Tag Archive: Hip-Hop


Today’s video is for another song in my new “Rapping My Life” series!

This song’s called “What Happens In Vegas,” and is based on the events that occurred during my birthday last weekend! The video features my puppet friend, Non Juan, as well as cameos from my friends and relatives (minus my bro, who I somehow managed to not film during his time in Vegas – booooo!).

Oh yeah – to download the song for FREE, as well as see the full lyrics of the song, head over to my NEW webpage, www.RappingMyLife.tumblr.com!

-A.P.T>

Introducing the NEW album from A.P.T….

Featuring 14 HOT tracks:

FREE Download – Click one of the following links:

zShare   4Shared   Zippyshare

INSIGHT INTO AN ALBUM:

Way, waaaaaaay back in January, I was going out to dinner at Benihana for my birthday.  I was sitting in the lobby with my Aunt Debi waiting for my other 2 friends to arrive, when I noticed 2 boys to the right of me – they looked to be of pre-teen age – staring in my direction.

A few seconds after I saw them, they came over to me and asked the following question:

“Excuse me… are you the ‘O-bama Mixtape’ guy?”

I was in shock.  The year is now 2011, and these two kids were referencing a mixtape I put out almost 3 years ago while living in Atlanta. Of course, it helps that the mixtape contained my unexpected worldwide smash hit, “Obama Milli Remix,” a song so popular that it helped “The O-Bama Mixtape” get downloaded over 10,000 times.

And, although I have been recognized a few times in public before, it was the first time I was able to see just how far my demographic went in terms of the younger crowd – the oldest kid here couldn’t be more than 13, which means he wouldv’e been 10 or 11 when the mixtape came out.

More importantly, though, they seemed to be very excited to meet me. Like, really, they were giddy. Giddy! They were like “OMG, we thought it was you, we’re such HUGE fans!!” It was surreal. I thanked them for the kind words and told them I’d have more music coming out soon.

In reality… well, it was true: I had released my “Prince of Parody Vol. 1” album back in October 2010, but I hadn’t really focused on recording my own new original material. Up until that point, I didn’t think anyone really cared all that much about listening to tracks of mine that were originals… but now, with this one incident, I became motivated to do it again!

And now, some 11 months later, the album is finally here!

Okay, so I’m sure you’re probably curious as to WHY I named my album what I named it.  First off, for legal purposes I must state the following: The character of “Justin Beeber” – spelled with two e’s in his last name – is fictional; any person living or named with a similar-sounding name is strictly coincidental.

Anyway: so, this fictional Beeber guy that I made up, is a guy who sings poppy songs that make girls cry. However, he recently decided to try his hands at rapping. As a fan of hip-hop, I always hate the idea of random people trying their hand at rapping simply because “it’s something to try.” In the process, they don’t take into account the history of the genre, the importance of song choice, or the fact that not everyone needs to rap.

So, one of the reasons I named the album “Justin Beeber Must Die” is to emphasize that point.  The other reason? Eh, I thought it would be a catchy title that would get me some attention. And if you’re reading this, that means it worked!

The album itself is on par with my previous stuff.  Many artist say “oh, this is my best work” with every album. Me, I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent with each album. I always try to come up with songs that are slightly different from what else is currently out, and did the same for this one. I will say that I did go for different types of beats – some with pre-recorded choruses and/or samples not being used…

I also made sure to pick out different producers to mix up the sounds of the beats.  I still got my beats from Kaptain Kutta (formerly King Kut/K.K.O.F.), 4 of which made this album.  I also used beats from Mister K.A., Koncept Beats, Beat Basement, Heavyweight Beats… AND, I produced two of the tracks as well: the Michael Jackson-inspired (and sampled) “Second 2 None” and “Mr. Plow,” which I’m pretty sure is going to be a HUGE hit once I make the right video for it…

The album is a FREE download. However, if you’d like to further support me, you can go to the official site for the album, www.JustinBeeberMustDie.com, and send in a donation.  Thanks for the support, and enjoy the album!

-A.P.T.

As you all may know by now, Jay-Z’s highly anticipated album, “Blueprint 3,” leaked on August 31.  I got a copy of it, and decided to do a video review for it (the first one ANYWHERE in the world).

So, what did I think of the album?  Is it an album worth picking up at the store, or is Jay-Z starting to get too old to do this anymore? Find out by watching the video below!

-A.P.T.

Ladies and Gentleman, I proudly present to you…

apt-cover

The BRAND New Album from A.P.T.!

Click here for download info: http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=208737 

Happy birthday to me! – and to YOU! (If it’s your birthday, that is!)

To celebrate, I am releasing my new album today, entitled “The Great Black Hope!”  I spent a whole day mixing and mastering the album together – as of right now I’ve been up for 31 hours straight, a record for me – and it’s easily the best piece of work I’ve done!

Okay, so yeah, ALL artist say their new album is the best thing ever.  But I say that for this album because I’ve really started to master this whole mixing of albums thing.  The beats on this one sound bigger, the vocals are arranged better, and the presentation of it is perfect.

