Tag Archive: obama mixtape


Ladies and Gentleman, I proudly present to you…

apt-cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.MySpace.com/NotoriousAPT

SoundClick: www.Soundclick.com/APT

First things first:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I LOVE when the first day of the year rolls around.  Since my birthday is on the 7th day of the new year (January 7, people!), I always feel like I get to do a proper re-setting of goals for the new year and focus on them for a collective 12-month period.  I’ve already made my goals for this year (see the blog before this), and I’m already working on getting them done.

As for my goal from last year, it’s still on-going.  I started this One-Song-a-Week site back in May 2008, and dedicated myself to posting up at least ONE music video every Sunday for a whole year.  That means, no matter what I have going on in my life, I still have to post a video up every week.

And man, oh man, have I been tested.

There have been some weeks where I couldn’t think of a video until the absolute last minute.  Other times I had various things going on – moving to a different city, work scheduling (I had to quit my most recent job just so I’d have time to edit the video), getting evicted (thanks a LOT, D.C. landlord), holidays, parties – that almost caused me to either not film a video or miss my deadline. 

And, of course, there were computer problems (my system has almost crashed a few times), camera loading problems (where the footage no longer would download into a Windows Media file), and internet problems (where I’d have to actually find a different place to load up a video when whatever one I was trying to use wasn’t working).

Yet, amazingly, I’ve managed to post up a video every single Sunday (and, in the case of video #15, “Shine 4 Obama,” Thursday) and have yet to not do so.  I came thiiiiiiis close to missing it with the video for “What We Do,” but still managed to get it posted by 11:55 PM!

You may ask yourself, “Geez, A.P.T., what’s with the craziness of having to put up a video EVERY Sunday, EXACTLY on Sunday? It’s not like anyone really cares?!?”

And to that, I’d say: you have NO idea how wrong you are.

But I’ll answer this question by first explaining this week’s video.  Up until today I had NO idea what the video was going to be.  Then, I had a fan write me and request I make a video for one of the songs off “The O-Bama Mixtape” that I hadn’t made one for yet.  After thinking about it for a day, I was able to come up with an idea for that song, and it will be this Sunday’s video.

However, had I not been dilligent in posting up a video every SUNDAY, this fan might not have even known when or if I was posting up any more videos beyond “O-bama O-bama.”  And had I not been advertising my mixtapes on these videos, he wouldn’t have downloaded it and become a fan of the song he requested a video for.

More importantly, though, keeping a promise to one’s self is proof that they can also keep their promise to others.  If, at the end of this thing, I’m able to go into an editing job or directing firm and say, “I made 52 videos for a year, and delivered them on the same day each week continuously,” it shows a dedication to doing something that few people are able to actually demonstrate.

The point is, when you commit yourself to doing something, it’s easy to bail out.  Heck, there have been plenty of times where I was like, “Maybe I should take a break for a week or two.” But since I made the proclamation of doing a video every week, I plan to keep filming them until #52 is done!

That’s all for now – see ya on Sunday!

-A.P.T.

Another week, another video in the can…

So, I’ve done 32 videos so far as part of this 52-week, year-long experiment, and, so far, the one that continues to get the most views is the remix I did to Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli,” “O-Bama O-Bama.”  The song continues to get comments on YouTube, both from my Youtube page and the countless others that have reposted the video (or, in many cases, just the song).

I don’t have a problem with this – as long as it keeps giving me exposure (and money, as the song continues to sell on this site – thanks for the help, everybody!), it’s all good – but I wish that some of my other videos would get the same amount of attention.  The “O-Bama O-Bama” video only took an hour to shoot – I have other videos that took most of my whole day to shoot, be it going to various locations or having a more interesting concept in terms of story-telling… I even have songs that, in my opinion, are better than the aforementioned song, or, at the very least, on par with it.

Of course, all of this is the “artsy” part of me.  Almost all artist who have that one hit song usually end up seeing it as a gift/curse.  Bobby McFerrin, the guy who did “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” was a musician who could play dozens of instruments; yet, to this day, he’s always been slightly pissed off that his greatest hit was, ironically enough, one that didn’t even use any!

Still, I think the main reason some of my other videos – the ones outside of my parodies, which ALWAYS get plenty of views – may not get as many views is because I’m not advertising properly. 

