Tag Archive: music videos


A lot of people have been commenting on my page asking for the lyrics to my songs.  I always hoped my songs would become popular enough to where people would actually want to know the words I was saying in them, and I guess it’s a pretty good idea to include them somewhere on this site!

So, starting this week I will be including the lyrics to all the songs I make videos for.  This also means I’ll have to retroactively go back and paste the lyrics to my songs on the previous 23 videos’ pages.  Ugh.  On second thought, maybe I’ll just put together a lyrics page where people can have access to all my song lyrics in one spot.  Yeah, that sounds easier!

In the meantime, this week’s video will be for a song off “The A.P.T. LP” AND “The O-Bama Mixtape.” It’s the only song that’s on both albums… to find out which song, why not download the mixtape and purchase the offical LP??  It will consist of footage I got while attending an event here in D.C…. and that’s all I’ll tell you for now!  But hey, the video will be up tomorrow anyway, right?

That’s all for now – see ya Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

I got a REAL studio microphone!!

To be fair, I’ve had one for quite a while.  Back in December 2007 when I was in eBay selling mode, I bought a complete recording studio off Craig’s List from some guy who was about to move, and couldn’t hold it in storage anymore.  He was trying to sell it for $1200, but I talked him into selling it for $900.  I sold most of the set on eBay for a total of $1300, but remembered to keep a few things that I could use later on.  One of them was the professional headphone set that allows me to hear beats as they really should sound, and the other one was a condenser mic.

The mic itself was studio-ready, but the plug at the end of it was too big to fit into my laptop’s input hole.  And, since I’m having to figure all this recording device stuff out myself, I didn’t know how to connect it to my laptop.  So, it went unused and I used my H2 Zoom mic, purchased for $200 at a music store, as my primary recording device.

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago.  After I released “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I started telling people I was going to record an official A.P.T. album to sell.  People started writing me, saying they were actually looking forward to purchasing the album… at which point, I said to myself: “I have GOT to make this thing sound good!!  I need to figure out how to work this studio mic!”

Luckily, one of my friends that I went to Hampton University with is also a musician.  His name is D.T., and he was recording stuff way before I thought about it.  So, I asked him how he managed to connect his mic to his laptop, and I finally figured out the big mystery: an interface!  If you’re like I was 2 weeks ago and have no idea what that is, an interface is a device that acts as a connector between a studio mic with a big plug at the end, and a laptop.  The interface can be used to plug the mic in, and there’s a USB cord that connect the interface to the laptop, thus allowing the sound from the microphone to come through.

I’m so mad that I didn’t find this out sooner!! It makes me want to go back and re-record my entire mixtape!!

But eh, that won’t be happening – I’ll consider it a relic of days gone by when I didn’t know about how all this fancy recording stuff worked.  However, I AM happy that I figured this out before I started recording my album.  I tried to start recording it yesterday with my H2 Zoom mic, but somehow… well… it’s just that, since I’m charging people for the album, I want them to get their money’s worth.  The H2 Zoom was okay to use for a FREE album, but for something like this, I need to sound more professional, and my words need to be able to be heard with no problem.  Plus, some of the beats I’m using sound BIG, and I need to be on par with them!

As for this week’s video, I’m going to do one more song off “The O-Bama Mixtape.”  I know which one I want to do, but there are others on there that I think would make for good videos, too.  I may do them in the future; right now, it’s between one of two songs – then again, I might do one of those “double” videos, where the artist injects a snippet from one song before going into the “real” video for the other one.  I dunno – we’ll see come Sunday!

That’s it for me – only 10 more days until “The A.P.T. LP” drops!

-A.P.T.

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

Attention Colleges, Universities and More (especially in Atlanta):

Demand A.P.T. to perform in your city at your venue! Go to: www.eventful.com/apt and request a performance by ME – the more invites I get, the better chance you have of seeing me perform in your town!

DOWNLOAD “THE O-BAMA MIXTAPE” – Click HERE for the link!

Hey! If you like the mixtape… help a brotha get his music career started – SEND A DONATION! Click HERE for more info!

