Tag Archive: Parody


Hey everybody!

As far as I know, the songs from my NEW album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style” are selling! I won’t know until next month what the sales are for September (all monies I make off my songs are reported 45 days out – grrrr!), but I DO know that people are buying my stuff.  It’s a GREAT time to have anything election-related out, especially as it pertains to Obama, and I already know that election week is going to be HUGE for me in terms of music sales and video views.

With that said, I do have ONE more Obama-themed parody I have to put out.  It’s the last song I recorded for the album, and one I feel will be a perfect note to end on in terms of me doing any more Obama-related songs. Call it my last hurrah if you will (unless, of course, I think of a new song some time between Monday and the election).  It’s a spoofing of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” called “I’m Never Ever Gonna Vote for Romney!”

I had a few ideas for how I wanted to do the video, but in the end I decided to keep it fairly simple. It’s going to be me, in front of a green screen, acting silly while singing the song. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, trust me when I say this is FAR from a detailed explanation of what I’m going to do for the video. TRUST, the video will be hilarious, up-t0-date, and share-worthy!

After that, I have a couple more songs I need to do for songs that have proven to be popular from the album – one for “Your Mama is So Ugly” and one for “I Wanna Do Nicki Minaj.” Plus, I’ll be re-releasing “Christmas in Paris (Jay-Z/Kanye Parody)” on November 1 to get everyone ready for the holidays!

That’s all for now – see you guys on Monday with my NEW video!!

-A.P.T.

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!

Hey all!!

Well, after YEARS of trying to repeat the success of “Obama Milli Remix,” I have finally done it!

Yep, my new song/video, “Vote Obama Style (Gangnam Style Parody)” is taking off better than I thought it would! It’s already reached 40,000 hits in a week’s time, and continues to get thousands of hits each day!

Since I got a buzz going with the song, now, it means I need to release an album. And, since people STILL remember the title of my first mixtape – “The O-Bama Mixtape” – I’m going to release part 2 in the series sometime next week!

The album title will be… hmm… well, right now I’m deciding between two titles: The one I’ve had in my head for years, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Back in the White House”; or, a title that correlates with what will be the most popular track on the album, “The O-Bama Mixtape II: Vote Obama Style.” I figure people will probably go to iTunes and type in “gangnam obama style” or something similar, so it may be a good look to have that somewhere in the title.

As for the songs on the album… my last mixtape, “Justin Beeber Must Die,” had a LOT of good songs on it, but the album didn’t get downloaded as well as I wanted, mostly ’cause I had no videos for it and no real promo. So, I’m going to take some of the songs off that album and put them on this album. I’ll also include previous parodies not ever placed on an album – i.e. the Eminem “No Love” parody “No Glove,” Rack City parody “Black President,” and a few recent ones I did featuring Non Juan. I also plan to record at least 2 more parody songs and 1 original song, possibly as it correlates to the election.

The album will be released later in the week, and I’ll add a promo annotation to the “Vote Obama Style” video letting people know it’s out. I’m just glad to have a buzz-worthy single helping me get the word out about it!

-A.P.T.

Hi! Remember me! Well guess what?!? I’m making videos again!!

I actually have another video I made before this video, BUT… since this one is of the utmost urgent importance, I’m putting it up first. So, without further ado….

Today’s song insights are for the music video, “Vote Obama Style,” a parody of Psy’s “Gangnam Style!”

DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES TODAY – CLICK HERE!

INSIGHTS INTO A SONG:

I’m going to assume everyone who’s on this page has heard Psy’s “Gangnam Style” song. In short, Psy’s a Korean rap/pop artist who’s “Gangnam Style” song/video have received over 100 million views (and counting) on YouTube, and has been seen on various TV shows. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

I forget how I ended up watching the video – probably after seeing it posted on Yahoo, Google and friends’ Facebook pages – but when I saw the video and heard the song, AND saw how many views it was getting, I knew I HAD to make a parody of it.

