I had no idea what moves I needed to make to keep her interest.

Even though I wrote this song 4 years ago, I remember exactly how it came about. I was sitting in our school’s cafeteria one day, eating alone (which, for the record, was on PURPOSE – I like spending time alone because it allows me to think of creative things to do… like, for instance, build this website!). As I was eating, I saw this cute-looking girl sit about 4 seats to the left of me.

I’m quite an observant fellow, and I noticed that, as she was eating, she kept looking over at me. It was one of those looks that said, “I wish this guy would talk to me – he looks kind of cute!” (Note: that’s not me being vein, it’s me being observant.)

Little did she know, though, that my interaction with girls prior to her sitting down had not always gone the way I wanted them to go. There have been many times in my life where I’d try and go after a girl, only to be shot down with a “No,” or would end up in a situation where I thought a girl liked me, only to be fooled later when, after being the “friend” that was always there for her, she’d end up liking another guy instead.

Even when I finally was able to figure out if a girl was interested in me, I still didn’t know what moves I had to make to keep her interested. Of course, I know now that if a girl IS interested in you, you don’t really have to DO too much (other than respect her and spend time with her). But for the place I was at in my life at the time, I couldn’t think of anything interesting to say or think of a way to start up a conversation…

So, even though I thought she was cute and single… I did NOT make a move. I just continued to eat, staring straight ahead until she finally got up from the table, in a frustrated, “why didn’t he talk to me” type of way, and left.

After she was gone, I immediately took out my pencil and my writing journal, and started penning the words to the song. I basically wrote out what I would have liked to say to the girl about WHY I didn’t try to holler at her.

At the same time I wrote this song, though, I was still in recording mode for “The A.P.T. EP,” and knew that I wanted a sing-songy type of song, similar in vein to the song Emimen recorded for his daughter Hailey (from “The Eminem Show” – I can’t remember the song name now!). I just so happen to have downloaded a beat from soundclick.com that was perfect for this type of song – I could “harmonize” on the first two verses, then come in at the end with a rap verse that summarized the song.

Even to this day, this is one of my favorite songs that I’ve recorded. It’s an honest portrayal of where I was a that time in my life, but I’m sure the song’s sentiment is one that shy guys deal with all the time when it comes to handling the opposite sex!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. When I download other people’s beats these days, I make a note to save the beat with the name of the producer – that way, if they take the beat down, I can still contact them and ask them for beat use. 4 years ago, that wasn‘t the case – I did not produce this record, but have no idea who did. And – seeing as it was 4 years ago – I don’t even know if that person is still on the soundclick website. However, to make sure I don’t get sued, I can’t sell the song – thus, this song, along with the rest of “The A.P.T. EP,” is a FREE download!

2. I recorded this track using a 4-track recording Pocketstudio 5, which, at the time, I thought was the best machine I could by to record songs, at an “affordable” price (I think the machine costs me $250 or more). Nowadays I use a computer program called Samplitude, which can definitely record more than 4 tracks. Still, it was a pretty cool machine, and the fact that I could double up my vocals for my songs blew my mind!

3. The second verse of the song is a musical retelling of the events that happened in the cafeteria that day that inspired the song. And, like the song says, I really did go out of my way to ignore her, but only because I didn’t know what I would say to her, and therefore found it pointless to say ANYTHING to her. For all I know, we could be getting hitched today had I made a move!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I knew I wanted to shoot a video for this song… EVENTUALLY. Just not this week.

I still have two more video shoots to go for songs off “The A.P.T. LP,” and the plan was to actually shoot a video for “Hooptie” this week.

However, I DO have a life outside of making these music videos, and sometimes things have to be rearranged.

I wanted to use other people in the last two videos I have for the album because I feel they are two of the stand-out songs that will be huge “hits,” and I didn’t want to have to stifle my visions for those videos simply because time schedules by either me or the people I want in the videos were out of wack.

At the same time, though, I knew I needed a video for this week, and I already had an idea for “What Do I Do” that was simplistic, easy to shoot, and would get my point across for the song.

The video shoot itself came about by accident. I had gone to a job interview that day, and had used my brother’s car. After the interview was over, I had one simple mission: drive the car back to where my brother works so he could drive me home during his lunch break.