I see channels on YouTube with videos that get thousands of hits within the first day or two of being up – and these are people that aren’t “famous” like Diddy or Obama, but everyday Joes and Janes doing video blogs and/or other stupid stuff – and I always wonder what they did to grow that kind of audience.  I thought the “O-Bama O-Bama” would get people checking out my other stuff – and it did, but not on as large of a scale as I would like.

I’m learning more and more about how I can get word of my stuff out to other people on a larger scale, so I know I have some time.  And even if it doesn’t happen by the time I finish filming all my videos… well, the good part of that is, I plan on setting up another website where I can post up all my videos and then REALLY start to advertise them as a means of… hmm, on second thought, I’ll keep that to myself for now. 

The point is, since I’ve made a conscious effort to make the majority of my songs/videos about things that are always relatable and constantly current (minus all the “O-Bama” or “G.W. Bush” stuff), I can still advertise for my videos as a means of (a) showing off my talents and (b) other things I won’t yet mention.

And of course, if you’re reading this, it means I’ve, at the very least, figured out how to get a few loyal A.P.T. fans – all success has to start from somewhere, people!

As for this week’s video, I’m going out of town for the holidays to see my cousins – including the one who had a small line on one of my tracks on “The A.P.T. LP” – so, with any luck, I’ll be able to film a video for it (finally) thus completing my goal of filming a video for ALL the songs from that album.  Since it’s been a while since I’ve done any videos relating to that album, I’ll be adding the song as a bonus track for my next album, “The Great Black Hope,” dropping Wednesday, January 7th, 2009.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to advertise for the album.  Hmmm….

-A.P.T.

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Gentlemen and Ladies, to you I present proudly…

mixtape-cover-apt-presents-the-next-black-president-aka-back-on-my-grind

THE NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT (a.k.a. BACK ON MY GRIND) – The BRAND NEW A.P.T. Mixtape!

Featuring the hits: “Go Hard Remix” with DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain, plus “O-bama O-Bama MegaRemix” with Tyga, “#1” with Jay-Z, “Where My Money At” and More!

Click http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=223462  to download! (For mixtape insights, scroll down below the track listing!)

Track Listing for “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back on My Grind)” (Highlighted links have a music video for that song!):

01. Intro – The First Black President (feat. Barack Obama and Katie Couric)
02. The Next Black President – Produced by Chris I
03. Back on My Grind – Produced by SINIMA Beats
04. Killed the Beat (feat. Myxtape) – Produced by Myxtape
05. Shine 4 Obama (feat. Luther Vandross)
06.#1 (feat. Jay-Z) – Produced by ME!
07. Go Hard – The Unofficial Remix (DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain) 
08. Another Unnecessary Interlude
09. Crank Dat (Yeah!) – Produced by Fire Kraka 
10. Your Mom’s a Ho! – Produced by Mister KA
11. You Ashy (feat. Black & Broke) – Produced by Black & Broke
12. Where My Money At – Produced by Mister KA/ 
13. Get Your Paper (feat. Paul Ma$$on)
14. Interlude – T-Pain Sings “O-bama O-bama” on 106 & Park
15. O-Bama Mega-remix (feat. Tyga) – Produced by ME!
16. Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father) – Produced by SINIMA Beats 
17. BONUS: A Rhymestyle Podcast Interview with A.P.T.
18 .BONUS: The A.P.T. LP Preview (Short Version)
19. Outro for The Next Black President

INSIGHT INTO A MIXTAPE:

First, I want to thank everyone who downloaded “The O-Bama Mixtape,” and/or purchased “The A.P.T. LP!“  It’s been my dream for a few years now to expose my music to a wide audience, and, between these two albums, I have been able to fulfill a good portion of that dream (the other part, of course, is being able to make a living off it – I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working on it daily!)

It’s funny how things come about in life – I wanted to get noticed in the music biz, so I started this website with the goal of putting out ONE music video a week, every Sunday, for a year.  Video/song number five, “O-bama O-bama,” was a song I put together almost as a joke, yet it ended up becoming WAY more popular than I could have imagined.

As a result of its sudden popularity, I had people asking me when I’d be putting out a mixtape.  At the time, I was only on song number 7 or 8 so it hadn’t dawned on me to even put out a mixtape of full songs, as I was concentrating on just doing ONE song a week.