Not to mention the SONGS!  I always try to steer in the opposite direction of what other people are doing, especially when it comes to song-writing.  Peep the B-boy beat of “That Boy Is Cra-zy,” or the unexpected song topic turn for the upbeat jam “Hands UP!” where, instead of talking about partying, I mangage to bring real-life issues into the fold.  And of course, that wonderful brand of humor that I’m known for is also on their – slick rhymes, clever wordplay, and commentary on real issues in a way that’s laughable at the same time!

Also included on the album are two bonus tracks, including the oh-so-popular “Obama Milli”, a.k.a. the Lil’ Wayne “A Milli” parody about Barack Obama that became the underground anthem for his Presidential campaign (and win!) in 2008.  Now that his inauguration is coming up, it’s the perfect time to listen to it a few more times!

Track Listing for A.P.T.’s “The Great Black Hope”:

  1. The Great Black Hope
  2. That Boy is Cra-zzzzzy!
  3. I’m Trying 2 Get AIDS 2 Night
  4. Nothin’ More 2 Say
  5. What Had Happened Was…
  6. Hands UP!
  7. Things 4 You (I Thought U Loved Me)
  8. Ambition Remix (feat. T-Bone and Z-man)
  9. You’re Outta Luck
  10. Find a Way
  11. A.P.T. Commentary on each track from “THE GREAT BLACK HOPE”
  12. BONUS SONG #1: Hooptie
  13. BONUS SONG#2: Obama Milli

That’s all for now – enjoy the album, and be sure to tell your friends!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT

SoundClick: www.Soundclick.com/APT

This week’s video is for the song “Back On My Grind,” produced by SINIMA beats!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

While surfing online one day at my favorite beat site, www.soundclick.com, I came across an instrumental produced by SINIMA Beats called “Back On My Grind.” When I heard the beat, it sounded like something Jay-Z would rap over – something akin to his “Roc Boys” song, as it had lots of horns and had an old-school soulful sound.

I knew I wanted to make a song to it, and the title of the beat seemed appropriate enough for a song title as well. At the time I downloaded the beat, though – sometime around July or August – I didn’t want to put out a song called “Back” to anything, especially since I hadn’t put out an album yet that had been heard by enough people to warrant me putting out that type of song.

Fast-forward to November, though, and it was a completely different situation. Now that my first mixtape, “The O-Bama Mixtape,” and my “first” known album, “The A.P.T. LP,” has been purchased by a few people, I felt I could now put out a legitimate “Back” song, especially since I hadn’t released a “new” collection of songs via mixtape or album since August.

Of course, since I’ve been releasing a new video each week since May 2008, I’ve never really been gone from the public eye. So, in the chorus, I made note of that fact by adding the tag, “I never left, took a break, now I gotta get mine!”

As for the song itself, it’s what I call a “fighter track.” The beat is one with a tempo that sounds like it’s ready to be pummeled lyrically.

I come up with songs in one of two ways: writing/typing it down, or freestyling it. For this song, I wanted to write it down, but have it sound like I would sound when I freestyle. When I freestyle, I tend to do it in a way that doesn’t sound so structured – i.e. no “a-b-a-b” style, and the end of every line doesn’t mean it’s the end of my sentence (sometimes they can end in the middle of another line, or just be one long run-on sentence). Words can be stretched to sound different if I want to have them rhyme with another word, and there‘s lots of free association… basically, I wanted to make a song that didn’t sound so song-like, but more freestyle-like.

For this type of song, the words don’t really matter as much as how they sound. Not to say that the words aren’t important – it’s just that, given the beat being used, it’s how the words gel with the tempo that matter more. Again, it’s a “fighter track;” therefore, I wanted the delivery of the words to give the listener a feeling akin to watching someone punching a punching bag.

It’s also an upbeat instrumental, so I wanted the song to be motivational. I talk about being on my hustle, grinding hard, being militant on the microphone, crushing my competition, and wanting to be taken seriously as a contender in the music game. It’s the kind of song that other people coming up in the game can listen to and FEEL like they can relate!

Some Interesting Song Insights:

1. The one thing I hate about reading song lines while recording is, sometimes I mess up a word, or may misread a word and say something else instead. There’s a line where I say: “…but somehow, they be getting’ drawn/Into the cipher – rap cipher…” The first “cipher” is supposed to be the word “circle,” but I misread it. However, I liked the way it sounded, so I kept it in.

2. This song has a lot of syllable rhymes. It’s where words that may not rhyme with each other sound similar due to how they are said. For example, there’s a line where I say: “I go back, and analyze/Fix the franchise…” The words “and,” “analyze” and “franchise” don’t technically rhyme, but the “-an” and “-ize” parts of the words make the sentence flow well together. See how many instances of this you can find throughout the song – it’s fun!

3. My favorite line in the song: “Don’t call me a buster, I’ll BUST ya, homeboy!” It’s the last line of the second verse, and it’s not very clever, but it has the most energy of any line in the song.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

This was one of those video ideas that didn’t take me too long to come up with. Actually, I’ve already thought out most of the video ideas for songs on this mixtape. I guess this is because it’s been so long since I’ve written new stuff that I had time to think out how I’d film visuals for the songs!