I went through the usual process, trying to find things that rhymed with “Gangnam.” “Condom” was the easiest thing to think of, and I almost went this route (“What’s Your Condom Style?”) but didn’t know how much mileage I’d get out of it.  I thought of a few funny things here and there, but nothing that was really popping off in my brain enough for me to want to record anything…

Then, I took a mini-trip to Palm Springs for the day. While relaxin’ in my room, I got a chance to look at the video again, and as I started going over parody ideas, it suddenly hit me:

“Vote Obama Style!”

There it was – the elusive hit I’d been looking to parody an Obama song with. I thought I had done it with my “Rack City” parody, “Black President” back in January, but by then the song was actually starting to die down in popularity. (Had no idea it had been out since summer 2011. So much for being on the radar anymore!)

But THIS – this song had the same elements that made “A Milli” such a sure-fire winner. Infectious beat? Check. Crazy artist saying cool stuff that didn’t make sense (unless you know Korean)? Check. Worldwide popularity? Check. The only REAL question was, could I write a song to it?

The only thing really standing in the way was the language barrier – aside from “Heeeeey, sexy lady,” I have NO idea what the rest of the song is saying. Then I realized, when I make parodies, I don’t really base the words I use off what the other artist wrote, so much as I try to follow similar song patterns and syllables.  As long as I could make my ending rhymes sound phonetically similar to what Psy was saying in Korean I’d be good.

So, I got to work. I went into work on Saturday night and just started coming up with ideas. As per usual, I thought of the second verse first, then went back to the first verse for a bit, got stuck, worked on the 3rd verse instead, then went home and worked out the first verse. By Sunday, I had a full song written and, later that same day, recorded (after finding a remade instrumental online)!

For this Obama song, I focused on two things. In the first verse, I talk about how Obama is at a turning point after 3 years, then mention how I’m going to vote for him on election day. In the second verse, I talk about Mitt Romney looking like a super villain, then listing a few of the various accomplishments made by Obama in his first term. On the refrains, I talk about Obama being the better candidate and how people should vote for him instead of Mitt Romney.

Pretty simple stuff, all said in ways that are funny, insightful, and thought-provoking. What can I say, it’s what I do best!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits

1. The way I say “Vote Obama Style” sounds similar to the way Psy says “Oppom Gangnam Style.” I was doing the best impression of him that I could for that part. It’s also the only part of the song that’s not layered with other vocals.

2. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what I was going to replace “Heeeey, sexy lady” with. I finally settled on “Heeeeey, Romney’s shady,” mostly ’cause it was the best thing I could think of. If I could put something else there that worked better I would, but it’s a fine replacement for now…

3. I added in the line about Romney looking like a super villain because I think I saw a picture comparison of him and Magneto or some other villain on some fake news show (Stewart or Colbert, I think).

4. Believe it or not, the hardest part of the song for me to think of was the 4th line in the first verse. I was trying to rhyme words like “election,” “introspection,” and needed a forth one… but couldn’t think of anything. I finally decided on the word “objection.” Then, I had to think of what rhymed with… whatever those words were Psy used in the first half of the 4th verse that sound like “Good or bad.” Finally, I said “screw it” and decided to mention Michelle Obama’s fineness once again. I don’t think I’ve gotten through a whole “Obama” song without mentioning it, so why start now? 😛

INSIGHTS INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Once I finished recording the song, I KNEW I wanted to make a video with an impact. However, at the time all I knew was (a) I had a flip camera, a green screen and a camera tripod to use.

My original plan was to take my tripod with me around town to various spots, set up my camera, and dance like a madman while mouthing the words to the song. It would have been an “okay” video, but nothing like what I ended up shooting…

You see, as it turns out, in the 3+ years I’ve been in Los Angeles, I’ve made friends with people who will actually show up for video shoots. And who have state-of-the-art cameras. And who don’t mind making a fool of themselves for the purpose of a video.  These are the people I call “friends,” and they help make what could be an “okay” video something that’s worthy of showing to other people.

And so, I looked through my phone list and sent out a mass text… and, the people who I truly wanted to be in the video were able to show up, including my friend Tamika (you know her from… well, MOST of the videos I shot last year). She moved to Texas late last year but was in town for a friend’s wedding and agreed to show up for an hour and shoot stuff.

As for my camera, I didn’t even have to use it for the majority of the shoot. My friend Joe Hollywood (who makes a cameo in dang near ALL of my videos) had gotten a new camera the same day I wanted to shoot, so the video ended up being a tester for the camera (and man, oh man, does it work GREAT). Aside from a few pick up shots here and there that I got via the Flip, the rest of the shoot ended up being done on a Canon T2 camera.

Anyway… the shoot itself ended up being 3 days at various times. Day 1 shoot day was at the La Brea/Expo train station, where we did a LOT of outside shots mocking Psy’s original video: The elevator shot, the shot with him and two girls walking forward, and the dance sequence at the end of the video were all done at this one location.  As we were filming it, Joe’s battery died, so we had to wait until the next day to shoot.

Day 2 shoot was LONG. Joe and I met up at the Culver City train station at 10 and shot a few more train shots, both outside AND inside the train. Then we went to Fox Hills mall, where we shot inside Target and at the food court. Next, we went back to my apartment to dump the footage and get some shots of me in the pool and next to the pool. Then, it was off to the park to shoot the opening scene (as well as a cool dance scene with me on top of a picnic table). Next, we went to the Rave cinema (a.k.a. “The Bridge”) to use their parking garage as an imitation to Psy’s garage usage in his video.  Before we left there, we also filmed a short bit of me doing the famous “arms crossed while galloping” dance from the video.  Finally, we went back to Joe’s apartment, dumped some more footage, and filmed one more scene before I headed home.

I was able to take Joe’s camera home and film some additional stuff. My roommate wanted to be in the video, so we filmed a scene where she was opening the door and I was bursting in; plus a cool scene where we danced side by side doing some more goofy dancing.

At this point, I figured my filming was done… but then I mentioned to my roommate that I had wanted her son (a.k.a. my Godson) Ajani to dance in the video.  That’s when she mentioned an Obama wall painting downtown that ended up being a PERFECT backdrop for the opening of the video, as well as getting a few clips of Ajani dancing.

Good grief, that was just the short version of what happened, and I haven’t even gotten to the editing part yet!

Well, in short: it was a LOT of color correction, adding things in so the video would look as bright, joyful and colorful as Psy’s video.  I added in subtitles typed in “Hobo Std” font (I wish I was making that name up) so people could understand all the words being said.

I also made sure to add in things like my YouTube station name, as well as where viewers could buy the single (on iTunes) as well as past Obama songs and the “Vote Obama Style” T-shirt.  I have found that my videos sometimes get “borrowed” and uploaded to other people’s channels; I figure, if it’s going to happen, might as well use them to send people back to my page and to buy my merchandise, right?

All in all, a very, VERY ambitious video, and one I’m proud to have made!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. This is the first video I’ve made in a LOOOOONG time that didn’t use green screen or excessive pictures! I really wanted to give the feel of it being a “real” video, and those elements can take away from that effect.

2. On Day 1 after Joe’s camera died, Tamika wanted to get Roscoe’s chicken and waffles for lunch – the same place Obama got food from when he visited Los Angeles last year. I had my Flip Camera on me at the time, and figured I should get some shots in there for the vid. Thus: The shot of me with a waffle house menu, and a shot of me pointing at the picture of Obama with the Roscoe’s staff hanging above their register!

3. If you notice, in about 90% of the video, the words I’m saying don’t match what’s being said. This stemmed from the elevator scene, when I realized I didn’t know all the words to my own song (since I had only just recorded it the day before)! So, I decided to act like I was speaking a gibberish language and being subtitled so people could understand me.  I wish I had known the song better, but the video still came out lookin’ dang good in spite of the situation!

4. While filming the dance sequence, the cars on La Brea kept honking at us. The majority of them were cheering us on… and then, one random guy yelled out “stop that!” LoL!

5. I wanted to get a video shot in the train since Psy had one in his video. We met up at the Culver City station because it was the end of the new Blue line, which meant the train would be stalled there for 10 minutes and we’d have time for me to film inside the train with no one there. Only problem: when we got there, people WERE in the train. I didn’t want to interrupt them or make things awkward, so I nixed the idea. Turns out, though, fate was in our favor: as I was shooting a solo scene at the station, another train pulled up. This meant I now had TWO trains in the solo shot; more importantly, though, when the train arrived, EVERYONE got off, meaning I now had time to shoot a scene on the inside of the train! We only shot for 2 minutes, but I made SURE to make them shots that could be used in the video!

6. My friend Joe was leery about shooting in Target – having to sneak around to get various shots, possibly having people walk up, etc. – but had no problem wanting to shoot in the mall food court. In fact, that suggestion is what got me the shot next to the bamboo trees in the food court!

7. The pool used in the pool scene is in the courtyard of my apartment complex.

8. For the park scene, I didn’t know of any little kids that would be available to dance in front of me like in Psy’s video. We later found out that one of Joe’s nephews was actually home during the day of our shoot and could’ve done it.  Um… shouldn’t he be in school?!?

9. In the parking garage scene, I kicked Joe in the allzbeys by accident while dancing. Terrible for him, GREAT for film footage!

10. While filming the scene where I’m dancing while crossing the street, Joe’s camera battery ran out of juice. Luckily, it shot just enough of what I needed for me to use – where it cuts off in the video is where it cut off while filming!

11. The line about Mitt Romney looking like a super villain prompted me to want to find a pic of him being compared to one online. Instead, I found a pic someone made of him looking like he was wearing Bane’s mask. Worked for me!

12. We went to 3 different toilets when trying to figure out where I could shoot the infamous bathroom scene.  We first stopped at a library next to the park, but it had a homeless guy in there shaving and washing up. The next place we went to was a hotel that had a GREAT bathroom… but bad lighting. Finally, we stopped at a bowling alley. I was going to use their handicap bathroom stall, but when we opened the door we saw crap sitting on the seat. So, I ended up having to use the small stall instead.

13. The kid in the video is my Godson, Ajani. That kid usually has so much energy, yet on the day we needed him to dance he didn’t really want to do it. Thus, the reason he’s only in snippets of the video. Ironically, once we got him home, he was all ready to be bouncing and dance. Darn that kid’s bad timing!!

14. Estimated editing time for this video… I can’t even tell. I started on Tuesday night, which went into Wednesday morning before I fell asleep at 2 A.M., then woke up at 7:45 A.M. to continue on… then I shot some more stuff for the video, so… eh, let’s just say it took a long-ass time. I thought not using green screen would make this stuff easier!

I’m very, VERY proud of how this video turned out! Even if it doesn’t get as big as my “Obama Milli Remix,” I feel the effort put into this project makes it a winner. But really, now, PLEASE share this video with your friends!

-A. P. T.

Today’s music insight is for my new video “Black President,” a parody of Tyga’s “Rack City.”

DOWNLOAD NOW: iTunes or Soundcloud

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

In 2008… geez, how many times have I told this story on this site?? Look, just click on the “Obama Milli Remix” link at the top of the page for the full story.

Anyway, the “Obama Milli Remix” song was a huge success. Back then, I knew there’d be an election coming up in 4 years, which would mean Obama would be running for re-election.  I didn’t know if I’d be making any more Obama-related parodies… okay, let’s be real: I knew I’d make some more – heck, I made a decent amount of money off the sales from the first song I did – but I didn’t want to make songs that would feel forced.

Fast-forward to January 2012. New year, new songs out that are banging. Right now one of the more popular rap songs out is Tyga’s “Rack City,” a song with an infectious-yet-simple beat and a chorus that is instantly singable.  I’ve had some beef with Tyga for a while now – mostly ’cause he took the remade “A Milli” beat I made with my voice singing “O-bama O-bama” on it and made his own Obama song without my permission OR recognition – but just ’cause I don’t like him personally doesn’t mean I can’t admit when he makes a good song.

So, while I didn’t want the parody I made to be with one of his songs… well, it’s in the top 10 on Billboard and it’s catchy, so I did it anyway!

Plus, the song just came to me so easily. I was walkin’ around singing the “Rack City” part of the chorus, and just started singing “Black President, Black – Black President.” It fit so well, and I knew at that point I had a song.

It’s a short song – only 2 minutes and 37 seconds long – so I didn’t have to write too much. With the previous song I had to think up 3 verses worth of material dealing with him running for office; this one was easier because all I had to do was pull from various things he’s gone through as President, in only 2 verses. The rhyme pattern on this one was also much, MUCH simpler than the one for “A Milli” was; with the latter I had to practice non-stop to get it, whereas this one has more of a straight flow to it.

Despite the easiness of writing the song, recording it was a biznich.  I’m much more particular these days about how my songs sound when I record them, so I’m always critiquing my recordings for little mistakes here and there. I didn’t want to double-up my voice on the verses or make it sound like there were any pauses in recording, which meant I had to do the main recording line of the song in one take. The main problem ended up being with my microphone – specifically, it’s so powerful that it can pick up little noises, including the humming sound coming from my laptop motor.  It took me forever to figure out how to create a sound barrier that would significantly lessen the sound coming from it. (Note: I still need to buy a longer reach for my microphone and build a full-on soundproof box to place it in for when I record.)

Once I finally got it right, I turned up the automatic tuning on my voice (to make it sound somewhat auto-tuned) and voila! Song complete!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. A few lines in the song got changed last minute. For example, I had the line: “Two kids, heck no he ain’t celibate” to match the line in Tyga’s song: “F–kin’ all night, n!@@a we ain’t celibate.” It got changed to me rapping about how Michelle Obama could “Knock your lights out, you don’t wanna take a hit (Pow!)”. I changed it mostly ’cause the first line I had written sounded awkward.  I also did a major retooling of the last 4 lines of verse two – originally I had the lines: “Oh, man, what do I do? Killed Osama and we still not cool…” etc. However, I’m a stickler with trying to rhyme as many of the words with words that were in the original song, and “do” and “cool” don’t rhyme with “racks” and “bad”.

2. The lines in the song about Obama visiting Roscoe’s chicken and waffles was a last-minute addition. I already knew I wanted to mention the Al Green thing where he sang some verses at Apollo theater, and was trying to fit it in in the place where the Roscoe’s part now is.  It ended up working better the other way around.

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT

Once I finished writing the song, I began envisioning how I wanted to shoot the video. My first thoughts always go to green screen; however, at the moment I don’t have it set up and didn’t feel like waiting. Plus, I noticed that most of my videos have a bunch of stand still shots in them where the camera isn’t moving – in part, because I don’t often have someone else who can hold the camera for me.

So, I placed up a Facebook status saying I would pay someone $25 to follow me around with a camera. Lo and behold, my friend Sasha – who’s shot videos for and with me before (see: “Big Moochin’ Fella,” “Teach Me How to Snuggie”) – hit me up and said she was down to shoot!

We only went two places, but were able to get a lot of good shots. The first was Fox Hills mall; we shot in two parking lots, and in front of a J.C. Penny’s wall. The second was Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles – not the one Obama actually went to, but a new one that just opened near my apartment (I’m all for saving gas money and not going too far to shoot stuff if possible). I wanted a shot of me eating the chicken and waffles, so we went there and actually ordered some food just so I could get it filmed.

Once I got the filmed shots I needed, i went home and downloaded various Obama news and/or event clips off YouTube to add to my video. A couple of days later, and the video was done – and came out hilarious!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits:

1. The one thing I forgot to research prior to going to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles was what President Obama ordered when he went there. Sasha suggested I get the “Succulent Breast and Waffle” (that’s what it says on the menu, lol); I was leaning towards getting some dark meat. I decided to get the #9, i.e. 3 wings and a waffle. When I got home, I researched it and discovered that the President had ordered the EXACT SAME THING when he was there!! What are the odds?!?

2. I like dancing in my videos because… well, I won’t be able to dance like I do now forever, so it’s nice to have it documented 🙂

3. The girl walking in front of me that I try to “dance” with is Sasha. Her cameo was an improved idea by me while I was in the midst of my dance sequence. She’s also the fist responsible for punching me in the face.

4. At the end of the video, you see me on camera with a Hampton University T-shirt. This is my alma mater. More importantly, though, during the last campaign I had hoped they would hit me up and ask me to perform “Obama Milli Remix,”  but I hadn’t worn anything in the video that indicated I went to the school! So, for this year, whenever I do an Obama-related song, I’ll have the HU paraphernalia on somewhere in it. Hopefully they’ll reach out to me this time!

And that’s it! Watch the video, download the song, and share it with your friends today!

– A.P.T.

Hey all! I decided to do a parody of a popular song – in this case, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni–as in Paris,” and turn it into a Christmas song called “Christmas in Paris!” It’s been sent to iTunes, and should be available very, very soon. In the meantime, I’m allowing it to be a FREE download for the next week, so get it and pass it around to your friends!

Here’s the song in YouTube video form (depending on how popular it is, I may make a video for it)!

And here’s the FREE download link: http://www37.zippyshare.com/v/9499906/file.html

-A.P.T.

A.P.T.: Professional Song Writer

So… those of you who have been following my music career on here for the last 3 years and 4 months may remember that my initial goal was to be able to write songs for other people.

Sure, writing songs for myself is fun but, truth be told, I don’t really like performing in front of others all that much.  Ironic since I graduated with a theater degree, but over the last few years I’ve found that I get more joy from seeing other people perform my stuff than if I do it. Only problem is, for most of my time out here I haven’t been able to connect with anyone who wanted to pay me to write songs for them.

That is, of course, until 2 weeks ago…

Long story short: I was sitting at home looking up jobs to help bring in more income (my current job doesn’t pay all that much) when I received a call from a person whom I had worked with on a project early last year. This person told me that a friend of hers – a well-known comedian – was looking to hire a new song writer to help him create parody songs for his radio show. Again, those who read this site know… well, heck, I did the Lil’ Wayne “A Milli” parody about Obama, so it’s pretty much what I’m known for doing!

After I said “Yes,” I sent this person a link the comedian could go to to see some of my previous parodies in music video form. The comedian got in touch with me, said he LOVED my work (especially the “Teach Me How to Snuggie” video), and sent me the name of a test song he wanted me to parody, as well as the subject matter.  This was around 3 PM, and he wanted me to have it written and sent to him that same day.  I sat around for 4 hours watching TV, ate some dinner, and wrote the song up in about an hour, then sent it to him…

…and he LOVED it.

He sent me another song/idea to type up and, despite having to go to work that day, managed to type up another song for him that same day (during my work time, too).  He loved that one as well, and we got to meet up later that weekend to record it. By this point I was just happy that somebody liked my work enough to want to pay me for it, especially with this particular comedian, who I had seen on TV a few times back in the day (on BET’s “Comicview”).

Little did I know just how big of a deal writing for this guy would actually be…

After we recorded, he said he had to go get some sleep so he could get up at 2 A.M. the next morning for his radio show.  I didn’t actually know what his radio show was (I stupidly hadn’t asked him), and when he told me the name of the show, my mind was BLOWN.

I won’t give up too many details on here (feel free to ask me in person), but he’s the co-host of a NATIONALLY-BROADCASTED MORNING SHOW that’s VERY well-known.  And, as it turns out, the songs I’m writing for him are songs that, after he records them, are being played on the show for EVERYONE to hear!!

Anyway… so I just sent off the contract yesterday, and it’s official: I am now a professional songwriter for a nationally-broadcasted morning show.  The pay I get monthly for the gig is great for a starting writer, and definitely enough for me to get my own apartment (should I decide to do so) and, at some point, a car.  More important than the money, though, is the fact that I can put this gig on my professional resume, which should allow me to open even MORE doors and get more writing gigs.

My ultimate goal is to be able to be writing for enough people to stay home full-time and do it.  Actually, I could do that right now, but I still have my part-time job which I’ll be keeping until I’m able to replace the time I’d be working there with more writing gigs.

At the end of the day, though, I’m glad this opportunity came my way. I feel like I’ve been working hard for YEARS now, and between writing all my songs, creating videos and working for others, it’s nice to see that it will finally be paying off.  This is the stuff that can happen when you take the time out to focus on your dreams. Even if you don’t think anyone is watching you, always be in the process of doing the thing you want to do most – that way, when an opportunity comes along, you have a resume of stuff you can show to others that prove why you deserve what’s being offered to you!

-A.P.T.

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


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


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

Available as a FREE download – click HERE!
Available on iTunes – click HERE!
Available on Amazon – click HERE!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

Hey peeps, what it do, nephew, how’s it hangin’, is u wangin’?? (Shout outs to my man Capo Snake for that last one!)

Aight, enough with the intro, peeps, let’s go!

So, the last video/song I dropped was for “Teach Me How to Snuggie,” thus effectively allowing me to have made a visual for every song off my “Prince of Parody, Vol. 1” album (available on iTunes – click HERE to check it out). And just today, one of my fans asked me what my next YouTube video was going to be.

On that end, I have no idea.  Actually, scratch that – right now I’m deciding between two different songs.  One of them is a parody, while the other one is an original song that’s just plain funny.

In reference to the latter song, the lyrics are already done and the chorus has been recorded.  Normally I’d stick with my M.O. of going strictly with a parody song/video… but when I came up with the idea, it made me laugh so much while I was writing it that I had to see if it would be worth recording.  And when I told the idea to a couple of my lady friends (who will also be on the song), they couldn’t stop singing it over and over after only hearing it ONE time.

Once the song has been completed, I’ll probably put together a video for it, one that’s not too complicated.  I’ve noticed that there are a LOT of YouTube videos that get hits, many of which aren’t all that impressive.  I think the content of this particular song won’t require me to do too much visually, yet I’ll still be able to make it funny.

So that’s all well and good, but what about albums??  When are my next ALBUMS coming out, you may ask? Well…

As you may have noticed, the climate of music has changed.  Are people still buying albums? Absolutely.  Are they buying them at the same volume as they were 10 years ago? Absolutely not.

With that thought, it’s dawned on me that putting together a whole album these days may not be the most profitable route to go.  Take a look at recent examples by Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Lil’ Wayne – three artists who have figured out way to sell a TON of copies of ONE of their respective songs.  Britney did it by releasing teaser snippets of “Hold It Against Me” a week before it came out; and, just recently, she spent the last 14 days putting out snippets of the video for it – by the time the video dropped, the world was DYING to see it/hear it/buy it online!

And so it is, I’m considering doing the same thing.  Granted, right now I’m back in full-on writing mode (finally!), so I have ideas coming at me for an official A.P.T. album as well as another Prince of Parody album.  I’ll probably release at least one more A.P.T. album for the heck of it, and concentrate on releasing any future songs as singles as they come to me.  Plus, the Prince of Parody thing is great because I can release an album of spoof songs at any time and have most of the songs off it be popular since they’re essentially remakes of songs already proven to be popular.

Wow.  That last sentence was a tongue-twister.

That’s all for now – new song droppin’ later this week, fam!

-A.P.T.

Today’s insights are for my new music video, “Rub That Nair” (a parody of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair”)

Download @ iTunes today – click HERE!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG

In October, I decided to focus my musical efforts back onto making parody songs.  I’ve made tons of “real” songs, but my most popular (and profitable) ones have always been the ones I’ve made where I mock other people’s songs.

A month prior to this decision, Will Smith’s daughter, Willow, dropped her first song, the oh-so-infectious “Whip My Hair.” She may be nine, but I’ll be darned if all my In-Their-20s-and-Older friends weren’t bumpin’ that song in their cars!

I KNEW the song would be ripe for parody – the only question was, what could I make fun of that would make the song funny? 

I checked on YouTube to see what other people had done, and most of them were song parodies of something being whipped. Not very original.

Around this same time… okay, so I don’t want to get too detailed into this part, as I may be giving away things I shouldn’t be giving away… but it was called to my attention that Nair, a hair removal product for women, is sometimes used by men for the same purpose: namely, removing hair without having to use a straight razor.

I didn’t necessarily think the idea of a guy using Nair was funny. However, the idea of a guy buying a pink bottle of Nair in the women’s aisle of a store, then trying to hide it from other girls for fear of appearing gay WAS, in fact, hilarious enough to make a song about!

Writing the song itself, though, was quite hard.  As with all parodies, trying to pick the right words so it flows and sounds similar to the original is hard.  It’s almost like playing Sudoku: you know there’s a way for everything to fit together at some point, but it requires a lot of going back and re-looking over things you may have put down.

Worse, it’s a pop song, not a rap song.  Pop songs usually use LESS words than rap songs, which means any grand ideas I may have had that would normally require me to say lots of words had to be scrunched down. I can’t even remember what the writing process was like, other than I wrote the second verse first, the last verse second and the first verse last.

Once I wrote it, I contacted someone from YouTube that had made a remake of the “Whip My Hair” beat and asked if I could use it.  Once he sent it to me sans the chorus part, I had to go into the hardest part of the process: recording the song. 

I don’t make it a habit to sing (even though I know how to), and trying to sing in the same octave as Willow was just not happening.  Her voice is definitely higher than mine (she’s a KID, people!), and when I would try to his some of those higher notes my voice would start cracking.  I ended up having to sing in a lower register and keep my tone slightly flatter in order to make the song work.

Once the song was recorded, though, I was quite happy with the results, and couldn’t stop laughing my butt off.  Definitely the sign of a good parody!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits

1. The original plan was to make this a Non Juan song.  However, there were certain issues going on involving Non Juan at the time (which I won’t get into here) about a day after I had started recording it as him.  So, I switched it over to an A.P.T. song instead.  Once I finished recording it and put it up on iTunes, the Non Juan issues were resolved, but I liked the way the song sounded at that point. Oh well!

2. The chorus part in this song is shorter.  It’s the same repeat chorus as the original, but I only decided to play it back once instead of twice.  For parody songs, the idea is to get the point across and keep it funny; I thought by keeping the chorus as long as the original song it would make people turn the song off because they’d have to wait for the next part of the joke – i.e. the next verse of the song – to play.

3. My favorite line in the song: “Don’t use it on your face, though/plus u can’t use it down there! (No nair – down theeeeeere!)”

INSIGHTS INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

This video was on-and-off shot for a lot of days.  I recorded my parts in front of the green screen first, then shot parts in the bathroom.

However, there was ONE part that made me have to wait: the short part of the song where I say “Don’t tell your girl you use it/If you do, she’ll think that you’re a punk… or gay.”  Originally, I was just going to act like I was being all secretive about using Nair to get the point across that I was hiding my usage from my girl.

But then, I figured it would be funny to have an actual girl in the video that could laugh at me for using it. 

Unfortunately, this caused a delay in taping because, when trying to get another person to film something, you have to find someone that’s (a) available, (b) available at the time you need them, and (c) open enough to be on camera and give you the shot you want.

Luckily, my friend Tamika ended up coming over to my apartment one afternoon before work, and agreed to take 10 minutes before she had to go to film the part of the video I needed a girl for.  We only had to do a couple of takes and she nailed it.  Definitely worth waiting for the shot, as it is HILARIOUS in the video!

As for the rest of it, I filmed it in my bathroom.  I don’t really have that hairy of a chest (in fact, I ended up shaving it so the “Nair” effect would look real); instead, I had to use my friend’s semi-afroic party wig as the source of my chest hair.  From there, I set up my Flip camera in my bathroom cabinet, opened its doors and filmed. 

BTW: let me just say, having a Flip camera is awesome.  It’s small enough so you can fit it anywhere, and it shoots stuff in HD.  Love it!

Once I got all my shots, I loaded it up to my Final Cut program and took about 2 days to edit it all together.  The final product is, I must say, pretty darn hilarious, and I hope you all get a kick out of it!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits

1. For the part of the song where I say “3 minutes later, ooh, it’s all gone/Any longer than that, you’ll burn your skin off…” I have a hole going through my chest where you can see the other side of the bathroom.  To do this, I used the head portion of my green screen suit and held it against my chest.  In post-production, I was able to key the green out and place a picture “behind” it of the actual background of my bathroom.  Pretty cool, huh?

2. The background used on the green screen shots? I went to Wal-mart with one of my friends and took a 1.5 minute long snippet of a rack that had various Nair products.

3. To keep the wig on my chest, I tied a black fire wire around it and my chest.  It was able to blend in with the wig so you can’t even tell its there!

4. And yes, that is actual Nair I’m using in the video.  And yes, I rubbed it on my face for the “Don’t use it on your face” line.  And it smells. BAD. I’d put it on, film it, then wash it off right away so it wouldn’t start eating at my hair!

That’s all for now – enjoy the video, and download the song from iTunes today!

– A.P.T.
www.PrinceOfParody.com