But lo and behold: I started making more songs, and thought: “Hmm… instead of making all these songs and putting them out one by one as the videos were made, maybe it would be a better idea to release the music first, THEN make videos for the songs on the albums so that they’d be fresh and new for people being exposed to them each week, thereby making them want the song THEN verses LATER!”

“The O-Bama Mixtape” was put together in a quick amount of time – almost 2 weeks – but I was able to do it fast because I had been recording material throughout the months prior, and didn’t really have to record that much new stuff.  I also knew that, given the momentum of the song, it would be a great way to let people hear my talent outside of just parody songs (even though I put quite a few parodies on the mixtape).

Long story short: “The O-Bama Mixtape” was released on July 27th, 2008.  Prior to the week of the election, it had been downloaded over 1300 times. 

I was pretty happy with that number, though I was still wishing that more people had gotten it.  I didn’t know too much about the rate at which mixtapes get downloaded, so I just assumed that 1300 was a good number, given that not too many people knew who I was.  Plus, I assumed it was bootlegged by even MORE people – hey, it was free anyway, so what did I care how people got it in their hands?!?

And then, the week of the election came.  On the website, I’m able to check my blog stats daily (i.e. the number of people stopping by to view my site), and I noticed that, as election night neared, I was starting to get more and more traffic to my website.  Between September and the end of October the daily rates had gone down to about 200-300 people per day… but during the election week, the numbers were shooting up into the late hundreds, then the lower thousands.

I also started to notice that “The O-Bama Mixtape” was starting to pick up numbers in terms of downloads.  It went from 1300 to – and I’m not making this up – 2450 the day of the election!  As of now, it’s been downloaded over 3000 times (and I’m pretty sure that number will go up even more once Obama’s Inauguration time comes around!)

More importantly, though, my album, “The A.P.T. LP,” was starting to sell units!  In the week that Obama was elected, I sold about 25 copies of the album, both the MP3 version AND a few mail-order CDs.

On the day before the election, the number of viewers at my site was around 2000.  It was then that I realized I had yet another opportunity to let people know about my music – all I had to do was advertise for it, and make people aware of some new product I had coming out…

Only problem was: I didn’t HAVE anything coming out!

I had nothing planned – no new album, no merchandise, NOTHING.  Clearly, I had to think of something…

I looked through the catalogue of songs I had to see if I had enough to put together a new mixtape that I could advertise.  As it turns out, I actually had MORE than enough songs to put together a decent mixtape, plus I had beats for songs not yet written, save for the chorus in many occasions.

I also had some collaborations stored up that hadn’t yet seen the light of day.  Back when the “O-Bama O-Bama” song came out, I posted a video on Youtube telling people to e-mail me if they wanted to do a collaboration.  I ended up recording 2 “official” collaborations – one with Myxtape on the track, “Killed the Beat” and one with Black and Broke for “You Ashy” – plus an unofficial collabo with Paul Ma$$on on a song he did called “Get Your Paper.” 

Lastly, there were songs I had made videos for – “Your Mom’s a Ho!”, “Where My Money At,” “Smile 4 Dad,” and more – that hadn’t been placed on any of my mixtapes.  Some of these were songs I released prior to “O-Bama O-Bama” though, so they didn’t get much exposure.  And, because I don’t have the lease rights to these beats, I wasn’t able to sell them (or else I would have put them on “The A.P.T. LP”), but per the beat holders’ site rules, they COULD be used for mixtapes!

Once I decided that I could actually put together a mixtape, all I had to do was think of a name.  That part was actually easy: “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind).”  I figured if Obama won the election it would be a great title to use (and if he lost, I could just call it the First Black President instead).  As for the tag line – Back on My Grind – it was the name given to the beat I used for the second song.

I placed an ad up for it the night before the election.  And I’m glad I did – the next day, my site was viewed over 4,000 times! And, in the days that followed, my views hovered above the 1500 per day mark, meaning that more and more people were being told of the news about my upcoming mixtape!

And now it’s here!  I actually finished this whole thing a couple of days early, so I spent the last few days mixing, mastering, and even recording a new song – the “Go Hard (Unofficial Remix)” – that I ended up making the first video off the mixtape!

