Tag Archive: los angeles


Today’s insight is for the song “Go LAKERS!,” a parody of Rebecca Black’s “FRIDAY” song!


Above: My spoof of Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” “Go Lakers!”


Above: Rebecca Black’s original song, “Friday,” which my song is spoofed from. Just in case u haven’t heard it before…

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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Yeah… so normally I don’t do these insights for songs until I have a video to accompany it.  However, seeing as I’ll be unable to film anything for the next 2 weeks (I’m participating in something that doesn’t allow me to have a camera around), I figured I should post this up anyway, especially for this particular song.

This song, “Go Lakers,” is a parody of Rebecca Black’s oh-so-popular YouTube song, “Friday.” And I use the term “popular” with a bit of hesitance.  For those of you who haven’t seen the video or heard the song (which I’ve also posted above), it’s been declared by some as the “worst song ever sung.”

Despite the song’s legion of haters, who hate everything about it from the bad writing (really? U mean Saturday comes after Friday?) to the auto-tuned squeaky voice to the video itself (for a $2000 video, it looks low-budget, especially in the effects department – heck, I’VE done better videos, and most of mine don’t cost anything), the video has become the most popular clip on YouTube. EVER. Over 115 MILLION views within the span of 2 months, surpassing views by videos from more well-known stars like Eminem and Lady Gaga.

So… I KNEW I had to do a parody of it.

Of course, by this time, everyone else also had the same idea. At first I was going to do a parody featuring another day of the week, but that’s been done to DEATH. So I had to figure out a different angle to do it from.

Then, one day… okay, to be honest, I forget how I came up with the idea, but I knew that however I did the parody, I wanted it to be with an idea that would make some sales and get me some money. And I figured that, here in Los Angeles, the most sure-fire way to do this would be to do a song about the Los Angeles Lakers.  I did a song about them last year near the end of the playoffs and, despite being late with the idea, made some decent sales of the song, “No U Ain’t (Lakers 2010 Remix).”

In making the song, though, I realized something: if I was going to parody it, I needed to have two people on the song.  And since I didn’t want to share any of the profits from the song, I figured the easiest way to do this was to feature myself and my puppet alter-ego, Non Juan. 

At first I was going to feature myself singing the song, and have Non Juan do the rap part.  However, the more I thought about the aspect of singing the song, I realized it would be better to give the main parts of the song to Non Juan. So that’s what I did.

And coming up with the lyrics was surprisingly easy.  Once I had the chorus down, the words to the first 2 verses came to me pretty easily.  I had 3 main goals for the song: 1. To make it story-driven and have some kind of plot; 2. To make it a song that people wouldn’t mind singing before, during, and after Lakers’ games; and 3. To make the song seem like it had some cohesiveness to it.  The original song isn’t necessarily BAD, it just has poor execution in certain places, like the writing.  The beat itself is GREAT, and the song could have actually been made BETTER with good writing… (of course, one could argue that, were the song good, it wouldn’t have as many views. Ah, the catch 22s of life…)

Finding the beat for it was easy too. A whole bunch of people have re-made the beat and posted it on YouTube. I found the remade beat that sounded best, downloaded it, and used it for my song.

And that’s pretty much it! I hope this song takes off, and that Laker fans across the country are able to hear it.  Depending on the response it gets, I may film a video for it once I finish what I’m currently participating in… ah, who am I kidding? I’ll film a video for it regardless – I just hope the Lakers are still in the playoffs by then!

-A.P.T.

Back to Performing

So, I had a talk with my wonderful friend and upstairs neighbor last night, and she reminded me of something I’ve often said but feel like I haven’t been following lately. It’s a quote from Steve Harvey and it says the following:

“Don’t spend your time focusing on a Plan B. Having a Plan B leaves doubt that your Plan A will work. Forming a Plan B requires effort, time, and energy that can be used to help solidify your Plan A. So if your Plan A does happen to fail, just make yourself another Plan A.”

Oftentimes, the problem I have with following this is, I’m so good at so much stuff that I can’t make a decision as to which one to follow.  Do I work on writing/producing songs? Do I focus on selling my book? Do I work on helping other people with their ideas since I’m always thinking of ways to help them?  Yes, being this gifted can be a curse at times, if only because it makes me scatterbrained.

But my original focus was on music. Being in Cali, I have wanted to perform on a more consistent basis but haven’t because of… well, just insert an excuse into the blank: no ride, don’t know where to perform, and don’t know if people will want to come out and see me.

All of that, though, is about to change!

Now that I have figured out a few places where I can perform, I’m going to start doing it more often.  In fact, my goal is to be able to have at least ONE week this year where I’m performing every day.  I found a website that lists the names of various open mics happening here in L.A. on any given day, and most of them are easy to perform at: just get there early, sign up, and BOOM! Performance time!

So, I’ve got the finding of venues issue settled, and most of them start early, so the transportation issue (specifically, being able to get home before the trains/buses stop) is handled.  As for inviting people… honestly, I probably won’t for the first few shows.  It’s nice to have friends there and all, but I’d like to be able to conquer the challenge of performing for people who DON’T know me.  Plus, it can be disheartening to invite people to something and have them say “yes,” only to cancel on me at the last-minute (because, as those that know me well know, flakiness PISSES. ME. OFF.).