One problem: I got lost! I haven’t been in D.C. that long, and most places I go involve me catching the bus/train. So, even though I had been to his office a few times, it was usually with map-blasted directions, which I didn’t think to print out this particular time.

Yada yada yada, I end up getting to his office an hour later than expected. Because of this lateness, I had to sit around in the cafeteria for 2 hours while he finished up his work day. After I ate some Chinese food, read a book, and called up another place for a job interview, I got bored.

So, I walked over to the lobby of the building, where there was a desk and a chair, propped up next to a wall that had a background with wallpaper containing green leafs in its design. Being bored, I started thinking: “hmm, it would be nice if I could shoot a music video of some kind here…”

And, of course, I had my laptop and camera with me (like I always do – well, most of the time). I didn’t know how much time I had to record something, but I figured I had at least a good 30 minutes before my brother would be done with his work.

The shoot itself was very, VERY simple. The idea was to simply record myself staring into the camera pensively while the song played, not mouthing a single word until the rap part of the song comes on. This was to give viewers the idea that the song itself was actually being thought by me rather than sung by me. The look I have on my face is one of distant disbelief: for the first 2 verses I don’t blink AT ALL, and when I finally start mouthing the words of the song, it’s still like I’m in a state of “why does this keep happening every time I meet a girl.”

I shot it with the green leaf backdrop because… well, it was better than using a non-decorative wall, that’s why!

Once the video was shot, I packed up my stuff, right around the same time my brother came out of his office and was ready to go!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. After a few pre-production shots, I shot the video itself in ONE take.

2. My original goal was to try and not blink for the ENTIRE video. However, the location of the lobby where I shot this thing had a vent over it, and was blowing into my eyes the whole time. Eventually, I HAD to blink.

3. This isn’t the first video I’ve made where I use ONE shot for the whole video. However, it IS the first video I’ve made where I didn’t use any cut-away shots combined with fast camera movement. (My video for “A.P.T. (What’s My Name)” came close, but there’s a cut with the censor bar in it midway through the video.) Again, I really wanted the emotions to read off my face, and felt that using extra cuts would take away from that.

4. After the 1st minute and a half of holding that camera, my arm started to hurt. That’s why camera looks shaky at times – its not even that heavy, but it takes a LOT of effort to hold something so awkward for such a “long” time!

5. After I shot the video, my brother got mad that I used his work place as a site to make videos. He was all like, “what if someone had come out and seen you?’ and blah, blah, blah. He cares very much about what people think about him – which is all good – but sometimes, I’m just like, “I could give a flying crap about that, I have a goal to accomplish.” Besides, I wasn’t even making noise in the lobby!

6. Estimated time for editing the video: well, the editing itself only took about 30 minutes. It was the publishing that took the longest. Since there’s only one section of the video where I mouth the words to the song, I kept having to republish the darn video because, once it was done, I’d find that the mouthing of words didn’t match up to where they were being said in the song. Estimated publishing time: about an hour and a half!!!

That’s all for now! By the way: This video represents the half-way mark of my little “One-Song-a-Week” experiment. Remember the goal, people: one music video every Sunday for ONE year – only 26 more videos to go!

-A.P.T.

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

This week’s music video is for the song, “What We Do,” produced by ME!

DOWNLOAD FOR .99: Click HERE to purchase (Automatically sent after payment!)

AVAILABLE ON “THE A.P.T. LP”: Click HERE for purchase info! (MP3 Download or Mail-Order CD options available!)

INSIGHT INTO THE SONG:

A good musician understands that they must please two audiences: themselves, and the (hopefully) millions of other  people they want to become fans of their music. 

Any good artist, therefore, will do their best to make songs that talk about real situations based on their life and/or other things that people can relate to.  At the same time, though, a good artist will also realize that not EVERY song they make need to necessarily have a story, a major point, or anything relating to something involving real life. 

Thus, the “filler” songs on albums.  I hate the word “filler” because, regardless of how a song was written or what it is about, they all take time to write, create, make/find a beat for, record, mix, master, and present to the public in a way that it will be received by a large group of people.

