Tag Archive: R&B


Screw PCs – I Need a Mac!

So, I filmed my music video for this week yesterday.  And the footage came out pretty good.

I went to load it up onto my PC.  After I hooked the USB cord between my laptop and my camera, I started loading the film and placed the camera on the end of my futon.  As I lied back to rest for a little bit, I heard a “thud.”

I look over… and my camera had fallen off my futon onto the floor, thus disconnecting the camera from the laptop!

No big deal, I thought.  The camera wasn’t damaged, and, after hooking the camera back up to the laptop, it was still able to load the film up on my PC.

After it finished loading, though, a problem arose: the film wouldn’t play in Windows Media.  It would play in Quicktime and Realtime, but in order for me to edit the film, I need it to play in Windows Media. 

And it would. NOT. Play!

Damnit!!

So, now I’m in the position where I have to buy a codec transfer program (for those of you that aren’t tech savvy, a codec is basically programming code that tells WMP it’s okay for the file to play on it) for $30 so I can transfer the film back into WMP mode, or not have a video this week.  Furthermore, NONE of the other files I’ve filmed prior to this week’s video will play now, which means, should I need them in the future, I’ll have to transfer all those files, too.

Then, there’s the recording aspect.  PCs aren’t really built to handle a whole lot of artsy-related projects (i.e. filming, recording music, etc.).  They can do it, but not as efficiently as a MAC, which comes with software programmed into it to do those things. 

I got an interface for my studio mic so that I can record vocals that don’t sound like they were said into a pod-cast radio mic (yay!).  Unfortunately, because a studio mic uses something called “Phantom Power,” it takes up a bit more memory on my PC than my other mic did. 

The result? For one, I can’t have any other programs open when I’m recording. This includes Fruity Loops, which I would normally open up to play the beat back while I record – if I do that now, everything slows up so much that the recording and the playback sound choppy. (Luckily, I found an old MP3 Player lying around that I can load my beats up to and listen to while I record.) Secondly, when I record, there will be times where I’ll record a verse, and then go back and listen to it, only to find that there was a split second here or there where the audio jumped and didn’t catch a word or two I said.

Because of this, it’s taking me longer to record all this stuff.  It will still be coming out on Sunday, August 24th, and it will sound GREAT – but instead of putting together a song in, say, an hour, each song will probably take me a minimum of 2.5 to 3 hours to cut and paste together.

Oh, the things I will do to satisfy a dream.

By the way: the album is being sold for 5.99.  The way I see it, if I sell at least 200 copies, I can go out and buy myself a MAC, and use it solely for music-related projects, thus allowing my PC to be used for internet-related things only.

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt

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This week’s song/music video is for “Kick Bush” (Lupe Fiasco “Kick Push” Re-make)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I wrote this song two years ago, around the time Chicago-based rapper Lupe Fiasco dropped his first single, the oh-so infectious skateboarder’s anthem, “Kick Push.” Whenever I hear a song I really like, it becomes inevitible that I’ll start freestyling something to the beat and/or re-creating the song to my own version.

For this one, replacing “Push” with “Bush” was a no-brainer. Having the word “Kick” in front of it was also approriate, as most people are so angry with President Bush’s performance in the White House that the feeling of shoving a boot in his arse is universal.

To write the song, I decided to focus on his two major screw-ups while in office. The first verse mentions the tragedy that struck the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, and Bush’s botching of the situationg – not only by delaying his reaction to initially hearing about the incident, but also somehow managing to get us into a war with Iraq, despite the fact that it was people from Afganistan who attacked us.

The second verse talks about Bush’s mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina situation. Louisiana and Mississippi were both struck by this high-category storm in 2005, and the goverment’s response to it… well, let’s just say, they were able to get food to Iraqis halfway across the world faster than a state less than 3 hours away by plane. And while people were waiting to be saved in Louisiana, what was our President doing? Going to plays, judging mundane farm contest, and basically doing everything BUT touching down on the ground in those two states and connecting with the people.

Moron.

Anyway, my friend Michele was living down in New Orleans in 2006, and I went down there to (a) visit her, and (b) see the destruction first-hand. It had been about 11 months since the storm hit, and parts of the city looked like it had been hit the day before I went! That, combined with my viewing of Spike Lee’s Hurricane Katrina documentary on HBO, made me think up this song.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is what I consider a “re-make,” not a “parody.” Parodies are meant to be funny, and this one is not all that humorous. However, it does follow the cadance and flow used by Lupe Fiasco in “Kick Push,” so if the song should be funny to those familiar with the original song.

2. The voice of “Bush” in the song is me. I have to say this, because for some reason people think “A.P.T.” is a group, and when I do voices it only makes people think this more. I have NO help at the moment, people!

INSIGHT INTO THE VIDEO SHOOT:

So, the song was written and recorded two years ago. Why release it now?

I put it on “The O-Bama Mixtape” because I always thought it was a good song, and that people would enjoy listening to it (especially true hip-hop heads who LOVE Lupe Fiasco). At the same time, any songs with a major public figure have what I call “limited shelf life.” They are only relevant for as long as that public figure is, which means once that person goes away, so goes the popularity of the song.

In this case, the song calls for the President to be impeached and/or kicked out of office. However, since it’s an election year, Bush WILL, in fact, be out of office come January 20, 2009. Therefore, any songs I have where I talk about him have to be released prior to November, when our next President will be elected into the White House.

“The O-Bama Mixtape” was released 2 weeks ago. And guess what one of the more popular songs on the mixtape was? You guessed it – “Kick Bush!” The song has already been posted on numerous websites, and someone even attempted to make a re-remake of my song and post it on YouTube… but he hasn’t gotten many views for his because, quite frankly, it sucks. You can’t just MAKE a re-make or parody people; work and research has to go into it so it catches on!!

Since the song has already shown its popularity, I figured, “hey, why not make a music video for it?!”

Amazingly, I had the idea for this video for two weeks now. I’m basically stealing the idea from “Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood,” only it’s “Mr. Taylor’s Neighborhood.” I’m reading a book I just bought called “Kick Bush: Based on a True (But Sad) Story,” and – because it’s mostly a picture book – the majority of the video tells the story of the song via digital images. Very ingenious, and non-time consuming film-wise – it only took me about 35-40 minutes to film my part of it.

The longest parts of putting the video together was (a) finding the pictures to use, and (b) editing. I was on google and Yahoo for God know’s how long, looking for public domain pictures to use in the video. As for editing… let’s just say, having a PC program sucks monkey balls. I had to publish this friggin’ video FOUR times because there would be a glitch here or there that would pop up in the video after it was done publishing. Also, because I decided to put transitions from shot-to-shot in here, it bumped up the publishing time from 10 minutes to 28 minutes.

Yes, I sat around for TWO hours waiting for this thing to be published right, so people had beter enjoy it!!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. I did NOT film this in my apartment! My shower is broken at the moment, and maintenence has yet to fix it, so I have to use another apartment to shower in. This is the place I chose to film this video because my place was messy, and I wanted another place for people to look at besides my place all the time!!

2. I got the floor rocking chair from Target. Yes, it really DOES rock,, and is very comfortable!

3. The opening shot of the video is the front of my apartment complex.

4. I made the “book-cover” myself using a piece of paper and a red-and-green crayon. The book is actually a journal I used to write in from ages 15 to 18.

5. I filmed myself doing the song twice. The first time I filmed it, the back of the book was showing, but the paper only went to the half-way point of the back end. Since I wanted to give the illusion that this was a REAL book, I had to film it over and over again until I finally had the book at an angle to where the back wasn’t showing.

6. Estimated editing time: a LONG time. The editing was done by 1 PM, but the publishing took until 5 to get right. I need a MAC and a hired editor – this stuff is time-consuming!

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

-A.P.T.

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

Before I begin: I just realized that these blogs get imported to Facebook, yet they don’t attach the actual link to my site.  Therefore, whenever I type these from now on, I’ll be leaving the link address under my name – if you’re reading this on facebook, GO TO MY SITE!! You can download my new songs there!

Anyway… so, I did the first record for my new song last night, and have to make the video for it between now and Sunday.  Unfortunately, it just dawned on me that, aside from today and Saturday morning, I will (tentatively) be working full days for the remainder of the week!

In short, that means I have to shoot most of the video today.  I already had plans made for today (most not really important – getting a haircut, cleaning my place up, etc.), but I like having busy days because… well, it’s better than sitting around doing nothing!

The song is so new, I haven’t even memorized it yet.  Luckily, the concept for the video doesn’t require me to mouth the words to the song.  It will consist mostly of… HEY! Wait a minute! I can’t give away TOO much!  Guess you’ll have to wait until Sunday!

Okay, I will say this much – this will the the first video where the majority of it will NOT take place in my apartment.  It’s nice weather outside, and I live right next to the park.  The only thing I have to worry about is the occasional purple lines my camera films when it gets too much sunlight in the shot.  I promise you, once I get a little more money, the first thing I’m doing is upgrading to a REAL digital camera, instead of my current method of using my Kodak picture cam’s video capabilities (which, while good, isn’t as high of a quality as I’d like).

Okay, I’m off to make some breakfast, then map out my filming schedule.  I have plans at 5 PM today, and it’s 8:30 AM right now, which gives me 8-1/2 hours to film something.  It’s a good thing I get up at 6:30 every morning – with no alarm!

-A.P.T.

http://www.aptsongs.wordpress.com