Tag Archive: obama milli


Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to announce the release of my first ever collaboration mixtape…

Manifest Destiny: The Takeover Mixtape Cover12 Hot songs (plus some bonuses) from me, A.P.T., and my partner in rhyme (and beats) Kaptain Kutta!!

FREE DOWNLOAD – CLICK ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING LINKS TO PREVIEW/DOWNLOAD:

DATPIFF.COM

MIXTAPEPASS.COM

YOUSENDIT.COM

Track Listing:

  1. The Takeover
  2. I Don’t Mean to Brag
  3. V.I.P.
  4. Wade in the Water
  5. No Tomorrow
  6. The Break Up Song
  7. When The Doves Cry
  8. Heads Will Roll
  9. Take a Look (So Fly)
  10. All Thanks to the Dope Man
  11. Choose One
  12. About to Blow (plus 2 bonus songs!)

INSIGHT INTO A MIXTAPE:

This is my first collaboration mixtape, and it came about for one very simple reason: I wanted to put new music out but didn’t feel like writing full songs.

No, really – most rap songs are 2 to 3 verses, 16 bars or more each, and it can be hard to have to come up with all those words yourself and keep the song interesting. So, I figured it would be a good idea to do a collaboration album.

Why Kaptain Kutta? Well, for those of you who don’t know, this dude is a beat-making GENIUS!! Some of my biggest youtube hits (like “I’mma Let You Finish”) he actually made the beats for, and he’s had quite a few beats on each of my albums. He also raps and puts out a slew of mixtapes each year – way more than me, like every other month or something. He’s got the work ethic and drive for this game, and figured he’d be someone that would actually finish a project with me, as well as make me want to finish a project.

We started making songs in April 2013, with him cooking up beats himself (or with Chris Wayne, his beat-making partner) and me coming up with song concepts and lyrics. It wasn’t until May that I actually had the name for the album. I wanted a title that would symbolize how me and Kutta planned on using this album to take over the industry, if force by necessary. And so, I came up with the idea of calling the album (and later, our group) “Manifest Destiny: The Takeover Mixtape!” (And if you don’t know what “Manifest Destiny” is, I suggest you repeat your 9th grade history class or google it.)

This is a very fun album, but it also gets deep as well. I’ve never been an artist that was good with just creating filler songs or party songs – at some point, it’s always good to have songs with social commentary, or ones that reflect on life, etc. There’s a good mix of songs on here – you have your party songs like “V.I.P.” and “No Tomorrow;” songs about relationships like “The Break Up Song” and “Choose One;” songs about things like the effects of drugs on family (“All Thanks to the Dopeman”) or being tempted by the wrong things (“Wade in the Water”); and some tracks that are about displaying our skills like “The Takeover” and “About to Blow!”

All in all, this album came together real well, and we really want people to hear it. That’s why we’re providing it as a FREE download! You download the album at the following link(s):

DATPIFF.COM

MIXTAPEPASS.COM

YOUSENDIT.COM

That’s all for now – enjoy the mixtape, everybody!! (And yes, videos for songs off the mixtape are coming soon!!)

-A.P.T.

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Last week, I decided to write Lil’ Wayne a letter.

For those not in the know, he’s currently spending time in jail.  It can often be hard to try and contact a celebrity when they’re free – they may not always respond right away, if at all – but since he’s currently residing in the same place everyday (until November), I figured I should take the opportunity to get in contact with him.

I won’t go into the specific wording of the letter (since I wrote it out and forgot how I wrote it), but I wrote him to thank him for creating the “A Milli” song and how, because of it, I was able to make a parody that allowed me to get noticed, move to Cali, and continue to work on my music.  I also told him about some of the other songs I’ve put on YouTube, and offered to make him a free beat.

Lo and behold: I check his website, www.WeezyThanxYou.com today and I was one of the people he gave a shout out to as part of his weekly shout-outs!  It simply said my name, along with the words: “Glad I Can Help.”

So… yay!

Now, on the one hand, I’m glad to know that he got my letter.  On the other hand, I don’t want this to be the last contact I have with him.  I really WOULD like to make a beat for him to use – for FREE (I figure I owe it to him) – and I’d even like to go so far as to be on a song with him.  My goal is to write him a few more times before he gets out so that he’ll recognize my name… or, at the very least, look me up on YouTube to see my vids, hear my songs, and be impressed enough to work with me!

Meanwhile, I now know that both Obama and Lil’ Wayne have heard my song via confirmation.  All I have to do now is meet up with the producer of the track (Mr. Bangladesh) to thank him and I’ll be good to go!

-A.P.T.

JOIN ME ON USTREAM TUESDAY, MAY 18TH 2010, FOR A LIVE DISCUSSION ABOUT MY NEW ALBUM,
THE OBAMA MILLI REMIX GUY STRIKES BACK!
Follow me at http://www.ustream.tv/aptsongs

– – – – –

Over the past 2 years I, Aaron P. Taylor (a.k.a. A.P.T.), have learned a lot about how to put together songs and music videos that grab people’s attention and gets lots of views.  It’s the reason I’m able to get people to buy my music on iTunes despite getting limited radio play and not performing nearly as much as I should.

Now, if you’re an artist reading this who IS getting radio play and IS performing… but isn’t making any money… then I’m sure some of my info would be very valuable to you.

So, in the interest of… well, just wanting to help people out, I’ve decided to share a few secrets on here from time to time to help some of you upcoming artist out there get you and your songs the attention you need to start making people pay attention to you.

SECRET #1: TIMING YOUR SONG/VIDEOS WITH CURRENT EVENTS.

What do the following three videos of mine have in common:


Music video for A.P.T.’s “Obama Milli Remix”


Music video for A.P.T.’s “Imma Let U Finish” featuring Kanye West


Music video for A.P.T.’s “Kate Gosselin is a B!tch”

All of these songs/videos deal with different topics and have different rhythms.  They are also 3 videos I’ve made that have garnered over 10 million, 40,000 and 27,000 views respectively.

So what’s the common link?  ALL OF THESE SONGS/VIDEOS WERE RELEASED DURING TIMES WHEN THE EVENTS AROUND THEIR CREATION WERE AT PEAK INTEREST.

For example, the first video, “Obama Milli Remix,” was released almost a week after two important events back in June 2008: the choosing of Barack Obama as the Democratic National Committee’s Presidential Candidate, and the release of Lil’ Wayne’s “The Carter III” album, which was the first album in a long time to debut at number 1 with over a million copies in the first week.  The CD’s most popular song, “A Milli,” was being remixed by EVERY rapper known to man.  I decided to go a different route and do a parody of it.  Because I knew the right time to create and release the song/music video for it, I was able to get a TON of views from it (which I continue to get from this day).