For this song, I knew I wanted to film it like I was training for a boxing match, only instead I’d be training to record. The set-up for this video is actually influenced by LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out” video, where he did the song in a boxing ring. (Incidentally, this gives you reference to how old I am – the fact that I remember that video, and not just because I saw it on some damn “Rap Videos of the 90s” special on VH1.)

I wanted to look like I was working out, so I opted to wear my grey hoodie, the same one I wore for the mirror image of me in video #23, “True Lyricist,” while spitting the song on the mic. As for the rest of the video, I wear a simple white hanes undershirt and jeans.

I thought it would be funny if I filmed myself attempting to work out, only not very well. I don’t have a lot of muscle, so I wanted the video to demonstrate why. I do push ups but peter out, get cramps while doing crunches, run up and down steps and fall down, and try to swallow eggs a la “Rocky,” but end up… well, you’ll have to see the video to find out!

Some Interesting Video Insights:

1. Now that I no longer have a camera stand, you may be wondering how I’m able to get all my camera shots without any help. Allow me to give you a few insights:

* For the shot of me rapping in front of the microphone, I used a chair, topped with a medium-sized suitcase, topped with a miniature ironing board, topped with a box containing a mini-modem, topped with a box for a lap-top plug.

* For the shots of me doing floor exercises, I used a medium-sized suitcase, topped with a miniature ironing board.

* For the bathroom shot, I used a chair, a box containing a mini-modem, topped with a box for a lap-top plug.

* For the stairs scene, there’s a closet directly in front of the stairway that had a shelf on it.

* For the kitchen scene, there were three shots. For the shot of me cracking the eggs and cooking them, I placed the camera on top of a box of penne pasta; for the shot of me drinking the eggs, I placed the camera on the cabinet shelf panel; and for the shot of me eating, I used a different cabinet shelf panel.

As I always like to say, I ALWAYS find a way to get the shot I want!

2. This was also the first video where I did all the shots sideways. I experimented with this a little bit in video #24, “Blow It All,” but I have yet to do a full video using a shot at this angle. Since it’s the 30th video, I figured I would try something different by doing the whole video this way!

3. I actually had some workout shorts and/or sweats I was going to wear. However, when I get into recording mode, I sometimes forget to change wardrobe. So, while I remembered to change my shirt, I ended up keeping the jeans on. Really, now, who works out in jeans?!?

4. There’s a line in the song where I say, “Rap Urkels getting wedgies, I’m like, ‘Did I do that?!?’” I thought it would be funny to dress up Urkel-style for that part of the song, so I put on some dress pants, a nerdy-looking shirt, and my nerdy glasses (first worn in video #10, “Retirement Home,” when I dressed like the old man).

5. In the scene where I try to drink the eggs, I actually DID take a drink and place the eggs in my mouth. Unfortunately, I didn’t place the pan high enough into the shot for you to see me spit the egg into it before cooking it. After I shot it, I cooked the eggs, placed them on the plate, then went to check the shot. Lo and behold, I didn’t get the shot I wanted, and I didn’t want to cook anymore eggs. So, I had to re-shoot it the second time, and act like I was drinking then spitting the egg back into the cup instead of the pan, THEN pouring it into the pan.

6. Estimated editing time: I don’t know. I was watching “Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2” on TBS for 5 hours while editing this thing, plus I had to listen to my roommates argue about whether or not they loved each other, THEN I had to catch a train to visit a friend of mine… in short, there were a lot of distractions, so I’m sure the actual editing time was much shorter than the span of time I actually finished it in.

That’s all for now! Only 22 more videos to go – see ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

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

Lyrics to “Back On My Grind”:

Verse ONE:

Guess what? Im back! –
Hustlin hard, back on my grind,
Ready to shine, Im out to get mine
Say good- bye to the good guy
Used to be nice, I paid the price
Good guy going bad? (sa right)
So I be – makin the moves,
Showin improve, get in the groove
I never lose, I win, make a mistake, rarely
And if I do, I go back, and analyze
Fix the franchise, playa, Im a seasoned vet
A.P.T., say the name, it demands respect
Swing to the left, ladies know Im never bereft
And if I – get me a chance
Im tryna enhance wallets like Wallace
Big Poppa, mo money, no problems
Its a – swing and a miss, these players is pissed
They bout to -get dismissed, they wish that they was this
But they – cant see me
Got eyes like Stevie, tryna wonder how they blunder
Im fitna take em under,

Chorus x2:

Im BACK!
Back on my grind – brothas wanna hate, but its a waste of time
Im BACK!
Back on my grind – I never left, took a break, now I gotta get mine

Verse TWO:

Play scrabble – say babble, ran sack em,
I get militant, on the mic, Im diligent
Its – not a façade, gifted by God
Im on my job, no pay-roll, got fly girls girls like J.Lo
They – dont know, How I spit – divine lyrics
Moves spirits like a haunted house – Im out
Peace! But no peace to the competition
They try – not to listen, but some how they be gettin drawn
In to the cipher – rap cipher
Rap Urkels gettin wedgies, Im like, Did I do thaaaaat?
Sorry – no evidence I was in your residence
My presence is felt, and ever since
I was a little boy, I been tryin, to pump iron
But I never grew muscle, still I know I gotta tussle
Because I got the – heart of a lion, the mind of a hustla
Dont – call me a busta, Ill bust ya, homeboy,

Chorus x2

Another week, another video in the can…

Next week will be my 26th video.  I started this whole “One-Song-a-Week” project on the last Sunday in May, with the goal of making at least ONE video a week – preferably every Sunday – for ONE year.  The goal was to get myself an audience for my songs, earn some money, become popular enough to where I could start touring, and get national recognition, which would, in turn, get me noticed enough to get signed by a major record label.