Now for the fun stuff!  For those of you who like mini-insights into songs, here are the tracks with all the commentary you could shake a stick at!

TRACK 01: Intro – The First Black President (feat. Barack Obama and Katie Couric)

My last mixtape started off with O-Bama talking about why he was running.  Now that he won, I thought it would be a good idea to recall that historic night with a news announcement of the win as well as part of his acceptance speech.

TRACK 02: The Next Black President (Produced by Chris I)

The beat on this one is siiiiick!  As for the song, it basically talks about how I feel I can achieve anything now that he’s in office, including being the NEXT Black President!  Incidentally, the chorus of the song is inspired by Diddy – in one of his songs on the “Press Play” album, he says: “The potential to be the first Black President/I-tunes, download me in every residence.”  Seemed fitting to use here!

TRACK 03: Back On My Grind (Produced by SINIMA Beats)

This is what I call a “Fighter Track.”  It’s one where you just pummel the beat over and over with words, almost to the point of over-whelming it.  When I heard the beat, I knew that’s how I had to go at it.  The song’s not really saying anything – just showing my skill and talking about how I’m still handling my biz!

TRACK 04: Killed The Beat (feat. Myxtape) (Produced by Myxtape)

An artist named Myxtape sent me this track and asked me to spit vocals on it.  His only instruction: “Make sure you kill it!” So, I took him literally, and killed the beat!  His verse on here is pretty sick, too – you can check out more of his songs at www.myspace.com/myxtape!

TRACK 05: Shine 4 Obama (feat. Luther Vandross)

After the “O-Bama O-Bama” song got big, people started trying to make their own versions and claim it as their own.  My uncle thought it would be a good idea to create another Obama song, only for the grown and sexy crowd (and a song that was a little less crass – no mentioning of Michelle’s behind in this one!).  I found this Luther Vandross track called “Shine” and made a song called “Shine 4 Obama.”

TRACK 06: #1 (feat. Jay-Z) (Produced by ME!)

I actually recorded this track back in 2005!  I recorded some accapella vocals from various Jay-Z songs, and sampled the music from the Guile fighting stage ot “Street Fighter II” (yes, I look for samples EVERYWHERE!!) to make this song!  It’s basically me talking about how I’m better than everyone else.  Typical rap track, with a not-so-typical soundtrack!

TRACK 07: Go Hard – The Unofficial Remix (DJ Khaled, Kanye West and T-Pain) (Produced by The Runners)

I heard this song quite a few times in the past week, and became such a fan of it that I HAD to do a remix to it!  This was the last track I recorded for the mixtape – I basically found the song, found the beat, and edited it to where Kanye’s first verse was left in tact, while the second verse was blank for me to spit lyrics about how hard I go on the mic.  How hard it is?  Listen to the song/watch the video to find out!

TRACK 08: Another Unnecessary Interlude

An unnecessary interlude, talking about dumb stuff.

TRACK 09: Crank Dat (Yeah!) (Produced by Fire Kraka)

This was the ninth video I recorded for YouTube.  It was one of those songs where I heard the beat, started freestyling some dumb lyrics, and thought it would be good to put out just to show that I could make those types of songs (even though I usually don’t).  Lo and behold, it became one of my more popular videos on YouTube.  And as they always say, “Give the people what they want!” I recorded it because every time I went to a club, people were doing the “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” dance to EVERY song.  Thus, the chorus of this song – “No matter what the song, you gotta crank that (yeah!)”

TRACK 10: Your Mom’s a Ho! (Produced by Mister KA)

This was the third song I made into a video.  It talks about your mom.  And guess what? She’s a ho.

TRACK 11: You Ashy (feat. Black & Broke)

These were the very first guys to ask me about doing a collaboration.  The song concept itself was funny, and I only had to write 8 bars worth of lyrics, so I said, “Sure!”  The song talks about… well, people being ashy! Put some lotion on your skin!  You can check out their stuff at www.myspace.com/blackbroke.

TRACK 12: Where My Money At (Produced by Mister KA)

This song was the eighteenth music video I recorded.  Actually, I recorded it BEFORE I started my sight, but I post it up much later.  Sadly, this song is based on a true story: I had a money deal go bad involving some iphones that turned out to be fake, and I was so mad that I wanted to find the guy and beat his ass.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it in REAL life, so I did it in a song instead!

TRACK 13: Get Your Paper (feat. Paul Ma$$on)

Another collabo, only not originally requested by the artist.  Paul Ma$$on sent the track out to a bunch of people; however, he only recorded over the first two verse parts of the song – the third verse area was left completely blank!  So, since I had a music program and liked the song/beat, I recorded a verse over the untouched area of the song and sent it back to him.  When it came time to put songs together for this mixtape, I asked him if I could use it, and he said, “Sure!”  Mr. Ma$$on is a REALLY good artist, and you should hear some of his other song – which you can, at www.myspace.com/PaulMa$$on!

TRACK 14: Interlude – T-Pain Sings “O-Bama O-Bama” on 106 & Park

Just like the title says: T-Pain went on 106 & Park, and, while talking to the hosts about registering to vote, guess what song he starts singing?!?

TRACK 15: O-bama Mega-remix (feat. Tyga) (Produced by ME!)

So what happened was this: I created the song, and provided it for a FREE download.  Another guy on YouTube took the “O-Bama O-Bama” part of the song where there is NO music, and made his own “O-Bama O-Bama” beat, only with a more southern bounce to it.  Tyga contacted the guy and asked him for the beat so he could make his own “Obama” song, promising the guy he’d give him and me a shout-out.

Long story short: He made his song, I got NO shout out.  Worse, people started questioning if I was the original creator – despite the fact that it’s ME saying “O-bama O-bama” in the background!

Unfortunately, I don’t have the clout yet to go around suing everyone who steals my good ideas.  At the same time, I thought it would be a bit hypocritical of me to be mad about him stealing my song, seeing as I got the idea from Bangladesh’s original beat and Lil’ Wayne’s original song.  (I was more mad about the fact that he was able to perform the song in front of LIVE audiences and get PAID, while I was not.)

So, instead, I decided to fuse the two versions together and create an “O-bama Mega-remix!”

TRACK 16: Smile 4 Dad (Letter 2 My Father) (Produced by SINIMA Beats)

A song I created the week of Father’s Day, and the fourth song I directed a music video for.  It’s a love-letter to my father, who passed away when I was 9. 

TRACK 17: BONUS TRACK – A.P.T. Podcast Interview With Rhymestyle

This is a bonus track for those interested to learn a bit more about me.  Rhymestyle, a rising music industry insider, has a pod cast show he does almost every Friday, and back in August he asked me if he could interview me for the show.  Uh… heck yeah!  The questions and conversation are pretty interesting, so it’s definitely worth a listen!

TRACK 18: BONUS TRACK – “The A.P.T. LP” Preview

Why? Because I’m still trying to earn money, that’s why!  It’s a mini-sampler of 5 songs from “The A.P.T. LP!”
And that’s it!  I hope you all enjoy the mixtape, and be on the lookout for my next official album, “The Great Black Hope,” out Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 – i.e. my BIRTHDAY!!

-A.P.T.


Above: My YouTube “non”-ad for “I Voted For O-Bama! O-Bama!” Merchandise!

Another week, another video in the can…

Did you notice something about the last video? Did you see the shirt I was wearing?

That’s right – it’s the “I Voted For O-Bama! O-Bama!” long sleeve shirt!

The shirt I wore in the “Stop Cock-Blockin'” video is one I made at home using iron-on transfer paper and a crappy iron. For this reason, the part where Obama’s picture is on my shirt looks kinda faded, as it did not transfer on 100%.

HOWEVER, the shirt that YOU would order will be professionally pressed! It’s the perfect shirt to wear to celebrate Obama’s historic victory!  It will also make for a very good item to wear around Inauguration time!

I also have mugs, hats, a mousepad, sweatshirts, and T-Shirts (Men’s and Women’s) available – just go to www.cafepress.com/APTsongs for all the info (pricing, descriptions, etc.)!

Because I’m selling them through Cafe Press, they will make the shirt and send it to you automatically. Basic shipping is relatively low in price, and they also offer faster shipping methods as well!

If you have any questions, contact me at aptsongs@wordpress.com!

-A.P.T.

obama-shirt-long

Above: The “I Voted For O-Bama! O-Bama!” T-shirt!  Available in all sizes!
Short-sleeve, sweatshirts, mugs, hats, and iron-on press design also available – click
HERE for info!

This week’s music video is for the song, “Stop Cockblockin’!!” from “The A.P.T. LP,” produced by ME!!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

This is one of my all-time favorite original songs that I’ve written – yet, like many of my songs, it actually started off as a parody!

Let’s travel back in time to spring of 2007, when an artist named Huey had a humongous hit song called “Pop, Lock, and Drop It.” The song was playing just about everywhere, from the clubs to the radio – yet, because I had neither a car or went out clubbing too much (nor did I watch too much TV at the time), I had NO idea of the song’s existence.

I think I was at home one day when I finally saw the video for it on B.E.T., and found the song to be annoying but infectious. Sure enough, I found myself singing its chorus – the title of the song said over and over again – on a daily basis.

And when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before I start thinking of my own words to put in place of the original words.

Sure enough, I soon changed “Pop, Lock and Drop It” to “Cockblockin’? Stop it!” I thought it was pretty funny, and I envisioned a parody of the original song where I’d be telling a girl’s friend to stop blocking any action from taking place.

One problem with parodies, though, is that, if you can’t remake the original beat to a song, you can’t legally sell it. However, for some odd reason, copyright law allows you to do a parody of a song without having to pay the original person royalties, so long as you are able to remake the beat and have it sound slightly different from its song of origin. This is why I could make “Obama Obama” and sell it – I wrote the words and remade the beat.

With Huey’s song, though, I didn’t really want to go through the hassle of having to remake a beat. Sure, it sounded simple enough to remake, but I thought, “Why do that when I could just make an original song instead?”

I didn’t really plan on making a beat for the song, but I was fooling around on Fruity Loops one day, and ended up making a bouncy-type dirty south beat that I thought would go perfect with the song. Of course, at the time, all I had was the chorus – “Stop Cockblockin’! Stop Cockblockin’! Stop actin’ like a punk and stop cockblockin’!” – so I knew I’d have to fill the verses in with words of some kind.

Luckily – or unluckily, depending on how you look at it – coming up with words wasn’t that hard. I just thought back to all those times I went to the club where I’d be trying to talk to a girl, and her girlfriends would come up and ruin the flow of the conversation… or, if we were dancing, they would completely interrupt our good time and take her friend way from me.

For example: in college, I was at a party, and I walked up to this girl, and we started dancing. She looked back at me (it’s the look girls always do to see if the guy they are dancing with is attractive enough for them to continue on with) and kept on dancing. We were having a good time…

…and then, out of no where, her girlfriend runs up to her, yells “NOOOOOO!” like it was a bad drama movie, and pulled her girlfriend away from me!!!

So… yeah. Needless to say, the song wasn’t that hard to write 🙂

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. For the chorus, I always envisioned having Lil’ Jon for the vocals. Of course, I’m not famous enough yet to be in the same circle as Lil’ Jon, so I’m basically doing the best Lil’ Jon-sounding voice I possibly can. If anyone knows how I can get in touch with Lil’ Jon, PLEASE let me know – I’d still love him to be on the chorus!

2. The person doing the woman’s part in the song is my friend Michele, a.k.a. Ms. Theory. She has been a great help in many of my song projects, including “Crank Dat (Yeah!)” and as the voice of the girl breaking our date in the “Back to the Future” video.

3. The last line of the second verse is said similar in style to the last line in Huey’s “Pop, Lock, and Drop It.” The last line in that song went, “…. pop, lock and drop it,” and mine goes “So you can tell your friend that if she’s cockblockin’, stop it.” I believe I actually had this line of the song first before I went back and wrote the rest of the verses!

4. I was originally going to make this song 3 verses, with verse 3 being a chant of some kind. But the song was already approaching 4 minutes. In the world of music, it’s important to know when you should add more to a song, and when you should go ahead and finish it up, and I think this one was fine having only 2 verses.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

Man, oh man. I’ve wanted to shoot a video for this song for the longest time, and I’ve had DOZENS of ideas for what I wanted to do.

First, I wanted to film it with me walking out of a club, screaming, then walking down the street filming myself mouthing the words to the song. Only problem: I don’t have an MP3 player, and trying to carry a laptop while carrying a camera AND mouthing song words was NOT going to be possible.

Second, I wanted to film it as though I had just gotten home from the club, frustrated that I didn’t get any, and I was going to sit down at my laptop and blog an angry post about it. But that seemed too… boring.

Third, I was going to try and either get one of my friends or my brother to be in it, and I’d act like I was telling them the story of what happened at the club the night before. Only problem: let’s just say, coordinating times with people for when I want them to do stuff is always a problem, and at this point I’d just rather do everything myself since I know I can rely on me to do the takes how I want AND do it at the time I’d like it done.

Finally, I settled on an idea – I would film it in our downstairs bathroom, and act like I was at still at the club but phoning my friend to tell him that I was about to take a girl home.

Then, before I started filming, I remembered that the second verse of the song has me talking to the girl as if I wasn’t trying to take her home. How could I say the verse in the video if I was still at the club, and hadn’t actually taken her home yet?

Then it dawned on me: I could act like I already took her home, and that the lines I said to her at the club made her comfortable enough to go home with me. Genius!!

After much setting up of camera angles, I was able to post my camera on a box sitting on a towel bar to film myself doing the song in the bathroom. After I filmed there, I went to the kitchen to film the “wilin’ out” version of me (i.e. the crazy version of me doing the song, as opposed to the more subdued version in the bathroom).

As for my clothes in the video, they consist of blue jeans, a U.S.A. jacket I bought from some store in Hampton, VA that no longer exists…

…and my very own self-made “I Voted For O-Bama! O-Bama!” t-shirt!

Part of the reason I held off on making the video was because I wanted to have this T-shirt to wear in it so I could start selling it. I wanted to do a test run of it first, though, to see if the shirt would actually sell. So, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a long-sleeve shirt ($5), 2 short-sleeve shirts ($8), and some iron-on paper.

Once I got home, I came up with a nice-looking design (which is COPYRIGHT-protected – I WILL sue if I find out copies were made) and test-ironed it onto the short-sleeve shirts…

…and the designs didn’t stick too well. “Aw crap,” I thought to myself, “so much for THAT idea!”

2 days later, though, I wanted to give it one more try. So, I got out the long-sleeve shirt this time, and ironed the design on the shirt. Lo and behold, it worked this time! (Well, most of the way, anyway).

So now, I have “I Voted For O-Bama! O-Bama!” T-shrits available for sale in the merchandise section! (NOTE: If you buy the shirt, it will NOT be an iron-on, but a professional printing of the shirt. The iron-on was just for testing purposes so people would know what the shirt they are buying would look like).

Lastly, since I was going to be selling Obama-related stuff, I thought it would be funny to do a re-enactment of the club scene using political figures. For this reason, I put together stick puppets using familiar politcal figures’ faces.  The part of me in the story retelling is played by “Obama,” while the girl being hit on is played by “Michele” and the cock-blockin’ girlfriend is – who else – “Hillary!” (I’m sure Bill Clinton would agree with Hillary being a cock-blocker!)

All in all, this was a fun video to make for a song I absolutely love!

Some Insights Into the Video Shoot:

1. I shot most of this thing at 1 AM in the morning on Wednesday, while the rest of my housemates were asleep!

2. The bathroom used in the video is the downstairs half-bathroom. There is also a bathroom upstairs, but it has a tub in it. I was originally going to act like the bathroom was in the club, and I don’t believe many clubs have bathrooms with tubs in it!

3. Many of the ideas or things used in this video are throwbacks to other videos I’ve done. The bathroom-as-location idea? Also used in “Shout Out 2 My Big Girls” (video #2) and “It’s Over” (video #8). The Kanye West glasses? Also used in video #2. Me talking on the phone? Also used in “Back to the Future” (video #6). I guess this is what happens after you’ve filmed 28 videos!

4. The design for the “I Voted For O-bama! O-Bama!” shirt was ironed on. However, since I still haven’t quite figured out how to get the design to stick 100%, some of the lettering had to be touched up using permanent marker. Again, for the actual shirts being sold, it’s being made professionally, but I didn’t want to spend excessive money on ONE shirt if it ended up not selling. Let’s hope it does!!

5. I was going to use popsicle sticks for the backing of the puppets, but I had no idea where to buy them without having to buy actual popsicles – and, given how cold the weather has been, I was definitely NOT going to do that! So, I found a cardboard box instead and cut out thin rectangles to glue their faces to.  Genius!

6. Estimated time for video editing: I can’t remember.  I was editing the video while doing other stuff throughout the course of the day.  Now that I’ve moved to D.C. I’ve actually picked up a social life, so I’m usually editing something then getting interupted to go hang out.  If I had to guess, though, I’d say about 4 or 5 hours.

That’s all for now! Incidentally, I only have ONE more video to shoot for the songs off my album – still have no idea what the video will look like, but here’s hoping I think of something soon!

-A.P.T.

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT


Above: A video telling people to come here and download “The A.P.T. EP.”  Although, now that you’re here, it seems kinda pointless to watch it, huh?

Back in 2003, I decided I wanted to put together a CD.  I used to do remakes of other people’s songs for my out messages on my answering machine, and thought it would be cool to put together a collection of those songs.  Instead, I decided to come up with some new paordy songs, throw in a few original songs, and call it “The A.P.T. EP.” Because I was going to try and use it as my demo for record companies, I added the tag, “This is ONLY a Demo.”

I made the CD and released it in February of 2004.  Of course, I only released it on campus at Hampton University… but still, I was able to sell a few copies, which gave me enough confidence to believe that people would actually pay for my music.

Then I graduated.  And I lost all the CD copies of “The A.P.T. EP.”  And, a couple of years later, the computer I had all the music files stored on crashed.  As far as I was concerned, the music would never be heard from again, except for “Bust My G.A.T.,” which I managed to save (and have, thus far, put on all my albums except for “The O-Bama Mixtape).

Then, I went home the last week in October to help my Mom move.  In looking through some of my old stuff, I managed to come across a couple of copies of “The A.P.T. EP!”  I was so happy to find them and listen to them again – man, did I sound young and inexperienced! – and decided I should put them here on the website as a FREE download!

So, if you’d like to download “The A.P.T. EP (This is ONLY a Demo),” you can click HERE, or on the Merchandise tab above!

Track Listing for “The A.P.T. EP (This is ONLY a Demo)”:

  1. This is ONLY an Intro
  2. Imma Skitzo
  3. Failing (Eminem “Without Me” Parody)
  4. An Interview w/DMX (f. Mr. Smallwood)
  5. Bust My G.A.T.
  6. Phone Skit #1
  7. What Do I Do?
  8. Phone Skit #2
  9. Playa Hate (Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” Parody)
  10. This is ONLY an Interlude
  11. It’s All Graaavy
  12. Why, Kobe? (Tupac “Hail Mary” Parody)
  13. Phone Skit #3
  14. C.U.Next.Tuesday
  15. This is ONLY an Outro
  16. BONUS: Girls at Hampton’s Dorm

Don’t forget – the offical new A.P.T. mixtape, “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back on My Grind),” drops December 2, 2008!

-A.P.T.


Above: A.P.T. will be interviewed/co-hosting an internet radio show, BlazeRadio!  LIVE, tonight at 8PM EST/7 CST.  Click the video for info on how to hear it on iTunes!!


These days, I get a LOT of fan mail.  Most of it is from the comments I receive on my videos courtesy of YouTube, but I also get messages from people requesting certain services from me (collaborations, beat usage, etc.)


Occasionally, I’ll get an offer to be interviewed.  These are the messages I like best because they allow me to get the word out about my music and stuff that I’m selling.  And such is the case with one of my recent messages: this college radio broadcast from Alabama – www.blazeradio.org– has asked if they could interview me for their show.  Being that Barack Obama won the election – and, being that I made the oh-so-popular “Obama Obama” song – they want to interview me.


I thought that was pretty cool… but it turns out, they’d also like me to co-host the show for the first hour!  So, I will be calling in to the show to do that tomorrow!


I’m spreading the word out so that others can hear the broadcast if they so choose to do so.  Tell your friends, and pass along the video – it tells you everything you need to know about when the interview starts, where you can hear it and how to listen to it.


That’s all for now!


-A.P.T.


E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com


MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT


Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Above: Obama Wins. What else needs to be said??

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

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

So, how have I done so far?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s just hope I can pull it off…

-A.P.T.