Today’s paperstyle is called “She Didn’t Want Me,” which uses Rick Ross’ “Here I Am” beat.

DOWNLOAD THIS PAPERSTYLE: A.P.T. Paperstyle #3 – She Didn’t Want Me

Like my music? SEND DONATIONS! Click HERE for info!

 

Okay, so clearly, my “One-Song-a-Week” mantra is out the window! However, it’s already the brand name for this site, so I won’t change it.  Plus, I’m still only making one “official” video for a new song each Sunday, and I don’t think the fans will mind too much that I’m putting up more than one song on my site.  Hopefully it won’t affect how many views those new videos get!

With that said, I get bored in my apartment very easily, and am usually spending a good majority of my day freestyling off things in my head.  This happens a lot, and at times it happens when I’m near my laptop.  Some of these freestyles make for good album songs, while some are better used for short songs that you’d find on a mixtape. 

I wrote this song about an hour before I was supposed to go to a networking event with my friend last night.  I literally thought of the idea, started jotting down words, hooked up my mic, found the beat, recorded it, second-layer recorded it, mixed it, and finished the song in less than an hour! 

Because it was so fast, it felt like I recorded it like a “freestyle,” only I had written the idea on paper.  Therefore, I have officially created a term I am calling “paperstyle.”  Here is the official definition:

PAPERSTYLE (Pa-per-sti-ul): A freestyle verse that is immediately thought of and expressed via writing then recorded immediately.  First coined by A.P.T. on 8-05-2008.

Some of you may ask, “how does a paperstyle differ from other songs that are written down and recorded?”  The answer: most songs have a marinating period – the artist will write the song over a period of time, or with other collaborators, sit on it, come back to see if it needs editing, then record it, re-record it, and then mix and master the heck out of it until it sounds “right.”

With a paperstyle, the process is much, much quicker: the artist thinks of the song, writes it down immediately, records it, and puts the whole thing together in a very short time period (in the case of this song, the whole thing took less than an hour).  Much like recording a real freestyle, the mixing and mastering of it does not have to be perfect, but the quality of it should be equal to that of a freestyle or better, especially since it was written down!

This paperstyle, “She Didn’t Want Me,” tells a lil’ story about me trying to hit on this hot girl twice: once before I got famous, and after I got famous.  I’ll let the song tell the story for me!

Enjoy!  I’ll probably be doing these “paperstyles” on a regular basis, and might even throw in a few freestyles, too!

-A.P.T.

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

Attention Colleges, Universities and More (especially in Atlanta):

Demand A.P.T. to perform in your city at your venue! Go to: www.eventful.com/apt and request a performance by ME – the more invites I get, the better chance you have of seeing me perform in your town!

DOWNLOAD “THE O-BAMA MIXTAPE” – Click HERE for the link!

This song is called “Super Mario Paperstyle” (beat produced by Def Davyne).

DOWNLOAD THE SONG 4 FREE: A.P.T. Song #10.5: Super Mario Freestyle

I made this song – “Super Mario Paperstyle” – because, quite frankly, I was bored out of my mind!

I have to go to work later today, which means I had all day to do… absolutely… NOTHING.  But, I checked the stats on my mixtape, “The O-Bama Mixtape,” and was happy to discover that it had been downloaded 200 times already within the first 48 hours!! 

So, I decided to record this freestyle as a “thank you” to all my fans, plus use it to advertise for my OFFICIAL album, coming out Sunday, August 24th.  I don’t want to give away the title until I have everything copyrighted, but just know that (a) it’s going to be HOT, and (b) at 5.99, you’ll feel like you’re getting it for a BARGAIN.

Anyway… enjoy the song!  I found this beat online, and had it stored away for a rainy day.  It has some cool punchlines in it referencing things relating to the video game series.  It’s now available for download (it wasn’t earlier), so… yeah! 

-A.P.T.

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

Another week, another video in the can.

That’s 10 videos so far, people!  (11, if you count “Hey Jesse Jackson,” which I count as half a video.)  When I started this thing, I had no idea how long I’d be able to keep it up for.  Now, I’ve gone from trying to figure out a video at the last minute to having video ideas for songs 3 to 4 weeks ahead of time.  I guess it’s true what they say, “practice makes perfect!”