The second video, “Imma Let U Finish,” was released 3 days after Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards back in September 2009.  People began posting photoshopped pictures of Mr. West interrupting other events throughout history, and I figured it would be a good idea to somehow make a song using audio snippets from his rant while using these various pics as the focal point of the video.  I didn’t even appear in the video, and it’s gotten 40,000 views – not to mention the money I made off it when I placed it on iTunes!

Now, the third video is a GREAT example of knowing when to capitalize on something going on in the news.  My original video for “Kate Gosselin is a B!tch” was posted up in September 2009, before the “Imma Let U Finish” video.  At the time, everyone was jumping on Jon Gosselin while their divorce proceedings were going on, and I wanted to put a song out that put the focal point back on Kate – specifically, at how much of a you-know-what she was while on TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus 8” show.

When I first released the video, it got an okay amount of views… however, I had released it almost 3 months after their divorce had been announced, so I wasn’t getting nearly as many views as I would have liked (about 2000-3000 or so at the time).

BUT THEN, almost 6 months later, Kate became a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” And, during her first week on the show, she started getting uppity with her dance instructor.  My friend from college wrote on my facebook wall how accurate my song about her was in terms of calling her out on her attitude, and it was at that point I realized that NOW was a good time to re-post the video, with clips from her DwtS spazz-out thrown in for good measure.

Sure enough, I did.  In the first 2 weeks alone, the video received over 20,000 views (now currently at 27,000).

As you can see, if you’re well-read and caught up on major current events going on, you can make songs about those subjects that, if entertaining enough, will draw people to your material.  It’s really not that hard – just do what I do: go to Yahoo, find a news story you find interesting (I find most of mine in the “Entertainment” section), and figure out a creative way to express your feelings about said subject.  If you do it enough times, people will start looking forward to your videos and will tell their friends all about “this awesome artist who ALWAYS gives their opinion on things going on in the world in an entertaining way.”

Well, that’s the only tip I have for today.  As we speak, I’m working on TWO songs/videos dealing with things that are either happening this weekend or are on-going.  Either way, both videos are sure to get me lots of views, which is what I need since I’m promoting my upcoming album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!” (Available June 8, 2010, at online retailers everywhere.) I’ll keep u all posted on their progress!

-A.P.T.

Another day, another wonderful blog!

Okay, so prior to me having this whole resurgence in blogging, I was neglecting this site for quite some time.  I didn’t have much product coming out, either musically or with videos, so I didn’t do a whole lot of maintenance on this site.

Now that I’ve been at this site more often, I’ve noticed something: all of the links to my FREE mixtapes are no longer working!

I posted the majority of the mixtapes up via zshare.net which, at the time, only stored up mixtapes at their links for as long as people were downloading them.  If no one downloads from said link(s) for over 60 days, they take down the link.

Well, the last mixtape I uploaded was in April 2009.  The project ended the very next month and, aside from 2 or 3 more videos, I didn’t blog much here or give people a reason to check the site.  So, people stopped downloading my mixtapes from the links, and they eventually expired 😦

I didn’t think anyone would be interested in downloading my old mixtapes.  Not that they’re really THAT old – only about a year or so – but I just figured the fans would be searching out for newer material.  It just dawned on me, though, that if those fans hadn’t heard those mixtapes yet, the music would STILL be new to them.

So, will I be posting the mixtapes back up on the site again?

Eh. I haven’t decided.  Truthfully, there is an advantage to not posting them back up – namely, I can re-use some of the lyrics from those songs and post them on “new” songs with beats that I own or can use in a sellable song (as opposed to when the songs were on the mixtapes with beats made famous by someone else, meaning I can’t sell the song unless I get resale rights that I can’t currently afford).

However, there is something to be said about giving people new (old) music to hear to tide them over while waiting for my NEW album, “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back” to come out on June 8th. Hmm…

Hypothetically, if I DO decide to put them back up, I’ll have to find a more reliable source to post them where they won’t be taken down so easily.  I’ll do some research on it and see what’s what.

In the meantime, I’ve got some EXCITING musical ideas and videos to share with the fans, some of which will be dropping very, VERY soon.  But I’ll leave that for tomorrow’s blog – adios!

-A.P.T.

Hey people, it’s me again!

Okay, so now that I’ve announced the date for the “The Obama Milli Remix Guy Strikes Back!” album – June 8, 2010 – I figure I should start blogging on a regular basis.  I haven’t done much of it in a while, but in looking at my page stats I realized that people actually DO read what I have to write.  So, here I am!

Consider this one form of “promo.”  I have an album coming out in a month, so I’m trying to figure out ways to get the word out about the album.  So far, I have this page, as well as a fan page on Facebook.  I also have a YouTube site, where I’m going to start posting up more videos – some vlog videos, some music videos.

Beyond that, though, I’m really trying to find places in L.A. that I can perform at.  Truthfully, I don’t really like to perform, – but to be fair, almost anything that requires me to work with other people isn’t fun for me.  It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that, oftentimes, I have a vision for how I’d like to do something, and working with people means having to compromise parts of those vision. This is probably why I prefer making videos and sending out songs from my apartment versus really pushing for a performance.

At the same time, though, there are moments where I DO like to perform.  Anytime I create a new song that I think will be an “audience-shocker,” I want to go out and perform it right away just to see if I get the desired reaction.  It’s what happened to me a few months ago, when I wrote a NEW SONG that will be on my album.  I went out and performed it later that week, and the audience was seemingly SHOCKED at the audacity I had to perform such a tune.  Amazingly, I was at a club a couple of days later and got recognized by someone who not only remembered me, but the song I performed!

Needless to say, I’m definitely going in the RIGHT direction with this album.

I could always use more promo ideas, though. So, if you like my music and have any ideas on how I could promote my new album (aside from the ways previously mentioned), please leave a comment or send a message to aptsongs@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

-A.P.T.


Above: The long version of “I’m The Realest” featuring an intro and outro skit!


Above: The short version of “I’m the Realest” with the song and montage part only. (For people with short attention spans.)

This week’s video is for the song “I’m the Realest” feat. Jay-Z (beat produced by King Kut, Jay-Z vocals added in by me!).

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON A.P.T.’s “WELCOME TO CALI: THE MIXTAPE!” Click HERE for download link!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

When making the “Welcome 2 Cali” mixtape, I knew I wanted whatever the last song on the album was to also be the song I used for the last video of my “One-Song-a-Week” project.

I had a stack of beats that I had gotten from King Kut (who I collaborated with for video 50, “Rock and Roll (Remix)“), and there was a particular beat that stood out to me – it was bouncy, had a frenzied chorus, and sounded like it would make for a good song. Actually, when I heard the beat I had an idea for TWO songs I could make, but didn’t know which one I wanted to go with.

My original idea was to make both of these songs using the same beat. One of them – which I haven’t made yet and will therefore not mention the title of – was a goofy-sounding song while the other one was “I’m The Realest.” The idea takes off from the part of Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” song where he says: “I’m the realest that run it, I just happen to rap…” I thought that part of the song would lend itself to me writing about how I was able to stay true to myself while making music, despite the fact that (a) I’m not seen as a “typical” rapper, and (b) that I do a whole bunch of other stuff well (acting, producing, drawing, etc.) and that rap is something that I just “happen” to also be good at.

So, I was going to go ahead and record the song… but first, I had to take the beat King Kut sent me and mix it in with the lines from the Jay-Z song that I wanted for the chorus. However, I didn’t know how to take the vocals and change the pace/tone of them on my MAC’s Garageband program. Plus, the acapella vocals for the song could only be gotten one way – Limewire – and, since it’s not installed on my MAC (no WAY I’m even taking a chance at a virus getting on this computer), I had to use my PC to actually download it.

Since I had my PC up and running, I decided to use the Magix Studio 14 program I have on it to mix in the vocals. Despite my PC being slow at times, my music program actually runs quite well on it, and Magix Studio 14 allows me to bend, cut, and position beats and vocals any way I’d like to. I loaded in the acapella Jay-Z vocals and picked out the part I wanted to use. Now all I had to do was load in the beat…

I looked on my external hard drive for the file that said “Beat #1.” I noticed there were actually TWO beats with that same title – one saved in .wma format, and the other saved in WAV format. Not knowing which one was the one I actually needed, I figured I’d listen to both to see which one was the one I had been looking for. I imported in the first “Beat #1…”

And it was the wrong one.

In fact, it was one of the beats I had actually NOT had an idea for a song for. The beat itself was good, but it was repetitive, and there was no change-up in tone or pace throughout the song, not even during the chorus parts.

And yet…

Because of this beat characteristic, it actually made it the PERFECT beat to use for the song! The way I saw it, the fact that Jay-Z’s voice would be on the chorus meant that people would be paying more attention to him that whether or not there was a music change-up in the background. Most importantly, it meant that the other beat I was going to use could now be use for ONE song, and this beat that I didn’t have a song for at all could be used. Genius!

Once I got the vocals in pace with the beat of the song (it doesn’t sound like it would take that long, but it was probably a good 30 minutes before I got it sounding right and having it go at the right pace), I re-exported it as a WAV file, then sent it back on over to my MAC, where I laid down the vocals.

As for the song itself, I wanted it to sound like a culmination of the year-long experience I went through, from when I first had the idea for the project, to the unexpected success and attention I got as a result of “Obama Milli Remix,” to being able to actively pursue my dreams even moreso as a result. In between all that, I wanted to use a flow that wasn’t just a standard pattern. Admittedly, I have been listening to a lot of Eminem recently, and I always liked how he flows in relation to the beat – over it, under it, inside it, etc., you name it, Em’ does it. Thus, you’ll here voice change-ups, sing-songy parts, and some verbal wordplay, as well as a few funny lines here and there.

And of course, I couldn’t end the song without thanking everybody who helped get me to this point. I now understand why musicians are always saying, “Without you, the fans, I wouldn’t be here.” ‘Cause really, if people hadn’t passed my song around, I wouldn’t have gotten the attention I got, and I would probably still be in Atlanta working at a restaurant NOT making progress (as fast) and NOT being happy – at least not as happy as I am living in Cali 🙂

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. One of my favorite lines is, “Picture A.P.T. sittin’ in an APT in Atlanta.” One, it’s a play on my initials, which are also an abbreviation for “apartment;” and two, I did a great job of making the syllables rhyme in this sentence!

2. It really IS a challenge to try and rap off-beat without making it sound like you’re rapping off-beat and have it flow well. The last part of the first verse where I say, “You… MUST have fallen off the wrong side of the bed/bumped your head/ can’t com-pre-hend ’cause you’re brain dead, oh!” took quite a few takes. When I write it I can hear it in my head, but if I don’t record it right away, having to re-dice it up so it sounds the way I heard it to myself can be challenging!

3. I mention how I didn’t think my songs would get farther than my “poor excuse for a laptop.” Truthfully, when I started out making music on it it wasn’t so bad… but as I added more and more memory to the machine and it got harder and harder to edit my videos, THAT’s when it became a “poor excuse for a laptop,” LoL!

4. The last 2 lines of the song were really hard to come up with. I knew I wanted to end on a joke, and once I figured out WHAT I wanted to say, I had to figure out HOW to put it into rhyme form. I figured it out eventually, but those last two lines took up about 2 hours of my time!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

This is not only the last video in the “One-Song-a-Week” project, but also the last video in the “Video Wars” trilogy I started 3 weeks ago.

To that end, when I first started it I already had the end in mind – namely, to have a montage of all the videos I had made over the course of the last year. How I was going to present them, though, was the hard part to figure out…

My original idea was to film myself in front of my green screen, and add in the montage as a background later. In fact, I actually DID film myself in front of the green screen doing this song last week while filming video 52 episode 2, “Welcome 2 Cali.” As I mentioned in the video insight for that video, though, keying out the green without having little green fuzzies everywhere took 3 hours, and that was only when using 3 minutes of footage. I couldn’t imagine how nightmarish it was going to be trying to key out the green screen of 3 separate takes, given the fact that, since my camera isn’t a digital one, the fuzzy count would be ridiculous!

My next idea was to place this thing WAY into the future, and have it be a situation where an older version of me is being filmed for a television show, and I’m reminiscing about all the videos I made “back in the day.” I was actually going to do this one – put some flour in my beard and dress up like an old man – but there were two problems: one, I was already an old man in video 10, “Retirement Home,” except I was a bitter old rapper in that one. Unfortunately my old man voice impression doesn’t really change, and I didn’t want people seeing this video, then going back and seeing THAT video and pondering if it was the same character, and why one was mad and the other wasn’t. (Yes, I really think about these types of continuities when making videos.) The second reason is that, since I’ve used my apartment in so many videos, trying to make people believe it was suddenly some other place (i.e. an old folk’s home, a mansion, etc.) would be hard to do.

Then, on Friday, as I was setting up for the “old man” scenario – after all, I had to film SOMETHING – I stopped and reflected on all the videos I had done this past year… and for some reason the “Kick Bush” video came to mind. In that video, I acted like I was the host of a kid’s show called “Mr. Taylor’s Neighborhood,” a take on Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood. At the end of that video, I tell the “kids” to tune in next time… only problem was, I never actually MADE a second video for them to tune in to!