I’ll be updating my site to include performance dates soon.  In the meantime, I’ve got a NEW song I’ve put together that is sure to take L.A. by STORM, and I can’t WAIT to perform the heck out of it!!!

-A.P.T.

 

A.P.T.’s new album now available for download/preview at http://tinyurl.com/aptstrikesback

Yeah… I think the flier says it all 🙂

-A.P.T.

Today’s video is for the song, “Frontin’ in L.A.” (beat by Mister K.A. beats).

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Aaaaaand I’m back!

So, I’ve been in song-writing mode for a while now, and I’m putting together a new album called “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!”  I’ve been recording on professional equipment, courtesy of my new roommate.

However, my roommate left town for a couple of days, and took his equipment with him.  While he was gone, I began thinking of song ideas, one of which became this song, “Frontin’ in L.A.”

I was listening through some of the beats I’ve collected on various online sites, and came across a beat by Mister K.A. beats that stuck out to me.  I didn’t know what the song topic would be, but I know I wanted to use the beat.  Then – literally, out of nowhere – I thought of a chorus:

“The cars, the clothes, the jewels, it’s nothin/’Cause everybody out in L.A. stay frontin’/Wooooo!”

As for the topic idea, I think it actually stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend of mine in Hollywood whose been getting his grind on heavy.  I won’t divulge names (Hollywood is already a gossipy enough town, and you never know who knows who), but my friend told me that a particular person who used to be pretty well-known had just asked him for money to pay his rent.  I thought this person was doing pretty well, so it was shocking to hear that this person had asked my friend for funds.

And that’s not the first time I’ve heard of that happening.  There are so many stories of famous people who, upon first glance, seem to be doing well… until a story comes out about them being bankrupt, or being involved in some type of money scandal.  Then you realize just how much of a front people really put on out here in Holly-weird!

I thought it would be a good topic to do a song about.  In the year and 3 months I’ve been here, I’ve learned all about how phony people here make their lives out to be just so they can put up the smoke-screen of “success.” It’s just the way the game is played out here, people!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. There are SO many truthful statements in this song.  Just a short list:

  • I have been on video sets with “stars” who don’t have much money
  • Anytime you ask someone “So, what do YOU do?” they always feel the need to come up with an answer that’s impressive
  • Statements I hear WAY too much: “I’m working on various projects;” “I know so-and-so” (why am I supposed to care?); and the oh-so popular “My project is about to BLOW!!” Yeah, it BLOWS, alright…
  • I have gone to clubs to perform where I had to put on the “costume jewelry,” i.e. the Folex watch, the $10 chain
  • I WAS in a Tyler Perry movie – “Meet the Browns” – as an extra in the school basketball scene

2. I downloaded this beat last year.  I was going to lease it, but didn’t have the money at the time. It has since been purchased, meaning I can’t legally sell the song.  I may end up recording it over another beat, or just releasing it for free…

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

So, after I wrote the song, I was going to put up another simplistic video, much like I did with “Mini Me.”  But for some reason… I don’t know WHY I was needing to look up Tiger Woods’ recent Nike commercial, but I was, and I started thinking: “Hmm, maybe I could use the part where his Dad asked him if he learned anything, and use it as a way of segueing into what I’ve learned about people frontin’ in L.A…”

I set up my camera in front of my green screen, dressed up in some clothes similar to what Tiger wore in his commercial (hat, vest, nice dress shirt), and filmed it.  Then I downloaded some pics to fit certain parts of the song, pasted them all together, then made the whole thing black-and-white.  Oh, and I also added in captioning so people could read the lyrics to the song.

It all sounds pretty simple, but editing this thing together probably took me a good 6 to 8 hours.  It made me remember why I’ve taken such a long break from making videos, but it was worth it for the end result!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I decided to go with the chipmunk-sounding voice over as a contrast to the deep voice Tiger’s dad had in his commercial.

2. The REAL reason I used captions? I wasn’t able to use my roommate’s studio mic, and had to go back to my USB radio mic.  It’s an okay mic, but it doesn’t always catch the end of words well, despite my excellent enunciation. So, I put them in to make sure people knew what I was saying.

3. Also: I used pics in certain places because I had only finished recording the song the day before, and didn’t really know it.  So, on the parts where I messed up the wording, I could use pictures.

4. Because I didn’t know the words that well, I had to print them out and place them on the top of the camera.  However, I couldn’t make it look like I was reading the words, so I placed the camera farther away from myself.  The words were placed above the lens.

5. There are several pics in this video with me and celebrities.  Specifically:

  • There’s a pic with me and the guy who played “Mini Me” (taken at a Playboy Mansion party I attended – for FREE)
  • There’s a pic with me interviewing former music video vixen Vida Guerra (whose name I pronounced incorrectly – thanks a LOT, Game!)
  • There’s a pic with me and The Archbishop Don “Magic” Juan

I placed them in the video, not to show off, but to stress the point: all of these people are famous… however, that does NOT mean they’re rich, or well-off financially.  That’s all part of the “front.”

6. The picture used on the line “How else u gonna score an L.A. chick” is Jovana, who I went to college with and now lives out here.  (And, in case you’re curious, her dress is yellow – but u can’t tell that since she’s in black-and-white.)

Aaaaaand that’s it!  Okay, so I’m clearly doing videos again.  This time, though, there’s no schedule for them – I may put another one tomorrow or next week or next month – but they’re all leading up to videos for my upcoming album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!”

-A.P.T.