So, how have I done so far?

  • Audience for songs? Check – and a rather BIG one at that.  I regularly get about 200-300 readers on this site daily, a drastic pickup from the 10 to 12 I got when I first started.
  • Earn some money? Check – but not as much as I’d like.  I’ve received donations, and have sold quite a few singles, as well as copies of my album, “The A.P.T. LP.”
  • Become popular? YES, if only for one song – “Obama Obama,” which ended up being a bigger hit than I ever, EVER, expected.  Popular enough to tour? Not yet.  I got one offer during the summer to do college gigs (never heard back from them, though).  Yet, despite posting my E-mail address all over YouTube, I have yet to receive any offers to tour with any big-name (or small-name) musicians.  Guess I still have to grind a lil’ harder!
  • National recognition? YES! Of course, when you do a song about a popular Presidential candidate and put it to a beat that’s eerily similar to the hottest song out by the hottest artist, you’re bound to get national recognition.  This, of course, is in hindsight, and even if I HAD known, I would have never guessed the song would have gone global!
  • Major record label deal? NO. But to be fair, I didn’t send off any demos to anybody during this whole “Obama Obama” craze.  How dumb was that?!?

The truth of the matter is, having a song like “Obama Obama” taught me quite a few lessons about how the industry works:

  1. Industry rule #4080 rings true: Industry people are SHA-DY!!  I had radio DJs AND up-and-coming MCs (I’m talking about YOU, Tyga) trying to take credit for MY song.  In the case of Tyga, he was able to tour around the country performing his Obama song, while I continued to work at a crappy job where I dealt with crappy customers all day!
  2. MAKE SURE ALL YOUR STUFF IS COPYRIGHTED AND AFFILIATED WITH ASCAP or BMI.  That way, if people try to take claim to your songs, you can show proof of creation.
  3. It pays to have people to help get you to the next level.  I probably could have toured off this stuff, but I don’t have any managers or connections that would allow me to link up with other artists.  I could have been an opening act all summer, and been fine with it!
  4. If you aren’t going to perform, make sure your marketing game is TIGHT.  I was able to make some money off the instrumental of the beat, as well as having my song available for download.  Even without having major marketing dollars, I was able to make a profit off my songs.

Most importantly, though: TAKE A HOLD OF OPPORTUNITY WHEN IT COMES TO YOU AND RUN WITH IT.  I kept telling myself all summer that I didn’t want this song to be the one I got famous off of.  I didn’t want to risk being forever known as “The Obama Guy,” when I’ve clearly done 24 other videos so far outside of that one song. 

At the same time, had I known better, I would have done the opposite: I would have branded myself as “The Obama Guy” (in the same way that “The Obama Girl” did) and done enough clips about Obama online to gain national attention for it and earn money that way.

Of course, I still would have probably had that conflict of “if I had done that, would I have been taken seriously as an MC?”  I read one of Russell Simmons’ books where he talked about designers coming to him and wanting to add baggy jeans and jerseys to the Phat Farm clothing line.  He was tempted at first, but didn’t want to change the image of his line just to make a few quick dollars off a fad that would go away and leave his line in jeopardy.

So, in a sense, I didn’t want to be tagged as “The Obama Guy,” then have to struggle once the election was over to carve out a new identity.  As of right now, I have fans that watch my videos weekly – not as much as the number of viewers who have watched “Obama Obama,” but every fan base has to start somewhere, and I’m not trying to look like a sell-out to them, no matter how big or small it might be.

So, what is “The Obama Guy” doing for election night?  I was going to go to downtown D.C. and party at some place being hosted by a local radio station.  But I’m not really that much of a party guy – I think, instead, I’ll be heading home to catch “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” coverage of the election results.

As for this week’s video, it will be for one of the two songs off “The A.P.T. LP” that I have yet to shoot a video for.  The last video from the album will be shot next week.  These are two songs that, in my opinion, should be BIG hits, and I hope to be able to include people outside of just me in the video to give them more entertainment value.

Let’s just hope I can pull it off…

-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

This week’s music video is for the song, “John McCain is a P.I.M.P.” (Produced by Shah Bros.)

DOWNLOAD 4 FREE: A.P.T. Song – John McCain is a P.I.M.P.

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

On June 22, 2008, I released my Lil’ Wayne “A Milli” parody, “Obama Obama,” a song that, much to my surprise, took on a life of its own.

I created a video for it and provided it as a free download.  Little did I know that making that song would result in worldwide radio play, as well as a few radio DJs and “in the game” MCs (I’m looking at YOU, Tyga) wanting to take it and make their own versions.

Most importantly, though, the song is STILL being played 3 months later, and everyone from middle schoolers to college graduates have been writing me telling me they’ve been hearing my song in their school hallways.

I also get a lot of fan mail as a result, and one of the questions I’ve been receiving lately has been: “So, are you going to do a song about John McCain?”

And, to be quite honest, I wasn’t really planning on it.  I made the “Obama Obama” song because it made sense to make it at the time it was created (one week after he received the Democratic nomination, and one week after Lil’ Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” sold “a milli”-on copies in a week).  I didn’t want to just create a song about John McCain simply because people were asking me to, especially since I didn’t want it to come out sounding like crap.

And then, John McCain threw me a musical lifeline by choosing Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate for the White House.

Mr. McCain has a history of dating fine ladies, and it seems to me that he always has hot girls around him.  His wife was a hottie when they met (so much so that he dumped his first wife just to be with her), and still looks pretty good today considering how old she is.  And then, when it’s time for him to choose a potential vice president, who does he pick?  A woman who is an ex-Beauty Pagent participant!

Clearly, McCain must have some kind of knack with the ladies. 

So, much like with the way I created the “Obama” song, I was at work one day when I just thought of a random chorus:

“He got a hot wife, and a model V.P./That boy John McCain is a PIMP…”

And, once again, I burst out laughing.  Clearly, the chorus alone meant the song had potential.  The question was, what kind of song should I make it?  I was going to do it as a parody… but I didn’t know what I’d make it a parody of.  Plus, I didn’t want to deal with the hassles of having to remake a beat for a song that I wouldn’t be able to legally sell.

So, I decided to look through the catalogue of beats I had stored up on my computer.  I actually had about 3 or 4 beats I could have used, plus I went online and heard a few more.  All and all, though, I wanted to make it an upbeat song to counteract against John McCain’s “old guy” image. I.E. make a song that’s hip so McCain would sound hip.

As for the song itself, it really didn’t take long to write.  I think I was watching TV or something, and suddenly decided that now was the time to write the song.  I went to my hotmail site, typed up some lyrics, and e-mailed it to myself.

The song is broken down into two parts.  Since the song is called “John McCain is a P.I.M.P.,” I figured the focus should be on the two women whom he’s “pimped” already: namely, his wife, Cindy, and Sarah Palin, who came from out of nowhere to suddenly be thrust into the limelight by siding with McCain.  You can hear the song for yourself to hear how I did it, but I tried not to be TOO disrespectful to the women (I learned THAT lesson from the frenzy that insured after the comments I made about Michele in “Obama Obama.”  I’ll probably still get letters, though 🙂 ).

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. For the chorus, I was originally just going to say “He got a hot wife and a model VP/That boy John McCain is a PIMP…” but I figured that would be extremely boring.  So, instead I decided to add at least 2 other lines I could say, thus the addition of “I don’t know his policies but I know one thing…” and “Got girls on his arm everywhere that he be…”

2. Again, like the Obama song, I wanted to do a song with things that related to things mentioned during his campaign.  Thus, the mention of the Straight Talk Express, his wife’s rich bank account, the fact that Sarah Palin looks like Tina Fey from “30 Rock”/ SNL fame, and, of course, the mention of how many houses he has.

3. For the Sarah Palin part of the song, I was originally going to make it 24 bars… but the beat I had only did it in 16-bar format, so I had to cut a few lines.  Luckily, they weren’t really too important!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I was actually going to do this same video for a different song!  However, with the election less than 50 days away, the timing for this song was much better than it would have been next week.  I mean, the campaigns would still be going on, but you gotta get these things in as early as possible!

I wanted to do something simple, i.e. something that wouldn’t have me editing for 8 or 9 hours like I did with the “Obama” video (as well as a bunch of other videos I’ve made). I didn’t know what the video would actually be until I was watching Conan O’Brien one late night and said: “Hey… I can do it like a talk show!!”

And, since I still don’t have many friends helping me out, I decided to play the host – Johnny Wilkins – and the performer (duh), A.P.T.!  The host would introduce the performer, who is supposed to be on the show performing “Obama Obama,” yet decides to change the song at the last minute for a new song he wrote about John McCain.  The host decides to let A.P.T. perform the song, unaware of what type of song it would be.  Wise decision, Johnny.

Again, I didn’t want to spend too much time editing it, so I decided to do the performance part in one shot, then add a bunch of effects to it (pan shots, color changes, mirror shots, etc.) so that people wouldn’t get bored just watching a single shot.  BTW, it’s funny how the mind works – it will get bored watching a single shot for 5 minutes, yet if you cut and chop it up a bit the mind will think “wow, look at all the scene changes!”

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. People always ask if I have a camera man helping me.  The answer is NO, but you’d be surprised how I’m able to get shots with a little creative thinking.  For the performance shot, the camera is slightly tilted and bobs up and down a bit.  How did I do that?  I placed my mic stand on my mini-table I use to eat on, then placed the camera on my pop filter (the round think I place between me and my microphone so the “p”s and “t”s will be softened when I’m doing a song).  Because the pop filter is filmsy, it bounces up and down when I move around on the floor.  Smart, ain’t it?

2. I actually did a second film take where I shot myself doing the song from a side angle, but decided not to use it because it would have added to the editing time.  I like making videos, but I’m also LAZY, and have other things to do besides edit a video all day!

3. The beat used at the end of the video is a beat I made!

4. The ending of the video… I thought of that at the last minute.  I thought it would be funny to have the show go to standby, and just have that be the end of the video.

5. Editing time for this video: a meazly 3 hours, and I spent most of that time playing Goldeneye (yes, I still have a Nintendo 64) while transferring the files into Windows Media format.  Good times!

That’s all for now – enjoy the video!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

This week’s video is for the song, “Where My Money At” (beat produced by Mister KA).

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I don’t normally do songs that could be considered “hard” or “ganster rap-ish.”  I’d like to think that my “lane” in this rap game is the funny, comical guy that can also make raps saying something while keeping the mood light.

However, if I DO decide to do a song not normally in my nature to do, I’ll only do it if (a) I can use it as a means of making a commentary about something (i.e. “Bust My G.A.T.” where I rap about shooting people as a means of showing how dumb it is for rappers to rap about guns), or (b) if it relates to something I’ve personally experienced, to the point where the emotions in the song I’m writing can come across as believable since I’ve gone through them.

And so it is with this week’s song, “Where My Money At,” a song where I’m basically out for revenge against someone for doing me wrong in one of the worst ways possible – by stealing my money.

I found the song for this beat online, and was originally going to do a song called “I’m Sorry, Mama,” where I’d rap about some of the things I did wrong as a kid (nothing big, but ALL kids do stuff to annoy their parents while growing up).  However, life often throws curve balls that make one idea turn into something else.

When I wasn’t doing music stuff, I spent a LOT of time selling stuff on eBay, and I was always looking for a wholesale source to buy goods anywhere I can.  I put an ad up on Craig’s List – in the New York City section – where I said I’d give anyone a PS3 if they could give me a legitimate source for wholesale iPhones (since, during Christmastime, I had bought other name-brand phones from people off Craig’s List and made a LOT of extra money re-selling them on eBay).

I got contacted by someone in New York who said they had a source, so I took my free plane ticket and flew out there.  He showed me the source online, and even showed me where he and some of his relatives had made a purchase for goods.  It seemed legit enough, so I gave him a PS3, flew back home, and began saving up to buy some phones from my new source.

I could type this all day long, but here’s the short version of what happened next:  I got into contact with the person, ordered a wholesale lot of iPhones, and – with the help of a college friend of mine – sent a check to the person in New York.  I figured the phones would get to me within 2 to 3 weeks.

Then 2 weeks passed.  Then a 3rd week.  Then a 4th week.  Then a 5th week.

By the 6th week, I started to get worried.  I contacted the guy and, according to him, the person he gets his phones from – in the United Kingdom! – had sent him a set of iPhone knock-offs.  The phones themselves worked, but since they were an unknown brand and were of cheaper quality, there’d be no way I’d make nearly as much money back on these phones as the Apple ones.

I asked the guy if I could just get my money back for the transaction, to which he replied that because it was a check and he had already sent the guy in the U.K. the money, the only thing he could do was send me the non-name brand phones.

I. Was. FURIOUS.

All I could think about was all the money I’d lost.  Not only that, but I also had to think about all the money my friend had contributed that HE lost.  Well, scratch that – I made him a promise prior to making the transaction that, regardless of what happened, he would, at the very least, get his original investment back.  I had to work extra shifts at my job for 3 weeks, but I made sure he got every last penny back.

Anyway… so, after I got the news about the phone, I had to go to work.  And I had my T-mobile Sidekick phone with me at the time, so I flipped to the note-taking section and just started typing out the words:

“Got a connect in New York, I sent his ass some cash/he sent me a message and the news was bad/His connect sent the product – that shit was fake? Oh great…”

From there, I started typing out a scenario with a very simple question: if I had the means to do so, how would I handle this situation?  To find out, you’ll have to hear the song!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. I curse a LOT in this song.  I don’t really like to use bad language too much when I’m making songs since (a) I know I have family members that watch my videos, and (b) I really don’t cuss all that much when I talk to people.  However, when I wrote this I was so pissed off – think about it: I not only LOST money, I had to work extra hard to earn back money for someone else, AND I wasn’t going to make any profit on the whole deal.  I think that warrants a lil’ bit of cursing!

2. My favorite line in the song: “Hit ’em with my umbrella – ella – eh/’Cause A.P.T. don’t mess with gun-play.”  Even though this could be considered one of my hard-core songs, I’m still me, and, seeing as I’ve only shot a gun at shooting ranges, I figured I wouldn’t be holding up some guy with one.  Plus, it’s hard to get on a plane with a gun these days!  However, I figured I’d have to cause harm to this guy in someway, and the umbrella idea seemed funny, plus I knew it’d be something people would sing along too, even if they didn’t remember how the rest of the song went.  Yes, I put THIS much thought into certain song lines, people!

3. The last part of the song – where I mention how I spent $5000 trying to get 3 grand back – stems from an episode of “South Park” where Stan and Kenny catch a plane/bus to Mel Gibson’s house to get back the money they spent seeing “Passion of the Christ.”  On the way home, Stan mentions that they spent more money actually trying to GET their money back than the refund itself – but at least they proved their point!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

There’s really not too much insight.  I had gone to visit my brother up in D.C. for the weekend back in late March (and to see Stephen Colbert’s portrait in the National History Museum), and, as I was driving back early in the morning, I got bored and decided to film myself singing along to this song (because, as you can imagine, all musicians carry their latest songs on them at all times).

I posted this video on YouTube a while back prior to the start of this whole “One-Song-a-Week” thing, but it hadn’t gotten many views.  Rather than just re-post it, I decided to add a grainy-looking black-and-white effect to the film to match the mood of the song.

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. You’ll notice that, as the video rolls on, the white areas of the film become more and more prominent.  When I shot this it was near dawn, and I just happen to pick the time to film this when the sun was starting to rise, thus affecting the light outside, and therefore the white in the film..

2. I still had hair in this video!  I had grown it out for 6 months, and got a hair cut shortly after this video was filmed.

3. Edit time – HA!  Barely an hour and a half.  All I had to do was add the black-and-white effect, the beginning and ending, and BOOM! Done!

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

This week’s music video is for the song “Bust My G.A.T.,” produced by me, A.P.T.!

SONG AVAILABLE ON “THE A.P.T. LP” – Preview it at www.Myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This song is four-and-a-half years old, and has been on every album I’ve put together, from “The A.P.T. EP” to “Check The Resume,” and now, “The A.P.T. LP.”

Why, you ask?  Because I just really, REALLY like this song! Plus, it’s hilarious as heck, and any time I play it for people, they usually end up laughing their ass off!

The journey for this song begins in January 2004.  I was still in college, and was starting to take this whole “wanting to rap” thing seriously.  I had been on tour the year before, and had bought myself a drum machine and an interface device that I could record songs on. 

I made a song called “Imma Skitzo” which used a very minimalist-type beat – just drums, a few taps and a long hold note for the chorus.  One day I went to tweak the beat I made for the song, and I inadvertently came up with another lil’ jam using the same chords, only at a different pace and with a different pitch.

I also found that this particular drum machine also had sound files with sound effects, one of which was a range of gun shots.  I thought it would be cool to make a beat using the drum shots.  However, there was just one smaaaaall problem: I’m not exactly a gangsta rapper, and beats with gun shots in them are usually reserved for an MC that’s talking about bustin’ proper on his haters.

Yeah, I can talk that slang too, yo!

Furthermore, one of the concerns others had about me being taken seriously as a rapper was that I wasn’t… well, I wasn’t a LOT of things: I wasn’t from the hood, I wasn’t hard, I didn’t have a hard life growing up, I didn’t “sound” black enough to be a rapper (what a f–kin’ insult – what, I gotta sound ig’nant to be black?!?)… and so on.

So, in finding this gun shot sound, I thought it would be funny to put together a song with the following question in mind: “If I really WAS trying to be a hard-core gangsta rapper, and I claimed to have a gun like all the other ones do, how would I go about using it?”

From there, the song just kind of flowed out on its own.  I typed up 3/4 of the song in Hampton University’s library (when I should have been doing REAL work), and came back the next day to finish up the rest.  The hardest part was trying not to laugh as I was typing up the lyrics – they just seemed so damn ridiculous and funny to me.

4 years later, and the song STILL cracks me up!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Rappers like to say lines that are similar to an old-school artist as homage to their rap forefathers. And I am no different; the opening lines of the song – “Now what you hear is not a test, I’m rappin’ to the beeeat/It’s just A.P.T., and his gun, we gon’ knock you off your feeeeeet” – is similar to the very first popular rap lyrics spoken by Sugar Hill Gang in the song “Rapper’s Delight.”

2. A LOT of people get killed in this song – not to mention animals, objects, and other MCs.  I figured the more absurd I made the song, the better I’d be able to get across my point of how stupid I think MCs are who rap about using guns like it’s a GOOD thing.

3. Incidentally, I eventually sold my drum machine when I needed money for something else.  I saved the beat somewhere, but I have no idea where.  In other words, this song has only been recorded once, and the same version has been placed on all my albums ever since.  I hope to find the beat and re-record it, but to be honest with you, the song always sounded good to me ever since the first time I recorded it.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

This song was NOT going to be made into a video. 

I want to make a video for all the songs on my album, but for this one I had NO idea what I’d do.  In fact, I was supposed to be shooting another video this week, but I’m still waiting on footage from a friend of mine in Cali to do that other video (hit me up, J!).

I hadn’t gotten the footage by Tuesday, so I started thinking about other videos I could do.  And “Bust My G.A.T.” kept coming to mind.  I have a Nintendo 64, and my original plan was to be completely lazy and film shots of me playing “Goldeneye 007,” which is a first-person shooter. 

Then I thought: “Hey, wait a minute: instead of filming a TV screen with ‘Goldenye 007’ being played, why don’t I film a real-life version of it instead!? I could walk around town, holding a gun at the bottom of the screen like in the game, and ‘shoot’ the various people/things/animals mentioned in the song!”

One problem: I didn’t have a gun.  Of any kind – no real gun, toy gun, water gun, nothing.

And I try to keep the budget of these videos to ZERO if possible, so I didn’t feel like spending money on a gun I’d only be using once.

Then, it hit me again: “Why don’t you just use a Nintendo 64 controller as the ‘gun?'”  Now THAT sounded hilarious!

Once I had the basic idea, I started searching on the Internet for the items I mention in my song.  Pictures of nuns, pee-wee baseball leagues, cashiers, models, other MCs – I wanted to make it a “game” where the player walks through the city shooting people as a means of gaining street credibility, and thus, increases his popularity as a rapper.  Every time one of these items pops on-screen, the player would shoot at them, thus gaining points.

In terms of the playing aspect, I really, REALLY wanted to use a Wii controller so I could act like I was actually shooting the objects on the screen. One problem (at this point, hasn’t it really been more like 3 or 4 problems?) – I don’t own a Nintendo Wii.  Oh well, I figured – I could just act like I’m playing it on the N64 with a regular controller.  No big deal.

I had everything mapped out, and I wanted to shoot during the daytime on Friday… but then I had to go to work.  CRAP!

“But wait!” I thought to myself, “Since you have to walk to work anyway, why not just take your camera with you and film the damn thing while you’re out and about and/or on break?”  And so, I did! 

The funniest part of this whole shoot was seeing people’s reactions as I was walking around with a camera in one hand, and a Nintendo 64 controller in the other (with the wire going into my right pocket).  Nevertheless, I was able to get the shots I wanted throughout the course of the day.

Of course, not only did I have to shoot the scenes where it was a video game, but also the scenes of me playing the game.  While on break from work, I decided to head to the mall and film scenes of me buying the game – “How 2 B A Rapper: The Action-Adventure Game” – from an EBGames store.  After filming one or two shots, I remembered that the store had a Nintendo Wii kiosk set up for people to test out some of the games.

And it hit me: OMG, I could film myself playing the Wii in the store, and act like I was playing “How 2 B A Rapper” on it!!  The Wii has gun games out where the motion-censored controller is used as a gun, and this would be a perfect fit for what I wanted to do in the first place!!

I placed the camera on the shelf next to the Wii kiosk and filmed 2 minutes of me doing various “reactions” to the game.  And it came out PERFECT.

Once everything was filmed, I loaded up the footage on my computer and worked on the graphical look of the video-game portions of the video.  Because it’s supposed to be a game, I had to type in all the parts where you see “Status,” “Life” and “Street Cred Points.”  I also had to right down what sequence everything was in so I could place the right point numbers on the right footage.  For example, the shots before the nun getting shot had to have a Street Cred point reading of “000,” whereas the footage immediately afterward would have to say “010,” or 10 points.  It was pretty easy keeping all the info together, and I’m glad the ability to type text onto the screen (as well as include the water-color effect of the video to make it look almost like “Grand Theft Auto”) is already included in my two video-edit programs.

All in all, this has to be one of the more ambitious videos I have shot in a while, even more so than “Smooth Talker” and “Obama, Obama.”  And, so far, it’s one of my favorites!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. Shout-outs to two of the girls who participated in the video (both of whom I work with): Michelle, who’s the girl paying for our date; and Dolly, who, sadly, gets killed for the benefit of me earning more points for Street Cred!

2. The parts of the video where I mouth the words to the song came out pretty good, especially considering that I had NO actual music playing in the background.  I thought I’d be filming my parts for the video at my apartment, so I didn’t bring any audio equipment with me.  Yet, lo and behold, the mouthing of the words match up perfectly with the video.  Why? Because I KNOW THIS SONG THAT DANG WELL!

3. The area for the shots took place in Midtown Atlanta, Dunwoody Mall, and the Dunwoody area of Atlanta, which is actually a bit outside the Atlanta loop… but let’s not be picky!

4. The ending of the video was spontaneous as well.  In the song, the last line is, “How come u in prison, dog?/I bust my gaaaaat.”  Problem was, I didn’t know what I could use for a jail.  However, I thought it would be sweet justice if, after having spent a whole day killing people, I myself were to get shot at by day’s end.  So, while walking home from work at night, I filmed the last part of the video.  In keeping with the “Goldeneye 007”-type theme, I get shot, the gun goes out of screen’s view, and I do a dizzying fall to the ground. Ha ha, hilarious!

5. For the grocery store scene, I went to Wal-mart (why I end up shooting a Publix employee is beyond me), and filming myself with a gun while trying to push a shopping cart proved to be quite hard.  The small footage I used in the video is the best out of a whopping 1 minute and 42 second shot I took where I kept trying to avoid pushing the cart into the actual groceries!!

6. I have no idea WHERE I found the shot of the cat shooting with a gun, but it sure does look funny!

7. It may be a bit blurry in the video for the part of the night scene where I’m standing in front of a big lit-up sign.  That’s the Woodruff Arts Center, where they hold plays, concerts and other things involving performance.

8. Edit time for this video was LONG. Between having to add in elements like graphic effects, pictures, etc., the whole thing took me about 9 hours.  All for a 4-minute clip – what kinda bull-crap is THAT?!?

That’s all for now – enjoy the video, download “The A.P.T. LP” today, and I’ll see ya next week!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT