Gentlemen and Ladies, to you I present proudly…
THE NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT (a.k.a. BACK ON MY GRIND) – The BRAND NEW A.P.T. Mixtape!
Featuring the hits: “Go Hard Remix” with DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain, plus “O-bama O-Bama MegaRemix” with Tyga, “#1” with Jay-Z, “Where My Money At” and More!
Click http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=223462 to download! (For mixtape insights, scroll down below the track listing!)
Track Listing for “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back on My Grind)” (Highlighted links have a music video for that song!):
01. Intro – The First Black President (feat. Barack Obama and Katie Couric)
02. The Next Black President – Produced by Chris I
03. Back on My Grind – Produced by SINIMA Beats
04. Killed the Beat (feat. Myxtape) – Produced by Myxtape
05. Shine 4 Obama (feat. Luther Vandross)
06.#1 (feat. Jay-Z) – Produced by ME!
07. Go Hard – The Unofficial Remix (DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain)
08. Another Unnecessary Interlude
09. Crank Dat (Yeah!) – Produced by Fire Kraka
10. Your Mom’s a Ho! – Produced by Mister KA
11. You Ashy (feat. Black & Broke) – Produced by Black & Broke
12. Where My Money At – Produced by Mister KA/
13. Get Your Paper (feat. Paul Ma$$on)
14. Interlude – T-Pain Sings “O-bama O-bama” on 106 & Park
15. O-Bama Mega-remix (feat. Tyga) – Produced by ME!
16. Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father) – Produced by SINIMA Beats
17. BONUS: A Rhymestyle Podcast Interview with A.P.T.
18 .BONUS: The A.P.T. LP Preview (Short Version)
19. Outro for The Next Black President
INSIGHT INTO A MIXTAPE:
First, I want to thank everyone who downloaded “The O-Bama Mixtape,” and/or purchased “The A.P.T. LP!“ It’s been my dream for a few years now to expose my music to a wide audience, and, between these two albums, I have been able to fulfill a good portion of that dream (the other part, of course, is being able to make a living off it – I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working on it daily!)
It’s funny how things come about in life – I wanted to get noticed in the music biz, so I started this website with the goal of putting out ONE music video a week, every Sunday, for a year. Video/song number five, “O-bama O-bama,” was a song I put together almost as a joke, yet it ended up becoming WAY more popular than I could have imagined.
As a result of its sudden popularity, I had people asking me when I’d be putting out a mixtape. At the time, I was only on song number 7 or 8 so it hadn’t dawned on me to even put out a mixtape of full songs, as I was concentrating on just doing ONE song a week.
But lo and behold: I started making more songs, and thought: “Hmm… instead of making all these songs and putting them out one by one as the videos were made, maybe it would be a better idea to release the music first, THEN make videos for the songs on the albums so that they’d be fresh and new for people being exposed to them each week, thereby making them want the song THEN verses LATER!”
“The O-Bama Mixtape” was put together in a quick amount of time – almost 2 weeks – but I was able to do it fast because I had been recording material throughout the months prior, and didn’t really have to record that much new stuff. I also knew that, given the momentum of the song, it would be a great way to let people hear my talent outside of just parody songs (even though I put quite a few parodies on the mixtape).
Long story short: “The O-Bama Mixtape” was released on July 27th, 2008. Prior to the week of the election, it had been downloaded over 1300 times.
I was pretty happy with that number, though I was still wishing that more people had gotten it. I didn’t know too much about the rate at which mixtapes get downloaded, so I just assumed that 1300 was a good number, given that not too many people knew who I was. Plus, I assumed it was bootlegged by even MORE people – hey, it was free anyway, so what did I care how people got it in their hands?!?
And then, the week of the election came. On the website, I’m able to check my blog stats daily (i.e. the number of people stopping by to view my site), and I noticed that, as election night neared, I was starting to get more and more traffic to my website. Between September and the end of October the daily rates had gone down to about 200-300 people per day… but during the election week, the numbers were shooting up into the late hundreds, then the lower thousands.
I also started to notice that “The O-Bama Mixtape” was starting to pick up numbers in terms of downloads. It went from 1300 to – and I’m not making this up – 2450 the day of the election! As of now, it’s been downloaded over 3000 times (and I’m pretty sure that number will go up even more once Obama’s Inauguration time comes around!)
More importantly, though, my album, “The A.P.T. LP,” was starting to sell units! In the week that Obama was elected, I sold about 25 copies of the album, both the MP3 version AND a few mail-order CDs.
On the day before the election, the number of viewers at my site was around 2000. It was then that I realized I had yet another opportunity to let people know about my music – all I had to do was advertise for it, and make people aware of some new product I had coming out…
Only problem was: I didn’t HAVE anything coming out!
I had nothing planned – no new album, no merchandise, NOTHING. Clearly, I had to think of something…
I looked through the catalogue of songs I had to see if I had enough to put together a new mixtape that I could advertise. As it turns out, I actually had MORE than enough songs to put together a decent mixtape, plus I had beats for songs not yet written, save for the chorus in many occasions.
I also had some collaborations stored up that hadn’t yet seen the light of day. Back when the “O-Bama O-Bama” song came out, I posted a video on Youtube telling people to e-mail me if they wanted to do a collaboration. I ended up recording 2 “official” collaborations – one with Myxtape on the track, “Killed the Beat” and one with Black and Broke for “You Ashy” – plus an unofficial collabo with Paul Ma$$on on a song he did called “Get Your Paper.”
Lastly, there were songs I had made videos for – “Your Mom’s a Ho!”, “Where My Money At,” “Smile 4 Dad,” and more – that hadn’t been placed on any of my mixtapes. Some of these were songs I released prior to “O-Bama O-Bama” though, so they didn’t get much exposure. And, because I don’t have the lease rights to these beats, I wasn’t able to sell them (or else I would have put them on “The A.P.T. LP”), but per the beat holders’ site rules, they COULD be used for mixtapes!
Once I decided that I could actually put together a mixtape, all I had to do was think of a name. That part was actually easy: “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind).” I figured if Obama won the election it would be a great title to use (and if he lost, I could just call it the First Black President instead). As for the tag line – Back on My Grind – it was the name given to the beat I used for the second song.
I placed an ad up for it the night before the election. And I’m glad I did – the next day, my site was viewed over 4,000 times! And, in the days that followed, my views hovered above the 1500 per day mark, meaning that more and more people were being told of the news about my upcoming mixtape!
And now it’s here! I actually finished this whole thing a couple of days early, so I spent the last few days mixing, mastering, and even recording a new song – the “Go Hard (Unofficial Remix)” – that I ended up making the first video off the mixtape!
Now for the fun stuff! For those of you who like mini-insights into songs, here are the tracks with all the commentary you could shake a stick at!
TRACK 01: Intro – The First Black President (feat. Barack Obama and Katie Couric)
My last mixtape started off with O-Bama talking about why he was running. Now that he won, I thought it would be a good idea to recall that historic night with a news announcement of the win as well as part of his acceptance speech.
TRACK 02: The Next Black President (Produced by Chris I)
The beat on this one is siiiiick! As for the song, it basically talks about how I feel I can achieve anything now that he’s in office, including being the NEXT Black President! Incidentally, the chorus of the song is inspired by Diddy – in one of his songs on the “Press Play” album, he says: “The potential to be the first Black President/I-tunes, download me in every residence.” Seemed fitting to use here!
TRACK 03: Back On My Grind (Produced by SINIMA Beats)
This is what I call a “Fighter Track.” It’s one where you just pummel the beat over and over with words, almost to the point of over-whelming it. When I heard the beat, I knew that’s how I had to go at it. The song’s not really saying anything – just showing my skill and talking about how I’m still handling my biz!
TRACK 04: Killed The Beat (feat. Myxtape) (Produced by Myxtape)
An artist named Myxtape sent me this track and asked me to spit vocals on it. His only instruction: “Make sure you kill it!” So, I took him literally, and killed the beat! His verse on here is pretty sick, too – you can check out more of his songs at www.myspace.com/myxtape!
TRACK 05: Shine 4 Obama (feat. Luther Vandross)
After the “O-Bama O-Bama” song got big, people started trying to make their own versions and claim it as their own. My uncle thought it would be a good idea to create another Obama song, only for the grown and sexy crowd (and a song that was a little less crass – no mentioning of Michelle’s behind in this one!). I found this Luther Vandross track called “Shine” and made a song called “Shine 4 Obama.”
TRACK 06: #1 (feat. Jay-Z) (Produced by ME!)
I actually recorded this track back in 2005! I recorded some accapella vocals from various Jay-Z songs, and sampled the music from the Guile fighting stage ot “Street Fighter II” (yes, I look for samples EVERYWHERE!!) to make this song! It’s basically me talking about how I’m better than everyone else. Typical rap track, with a not-so-typical soundtrack!
TRACK 07: Go Hard – The Unofficial Remix (DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain) (Produced by The Runners)
I heard this song quite a few times in the past week, and became such a fan of it that I HAD to do a remix to it! This was the last track I recorded for the mixtape – I basically found the song, found the beat, and edited it to where Kanye’s first verse was left in tact, while the second verse was blank for me to spit lyrics about how hard I go on the mic. How hard it is? Listen to the song/watch the video to find out!
TRACK 08: Another Unnecessary Interlude
An unnecessary interlude, talking about dumb stuff.
TRACK 09: Crank Dat (Yeah!) (Produced by Fire Kraka)
This was the ninth video I recorded for YouTube. It was one of those songs where I heard the beat, started freestyling some dumb lyrics, and thought it would be good to put out just to show that I could make those types of songs (even though I usually don’t). Lo and behold, it became one of my more popular videos on YouTube. And as they always say, “Give the people what they want!” I recorded it because every time I went to a club, people were doing the “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” dance to EVERY song. Thus, the chorus of this song – “No matter what the song, you gotta crank that (yeah!)”
TRACK 10: Your Mom’s a Ho! (Produced by Mister KA)
This was the third song I made into a video. It talks about your mom. And guess what? She’s a ho.
TRACK 11: You Ashy (feat. Black & Broke)
These were the very first guys to ask me about doing a collaboration. The song concept itself was funny, and I only had to write 8 bars worth of lyrics, so I said, “Sure!” The song talks about… well, people being ashy! Put some lotion on your skin! You can check out their stuff at www.myspace.com/blackbroke.
TRACK 12: Where My Money At (Produced by Mister KA)
This song was the eighteenth music video I recorded. Actually, I recorded it BEFORE I started my sight, but I post it up much later. Sadly, this song is based on a true story: I had a money deal go bad involving some iphones that turned out to be fake, and I was so mad that I wanted to find the guy and beat his ass. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it in REAL life, so I did it in a song instead!
TRACK 13: Get Your Paper (feat. Paul Ma$$on)
Another collabo, only not originally requested by the artist. Paul Ma$$on sent the track out to a bunch of people; however, he only recorded over the first two verse parts of the song – the third verse area was left completely blank! So, since I had a music program and liked the song/beat, I recorded a verse over the untouched area of the song and sent it back to him. When it came time to put songs together for this mixtape, I asked him if I could use it, and he said, “Sure!” Mr. Ma$$on is a REALLY good artist, and you should hear some of his other song – which you can, at www.myspace.com/PaulMa$$on!
TRACK 14: Interlude – T-Pain Sings “O-Bama O-Bama” on 106 & Park
Just like the title says: T-Pain went on 106 & Park, and, while talking to the hosts about registering to vote, guess what song he starts singing?!?
TRACK 15: O-bama Mega-remix (feat. Tyga) (Produced by ME!)
So what happened was this: I created the song, and provided it for a FREE download. Another guy on YouTube took the “O-Bama O-Bama” part of the song where there is NO music, and made his own “O-Bama O-Bama” beat, only with a more southern bounce to it. Tyga contacted the guy and asked him for the beat so he could make his own “Obama” song, promising the guy he’d give him and me a shout-out.
Long story short: He made his song, I got NO shout out. Worse, people started questioning if I was the original creator – despite the fact that it’s ME saying “O-bama O-bama” in the background!
Unfortunately, I don’t have the clout yet to go around suing everyone who steals my good ideas. At the same time, I thought it would be a bit hypocritical of me to be mad about him stealing my song, seeing as I got the idea from Bangladesh’s original beat and Lil’ Wayne’s original song. (I was more mad about the fact that he was able to perform the song in front of LIVE audiences and get PAID, while I was not.)
So, instead, I decided to fuse the two versions together and create an “O-bama Mega-remix!”
TRACK 16: Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father) (Produced by SINIMA Beats)
A song I created the week of Father’s Day, and the fourth song I directed a music video for. It’s a love-letter to my father, who passed away when I was 9.
TRACK 17: BONUS TRACK – A.P.T. Podcast Interview With Rhymestyle
This is a bonus track for those interested to learn a bit more about me. Rhymestyle, a rising music industry insider, has a pod cast show he does almost every Friday, and back in August he asked me if he could interview me for the show. Uh… heck yeah! The questions and conversation are pretty interesting, so it’s definitely worth a listen!
TRACK 18: BONUS TRACK – “The A.P.T. LP” Preview
Why? Because I’m still trying to earn money, that’s why! It’s a mini-sampler of 5 songs from “The A.P.T. LP!”
And that’s it! I hope you all enjoy the mixtape, and be on the lookout for my next official album, “The Great Black Hope,” out Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 – i.e. my BIRTHDAY!!