In short: filler songs should really be called “fun” records because it allows an artist full rights to be as creative as heck, say whatever they want to say, all the while having a good time doing it.

This song – “What We Do” – is one of those songs. 

The song is basically a meshing together of various freestyles I’ve written and saved.  In total, the verses of the song have a written history as far back as 4 years ago.  In other words, between my journal and hotmail site where I send songs to myself, I found verses I had saved over the years and clumped them together for this song.

This is one of those songs where I’m talking about how dope I am on the mic.  Pretty simple, right?  But the history of the song is a bit longer…

I originally wanted to do this as a posse song… but I don’t know a lot of people, and trying to find 3 random guys to rap on the track – people I’d consider to have “talent” at that – was hard.  So I decided to do all the verses by myself!

I also had another beat for this song that I found online.  Then, while tinkering around on my Fruity Loops one day, I made a beat that I thought would sound perfect for the song.  The beat was made around the time P. Diddy’s first “band,” Da Band (a now defunct rap group), had a song out that was popular as heck… but it had a beat that used minimal instruments.  I wanted to make a beat similar in sound, and once I did I figured “What We Do” would be a good song to attach to it.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The second and third verse have been the same for some time now.  As for the first verse, I didn’t have it written for almost 2 years from the other verses.  Then, while I was freestyling to a Justin Timberlake beat (for his song “Summer Love”), I re-listened to it after it was done and said “This verse would make a GREAT first verse for this song!”

2. My favorite line in the song: “On the mic, I fight like Ali in his prime/Leave you shook like Ali since 1989.”  Yes, I came up with that on my own, and I’m very proud of it!

3. In the second verse, I say a line – “Leave you stripped, like Judy Winslow.”  She was the young but forgotten sister on the first 3 or 4 seasons of “Family Matters.”  A few years after being dropped from the show, she did a couple of porno movies.  So sad how the mighty fall…

INSIGHT INTO A MUSIC VIDEO:

I just moved to D.C. from Atlanta this past Sunday.  I devoted so much time to finding a place to live and starting work, I didn’t think I’d even HAVE a video this week. 

Luckily, I keep my camera on me at all times when I travel.  While catching the train back to my brother’s apartment (where I’m temporarily staying), this young-looking guy got on the train… and proceeded to hip-hop dance for almost 20 minutes straight!!

After the first 3 minutes of him doing this, I thought to myself: “OMG, get your camera out NOW and film this!!”  And so I did – and I got 6 minutes of footage of him doing all kinds of crazy dance moves that you just have to see to believe!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. Aside from the edits I made where he was standing around figuring out what to do next, there are NO tricks added to this video.  All the things you see him doing in the video – from the hanging on the pole to other various moves – were on his own accord.

2.  You’ll notice my book bag in the bottom left corner of the video.  I was doing my darndest to make sure he didn’t see me filming – I didn’t want him to stop, or suddenly get startled and ruin his groove!

3. Estimated editing time: about an hour and a half.  Also, since I still don’t have a place to live (not ‘til Monday!) I had to edit the video at a 24-hour laundry mat.  Why? Because I decided to stay out all night instead of going back to my brother’s apartment.  Now that I’m extremely tired (as I’m typing this it’s 4:02 AM), I wish I had gone home earlier.  Now I have to wait until at least 5 AM for the next trains to come.  But I digress…

That’s all for now – see ya next week!

-A.P.T.

This week’s music video is for the song, “A.P.T. (What’s My Name),” produced by HiFly.

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Snoop Dogg. Dr. Dre.  Lil’ Boosie.  Eminem. Lil’ Wayne.

All of them have one thing in common.  Okay, actually, they have a few things: they’re all rappers, they have lots of fans, and have made LOTS of money off their stage names.

Part of the reason for that is because they’ve drilled their names into people’s head through song.  And not just the occasional self-mentioning of their names in a few of their tunes.  I’m talking about the fact that they’ve made popular songs where their name is the chorus of the song.  People hear these songs in the club, and – through the power of direct suggestion – become familiar with the names of the artist repeating his/her name.

When I was recording songs for “The A.P.T. LP,” I knew I wanted to have a song where my name was in the chorus.  Actually, I figured that out WAY before this CD was even a thought, and the chorus to the song – “What’s my name? (A!) What’s my name? (A!) What’s my name? (A. – P. – Taaaaay!)” – has been in my head for almost 4 years, along with the opening lines, “Lights, camera, filming and ACTION/A.P.T.’s back with a passion…”

That’s all the song I had for 4 years.  I would walk around freestyling the rest of the song, and was eventually smart enough to write down some song lyrics during one of my typing song sessions (where I type out random lyrics and hope they will fit into a song).

I had an idea of how I wanted the beat of the song to sound, but I couldn’t seem to actually make the beat.  Then, I went online and found a guy named HiFly who had an array of beats.  There was a beat he had that sounded simply epic – it sounded like a beat that should open up an album and announces to the world that THIS is the official start of the album.

When I heard the beat, I knew I wanted to use it for a song, but didn’t know which song.  After I started trying to think of a chorus to go with it, I realized that the “What’s My Name” chorus would go perfect with the beat.  I gathered together some lyrics I wrote, and WHAM!  I had a song!

This is one of those songs where I have to talk about how cool/good/better than others I am.  After all, my name IS in the chorus.  So, nothing too deep – just some entertaining stuff!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The second-to-last line in the first verse – “I’m like milk on a shelf, I’m legendary” – I came up with YEARS ago, and have been dying to use it in a song.  It’s one of those play on words that have to be explained, which I actually do in the next line of the song (“Milk – dairy? Legde – shelf?”).  I figured no one would get it otherwise.

2. The second verse of the song is what I called a “verse countdown.” The first line is “I spit a mean 16 on the mic…”  for the first line, and so forth, until the 16th bar when I say “No ONE.”

3. I wrote the last verse a few days after Issac Hayes died while exercising.  In retrospect, the line “I have you slumped over and limp like Issac Hayes” is probably too soon… but heck, I liked it, so I put it in!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

It just so happens that Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy, a.k.a. Puff Daddy, a.k.a…. Okay, I could type this all day… the point is, he has a video blog on YouTube, and for one of his vlogs last week he put up a video for a remix song he did called “Swagga Like Puff.”  The video was so simplistic and basic, yet hilarious… and since this happens to be MY 20th music video, I just KNEW I had to do a parody video of Diddy’s video!

Once again, doing a parody of anything takes work.  I had to study the stuff Diddy does in his video, and watched it at least 20 times before I got the flow down of all the stuff he does in the video.

BTW: My video is much funnier if you’ve actually seen Diddy’s video, which is posted above.  I made some “changes” to the things he did in the video (for example, showing off Pinot Grigio instead of Ciroc Vodka), and it’s pretty hilarious!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. The king crown worn in the video is from Medieval Times, which I went to back in July with my friend Michele.  I always try to keep props I get when I’m out – ya never know when they might come in handy!!

2. Yes, I actually poured oatmeal into a bowl, mixed it with orange juice and took a bite.  What you don’t know: after the video was done, I actually microwaved the oatmeal with the O.J. in it and ate it.  Prognosis: it really does NOT taste good!

3. The Pinot Grigio bottle in the video? Camanile.  I don’t drink wine, but I had the bottle, and poured water into it.

4. The dancing at the end is BAD.  But so was Diddy’s dancing.  Perhaps, since this was a parody, I should have done some GOOD dancing, LoL!

5. Edit time for this video: less than 2 hours. Heck, I shot the whole thing today AND edited it within about 3 hours total!

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

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

Friggin’ sux.

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

 

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

INSIGHT INTO THE SONG:

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Greetings, everybody!!

Here are the second and third promo videos for “The A.P.T. LP,” Out Sunday, August 24th!

Above: The second promo ad, where I talk about the ups and downs of signing to a major label.

Above: The third promo ad, where I give you all a sneak preview listening to some of the songs off the album!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

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This week’s song/music video is for “Kick Bush” (Lupe Fiasco “Kick Push” Re-make)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I wrote this song two years ago, around the time Chicago-based rapper Lupe Fiasco dropped his first single, the oh-so infectious skateboarder’s anthem, “Kick Push.” Whenever I hear a song I really like, it becomes inevitible that I’ll start freestyling something to the beat and/or re-creating the song to my own version.

For this one, replacing “Push” with “Bush” was a no-brainer. Having the word “Kick” in front of it was also approriate, as most people are so angry with President Bush’s performance in the White House that the feeling of shoving a boot in his arse is universal.

To write the song, I decided to focus on his two major screw-ups while in office. The first verse mentions the tragedy that struck the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, and Bush’s botching of the situationg – not only by delaying his reaction to initially hearing about the incident, but also somehow managing to get us into a war with Iraq, despite the fact that it was people from Afganistan who attacked us.

The second verse talks about Bush’s mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina situation. Louisiana and Mississippi were both struck by this high-category storm in 2005, and the goverment’s response to it… well, let’s just say, they were able to get food to Iraqis halfway across the world faster than a state less than 3 hours away by plane. And while people were waiting to be saved in Louisiana, what was our President doing? Going to plays, judging mundane farm contest, and basically doing everything BUT touching down on the ground in those two states and connecting with the people.

Moron.

Anyway, my friend Michele was living down in New Orleans in 2006, and I went down there to (a) visit her, and (b) see the destruction first-hand. It had been about 11 months since the storm hit, and parts of the city looked like it had been hit the day before I went! That, combined with my viewing of Spike Lee’s Hurricane Katrina documentary on HBO, made me think up this song.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is what I consider a “re-make,” not a “parody.” Parodies are meant to be funny, and this one is not all that humorous. However, it does follow the cadance and flow used by Lupe Fiasco in “Kick Push,” so if the song should be funny to those familiar with the original song.

2. The voice of “Bush” in the song is me. I have to say this, because for some reason people think “A.P.T.” is a group, and when I do voices it only makes people think this more. I have NO help at the moment, people!

INSIGHT INTO THE VIDEO SHOOT:

So, the song was written and recorded two years ago. Why release it now?

I put it on “The O-Bama Mixtape” because I always thought it was a good song, and that people would enjoy listening to it (especially true hip-hop heads who LOVE Lupe Fiasco). At the same time, any songs with a major public figure have what I call “limited shelf life.” They are only relevant for as long as that public figure is, which means once that person goes away, so goes the popularity of the song.

In this case, the song calls for the President to be impeached and/or kicked out of office. However, since it’s an election year, Bush WILL, in fact, be out of office come January 20, 2009. Therefore, any songs I have where I talk about him have to be released prior to November, when our next President will be elected into the White House.

“The O-Bama Mixtape” was released 2 weeks ago. And guess what one of the more popular songs on the mixtape was? You guessed it – “Kick Bush!” The song has already been posted on numerous websites, and someone even attempted to make a re-remake of my song and post it on YouTube… but he hasn’t gotten many views for his because, quite frankly, it sucks. You can’t just MAKE a re-make or parody people; work and research has to go into it so it catches on!!

Since the song has already shown its popularity, I figured, “hey, why not make a music video for it?!”

Amazingly, I had the idea for this video for two weeks now. I’m basically stealing the idea from “Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood,” only it’s “Mr. Taylor’s Neighborhood.” I’m reading a book I just bought called “Kick Bush: Based on a True (But Sad) Story,” and – because it’s mostly a picture book – the majority of the video tells the story of the song via digital images. Very ingenious, and non-time consuming film-wise – it only took me about 35-40 minutes to film my part of it.

The longest parts of putting the video together was (a) finding the pictures to use, and (b) editing. I was on google and Yahoo for God know’s how long, looking for public domain pictures to use in the video. As for editing… let’s just say, having a PC program sucks monkey balls. I had to publish this friggin’ video FOUR times because there would be a glitch here or there that would pop up in the video after it was done publishing. Also, because I decided to put transitions from shot-to-shot in here, it bumped up the publishing time from 10 minutes to 28 minutes.

Yes, I sat around for TWO hours waiting for this thing to be published right, so people had beter enjoy it!!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I did NOT film this in my apartment! My shower is broken at the moment, and maintenence has yet to fix it, so I have to use another apartment to shower in. This is the place I chose to film this video because my place was messy, and I wanted another place for people to look at besides my place all the time!!

2. I got the floor rocking chair from Target. Yes, it really DOES rock,, and is very comfortable!

3. The opening shot of the video is the front of my apartment complex.

4. I made the “book-cover” myself using a piece of paper and a red-and-green crayon. The book is actually a journal I used to write in from ages 15 to 18.

5. I filmed myself doing the song twice. The first time I filmed it, the back of the book was showing, but the paper only went to the half-way point of the back end. Since I wanted to give the illusion that this was a REAL book, I had to film it over and over again until I finally had the book at an angle to where the back wasn’t showing.

6. Estimated editing time: a LONG time. The editing was done by 1 PM, but the publishing took until 5 to get right. I need a MAC and a hired editor – this stuff is time-consuming!

That’s all for now – enjoy the video, and I’ll see you next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt

If I haven’t said it enough already, thanks to everybody who’s downloaded “The O-Bama Mixtape” so far!!

As of now it’s been downloaded over 300 times, and – seeing as this is the age of bootlegging – I’m sure it’s been copied, given out to friends and/or uploaded to P2P sites by now.  Just like I wanted!!

If you think the mixtape is good, just WAIT until you hear the album!! I can’t give the title away yet (until I get my songs for it copyrighted – after all, people LOVE stealing good ideas), but it comes out August 24th, and it’s going to be HOT!!

Okay, so my original plan for the album was to make all the beats myself… but honestly, I’m in more of a mode these days to write songs and let others focus on the beats.  Luckily, I always think ahead, and made a LOT of beats back in the days when I still felt like making them, so I have a plethora of them to choose from for the album.

Still, though, I wanted to expand my range and get other sounds on the LP.  My productions are great, but I don’t have all the fancy-smanshy high-end equipment that other producers have.  To that end, I have found other sources of beats whereby I can lease the beats I want to use.  This is different from owning a beat exclusively, as the original beat-maker will still be able to sell the beat.  The upside is that I can lease the beat for relatively cheap ($25 – $50 for most) as opposed to paying a LOT for an exclusive right to a beat ($100 – $1500 or HIGHER). 

Some people might think, “Geez, A.P.T., why not just own the beat exclusively so others can’t use it?” Easy: again, we live in the age of bootlegging, where other people are going to steal it anyway.  I didn’t even release the instrumental version of “Obama, Obama,” yet lo and behold, people managed to download it, slice out the “Obama” vocal, re-make the beat and make their own song anyway!! (I see you, Tyga – nice job on MY beat!!) Heck, I used other people’s beats for MY mixtape – even if that other person couldn’t sell their version of song, they could still get famous off it, so why spend all that money!??

Speaking of money: there are a LOT of beats I’ve found that I want to use, but at the moment I only have enough money to pay my rent, my phone, and my internet bills.  At this point in my life, though, I don’t let problems like not having money stop me from doing what I’m doing.  To that end, I already have a person who said they’d do my graphics for FREE (in exchange for name exposure – not a problem at all!), and I got financing for the beats that aren’t mine that I want to use on the album.

The LP itself is mostly done, but I’m going to re-record a few things so they sound good, and record some newer songs, too.  All in all, the album will probably have 12 or 13 songs on it.  I used to think this wasn’t enough songs, but I’ve bought many albums where they ran close to an hour and 20 minutes, and it seemed too long.  I only want a hour of your time, people – after that, you can play me over and over again until the next set of songs comes out!

Lastly: my video for this week.  Actually, it’s already up on my YouTube site, but I’m reposting it because (a) I put it up before I started this site, so it hasnt’ gotten much attention, and (b) it’s a song that’s on my mixtape, so it makes for good advertising.  I was tempted to place 2 videos up, but I’m trying to keep with my original mantra of one song/video a week (which is actually getting HARDER now that I’ve got all these video ideas floating around). 

I’ve already started next week’s video, and after that I’ll start putting up videos for songs that will be on my official album so I can get people excited about it.

That’s all for now – it’s hot in my apartment, and I think I need some fresh air.  See y’all on Sunday!!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt