Tag Archive: Obama


Well, it’s finally here…

Introducing my NEW A.P.T. album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style!” Click the picture above or HERE to preview/order the album on iTunes!

Track listing:

  1. The Next Black President
  2. Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)
  3. I Wanna Do Nicki Minaj
  4. Imma Fool Wit It feat. Kaptain Kutta
  5. I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney (We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together Parody)
  6. Words With Friends
  7. Pick Up Your Face feat. Johney Capo and DJ-T
  8. Christmas in Paris (Ni**as in Paris Parody)
  9. Zone Out
  10. Your Mama Is So Ugly
  11. Obama Milli Remix 2012 (A Milli Parody)
  12. Rich Man’s World
  13. Ooh, I’m a Model feat. Genellyn
  14. Black President (Rack City Parody)

Insights into the album:

In 2008 when I released the first “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I had NO idea what I was doing in terms of how to market myself. I had a hot song out at the time with “Obama Milli Remix” but didn’t really know how to capitalize on it or the wave of momentum it had. I released the album as a free mixtape, thinking only a few people would download it and that nobody would want to pay for it.

Fast-forward to the day of the election, and I wake up to find that the mixtape got downloaded over 8000 times… in ONE day.  doing the math, had I decided to charge for the mixtape and only 10% of those people – 800 – had decided to purchase the album, I would have made close to $5,000 in ONE day.

Ever since then, I’ve always wished I could (a) have another out that would hit as hard as “Obama Milli Remix” did, and (b) have another shot at marketing and promoting the album in a way where it would make an impact AND bring in some money.

Fast-forward 4 years later…

I knew I wanted to make a sequel to “The O-bama Mixtape,” but didn’t want to do it if it was going to be a waste of my time. I released a few songs earlier this year about Obama, but none of them were getting the views I felt would be needed to put the album together.

Then, in August, I heard about this song called “Gangnam Style” by a Korean pop artist named Psy.  After seeing the video – which had over 100 million views at the time (and has over 200 million now) – I KNEW I wanted to make a parody of it. I go into further detail in one of my earlier blogs, but in short: I came up with the idea to make a song about Obama using this song, then went and made an EPIC video for it that closely mimicked the original source material.

Well, after I put it up on YouTube, it started to get views. A LOT of views. In the first week alone, the video garnered well over 50,000 views. As of this writing it’s up to 95,000…

More importantly, though, the speed at which the views racked up have been FASTER than they were for “Obama Milli Remix.”  I already had “Vote Obama Style” up on iTunes (which, thus far, has been getting a LOT of purchases, but I won’t know how many until November), but wanted some of my other Obama songs to get attention as well.

I hadn’t really recorded enough songs lately for a new album (except for “Imma Fool Wit It,” originally released by Kaptain Kutta earlier this year – I just jumped on the beat ’cause I liked it and the song was siiiiick!). However, I HAD released a mixtape last year – “Justin Beeber Must Die!” – that had a lot of good songs on it but didn’t get the attention I wanted. I also had recorded songs earlier this year for the “Rapping My Life” project that fizzled out.

Since not many people had heard these songs, I figured “Hey, why not take some of those songs, mix them together with your Obama parody songs, and put the album up on iTunes?”

Okay, great idea – but what would I call the album?

This is where having a knowledge of the marketplace comes in. The original title was going to be “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Back in the White House.” However, with Psy’s “Gangnam Style” becoming a bigger hit by the day, I knew I wanted my songs to pop up in the iTunes search engine when people went there to find his song. In order to do that, my songs also had to have the same wording in it. Of course, I couldn’t name every song “Gangnam Style” parody…

BUT… I COULD place that title in MY album title so it would be attached to all the songs!

And thus, the OFFICIAL album title is… “A.P.T. Presents – The O-bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)!”

Now, some of you may be familiar with my previous works, including the songs that reappear on this album. For those not familiar, though, here’s a brief synopsis of all the songs:

1. NEXT BLACK PRESIDENT – First appeared on the “The Next Black President” mixtape. It talks about how Blacks now have a better shot at being President thanks to Obama.

2. VOTE OBAMA STYLE – A parody of “Gangnam Style” talking about Obama’s reelection campaign, as well as my disdain for Romney.

3. I WANNA DO NICKI MINAJ – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. Discusses my desire for wanting the hottest rap female in the game!

4. IMMA FOOL WIT IT – First appeared on Kaptain Kutta’s “Red Dream 3” mixtape (I think). Just a track where we’re slick-talking about how good/crazy we are!

5. I’M NEVER EVER GONNA VOTE FOR ROMNEY – A parody of Taylor Swift’s “We’re Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Talks about Romney’s habit of flip-flopping his views.

6. WORDS WITH FRIENDS – First appeared on the “Rapping My Life” album. The beat was made using sounds from the actual game, and talks about how good I am at beating people in it.

7. PICK UP YOUR FACE – Features Johney Capo and my bro DJ-T. First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. A track for all the haters out there that didn’t believe we’d make it!

8. CHRISTMAS IN PARIS – A parody of Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Ni**as in Paris.” Features me as Santa Claus talking to kids about why they’re not getting gifts this year.

9. ZONE OUT – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. A song about having the worst day possible and trying to relax afterward.

10. YOUR MAMA IS SO UGLY – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. There’s a joke that says you can tell how fine a girl will be when she’s older by looking at her mom. This song talks about that…

11. OBAMA MILLI REMIX 2012 – A parody of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli.” Ever since I made the first “Obama Milli Remix” people have been asking me to make a sequel FOREVER. And so, here it is, with basically the same words plus some changes to talk about Romney instead of John McCain.

12. RICH MAN’S WORLD – First appeared on the “Justin Beeber Must Die” mixtape. Talks about the ups and downs of making it.

13. OOH, I’M A MODEL – Featuring Genellyn.  I wanted to make a minimalistic track that didn’t have many words to it, that girls could also dance to.

14. BLACK PRESIDENT – A parody of Tyga’s “Rack City.” That bastard stole my “Obama Milli Remix” song from me back in 2008, so this is light revenge for that. LoL. But really, it’s a GREAT track talking about re-electing Obama for President.

And that’s it! You can download the songs individually, or get the album – either way, I appreciate your support, and hope you enjoy the songs!

-A.P.T.

Get the album NOW – click HERE!


Above: NEW song, “Goodbye Bush (Na Na Na),” an ode to G.W. Bush leaving the White House! FREE download at http://www.4shared.com/file/81716173/f6ec79ea/APT_-_Goodbye_Bush__Nah_Nah_Nah_.html!

Also available on “The Next Black President” mixtape – FREE Download at: http://www.zshare.net/download/5455995741ddef5e/

Lastly, you can now download the VIDEO to re-post on YouTube!
http://www.zshare.net/video/5453399977ea009e

* * * * *

On Sunday, May 25, 2008, I, A.P.T., started this “One-Song-a-Week” website as a means of promoting my music. The objective: to release one song/music video every Sunday for ONE year.

On Sunday, June 21, I released a video for song #5 – a parody of Lil’ Wayne’s popular song, “A Milli,” called “O-bama O-bama.”

And since then, nothing for me has been the same…


Above: Video #5 of 52: My parody of Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli,” “O-bama O-bama” (re-dubbed “Obama Milli” by the public at large. No, really!)

Video for “Obama Milli” Now Available for FREE Download!  Click HERE for more info!

6 months later, and this continues to be my most popular song. To say it had an impact in the music world would be an understatement. It has been played globally, both on YouTube and radio stations worldwide. It has been re-posted on a countless number of websites and heard or seen by MILLIONS of people. And – most importantly – it actually changed the minds of people who were John McCain supporters, and convinced them to vote for Barack Obama instead.

Not too bad, considering I recorded the song and video in a small studio apartment in Atlanta, GA, using a talk radio microphone and a Kodak 6.1 Mega-pixel camera meant mostly for taking pictures!

I don’t really like to hype myself up too much. At the same time, though, I recognize that people are still trying to find the song, filming YouTube videos to it, or wondering “Who the heck ARE those A.P.T. guys?!?” (Sorry to disappoint, but there’s only ONE A.P.T., though sometimes I wish I WERE a group so I could have a camera guy!)

So, this page is exclusively set up for those searching for all things “Obama Milli”-related. Below, you’ll find:

  • A link to the page where I give insights into the creation of the song/video
  • Links where you can purchase the song via my albums or the single itself
  • Other Obama-Related songs made by me
  • Hilarious and/or creative YouTube re-creations of “Obama Milli” by others!
  • My feelings about others claiming my song as theirs (I’m talking about YOU, Tyga!)

Lastly, people always ask me, How much money are you making off the song?” After all, it’s been played all around the world, and major artists and radio D.J.s have either tried to make their version or used it for their radio promos.

And the answer is: not much.

Aside from selling copies here at my site and on my albums, I really never set out to make money on the song. My only goal was to figure out a way to get my face in the music game and use all my songs as a means of doing that, THEN get paid. And, while I may not have initially made a huge amount of money off this particular song, it IS starting to pay off (in ways I can’t yet talk about… ooh, suspense and mystery!).

Besides, I made a song that helped convince enough people to vote a Black man into the White House – how many people can say THAT?!?

LINKS TO ALL THINGS “OBAMA-MILLI” RELATED:

* * * * *

* The Original Page for the Song: I post up a new video each Sunday. Below the video, I type up insights into the making of the song and video. This is the link to the page for “O-bama O-Bama”: https://aptsongs.wordpress.com/2008/06/22/one-song-a-week-song-5-obama-obama/

* * * * *

* Where Can I Get The “Obama Milli” single?: There are several ways:

The link to get the “Obama Milli” single as a 99 cent download: http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=153519.

the-apt-lp-album-cover

The link to get “The A.P.T. LP” album (released 8-27-2008) which includes “Obama Milli plus other great songs like “Stop Cockblockin’,” “The KKKramer Song” and “Smooth Talker!” (Only 6.99 – Instant Download, works on ALL MP3 players including iPod!): http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=170344

 

apt-cover

The link to purchase “The Great Black Hope” (released 1-07-2009) which includes “Obama Milli” plus other hot songs like “Hands UP!,” “Nothing More 2 Say” and “Things 4 U (I Thought U Loved Me)!” (Only 6.99 – Instant Download, works on ALL MP3 players including iPods): http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=208737

The song also appears on my 2 mixtapes, both of which are FREE downloads:

The O-bama Mixtape

mixtape-cover-apt-presents-the-next-black-president-aka-back-on-my-grind1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the link to both my mixtapes: “The O-bama Mixtape,” which features the original version; and “The Next Black President (a.k.a. Back On My Grind),” which features the “Obama Milli Mega-Remix” featuring Tyga – https://aptsongs.wordpress.com/apt-mixtapes-the-o-bama-mixtape-the-next-black-president

* * * * *

*Lyrics to “Obama Milli”: First, here’s a video I made for YouTube with the lyrics –

And here are the lyrics typed out:

Intro:
A.P.T.!

Yeah I’m goin’ in…

Verse 1:
Call him “President,” he’s the next new President here
Senator, from Illinois, yeah
His criteria compared to John McCain just isn’t fair
Cause he’s B-L-A-C, so the eyes are on he
Through his pencil, he write legislation, with the country on his mind
And he don’t coat ish, cause he ain’t got time
Every second, minute, hour, KKK wanna devour
He got guards ready to pop ‘em, with their ch-ch-ch-ch-choppers
Every brother, mother, sister, cousin, grandma wanna hump him
Even got Hilary Clinton on the side ready to jump him
Tell the Clintons “Ha ha ha ha,” couldn’t catch him, couldn’t stop him
They go by the party rules, if you can’t beat him, you can’t top him
Thought she’d smack him, couldn’t pop ‘em, Delegates, couldn’t cop ‘em
Bill Clinton couldn’t help her, too bad she couldn’t drop ‘em, woo!

Man, Obama‘s so Illlll…

Verse 2:
Obama goes here, Obama goes there
Sayin’ “Yes We Can” with wife Michelly, he’s hittin’ that derriere
He travel to Arizona, ready to cause some drama
Hopin’ McCain will comment, “Look at that bastard Obama
He’s too young, he’s too hip, Negros always ‘causin’ problems”
His pale-lookin’ face got him lookin’ like a goblin!
Mac-Cain, Mac-Cain, please don’t vote for Mac-Cain
First day up in office, talkin’ ‘bout some heart pains
Call the ambulance, QUICK! All you hear is sirens
His temper isn’t private – Dang, I hate a mad prick
Don’t you hate a mad prick? Plus, McCain’s an old prick
Barack’s a younger guy, So choose him, he’s the right pick
(Laugh) But if you choose the wrong pick
Your step-son’ll probably end up in Iraq quick!
His health clan plan is so immac’late
So even if your broke, and can’t afford to take a doc trip
You’ll be feelin’ much better – not sick
And, he’s okay, but his wife’s sick
And her back’s thick, And her walk’s slick
She’s a fly chick – I’d hit!

Man, Obama‘s so Illlll…

Verse 3:
He’s makin’ history like X, King and Douglas, and RFK
Obama, he’s that “new black,” true that
Red-necks saaaay “He won’t beat John McCain
He don’t wear a flag pin, his middle name’s Hussein,” but
Who gon’ be dat boy dat doubt dat boy dey call “Obama”
Got Republicans sweatin’ like they up in Saunas (whew!)
Even McCain’s 90-something mama
Be ready to pull his lever every hour (Laugh)
And I’d rather eat a field mouse
Than to see John McCain in the White House
Vote Obama in, and I promise
He won’t turn back into some Uncle Thomas (Aaaaaa!)
No Aunt Jemimah or Southern Fried chicken
Call him “Chief Obama,” or “Mr. Keeps on Tickin”
Man, Pastor Wright’s comments couldn’t stop his tally
Even Oprah Winfrey said she was behind him
People, I say this country’s no hope without him
But he’s gotta go out and relate to everybody
He do what he do, like give his wife a hug and then a fist dap
Gotta do that stuff in public, so the hood’ll know that –
He’s black
Gotta use big words, white people love to hear it
If they hear it, they don’t fear him, they don’t know him, but they feel him
That’s real….

Obama… ‘08… White House, a-ha!

* * * * *

*Other Obama-Related Songs/Videos by Me: I never set out to duplicate the success of “Obama Milli.” However, given that he was a popular topic of conversation last year, I did make a few other Obama-inspired songs/videos. Check them out:


Above: Video #32, “The Next Black President!” For song/video insights, click HERE!


Above: Video #25, “The Obama Mixtape Intro (aka A Time 4 Change)!” For song/video insights, click HERE!


Above: Video #19, “John McCain is a P.I.M.P.!” Yes, it’s a John McCain song, but it was inspired by the fact that many people made songs about Obama but not McCain! For song/video insights, click HERE!

http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=6da8634e9abbf4b5762aed&skin_id=701&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url

The link above is for video #15, “Shine 4 Obama.” It has a sample of Luther Vandross in it; consequently, YouTube took it down. So, I posted it at this link instead!

* * * * *

*Other “Obama-Milli” Related Videos Made by Fans: Many people re-posted the song on YouTube. Below are a few of my favorite ones that I found to be either hilarious, creative, or a take on my song that I found enjoyable!


Above: Two girls singing along to “O-bama O-bama” in a kitchen.


Above: A girl running around in an “Obama” mask campaigning. And guess what the background music is??


Above: Two kids from Chi-town rocking out in their… I dunno, basement?? – to the “Obama” song!


Above: Two teens at a high school in Las Vegas beat-box the “Obama” song!


Above: A woman from France – FRANCE! – drawing a picture of Obama while my song plays!


Above: At SVHS (I’m assuming that’s a high school), the “Obama” song was played during their homecoming rally!


Above: Jerrell Puttin, of “The Obaminators” dance crew, encouraging others to vote by dancing to my “Obama” song!


Above: DJ Ice chops and screws “O-bama O-bama!”


Above: A video of Obama and pals driving in a car while bumpin’ “Obama Milli.” This was also made into a phone video message that got passed around by many!


Above: Two Girls in an Obama mask and a Joe Biden mask do a verse from “Obama Milli!” It looks so scary!

* * * * *

MY TRUE FEELINGS ABOUT OTHERS CLAIMING MY SONG AS THEIRS

“Obama Milli” was released as video #5, in what is to be a 52-video, year-long series of videos. 

Prior to its release, my videos hadn’t gotten a lot of views, except for video #1, another parody I did called “Erectile Dysfunction” (a remake of Snoop Dogg’s “Sexual Seduction”).  That video had gotten 12,000 views at the time, so when I released the “Obama” song, I figured it would, at the very least, match up to that song’s popularity.

Clearly, I under-estimated how popular it would actually become.

Unbeknownst to me, while I was working on other videos for weeks 6 and 7, the video was taking off like wild fire on YouTube.  And – because I had the song as a download on this site – people started getting the song and playing it.  Some of these people turned out to be radio DJs (yay!) who ended up being happy to play it on their station.

And it was all good… until…

I was vacationing back home in VA with my family, and one of my friends from Georgia called and said they heard my “Obama” song on radio… only it wasn’t my voice on the verses.  Turns out, one of the local DJs took my track, re-sampled the “Obama Obama” part of the song, and made his own version.

I wouldn’t have cared so much, if it weren’t for the fact that people started messaging me, asking me if I was REALLY the originator of the track, or if this particular DJ had taken it.  I had to call my entertainment lawyer – who just happen to know the DJ in question – to get the whole mattered settled with that situation.

THEN, I found out that Tyga – ironically enough, a close friend of Lil’ Wayne – had contacted this guy on YouTube who had remade my “Obama” beat into an instrumental with more of a southern bounce to it, and asked him for the track.  According to this person, Tyga “promised” he’d give him AND me a shout-out on the track.

Lo and behold, this never happened.

So, Tyga made his “Obama” song and toured around the country performing it – and getting PAID to do so.  I know this because I saw all the videos other people took of him at his various tour stops doing the song.

So, how do I REALLY feel about all this?

It’s a catch-22.  I can’t be too mad at it because, after all, I DID remake a song by Lil’ Wayne, so I’d look hypocritical if I got mad at someone else…

…but at the same time, MY remake was an original idea!  Everyone else took the “A Milli” beat and did a freestyle talking about having a lot of money; meanwhile, I took the beat, re-made it from scratch, came up with the idea to use “Obama” as the subject, spent 3 days writing it, half-a-day recording it, 1 hour filming the video and 8 hours editing it…

…so, for someone else to get the credit for coming up with the idea really irks me. 

The ironic part is, I had people claiming I stole the song from either Tyga or the radio DJ… yet, the vocal sample used in their songs is MY voice! 

In the end, though, the song did what I wanted it to do: (a) get Barack elected, and (b) get my song exposed to people who were in a position to help me further along with my career goals.  Which means that all those people that took my song and made their own ended up helping promote me more than I could have, and it didn’t cost me anything!

– – – – – – – – – –

This is the end of the “Obama Milli” page.  The song has given me a great ride these past 7 months, and I hope its allowed other people to search out my other videos as well.  After all, there ARE many other videos I’ve made since then, and I highly recommend you check them out!

-A.P.T.

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.

This week’s music video is for the song, “A.P.T. (What’s My Name),” produced by HiFly.

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Snoop Dogg. Dr. Dre.  Lil’ Boosie.  Eminem. Lil’ Wayne.

All of them have one thing in common.  Okay, actually, they have a few things: they’re all rappers, they have lots of fans, and have made LOTS of money off their stage names.

Part of the reason for that is because they’ve drilled their names into people’s head through song.  And not just the occasional self-mentioning of their names in a few of their tunes.  I’m talking about the fact that they’ve made popular songs where their name is the chorus of the song.  People hear these songs in the club, and – through the power of direct suggestion – become familiar with the names of the artist repeating his/her name.

When I was recording songs for “The A.P.T. LP,” I knew I wanted to have a song where my name was in the chorus.  Actually, I figured that out WAY before this CD was even a thought, and the chorus to the song – “What’s my name? (A!) What’s my name? (A!) What’s my name? (A. – P. – Taaaaay!)” – has been in my head for almost 4 years, along with the opening lines, “Lights, camera, filming and ACTION/A.P.T.’s back with a passion…”

That’s all the song I had for 4 years.  I would walk around freestyling the rest of the song, and was eventually smart enough to write down some song lyrics during one of my typing song sessions (where I type out random lyrics and hope they will fit into a song).

I had an idea of how I wanted the beat of the song to sound, but I couldn’t seem to actually make the beat.  Then, I went online and found a guy named HiFly who had an array of beats.  There was a beat he had that sounded simply epic – it sounded like a beat that should open up an album and announces to the world that THIS is the official start of the album.

When I heard the beat, I knew I wanted to use it for a song, but didn’t know which song.  After I started trying to think of a chorus to go with it, I realized that the “What’s My Name” chorus would go perfect with the beat.  I gathered together some lyrics I wrote, and WHAM!  I had a song!

This is one of those songs where I have to talk about how cool/good/better than others I am.  After all, my name IS in the chorus.  So, nothing too deep – just some entertaining stuff!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. The second-to-last line in the first verse – “I’m like milk on a shelf, I’m legendary” – I came up with YEARS ago, and have been dying to use it in a song.  It’s one of those play on words that have to be explained, which I actually do in the next line of the song (“Milk – dairy? Legde – shelf?”).  I figured no one would get it otherwise.

2. The second verse of the song is what I called a “verse countdown.” The first line is “I spit a mean 16 on the mic…”  for the first line, and so forth, until the 16th bar when I say “No ONE.”

3. I wrote the last verse a few days after Issac Hayes died while exercising.  In retrospect, the line “I have you slumped over and limp like Issac Hayes” is probably too soon… but heck, I liked it, so I put it in!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

It just so happens that Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy, a.k.a. Puff Daddy, a.k.a…. Okay, I could type this all day… the point is, he has a video blog on YouTube, and for one of his vlogs last week he put up a video for a remix song he did called “Swagga Like Puff.”  The video was so simplistic and basic, yet hilarious… and since this happens to be MY 20th music video, I just KNEW I had to do a parody video of Diddy’s video!

Once again, doing a parody of anything takes work.  I had to study the stuff Diddy does in his video, and watched it at least 20 times before I got the flow down of all the stuff he does in the video.

BTW: My video is much funnier if you’ve actually seen Diddy’s video, which is posted above.  I made some “changes” to the things he did in the video (for example, showing off Pinot Grigio instead of Ciroc Vodka), and it’s pretty hilarious!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. The king crown worn in the video is from Medieval Times, which I went to back in July with my friend Michele.  I always try to keep props I get when I’m out – ya never know when they might come in handy!!

2. Yes, I actually poured oatmeal into a bowl, mixed it with orange juice and took a bite.  What you don’t know: after the video was done, I actually microwaved the oatmeal with the O.J. in it and ate it.  Prognosis: it really does NOT taste good!

3. The Pinot Grigio bottle in the video? Camanile.  I don’t drink wine, but I had the bottle, and poured water into it.

4. The dancing at the end is BAD.  But so was Diddy’s dancing.  Perhaps, since this was a parody, I should have done some GOOD dancing, LoL!

5. Edit time for this video: less than 2 hours. Heck, I shot the whole thing today AND edited it within about 3 hours total!

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

Another week, another video in the can…

Wow.  19 videos. Well, 19 “official” videos – that doesn’t include the various paperstyle videos and other ones where I’m talking to people.  But 19 videos is a LOT – heck, there are industry artists that don’t put out that many videos in a year, and I’ve done it in almost 4 months!

I’m glad I’ve been doing it, though, because, aside from being a way to express my music visually, they’ve also been like little postcards for myself showing me different aspects of Atlanta.  Now that I’ve got a week (and 2 days) left here, it’s nice to look back and have reminders of this town.

Truthfully, I wish I didn’t have to move.  I really like living in Atlanta.  Unfortunately, I have to face the reality that it’s hard for me to make the moves I’d like to make in the music biz when I (a) don’t have a car to get around to various spots to perform, and (b) when you have no connections.  There seems to be a better opportunity for me to get on in Washington, D.C., so I’ll be heading up there for at least the next year.  My bro is a DJ, and between his ability to talk that talk and my ability to create songs that make people want to rock out (or “rap out,” LoL), we should both be able to get farther ahead in what we’d like to do.

In the meantime, I’ve still got 2 or 3 videos I’d like to film here.  I don’t know what will happen during my transition period, but since I’m commited to doing this exercise for at least one year, I figured it would be wise to film some videos ahead of time just in case I don’t have the ability to film anything during the weekend of my move (though why I wouldn’t is beyond me, but ya never know!)

Last week’s song is already proving to be a success – it’s already gotten 237 views in 2 days as of this writing (the same amount of views “Obama Obama” got in its first 2 days back in June) – but I expected that to happen, given that the song deals with John McCain being a pimp.  As for this week’s video, I’ve already got the idea, and I’m working out the technical details of the video right now.  It’s going to be a stylistic video parody of another popular YouTube music video, put out last week by…

Hmm.  On second thought, I’ll leave that surprise for next Sunday!  I will say this, though: it’s for a song off my album, “The A.P.T. LP,” and if you ain’t got it yet, you’re missing out!

That’s all for now!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

This week’s music video is for the song “Smooth Talker” (Produced by Shadowville Productions)

AVAILABLE ON “THE A.P.T LP” – Click HERE for download information!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

First, a sidebar: one of the reasons I document this stuff is so that people will know when, where, and how the songs were created. That way, if a situation occurs where people question whether or not I was the originator of the song (i.e. the “O-bama” song), those looking for proof have something to read. It also helps that I get my songs copyrighted 🙂

I found this beat online back on April 12, from a production company called Shadowville. I surf for beats online a LOT, and the majority of beats I find are available for free use if you use them for promotional use only (i.e. I can’t sell the songs).

I mention this because I downloaded a LOT of beats that I planned to use for promotion only; however, people started asking me if I was going to put out an album for purchase, many of the songs I made to test the waters… were actually good songs, but I couldn’t use them because the beat either (a) cost too much, (b) had already been bought, or (c) had to be purchased exclusively to be used, and they costs a LOT.

That means that some of the songs I wanted to put on “The A.P.T. LP” couldn’t be used. “Smile 4 Dad?” Nope! “Shout Out 2 My Big Girl?” Sorry!

However, when it came to the beat used for this song, I knew that I HAD to have it. Luckily, I keep the name of all the people whose beats I download, so I was able to find the producer’s name online and, fortunately, the beat hadn’t been purchased yet.

So, what made me want to buy the beat in the first place?

When I download beats, I’ll usually have a day when I take each beat and freestyle over it to get ideas for lyrics and songs. This has helped me create many a song, but this one was special in the sense that I changed up how I flowed to it. Rather than do the usual freestyle thing where I’m “sounding like a rapper,” the beat sounded more like a techno-club hit; therefore, I tried to switch up various things in the freestyle, from the level of my voice (whispering to shouting), to the pace at which words were said.

The name of the beat was “Smooth Talker,” and I thought that idea went along well with the type of beat it was. The chorus came to me instantly – “Ooh baby, I’m a smooth talker/That’s right, you know that I want ‘ya,” etc. – and many of the concepts used in that initial freestyle were used in this song.

Okay, so when you listen to the song, it’s clearly a club-type beat, but I didn’t want to make a full-out “club” song in the regular sense. Rappers are infamous for making these types of records, but they always have the same story line (if you can even call it that): they pull up on 22s, they’re out to steal another guy’s chick, they’re the hottest thing in the club, they want the girl to shake it – a 3-year old could write this stuff!

So, being the funny guy that I am, I decided to bastardize it a bit. In the first verse I meet a girl and try to sweet talk her into leaving the club with me, telling her things that I know are straight lies. In the second, I’m whispering to a girl about what I want to do to her in V.I.P.; however, when I ask her what her fantasy is… well, you’ll have to listen, but it’s gross and turns me off! And, in the third verse, I see a chick from across the room, and when I go to holler at her… well, just listen to the song!

Incidentally, this was the very last song I wrote for the album, yet probably the one I had a beat for the longest. And most of it wasn’t “written” – I had the second and third verses made up in my head for the longest time (as well as the first 6 bars of the first verse), but figuring out the last 10 bars of the first verse took some time. Of course, it’s easier for me to write something when I have a set deadline, and by the time the Friday before the album came out got here it was done!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This was also one of the first songs where I really put my mixing skills to the test. I downloaded a program called “Magix Studios” to put my songs together, and I really wanted this one to stand out. Lots of re-verb and echos, people! The song took dang near 8 hours to get to sounding CLOSE to how I wanted it to sound!

2. The last 4 bars of the second verse… well, let’s just say they were inspired by 2 girls, a cup, and a famous R&B singer…

3. The name of the girl in the 3rd verse – “Rina” – was also the name of my very first girlfriend. I used her name because there’s a line in that verse that’s giving homage to one of Tone Loc’s songs, and “Rina” sounded close to the girl he referenced in “Funky Cold Madina.” Plus, I haven’t spoken to her in God knows how long, so I figured I’d have the right to use the name.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

Even though this was one of the last songs I wrote for the album, I’ve had the idea for the video for almost 3 months now!

I decided to keep it simple: me, filming myself mouthing the words to the song, in different locals. I was also going to have a friend of mine dance to the song, and include those scenes throughout the video… but the friend was a co-worker, and she got fired, and I haven’t heard from her since. So much for reliability!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. The five locations in the video are: a train station escalator; a MARTA train; a light pole outside the train station; a restaurant; and a parking lot.

2. For the escalator shots, I had to film myself going down the escalator, then run up the steps directly next to it and film myself again. In retrospect, I could have gone to a different station – one that had a REAL long escalator – but I think it’s funnier this way!

3. Also, you may notice I have more hair in the escalator shots than in other parts of the video. I was on my way to get a hair cut when I decided to film this video; the remaining shots were taken afterward!

4. The train, the restaurant, and the parking lot are the only places where I filmed more than one take for video consideration. On the train, I filmed 3 times because the first time I filmed, I forgot that the sun was directly behind me, so I had to film it again. Then, I wanted to make sure my head was more in the middle of the frame, so I shot it a third time. In the restaurant, there were occasions where a server would come up to me to say hi, at which point I had to cut the camera off. As for the parking lot, I filmed one other take, and didn’t even use them in the video!!

5. To make things interesting, I decided to add special film properties to the different shooting location shots. For the escalator shots, I used “Film Grain” to make it look like an older film shot; for the train, I used the watercolor application; for the restaurant I just brightened up the shots; and for the parking lot I used the hue spectrum application to cycle through all the colors. The only shots not altered were the ones of me next to the light pole.

6. At the end of the video, you’ll see two servers pop up in the background and start dancing/rapping their butts off. These people I call, “my friends,” and they are hilarious!

7. Edit time for the video: between 5 to 6 hours, split between this morning and later this evening after I got off work. Adding transitions and effects makes the edit time go longer, especially when your computer is as “cooperative” as mine!

That’s all for now! Enjoy the video, and get “The A.P.T. LP!” See ya next week!

-A.P.T.

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

Another week, another video in the can.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

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

Help A.P.T. get his music career started – SEND A DONATION! Click HERE for more info!

This week’s song/video is “Crank That (Yeah!)” (Produced by Fire Kraka)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

For a song that’s so simple, the making of it had a whole lot that went into it.

I look for beats online, and when I find a beat I like I’ll usually start freestyling to it to see if it I could use the beat for a song.  Some of my best songs so far have resulted from this (see: “Shout Out 2 My Big Girls,” “Back 2 The Future,” and other yet-to-be released songs), and I try to do it at least once a week.

When I heard the beat for this week’s song, it instantly reminded me of last year’s hottest record, “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy.  The words to his song were admittedly simplistic, but as I always tell people, some times simplicity is better than trying to be all deep and complex.  I started freestyling off some random stuff into the mic, not thinking I’d actually make it into a song.

Then, I came up with the chorus.  It was so good that I just KNEW I had to make it a song.

However, I didn’t necessarily want to make it into a video.  Up until now, most of my songs have had some form of plot line, or talked about real-life situations.  Even in the case of “Obama, Obama,” as funny as it was it still had a main focal point.  This “Crank That” song I made was about nothing more than doing the crank dance to any song that comes on!

I recorded the song prior to 4th of July weekend.  During the holiday, my friend Michele came from DC to visit me.  On her last day, as we were packing her up to go home, I asked her if she’d like to record a few parts for 2 songs I had made, one of them being this one.  The part of the song she recorded for me sounded so good, I just KNEW I had to figure out a way to make the song into a video so that she’d be able to see it!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

(1) The original title of this song was “Crank That $#!+.”  However, I decided to change it for a few reasons.  One, I have younger cousins and relatives that are hip to this site now, and, seeing as I grew up in a family that didn’t cuss around each other, I’d like to be able to keep it to a minimum.  Plus, I really don’t cuss that much in real life, and even the songs I have up now that do have cussing don’t have a lot in them.

More importantly, though: my song “Obama, Obama” is getting regular radio play, part of that being because I didn’t cuss during the entire song, which made radio DJs feel okay about downloading and playing it.  This song’s pretty catchy, and I’d hate to think I’d be blocking myself from even more exposure simply because I wanted to say “shit” every few lines!

(2) People think these types of songs don’t take long to write.  And… well, they’d be correct!  However, for these types of songs, it’s not really the words themselves that matter as much as the FEEL of the words.  How they are enunciated and phrased has to be in line with the beat so that people will be able to dance to it.

(3) Because this is a party song, there has to be parts in their where the club audience is persuaded to sing back certain parts.  You’ll hear a few “Yeaaaah”s and “A.P.T.!”, as well as Michele’s line in the song, which ALL girls will have to say!  It’s actually a very good psychological trick into making people like your song!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

As is usually the case, I had NO idea what I was going to shoot.  I wanted to just do like Soulja Boy, and tape myself dancing for 4 minutes straight with no edits.

HA! Like THAT was going to happen!

Besides, it would have been too boring. Plus, I didn’t want to look so goofy or bore people to death to the point that they’d click off the video before even getting into it.

At the same time, since the lyrics of this song are extremely simple in comparison to the first 8 videos I put up, I didn’t want there to be a backlash from a letdown of expectations.  I know now that I’m early on enough in my career where I can experiment with different styles, but you never want to catch a brick so bad that you can’t recover from it.

And, to top THAT off, I was on vacation this week in DC for my brother’s birthday.  However, this ended up being a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to film in a location OUTSIDE of my apartment!  Still, I didn’t know what I was going to do…

…until I remembered the online feud Soulja Boy has been having with Ice-T about who’s responsible for “killing hip-hop” vs. “helping hip-hop.”  I have another song I wrote called “Retirement Home” where I bash old-school rappers for not giving credit to the newcomers who are helping to continue the genre.  I figured out that I could do a two-part video, with “Crank That (Yeah!)” being part one and “Retirement Home” being part 2, thus giving me a legitimate excuse for this song’s/video’s existence!

Because I wanted to show that actual work DOES go into creating a crank-type song, I decided to make the video a 7-step instruction manual on the creation of one, from finding the beat all the way to putting it on YouTube.  I was able to run with this idea, and it only took me about 1.5 hours to film. I also had to film half of next week’s video, where I respond to a hater who’ll be hating on this week’s song.  Always thinking ahead, people!

All in all, I think it came out pretty great!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

(1) The hotel used in the video is the Crowne Royal in Alexandria, VA.

(2) The first shot of this video? Me in the shower.  I don’t know why I decided to start filming while showering, but who knows when or where inspiration will pop up?!?

(3) “Theory” is the nickname my friend Michele used in college when she did radio.

(4) To film the editing of the video, I had to take my first set of shots, load them up, and then film myself editing the shots I just loaded.

(5) I have no idea what the estimated loading time is because I was trying to edit this thing all day, while at the same time preparing for my brother’s birthday festivities.

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

First off: I hate mixtapes.

Actually, let me rephrase that: I like the songs and exclusives that are usually found on mix-tapes; I just hate having to listen to them.  People do a LOT of annoying things on mix-tapes that hamper my listening experience.  DJs feel the need to yell all over the track (can I just hear the damn song without you yelling “This is DJ so-and-so” on the chorus?!?), parts of the song get rewound back over and over (if the song is halfway over, why scratch-and-rewind it back to the beginning? That is SO annoying!!), songs cut off instead of fading out… and these are just a few of the things I find annoying about them.

Me, I like to put out whole albums that have a cohesive feeling to it.  At the same time, though, I do make songs and freestyles that would not be fit to put on a regular album.  With that said, I was recently asked if I was going to put together a mix-tape.

At first I was going to say “HECK NO” because of what I said above.  Then it dawned on me: with all the attention I’ve been getting off the “Obama Obama” song, now would be a perfect time to let people know that I actually have talent outside of simply making parodies of other people’s songs.  I mean, dang, I’ve made 8 videos and only 2 of them have been parodies – I do a LOT of good original songs, too!

So, I decided to make a mix-tape: “The O-bama Mix-tape.”  Pretty easy, right?

Because I’ve already put a few of the songs out as videos, half of the mix-tape will be some of those songs.  I also have songs that I haven’t released yet, but made for my last unreleased album, “Check the Resume,” that I can put on there as well.  The rest of the songs will be songs to other people’s beats that are NOT parodies, but simply songs I can try and show my skills over.

The best thing about the process is that, since I’m the one putting together the whole thing, I don’t have to have all the annoying elements I see on other people’s mix-tapes.  I can simply put the songs together, do a few interludes here and there, and let people listen to the music vs. hearing a dag-gone DJ screaming all over the place!!

And of course, the mix-tape will be a free download.  However, I’ll also be including a link where people can donate money to support me if they like my stuff.  Actually, I already have a link like this, and I’ve actually been getting in some donations, so THANK YOU, and to the rest of you, I could always use a few more bucks to help me out!

That’s all for now – the mix-tape will be finished soon, so I’ll keep you all posted!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

Video: My 1st Radio Interview

On Monday, July 14th, 2008, I had my first ever radio interview for my song, “Obama, Obama,” with radio station KJMM 105.3 in Tulsa, OK. And I filmed it!  (Though, really, none of you should be surprised that I did – I film dang near everything these days for documentation.)

Check it out!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com