Okay, so, since what I do is considered “art,” there are going to be people out there who like my stuff, and people who don’t.  One of the reasons people do not go for what they want to do in life is that they are afraid of getting any kind of negative criticism.  They feel like if someone tells them their work isn’t good enough, or that they are downright terrible at what they do, their self-esteem will shatter so badly they won’t be able to recover.

However, I’ve always taken the opposite approach.  I’ve always welcomed criticism because I figure that, in trying to become good at what I do, I’m not going to get everything right immediately, yet I may not always be able to point out what I’m doing wrong.  Unfortunately, most people are so worried about keeping a person’s self-esteem up (lest that person punch them in the face), that even if that other person does mediocre work, they’ll still say “oh, great job,” thinking they are helping the person.

This is FAR from the truth.  In actuality, it’s HARMING the person in the long run.  They’ll go along doing the wrong thing thinking it’s right simply because no one stopped them to say, “um, you could be doing that a LOT better.”

I’m fortunate enough to have people in my life (my brother, David, and my friend Michele come to mind) who don’t mind telling me when I’m doing a song or making a beat that either sucks or could be made better. Heck, I think I let my brother hear 4 or 5 songs late last year that he said wasn’t showing off my true writing potential.  After being mad at him for a couple of hours, I realized he was only saying that stuff because he saw potential in me to do really GREAT work, as opposed to just trying to get by with anything.

Because I put my songs out on the net, I get many, MANY chances to get feedback about my songs.  Some of it is sent directly to me via YouTube/MySpace/Wordpress comments, and the majority of it has actually been pretty positive.  However, I like to go to other sites that I’m not a member of and read what other people think about some of my stuff – it’s a great way to get an unbiased view of my work since I’m not the one directly asking for the feedback.

Of course, most of the sites have posted my “Obama” video, so the majority of critiques have been about that song.  The overall response is positive, but, like all art, there have been people who posted comments that weren’t exactly the nicest in the world.  I don’t like to promote negativity, so those comments won’t be mentioned here; needless to say, though, I find it hilarious that a person NOT liking the song would actually take 2 minutes out of their day to express WHY they don’t like a song of mine.  It’s like, regardless of if they liked it or not, they still spent time focusing a portion of their lives on ME – so, in the end, it still benefits me!

But like I said before, I accept all kinds of criticism, be it positive or negative.  I was a theatre major at Hampton University for 5 years.  That’s FIVE years of being critiqued for stage performances, improv skits, class acting assignments, and thesis work.  Once you’ve had practice hearing good and bad things about yourself via numerous performances, you develop a thick skin for the comments you’ll receive about others for anything you do, for the rest of your life.  Someone saying a song or mixtape or video of mine “sucks” isn’t all that damaging to my psyche – especially when 19 other people are standing next to that person saying the same body of work is “great,” “uplifting,” and “f–kin’ awesome.”

Yeah – I hear that I’m “f–kin’ awesome” a LOT these days.

So, the point of all this is simply: if you have a goal or a dream, expect criticism.  Don’t let it slow you down, and remember that not all negative criticism is bad.  If anything, you can use it to re-route yourself into the right direction, and prove the ones throwing the criticism at you wrong.  It’s worked for me so far, and it can work for you, too!

-A.P.T.

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

Help a brotha get his music career started – SEND A DONATION! Click HERE for more info!

This week’s song/video is “Retirement Home” (Produced by ME!)

DOWNLOAD FOR .99 Cents https://www.payloadz.com/go/sip?id=491528

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I was inspired to write this song two years ago, when I read an interview with an old-school rapper (who shall remain nameless) on allhiphop.com. This particular rapper – who had a string of hits and was very popular in the 90s – felt that his recently released album did poorly because of poor promotion by his record label.

He also felt that the public was so dumbed down by what he perceived to be “poor-quality rap music” that his stuff wasn’t wanted by the public. He cited several rappers who, at the time, had major radio hits where the songs weren’t about anything really deep or insightful – just booty-shaking and “flossing” songs with no substance. And, like most older MCs who are no longer as popular, he stated how the rap music from back in the day was better, had more MCs who were about promoting “realness,” and was of a higher quality.

And to that, I said: “Get real!!”

I think older MCs have a very idealistic way of how ALL rap music was in the past. I’m an 80s baby, and lived through the development of hip-hop, so I can safely say that not ALL rap music from the past had meaning or substance. I think back to the early 90s when rap started getting more popular, and I clearly remember songs like “Baby Got Back,” “Rump Shaker,” and “O.P.P.” – and NONE of those songs were about anything deep, yet they happen to be very popular “oldies” from my generation.

In response to that allhiphop.com article, I wrote this song, “Retirement Home.” In the song, I basically bash old-school MCs who are always bashing the current batch of new-school MCs. At the time I wrote this, Nas’ popular “Hip-Hop Is Dead” CD was about to drop, so I found it to be a perfect time to record the song.

Who would have thought, though, that this hating of young MCs by older MCs would be happening two years later? I got word that old-schooler Ice-T dissed Soulja Boy, of the popular “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)” song – specifically, he told Soulja Boy to “eat a d*ck.” I don’t care how old you are, saying that crap to anybody, especially a 17-year old, is just plain disrespectful. I figured this would be the perfect time to release that song, as it mentions the reasons WHY an older, no-longer selling MC would go about hating on a new generation of rappers who are simply taking the art form and tweaking it to work for them.

Side question: ever notice how every generation of musicians hate on what they consider the “bastardization” of their art form? R&B artists of the 80s often hate on the new wave of R&B artists, whom they feel are ruining the music, despite artists like Alicia Keys and Usher treating the genre with much respect. In the same way, rap artists from “back in the day” are fans of saying how hip-hop is “dead,” even when artists like Kanye, Common, Lil’ Wayne, and even Soulja Boy are making the genre popular.

As for the “killing of hip-hop,” people have been saying that for YEARS, and it’s still here. And truthfully, as much as the old-schoolers might hate people like SB, Lil’ John, Hurricane Chris or DJ UNK for making what they consider to be “bubble-gum music,” their songs hold a place in hip-hop. As much as I like NAS, I ain’t trying to dance to one of his songs in the club!!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. I did the old-man voice in the song.

2. The line, “Only 40 – but in rap years, you’re dead,” is in reference to the fact that most hip-hop fans think a rapper shouldn’t be rapping past that age. Personally, I say if the artist is still good, go for it – but, for the purposes of the song, I felt I should say that.

3. There are actually some recording mistakes in this song. The line, “went from wearing old tims to some old flip-flops” should actually say “new tims,” but sometimes when I’m recording I mess up reading what I type. I also meant to say “put your headphones on and take a seat back/singing out your old raps ’til your lungs collapse,” but I ended up saying “listening to old raps” instead. In essence, this makes the sentence make no sense – but oh well!

4. I produced the beat for this song. No samples, just instruments and a creative mind. If you like the beat and would like me to make one for you, hire me, maaaaan!

INSIGHTS INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

In order to make this song have more emphasis, I felt it necessary to make my own “Crank That” song/video last week. Again, I have NO problems with these types of songs, so even though it’s not a song I’d normally do, I figured it would be okay, so long as I had this video to back me up!

I decided to film the part of the video where I’m “me” while I was still up in Alexandria, VA. I filmed me doing the song twice so that I’d be able to make fade-in cut shots. Why? If you’ve seen the back-and-forth melee between Soulja Boy and Ice-T, SB’s videos had him talking into the camera, and every so often there’d be an obvious “edit cut” where it looked like he took a part out and cut-and-pasted a later part on. This is why I’m sitting in one place for the “me” part of the video.

The second part of this video was me as the old-school rapper, who I named “Warm Lemonade” (Ice-T, Warm Lemonade – get it?). He’s the disgruntled rapper who scolds A.P.T. for making a “Crank” song that he feels is “killing hip-hop.” I filmed this part at my apartment in Atlanta, GA, using my plain wall as a back-drop.

This video shoot was relatively easy. Thank GOD!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. To play the part of the old man, I used some novelty old-man glasses I got from Spencer’s. To give myself the look of an old man, I powdered my hair and beard… with all-purpose flour. Gotta use what you have lying around!

2. The scenes of me watching “Warm Lemonade” from my hotel were actually filmed in my apartment. This is why I have the camera so close to my laptop – I wanted people to get the effect that I was still in the hotel. (Although, now that I’ve revealed that, it probably makes keeping that a mystery pointless 🙂

3. My mom actually bought me that shirt while I was in VA. I don’t think she ever thought I’d be using it as an old-man shirt, but it was a GREAT prop!

4. The microphone sitting on my laptop is an H2 Zoom mic. It’s the actual one I use to record my songs!

5. Editing time for this was relatively short – about 2.5 to 3 hours, plus added time in-between for me to goof around!

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

-A.P.T.

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

Ladies and gentleman… “The O-bama Mixtape” is here!

Yes, after being asked over and over again, “Hey, are you going to release a mixtape??” for the past couple of weeks, the mixtape songs have been completed!

Putting together a mixtape was HARD.  Not because I didn’t have enough songs, but for the opposite reason: I had so many songs, and wanted to put all of them on this mixtape!  I was going to put dang near close to 20 songs on there, but then I remembered that mixtapes are really meant to be teasers, an appetizer, if you will, for the actual album.  Plus, I figured it would be nice to have more material to put out another mixtape should I decide to do so!

With that said, the mixtape will probably be 12 to 13 songs, most of which are songs I made using beats from popular songs.  Most of these are NOT parodies – they are real songs I just happen to make off other people’s beats using my own flow (i.e. not purposefully copying anyone).  With that said, there are 3 songs on there that are parodies: “Erectile Dysfunction” (a parody of Snoop Dogg’s “Sexual Seduction”); “I Get Honeys” (a parody of 50 Cent’s “I Get Honeys”), and – of course – “Obama, Obama” (a parody of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli,” just in case you haven’t heard it by now!).

I also have a couple of songs on there that were produced by me that I was going to save for the album, but they use vocal samples from other recorded songs.  Since I don’t own the copyrights to those songs I can’t legally sell them – but I CAN release those songs for FREE and still get people rockin’ to them!  I will also probably record a few other songs this week – they may not make this mixtape, but they could always be used at a later date…

I still have some small parts to record, like the intro, the small interludes between songs, and the parts near the beginning and end of songs where I mention my upcoming album.  If you think the mixtape is hot, just wait until you hear the album! (Coming out in late August – to find out the name of the album and its release date, DOWNLOAD THE MIXTAPE!!  HA! Now you HAVE to get the mixtape!! But it’s free, so you might as well get it anyway!)

So, mark the date people: Sunday, July 27, 2008 – “The O-Bama Mixtape,” the hottest mixtape to be released this year!!!

-A.P.T.

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

Vacation Time + I Got It!

Ahhhh, vacation…

I’m in D.C. right now.  My brother is turning 25 next week, but he’s having his birthday party this Saturday.  He invited me up to come to the party, plus he wants me to help DJ it.  AND perform.  Geez, can’t a brotha get a lil’ R&R when he goes out of town!

Not that I’d be resting too much anyway.  I’m staying at the Crown Royal hotel, and have lots of downtime.  Which, of course, means I have time to film my next video… well, actually, TWO videos! 

I finally figured out how to do the song I wanted this week, and do a video for it in a way that’s not corny.  All I can say is this: it’s a dance song that’s very catchy and has absolutely NO message to it.  Just one of those fun songs I came up with during a freestyling session where I wasn’t trying to say anything too serious. 

At the same time, though, given how basic the lyrics of the song are, I had a fear that there’d be a backlash if I did the video for it in the wrong way, i.e. something out of my normal character.  However, I received a message this week for a video idea that I had already kind of thought about doing, but figured out how to expand the idea so that it’s a two-parter.  The video for this week is part one; the part-two “response” video, of sorts, will be next week.  This way, I have a legitimate reason for this week’s song to exist while at the same time having an excuse to make a song with simple lyrics.  Genius!!

But back to the vaca… so, my bro wants me to perform my “Obama Obama” song at the party.  Me, being the planning ahead person I usually am, figured it would be a great idea because I could film the performance and add it to my ever-growing press package.  Between the 9 videos (and counting) I currently have up, along with the two interviews (and counting) I’ve done, as well as the large amount of radio play I’ve been getting, I should be able to shop myself around to various record labels.

Then again, there is something to be said about letting them come to me.  I haven’t been sending out anything to anybody since I started this site, but now everyone – from interviewers to radio stations to fans, fan letters, etc. – has been coming to me.  I guess the old adage is true: “if you build it, they will come.”  Actually, I think I stole that from an old Kevin Cosner movie.  Still holds true, though!

Lastly, my cousin Katia posted a note on my Facebook wall yesterday saying she heard my song at radio station 92.1 in Richmond, VA – my home of 18 years before I moved to Atlanta.  It feels good to hear your stuff on the radio, but it feels even BETTER knowing it’s being played in the place you grew up. 

Truly, God is great!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

Hey everybody!

First thing’s first: thanks to everybody that has watched/dowloaded my newest video/song, “Obama, Obama (a Remake of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli”).” In just 2 days it’s gotten close to 100 views, and since the Presidential election is a mere 4-1/2 months away, I can only see the song growing in popularity.

So, it dawned on me: part of the reason I’m doing this whole project is to get people to (b) become fans of my music, and (b) request me for gigs… yet, lo and behold, I haven’t left any contact info for people to get in touch with me!!  Duh, Aaron!

If you’re reading this and would like to send me fan mail, request me for collaborations, ask about me making beats for you (I do that too – more of my own beats will be used on songs in the future), or inquire about doing a gig, here is my official email address:

aptsongs@hotmail.com

Not too hard, right??  I’ll be sure to leave this email address in all my posts from now on.

Anyway, this site has really started to take off!  Now that I’m making videos on a regular basis, it’s becoming a bit easier to think of ideas for song visuals.  I still don’t have other people to help me out yet, but I’ve thought of some good ideas involving just myself.  I like to invoke stories into most of my songs, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to represent that even if I’m talking about another person in the song.

Next week’s song is already in the can, and the visual for it is going to be easier to edit than last week’s video, which took 8 hours.  Part of the reason it took so darn long is because I had to be able to match up the vocals of the song with when I said them on screen.  You’d be amazed how long it takes to sync up song vocals with on-screen wording – even the slightest little mouth movement has to be watched to make sure it’s being done right, and even THEN you can still mess up!

For next week’s video, though, I won’t be mouthing to the camera, so it should cut the edit time in half.  The song itself is an MC song, meaning there’s not a story to it, it’s just me talking about how good I am at what I do.  The visual, however, does have a story, and it’s going to be…. well, I ain’t giving it away yet, but it’ll be pretty good!

I’m actually glad I’m doing this whole thing now, as it gives me things to do during the day when I’m not at work.  I don’t really hang out with too many people in this town, mostly because the people I know are usually too busy at their job to want to hang out, and when they do hang out they do stuff I don’t find all that fun, i.e. drinking, smoking, more drinking, more smoking, and partying at places where they can – you guessed it – drink and smoke. 

And frankly, I find none of that stuff fun.  To me, it’s just a life-waster – it’s as if the person said, “you know what?  I’m trapped in my own life and have no goals for myself, so I’m going to spend my down time doing things that will numb me of life’s pain.” 

The sad part?  These people have life goals they once aspired to, and even now they might SAY they want to do something, but, in the words of Lil Wayne (and, for the record, I can’t believe I’m actually quoting this guy), “They just talkin’ bout it.”  They don’t plan to actually follow through with their imagined goals, so they don’t try to reach them.  I’d like to think that, even if this whole plan doesn’t work out, I’ll get at least a lil’ credit for TRYING.

‘Nuff said about that – I got some other sites to attend to, more music to make, and another video to map out.  Peace!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com