In thinking about it, I figured it would be a decent enough idea to do a second episode of the show, only this time with the “newly improved” set from my California residence.  It would allow me to tell the “kids” in simple vernacular about how I got from D.C. to Cali (since I explain in the “Star Wars” intro how I made it from Atlanta to D.C.), while at the same time making it easier for me to segue into the montage clip I had for the actual song.

Filming the “Mr. Taylor’s Neighborhood” portions of the video was really easy. I filmed myself walking from the sidewalk outside my apartment up to my door, and used that as the opening for the show. Then, I filmed myself walking in while on my phone threatening someone to send the money they promised to me for doing the program, lest I kick their… well, you know. Then, I talk to the kids about how me, Mr. Taylor, made a song that got big enough for someone in Cali to find me and help me move there. From there, I mention that I still completed my “One-Song-a-Week” project, and to prove it… well, that’s when I go into the montage!

Putting together clips from all my videos was easy, but time-consuming. I figured out the play time of “I’m the Realest” and calculated that I could fit clips of all my videos into the montage if I cut them down to 3 to 5 second shorts. Because their were 53 videos to go through, it took me quite a few hours; luckily, I knew which clips I wanted to use from most of the videos. Unfortunately, in order to do so I had to open up my PC one last time (since most of my older videos up until 40 were done in .wmv format, which wouldn’t transfer onto my MAC) and use the movie converter program I had on there to cut down each clip to the small amount of seconds I wanted to use.

Once I did that, I was going to just put them all in order on my Windows Movie Media program in numerical order, paste on the song, then publish it, load it back onto my MAC and use a converter to change it over to an .mov file. But, I knew that I wanted to have the transitional “roll of film” effects that my iMovie had on its program. So, I took all of the 53 mini-clips that I had, converted them into .mov, then imported them into iMovie, pasted them in order, added the song, and BAM – montage complete! Again, very simple process, but it took almost 6 to 7 hours out of my life!

So, after the opening, the intro, and the montage, I had to figure out a way to end the video. But I had already thought about that during the week, and I knew exactly how I wanted to end it. Since this is the last video in the project, people have been asking me, “What are you going to do after you’re done with it?” I already know what I’m doing since I’ve been working on it since I moved here, but since I can’t reveal everything about it just yet, I decided to end this video by having me begin to tell them, then getting cut off by the credits of the show. I’m sure people will be writing me asking me, “seriously, though – WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO??” Sorry, peeps, can’t say anything just yet!

All in all, I think this video – and, more importantly, this song – was a great way for me to end the project on a high note!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. When filming the part of the video where I say that people stole my song, I “say” that I don’t want to mention any names, and I wasn’t going to. However, while editing in the text for some of the other clips, I thought it would be funny if I “mentioned” the name by scrolling it at the bottom of the screen. That way, I could “say” the name without “saying” the name.

2. As you will see in the video, I mention the videos in reference to the weeks they were made instead of the number order. This is because (a) I didn’t want people to question why there were 54 videos instead of 52 (there were 2 weeks when I did 2 videos in those weeks); and (2) so people will know that I actually did a video each week.

3. Also, I was originally going to mention the weeks and names of each video using the “writing on tape” effect, but it looked monotonous to me. So, AFTER I gave all the clips that effect, I went back and put in different effects so the audience wouldn’t get bored looking at the same lettering effect over and over.

4. The shirt I’m wearing in the video has the logo on it from EMQTv.com, which is the web site I blog for when I’m not doing music stuff.

5. Editing time for this video: I couldn’t even tell you. I was just so eager to get it done – I started editing it on Thursday, then filmed the parts of me doing the “Mr. Taylor’s Neighborhood” on Friday… let’s just say, I wanted to do it right, so it took a LONG time!

And that’s it! I did it! 54 videos in 52 weeks, baby! Will there be more videos from me in the future? The answer to that is “yes,” but definitely NOT on a weekly basis, but as for right now… I think I deserve a little vacation!

-A.P.T.

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

This week’s video is for the song “I Need a Job and I’m BROKE (Mobb Deep Freestyle).”

AVAILABLE ON A.P.T’S “WELCOME 2 CALI: THE MIXTAPE!” Click HERE for download info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG

It’s funny to look back at my past and see just how crappy things used to be for me.  Okay, so it’s not really funny like “ha ha” funny, but it’s still quite interesting…

It was 4 years ago this week that I had graduated from Hampton University with a degree in Theatre Arts.  After I graduated, I went to stay with my uncle in Lansdale, P.A., during which time he helped me out by giving me a job in his sales office selling Rainbow vacuum cleaners.  Not exactly the glamorous life, but it gave me a chance to spend time with my two younger cousins (Samantha and Sheldon), and work on becoming a better orator with people by constantly having to talk to them via my sales presentations.

Unfortunately, I sucked at sales.

Like, I would try with all my might to sell people on the product we were selling – which I even OWNED and used all my life – but I just wasn’t able to persuade enough people to buy it for the price we sold it at.  By November, my contribution in terms of sales was next to nothing, yet I was still living at my uncle’s house using up his food, electricity, water, etc.  Things only got worse when I could no longer afford my car payments, and ended up having to get a hand-me-down car that ate up gas faster than I could pay to re-fill the pump.

Then, one night – like at about 12 midnight – my uncle came in and said I could no longer live with him, and that I had to leave.  At that moment.  Like, at 12 midnight.

I got into my raggedy car and pondered where I could go.  The only place I could even think of going was back home to Richmond, VA, to my Mom’s house.  All I could hope was that my car would survive the 6-hour long trip through the night that it would take to get me there.  Lo and behold, it did: I got there the next morning just as my Mom was heading out the door to work… so you can imagine how surprised she was to see me at her front door telling her the story of why I had to come back home.

Luckily, I have a Mom who is nice and understanding, and she said I could stay there…

Okay, I’m sure at this point you’re wondering: WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE FRIGGIN’ SONG?!?

Well, once I got home, I immediately set out to look for jobs… but it was wintertime, and most of the jobs had already been taken up for Christmas holiday.  Once the beginning of the year came around, the only job I had was as an actor for a dinner theatre troupe which only did plays on Friday and Saturday, and not for much money.  I spent a good majority of my day at home, looking for jobs on the Internet that either wouldn’t require me to have a car (since the car I had when I moved back home broke down on me in December) or that started late enough at night to where I could use my Mom’s car once she got off work.  Unfortunately, this situation still wasn’t too ideal because with both of us using her car, it would mean I’d have to chip in to help keep it up – and, seeing as how I wanted to use the majority of the money to save up for a place of my own…

As you can see, the situation became quite stressful.

The times I wasn’t looking up jobs at home, I’d spend coming up with songs and recording them on my Mom’s computer.  At some point in February of 2006 I found a set of beats on-line that were from popular songs, and decided to make freestyles to them.  One of the beats I picked out was from a Mobb Deep song (can’t remember the name of the song now – I think it was “Put ‘Em in Their Place” or something).  The beat just SCREAMED “please freestyle over me!” So that’s what I did!

The nice thing about freestyles is, if you do it the right way, you never know what you’ll say or where it will take you.  When I heard the beat, all I knew was I wanted to talk about my “current” situation, but because the song wasn’t planned out in advance I didn’t know what I was going to say.  I simply turned on the beat, plugged in my microphone, opened up Sound Recorder, pressed play/record, and let myself rip.

For a freestyle, though, this is easily one of the most linear and cohesive ones I’ve done in terms of staying on the subject matter.  I ended up touching on the fact that I graduated, still had no job, had applied to places but hadn’t heard back from them, was down to using my Mom’s car, and – perhaps most importantly – that I couldn’t date like I wanted to because “You can’t invite chicks – over your Mom’s house!”

In fact, the freestyle was going so good, I probably would have added more to the song… but then the beat started to fade, so I knew I had to wrap it up.  Thus, the spontaneous line at the end where I say, “I need a job – I’m broke!”

As one can tell from seeing where I am now, I was eventually able to move out, but even after this freestyle was recorded, it took until September before I was finally able to move to Atlanta, the result of many months of eBaying, acting, and bar-backing at a club.  It’s nice to be able to listen to this freestyle now and know that I’m NOT in that same place!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. There’s a part near the beginning where I say, “…that because of the school I went to, that no job/Would wanna TRY to hire me if it’s less than below what they think my means is..”  The truth of the matter is, a lot of places won’t hire people they feel are “over-qualified.”  I was applying to places like Fed-Ex, grocery stores, and other low-paying jobs (mostly because I wanted to have the freedom to quit should the whole acting/music thing take off), but they’d never call me back or hire me.  My reasoning: they saw I graduated, and were probably scratching their heads as to why I wasn’t going for a job with more… whatever.

2. My mom will probably scratch her head at the part of the song where I say, “I’m trying to get my freak on while I’m getting my sneak on/because my Mom, can’t know what I’m doing on the weekend…”  Ugh.  In reality, I wasn’t doing anything provocative on my weekends while at the house (or anywhere else for that matter).  The lyric is more in reference to the fact that, while I was in school I had my own place and could do whatever I wanted to do on the weekends, including invite girls over (which, again, didn’t happen for the most part).  When living at home, though, I didn’t have the freedom to do those things even if I wanted to.  Even if I just wanted to make out with a girl… ya never know when Mom might come home and catch you lip-lockin’ on the couch!

3. I got flustered near the end of the song.  I didn’t know how long the beat was, but as I was saying, “…for not getting a real quote unreal degree…” I could tell the beat was starting to fade, and I lost my train of thought for a second because I now had to figure out a way to end the song.  That’s what happens when a person’s REALLY freestyling, not just reciting some lines he wrote in a notebook earlier!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

When deciding on a video to do this week, I was faced with a BIG question: should this REALLY be my last video?

When I started this project, the goal was to do at least ONE video a week for 52 weeks, i.e. one WHOLE year.  The problem, though, is that, during the process of making these videos, there were two weeks where I actually filmed TWO videos.  The first one was in August, where I recorded a video for the Democratic convention (Video #15, “Shine 4 Obama”) and the second one was in January when, after George Bush left office, I recorded a song/video for “Goodbye Bush (Nah Nah Nah).”  The latter wasn’t going to be an official video, but it proved to be so popular that I had to make it an official one.

With that said, this week is video #52, which would technically complete all the required videos, but not the parameters of the project since this would only be week 50.  Yes, I am THAT much of a stickler for being exact about something!

However, in all my videos since #26 I’ve been counting down the number of videos I have left. What to do, what to do?!?

Then, after thinking about it, I realized that, for my “last” video, I could turn it into a trilogy of videos that all relate to each other!

And so, that’s what I decided to do: turn video #52 into three parts, a la “Star Wars.”  In doing so, I figured it would be easiest to do so by dividing the three parts into a beginning, middle, and end journey of my own, from when I started making songs in Virginia all the way to finally being able to move out to California.

And what better way to start off the song trilogy by making a video for a song I actually recorded back in 2006 that gave an illustration of my then-current situation?!?

The best part was that the shoot for it could be very, very simple.  Part of showing the “past” version of me is that I didn’t have all this fancy equipment that I had now, so making the video look basic in nature will provide great contrast to the videos I shoot later in the trilogy.

For this shoot, though, I wanted to re-create the day I recorded the freestyle in my Mom’s house.  Just me, a desk, a microphone, a computer, and a lot of angst and unknown.  I shot it in one take so people could get the feel of how the song came about, without making any distractions via video cuts and edits.  It also made editing this thing SO friggin’ easy!

FYI: In case you’re wondering, I have NO idea what I’ll be shooting for the second part of this trilogy, but the third part (and song) is already chosen.  All I can say is, it’s a song from my “Welcome 2 Cali” mixtape, so why not download it and take a listen?

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. I wish I had a prop’s department.  The only items on my desk from 2006 is the microphone – that’s the actual one I used to record the song.  The laptop is from 2007, the phone is from the early 90s, the desk is one I just bought this year, and the sweatshirt I’m wearing… okay, that’s actually my Granddad’s sweater (R.I.P.) that I got in 2005, so me wearing that shirt is plausible.

2. I had to turn my desk to a different angle in my room because all the other angles would show off other parts of the room, which I didn’t live in back in 2006.  At least with a desk and a wall, it’s believable that it COULD be my Mom’s home office!

3. To film at the angle I did, I had to place the box my MAC computer came in onto my futon.  Yep, 52 videos later, I STILL have no one helping me film this stuff!

4. Because this is supposed to be me “in the past,” I decided to add the film grain effect.  Everyone knows that film grain depicts past scenarios, right?

5. Estimated time for editing: less than an hour.  The longest part was typing up this explanation!

That’s all for now!  Stay tuned next week for part 2 of the “Video 52” trilogy!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: APTsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: http://www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT

Greetings again, everybody!

Well, it looks like this “One-Song-a-Week” project is coming to a close very soon.  I only have ONE more video to film and I will have put out 52 videos in 50 weeks.  (Of course, given how much of a stickler I am for actually following through on a concept, I’ll probably do 2 bonus videos, but they won’t be nearly as good).

Me, being the nostalgic person I am, decided to take a look back at the entries I’ve done on this site over the past year.  In doing so, I came across one of my very first entries called “UPDATE: Music + Where I’m At Now,” where I talked about my then “current” status of things in the hopes of comparing it to where I’d be a year from then.

I’m SO glad I did that!

In looking at my now “current” status, things have improved greatly for me, and I’m glad I’m able to have a comparison to where I once was.  For those of you curious as to what type of changes have occurred, what follows is a “back then/right now” comparison.  Check it out:

MY LIFE “BACK THEN” (As typed by “Previous Me”, Circa May/June 2008):

* I live in Atlanta, GA.

* I work at a job that I loathe. Okay, I don’t really loathe it – I loathe having a job in the first place because it makes me feel like a slave to a schedule and payment plan. I’d rather be making money via my creativity.

* I have no girlfriend. I have girls I date, but I haven’t really found “the One” yet.

* My income for the moment: I have enough money coming in to pay my 3 bills – apartment, phone, internet/cable – and to finance my progressive steps towards my dream.

* My current recording “studio” consist of: my Studio apartment, my bootleg Fruity Loops program, my laptop, a $200 H2 Zoom studio microphone, and a set of studio headphones I bought from a guy off Craig’s List. Very nice sound, too!

MY LIFE “RIGHT NOW” (As typed by “Current Me,” Circa April/May 2009):

*I live in Van Nuys, CA.

*I work from home, which I LOVE.  The fact that I don’t have to deal with other people on a regular basis is GREAT, and I’m making money via my creativity.

*I had a girl I was dating when I moved to D.C., but she’s in law school there, and now I’m over here.  I miss her everyday, and always look forward to seeing her when I get the chance!

*My income for the moment is actually less than what I was making as a server.  However, since I work at home, there’s no commute money to pay, no clothes to buy for work, no gas money.  My soon-to-be future income, though, will be GREAT.

*My current recording “studio” consist of: my 2 bedroom apartment (I have a roommate, but he’s gone most of the day); my Magix Studio 14 program (on my PC), my bootleg Fruity Loops program (on my PC – still good for making beats!), my laptop, my iMac Computer, the Garageband Sound Studio (on my iMac), my C-Media USB Microphone (i.e. professional studio quality mic)… and a set of headphones I bought from a guy off Craig’s List back in 2007 that I managed NOT to lose.  Still has nice sound, too!

*Oh yeah – I still use my Kodak 6.1 megapixel camera for most of my filming, but my iMac also has a built in HD camera which I’ve used quite a few times.  It’s nice to have options, people!

And that’s pretty much it!  All in all, this experiment has definitely exceeded my expectations, but I’ll talk more about that once I’ve posted up my final video.  See ya on Sunday!

-A.P.T.

This week’s video is for the song, “Rock and Roll,” produced by & featuring King Kut.

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I’ve probably mentioned the “Obama Milli” song in the majority of my “One-Song-a-Week” song descriptions more than any other song this year, and for good reason.  That song has pretty much been the catalyst for the majority of the stuff I was able to experience this year, from getting interviews to being able to move to Cali, and everything else in-between.

The way I came about doing this week’s song, “Rock and Roll,” stems back from a fan I got as a result of him first being exposed to “Obama Milli.”  After the song went national, I started getting request from underground artist to do collaborations with them.  Most of them were probably trying to feed off the exposure I was getting in the hopes that they, too, would get seen, but I was hesitant to collaborate with just anybody.  Unless they either (a) sent me a beat that was bangin’ with their parts already recorded, or (b) I went to someone’s MySpace page and found a song I wanted to do a remix to, I didn’t want to do a collabo.  After all, since I haven’t met these people, if they ended up being rapist or drug dealers, MY name would end up being associated with them if they did something stupid and got arrested, and, since I’m still a relatively unknown media presence I didn’t want to have people looking at me funny once I got more exposure.

In November, about 2 weeks before I released my “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back on My Grind)” mixtape, I received an email from a rapper/producer named King Kut.  He said he was a fan of “Obama Milli” (of course) as well as the title track from the mixtape, and that he wanted me to do a collabo with him for one of his upcoming mixtapes.  He also sent me the addresses to his web pages to check his stuff out.

I checked out his pages.  His beats were bangin’, and the songs he had up, while not lyrically the best, had some outstanding choruses.  However, at the time I still getting requests from lots of people who wanted to do collabos, so to me it was just another person wanting to add their name to my quasi-fame.  Once all the “Obama Milli” stuff died down, I figured he, like many others, would forget I existed and it wouldn’t matter.

Fast-forward to January ’09: In the course of preparing songs for my “The Great Black Hope” album, I was looking to do at least ONE collaboration for the LP. I looked back in my E-mail stack and saw King Kut’s message.  Then I remembered that I had forgotten to write back to him, so I did, and told him I’d be curious as to what song ideas he had in mind, or what beats he may have wanted to send me (since I was in beat-looking mode.)  I didn’t think I’d actually hear back from him, but lo and behold: he sent me 2 beats (one the next day, and one a few days later for my birthday), both of which were pretty good!  As for the collaboration, by that time I had already done a collabo with another group, and couldn’t think of a song prior to the release date of my album for us to do together, so I told him that if I decided to do another album/mixtape this year I’d see how I could get him on a song…

Fast-forward to April ’09…

Since I’ve moved to Cali, I’ve been working on a top-secret online entertainment project with a guy named Rob, who found out about me via my “Obama Milli” song (see? I TOLD you it was the catalyst for all this stuff!).  Part of the project has a musical component to it, and I had been trying to make my own beats for the songs I’m making on that project.  However, with all the other stuff I have to do for the project (writing scripts, drawing comings, writing songs, etc.), having to make all the beats myself was becoming time-consuming.

I decided to see if there were beats in my catalogue that I hadn’t used yet that I could use for the project.  I also started looking at any beats made by other people that would sound great for some of the songs.  In the process of doing so, I remembered the beats King Kut had sent me back in January that I hadn’t used yet.  Since I liked them, I wrote King Kut and asked him if he had any other beats he could possibly send me.  Without hesitation, he wrote me back and said he could send me some beats!

As part of his message, he included his websites at the end.  I noticed the sites he had were similar to the ones I had: he had a YouTube site for videos, as well as a WordPress.com site for… well, I had no idea, but I had to check them out.  First one I checked out was his YouTube page.  Apparently he had been doing this project for a while, ’cause the first video I saw was video #25!

The name of the video was “Rock and Roll” (I know you were wondering when I’d actually get to talking about the song), and, as soon as it came on, it sounded like a hit.  Once I heard the chorus, it was a rap – that song was just TOO catchy!  How do I know? I was going around my apartment singing the chorus to that dang song the rest of the day!

After I saw his other videos (and yes, if you’re reading this I sat at your WordPress site and watched ALL your videos), I kept going back to “Rock and Roll.”  Everytime I heard it I’d start freestyling off some lyrics ’cause the beat just made it so easy!  I didn’t know if he’d be up for it, but I HAD to see if he’d be interested in doing a remix to the song.  I wrote him, told him I was interested in doing one.  Not only was he interested, he sent me a beat the same day with his first and third verse on it, and a section with no lyrics that gave me 16 bars of room to “do my thang!”

This is one of those songs where the lyrics don’t really matter.  Yes, I know all those so-called “real MCs” will probably hate on me for saying that… but get the f–k over yourself.  Not every song need have meaning, and it’s not ALWAYS about what’s BEING said in the song, but HOW it’s being said.  This is the type of song whereby you have to go with the feel of the beat.  Since it’s a dance/snap type of song, if the lyrics don’t flow with the beat in a certain way, the dance vibe of the song gets ruined.

King Kut’s part of the song was already chanty in sound, so I didn’t want to copy his flow because then it becomes monotonous to the listener, and would make me sound like I was trying to copy him.  So, instead, I decided to use a few different flows in my part: the fast flow, the chant flow, the choppy flow… all mixed together in a nice verse that still makes the song danceable and will make people wanna get buck at the same time!

This is, with out a doubt, a SMASH hit.  I don’t know how I’m gonna do it yet, but I want this song to blow up ’cause it’s just THAT hot!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The first part of my verse starts with the word “Don’t” because, at the cut-off point for my verse there was a very small, yet distinguishable “D” sound that didn’t quite get cut out.

2. My favorite verse is when I say: “Got a girl with me, I’m hard as a ROCK/She ready to ROLL…”  I wanted to incorperate that into the song somewhere just ’cause it sounded clever!

3. My voice may sound a wee bit distorted.  I used the “Electric Rock Sound” effect on my voice to give it more of a rock sound edge.  Hopefully people won’t take that as me having a crappy mic!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

This was actually a very time-saving video for me to make.  Since King Kut already had a video for the original version of “Rock and Roll,” I asked him to send me the video as is, and I would incoperate my footage into it.

Upon first reuqest, though, I think he thought I wanted him to send me the just the footage sans song, so he sent me two clips: a clip from the original video where he’s in orange lighting, and a brand new footage set with him wearing a red shirt and red Kanye-style glasses that wasn’t in the first video.  I was trying to make the video editing process easier on myself, though, since I had other videos (not involving musie) that I had to shoot.

Even though I finally got the original video footage, I liked the new one with him in red enough to incorperate it into the new video as well.  As for my footage, I wanted to keep it in line with his footage, meaning I didn’t want to do something over-extravagant that would make people be able to tell the difference between his shots and mine (except for the fact that, since I shot my footage using my MAC camera, it’s in widescreen mode).  I did a shot of me doing the song in my Hampton Alum T-shirt on the side of my kitchen that had a refridgerator, sink, oven, etc.; and the second shot was taken in front of my window with the cool-loooking brown shades (I’ve used that window in about 5 videos now, and it never gets old to me).

Once my shots were complete, I had to transport all the footage over from the MAC to the PC. Since King Kut’s footage was saved as a WMV file, I couldn’t load them up onto my MAC (and the converter costs money which I don’t feel the need to spend yet).  Meaning that, yes, I had to take the ol’ slow-acting laptop out of retirement for another video edit.  I started editing this bad boy at 6, and finished at 9 – not too long, but it would have been edited in about an hour on the MAC so… yeah, may have to get that converter soon after all!

After loading the footage onto the PC, I added some effects to my footage (since he already had effects on his), as well as to the new footage of King Kut.  You’ll have to see the video to see the effects themselves, but all in all the video came out fantastic!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I actually shot a whole segment on my Kodak camera with me wearing the Hampton Alum shirt.  Then, I went to get a haircut the next day prior to me shooting the second footage.  I didn’t want to be inconsistent, so I didn’t use it.

2. There is actually a dance I made up that goes with this song!  There are a few shots of it in the video, but I actually had a longer segment where the dance goes on longer so people can get a feel of it.  I may have to release another video showing off how to do the “Rock and Roll” dance!

3. In case you can’t read it too well, the shirt I’m wearing says “I used to have a six-pack.” Underneath is an empty plastic can-holder of what used to be a “six-pack.” Get it?!?

4. Editing time for this video: 3 to 4 hours, most of which was me waiting for pauses when my PC was trying to load the footage.  I’m SO glad I have a MAC!

That’s all for now – only 2 more videos left to go! See ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: APTsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: http://www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT

This week’s video is for the song “Ahead of the Rest,” produced by Vybe Beatz.

AVAILABLE ON A.P.T.’S “Welcome 2 Cali” Mixtape! Click HERE for download info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This is one of those songs where the ideas and lyrics for it came together rather quickly.  I was listening to beats over at Soundclick.com one day (for another project I’m working on that’s music-related but not A.P.T.-related) and when I came across this beat on producer Vybe Beatz page, I instantly liked it.

The name of the beat was called “Ahead of the Rest,” and I could hear why: it sounded like an instrumental that could have been used in a “Rocky” movie, very victorious-sounding in nature.  I downloaded it, and figured it would be a while before I thought up a chorus to it… but lo and behold, not long after I downloaded it, I had a chorus in my head!

Once I have a chorus for a beat, thinking up lyrics is usually pretty easy.  Since my chorus went with the theme of the title of the beat, i.e. being ahead of everybody else, all the lyrics of my song had to do was back that statement up.

And, not to brag, but within the last year, the amount of things I’ve been able to experience as a result of having a hit song… well, okay, so I haven’t really experienced a lot.  But, in comparison to the majority of people trying to get in the business, the fact that I’ve been able to do radio interviews, gain fans, and go from living in ATL to Cali and spend all my time and focus on building up my own business definitely puts me ahead of the majority. Thus, the song is rather fitting to my current – and, hopefully, future – way of life!

In terms of writing the song, the original plan was to collaborate with another person on the song.  I sent it to an MC named ____ who isn’t that well known but is hard on his grind right now.  He puts up songs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on his Facebook page, and, since the stuff he talks about is “real,” I figured he’d be a good match for the song.  Unfortunately, he never sent his verse back to me!  Luckily, while riding the bus one day I suddenly started thinking of words for a second verse, so it worked out good.  Still, my song is only two verses long, but the original beat goes on for a 3rd verse, so if he decides to jump on there WILL be a remix!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Since this is a “bragging” song, I tried to add in as many funny metaphors as I could to further the humiliation of my rap “opponents” who aren’t as far ahead in the game as I am.

2. The quote – “But I won’t let them take away my energy” – is sung in the style of Keri Hilson’s “Energy” song.  I point this out because I don’t know how many people heard that song – it’s an okay song, but I wanted to switch up me rapping for a small mock-singing part.

3. The hardest part of the song to write was the last two lines.  I knew I had to end it with a good punchline, but thinking of something that rhymed with “Atlas” that would still be funny was HARD.  Once I had it, though, it was a RAP! (Get it? A “rap?” Ha ha!)

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

I actually shot a video for this LAST week using my green screen blanket.  Unfortunately at the time, I hadn’t quite figured out (a) how to get the right lighting so that shadows wouldn’t appear on it; (b) how to hang said blanket without having wrinkles show up on it (thus making it a biznitch to try and remove later); and (c) how to edit it all together.  So, instead, I put up the “I Get Honeys” video (which has been doing well so far – no surprise there since it’s a parody of a 50 Cent song) and prayed to God that I’d be able to figure out how to edit a green screen video by this Sunday.

Lo and behold: I was blessed with another green screen, only this one was made of a material that couldn’t wrinkle.  I was also blessed to get the right lights to use to make the screen the same color, and finally learned how much distance I need to have away from the screen so my shadow won’t be all over the place.

Prior to re-filming the video on the new green screen, I started looking back at some of my older videos.  One of my favorite songs I’ve made was one called “Back to the Future,” a song where my present self calls up my future self to ask him if his future is going to be better than his life in the “now.”  My future self assures his “previous” self that things in his future will be even better than he can imagine.

I thought about this video, and how, much like I said to myself back then, things had definitely gotten better for me.  So, I thought it would be cool if my present self was now where my future self was in THAT video, and he calls him back up to tell him (a) that he was right, and that (b) how his life improved.

Of course, since it’s still “present” me calling up “future” me, it means that “future” me has to be doing even BETTER in his “now” than “present” me is doing.  The video ends with “future” me telling his “previous” self to get ready for even MORE great things… but of course, he can’t tell him exactly how that’ll happen.  Why? ‘Cause that chapter of my life hasn’t actually been written yet – but it will be!

As for the green screen: since this was my first video using it, I wanted to make the background simple. So, I found a bunch of pics that correlate with some of the lyrics of the song, as well as pics that give images of people being victorious.  I placed those pics together in a nice little video by themselves in my iMovie program to go along with the song; then I deleted the song, and exported the picture video by itself.  I was able to import that movie into the green screen background using my FXHome VisionLab Studio software. With the help of a few instructional YouTube videos, I was able to figure out how to remove the green screen and add in the picture video background.

The only problem I encountered was trying to figure out why the picture video – which was 3 minutes and 54 seconds – kept stretching out to almost 5+ minutes when I placed it under the video of me in front of the green screen.  Turns out, since the green screen video was over 5 minutes it was trying to match itself up with it.  However, there were parts of the beginning and ending of the video that didn’t have song parts, so all I had to do was click on the picture video’s file and make it go faster, i.e. back to its original link.

Yeah… so, all of the above was technical mumbo jumbo, but I know there are people who may read this and want to know what I use when I edit all this stuff.

All in all, a great video, and one that didn’t really take that long to edit – those are the best kind!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I took another subliminal shot at Tyga in this video – I show his picture during the part where I say, “These carbon-copy mini-me’s tryn’a ruin my synergy.” Why? ‘Cause he took my dang song and toured with it AND made money off it w/o giving me credit, and I’m still bitter about that sh-t, okay?!?

2. The phone “present” me is holding is actually one of the early cell phones from the 1990s.

3. In the video for “Back to the Future,” I had the scenes with “future” me edited using an effect that… well, I forget what it was called, but it took away all color and only left an outline of figures.  I did it that way to sybolize how people have an idea of what they want their future to look like (i.e. the outline) yet don’t always have the facts yet to see how that outline will be filled in.  For this one, I used the X-ray effect for “future” me’s scenes.  Why? Because my MAC doesn’t HAVE said outline feature like my PC did.  Yeah, it’s really THAT simple of an explanation.  Oh well – at least with the X-ray effect you still don’t get a detailed look at everything surrounding me.

4. The food on “future” me’s plate? Plastic fruit.  I figured I’d be using an effect that would cover up whatever it was I was eating, and I didn’t feel like making real food.  Actually, that’s a lie – I don’t have any real food in my apartment at the moment because I haven’t gone grocery shopping this week!

5. There’s a line where I say, “Some rappers spend their lives tryn’a do what I been doin’,” and there’s a picture of a guy in the background wearing an NYC hat. He’s a rapper named “Papoose.”  Yes, that part of the video is a slight dig, not just at him, but at ALL those rappers who were hyped up to be the “next best thing” yet couldn’t manage to get a hit the public could grab on to.  Meanwhile, I wasn’t even TRYING, and managed to come up with a worldwide SMASH.  Thus, the line, and thus, Papoose’s picture.

6. I actually shot footage of me rapping this song as “future” me, but I didn’t include it because (a) given how my MAC program doesn’t always edit out the sound when I add too many clips – even if I mute it – I didn’t want this to become an editing nightmare, and (b) after placing in the footage of me with the pics in the background, I realised that having the pictures change up would be enough of a distraction to make people “feel” like the scene was constantly changing.  Yes, the mind really IS that stupid.

7.  There are parts of the video where my blue vest becomes fuzzy, or shows static colors similar to the picture behind me.  The reason for this is simple: my Kodak camera, for all it’s been able to do for me, isn’t techincally designed to be doing high-end camera work.  As a result, it sometimes shoots stuff whereby the light reflectants show up.  In this case, since some of those light reflectants are green, and I used the FXHome program to key out all green colors, any green that reflects onto my vest gets taken out as well, thus having me look like I have holes in my body.  Can’t wait to get a REAL high-def camera, people!

8. Estimated editing time for this video… it doesn’t seem like it took a long time, but I know with editing out the green screen and figuring out how to sync everything, that part easily took 2 hours.  After that, pasting everything together didn’t really take that long – I did most of it while watching SNL, so that’s about another hour and a half… so, 3.5 hours in all!

That’s all for now! This song will be available on my NEW mixtape, “Welcome 2 Cali,” available Sunday, April 26, 2009!  See ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: APTsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: http://www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT