Tag Archive: the apt lp


This week’s music video is for the song “The Great Black Hope,” off the album of the same name!

AVAILABLE ON A.P.T.’S “THE GREAT BLACK HOPE” ALBUM! Click HERE for more info!

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

I’m a big fan of Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report.”  It’s a political satire show that’s basically a mocking of Bill O’ Reiley’s “The O’Reiley Factor.”

It’s opening theme song is a nice rock and roll riff that simply jams.  I’m always looking for tunes to sample that aren’t being used by everybody else, and I wanted to take his show’s theme song and see if I could make it into a rap tune.  I couldn’t find the tune downloadable anywhere, so I used my Mom’s sound recorder on her computer to record the theme from the online site, and transferred it to my laptop’s Fruitly Loops program.

This was about a year and a half ago.  I had the beat, the first, and even came up with the chorus and title – “The Great Black Hope”… but beyond that, I didn’t have the rest of the song written at, nor did I know what direction I wanted the song to go in.  So, as I do with all songs that I can’t seem to figure out, I put it on the back-burner and didn’t write anything to it for a while.  I’d listen to the beat occasionally trying to get ideas, but couldn’t come up with anything…

Fast-forward to November 2008: After I released the “The Next Black President” mixtape, I started thinking up songs for my next album.  I knew that, with Barack Obama winning the election, this would be a perfect time to release an album titled “The Great Black Hope.”  I already had the beat, chorus, and first verse for it, but I still didn’t know how to finish it up.  I literally went weeks trying to think up lyrics for a second verse, and nothing I wrote seemed to come out right.

Finally, as my self-imposed deadline for the album’s release date was coming, I had to buckle down and come up with something.  So I started thinking and thinking, and I figured that with the given song title, it would be good of me to explain WHY I consider myself “The Great Black Hope.”  So, I decided to mention a lil’ bit about having been through the struggle of trying to make it in the music biz, as well as having enough status to be a model of success and hope for those that haven’t made it as far.  Granted, I’m not uber famous by any means, but I HAVE gotten enough attention to where I am able to actively make progress towards my goals (verses just talking about them and getting no where due to lack of momentum).

Once I figured that part out, writing the second verse of the song was easy.  Once the song was done, I went back and added some rise sounds to the beat, plus – since I wanted the song to have a hype feel to it – I added in cheering audience sounds (which I got off a sound FX CD).  Once everything was completed, I took a listen to the song, and knew: THIS was definitely a GREAT album-opening song!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. There’s a part of the song where a door bell rings.  I didn’t have the sound effect, so, since I was visiting my Mom at the time, I had her stand outside and ring the bell while I held up a microphone next to where the door bell sound comes out.

2. The cheering sound only lasted so long, so I had to re-loop it over and over to fit the whole song.

3. My favorite line: “A rap sensai, you can call me Splinter.”  Seems like an old-school reference, don’t it? Dang, I’m gettin’ old!

INSIGHT INTO A MUSIC VIDEO:

I had the video idea for this one last week, but didn’t have time to film it.  It’s very simple: Since there is cheering being heard throughout the song, I thought it fitting to make the video similar to those “Karaoke” games available for PS3, X-Box 360 and Nintendo Wii.

Shooting for the video was pretty easy – I hung one of my more decorative blankets where my curtain “should” be, and mimed the song at 2 different angles (though I only ended up using one of them for the majority of the video).  I was originally going to also use myself as the person playing/singing along to the game… but quite honestly, I didn’t want to shoot yet another video where I’m playing more than one person.

Luckily, I happened to have access to a puppet (can’t reveal WHY yet), and decided to use it as the character singing along to the game. I had to film it at an angle where my arm and body couldn’t be seen.

The longest part of the editing process was typing in the scrolling lyrics.  I had to make sure they lined up with the wording of the song.  I actually had to revert back to my good ol’ PC to add the words in, and I also added in the watercolor effect for the parts where I’m singing so I’d look more video gamey.  Once I transferred it to my MAC, I also added in some high-color green effects, along with some other effects to give my look some variation.  Add in the music track with the puppet footage, and voila – another hot video by me, A.P.T.!

Some Interesting Video Shoot Tidbits

1. I did the shots of me singing close-up to give the impression that I was in front of a stage curtain.  In actuality, I filmed it in my room 🙂

2. Mouthing a puppet is hard work!  I had to have it sing along to the song, which is almost 4 minutes worth of mouthing words.  About 2.5 minutes in, my hand started getting tired, and I had to re-adjust it so I could finish.  Luckily, I could just leave those parts out.

3. The thing sitting up in the puppet’s lap is my studio mic.  In retrospect, a person wouldn’t use a studio mic when playing a video game… but who cares?!?

4. Estimated editing time: about 5 hours.  Not too bad, considering I also filmed it today!

That’s all for now – only 9 more music videos left to go!  See ya next week!

-A.P.T.

It’s Christmas morning – 3:08 AM to be exact – and I can’t sleep.

Not that I wasn’t tired a few hours ago. I was taking a mini-nap about 3 hours ago when my brother came in from his Christmas party at his fiance’s parents’ house, thus waking me from my start-of-sleep.  I decided to surf the ‘net before I went back to sleep…

…and then a thought kicked in my head.  As I mentioned in a blog prior, I was sought out by a man named Rob Tillman to come up with a theme song for his web page (still in progress).  In the talks we’ve had back and forth, he mentioned that, given the number of repostings of my “Obama Obama” Lil Wayne “A Milli” remake currently on YouTube, it’s probably gotten well over 3  millon views.

So, being the type of artist who likes to know what type of audience he’s attracting, I thought, “hey, why not see how many instances I can find of people reposting their own home-made videos involving my ‘Obama’ song?”

3 hours later, and I just finished looking at a good majority of them. Man, oh, man…


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

Okay, there’s a little something you should know about me: I tend to underplay my importance on other people’s lives.  I’m the person who will pick up and move at the drop of a hat without saying “goodbye” to people – not because I hate them, but because I figure, once I’m gone, they’ll eventually get over me having been there, and it will be like I wasn’t there at all.


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

So, for me, when this “O-bama” song dropped and took off, I really, REALLY didn’t think it would last that long.  I thought it would be good for a few thousand YouTube views (not MILLIONS); that it might, if I was lucky, play on a few morning radio stations where they usually play parody songs (as opposed to getting play on WORLDWIDE radio stations); that a few people might visit my site and download it (over 8000 downloads of the song between the song itself, the “The O-bama Mixtape” downloads and sales of the song at 99 cents each); and that, maybe, just maybe, a famous person might come across it and hear it (as opposed to rappers, DJs, radio hosts and celebrities quoting my lil’ catch phrase ad nausea).


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

Furthermore, since I did the song almost as a joke, I had NO idea it would have any influence on the election at all.  It might sound cocky to say that, but in looking at the videos I just saw on YouTube, it can’t be understated that the song definitely got some butts to the booth to vote.


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

And what did I see in these videos, you ask?  People of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds… posting up home-made videos to my song.  I saw:

  •  A video of an older Latino woman listening to it on her computer
  • A video of two younger white girls dancing in their kitchen to it
  • Young kids in their den rapping along to it
  • Countless video blogs where people used the song as their intro
  • A video of a homecoming rally where a guy was dancing to my song in the middle of a gym
  • Countless videos with people wearing Obama masks, doing silly things on camera while my song played in the background
  • An awesome video of a guy trying to persuade young people to vote by hip-hop dancing to my song in his living room

I could literally be typing for another 30 minutes about the videos I saw posted that included my song.  Clearly, it made a MAJOR impact on people’s decision to vote for Obama! (BTW: CUT THE CHECK, BARACK!)


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

So, what have I learned from all this?  One, it’s made me very, VERY confident in my abilities to be successful.  They (whoever “they” may be) say it’s hard to become successful, and even harder to duplicate it.  I don’t want to duplicate it, I want to go BEYOND what I’ve already done with this one song.


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

Two, I’ve learned what it takes to make something that will affect a large group of people.  Even when I made the song, I knew that if there were people out there who (a) liked Obama, and (b) liked Lil’ Wayne, they would definitely like my song.  The secret, then, is to do a focus of the audience I’m trying to reach, and figure out what will best connect with them.  This relates not just to my music, but other things as well: books I want to write (or have written), ideas for inventions/products I may have, and so on.


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

And three, I’ve learned that, regardless of how much I may try to downplay it sometimes, I do – and can – play an important role in the lives of others, both good and bad.  Personally, though, I prefer it to be on the “good” side – this is why I try to keep my music as upbeat and positive as I can.


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

As a sidebar: if there’s one regret I have, it’s that I didn’t get to perform the song live. Actually, I performed it live one time – at my brother’s 25th birthday party in July – but, aside from the countless times I did it in my apartment, I was working so much to support myself while in Atlanta that I didn’t find the time to go out and perform it.  Plus, with the way the train/bus system was in Atlanta, I wouldn’t have had a way to get home were I to go to clubs because most open mics started late (around 10:30 PM), and most of the buses stopped around 11 PM.  Kinda limits a person’s performing ability. 

However, I DO hope to be able to perform the song a few times once I get to L.A. – heck, once I get there, it will still be 10 days before Obama is officially sworn in, so I’m sure demand for the song will be back up (not that it’s gone down – people are still posting up new videos to my song to this day.  Believe me, I’ve already checked!)

That’s really all I have to say.  After seeing all those videos, I feel really good about myself, and even more positive about my move to California.  I know I’ll be able to impact even more people for the good once I get out there, and I look forward to seeing what develops.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!

-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…

I’m certainly glad I was able to use most of the house for the “Killed the Beat” video.  For all I know, it may be one of the last times I film in that house.

Why? Because me and my housemates have to move out!

Unbeknownst to us, our landlord wasn’t actually using our money to pay the mortgage, so the house got sold in a foreclosure sale last week.  According to the bank that bought the house, we have 2 weeks from the date of sale to move out. (Thought they said they would try to see if they could extend it a bit to give us time to find a place to live.  How nice of them.)

So, where does that leave me?  Right now, I have NO idea.  I’ve been pondering what I want to do next… and what I really, REALLY want to do is move out to California.

Actually, I wanted to move out to California after Atlanta, but I didn’t have enough money saved up.  Now that I have a little bit of money, I figure I could probably do a few things and complete a few goals at the same time.  What goals am I talking about?

GOAL #1: DRIVING ACROSS COUNTRY

Okay, so I don’t have a car, meaning I wouldn’t drive. But I could catch a bus or train and do the same thing, going state-to-state and seeing different parts of the country.  Of course, I had wanted to do this during the summertime when it’s nice outside, but hey – a trip is a trip!

GOAL #2: MOVE TO CALIFORNIA

Given the number of talents I have that are art-related – directing, acting, writing, etc. – it just seems like I’d have a better chance of getting noticed – or, at the very least, an agent/manager – if I went to a location where that stuff was more prevelent.  Not that I couldn’t get discovered or be successful in D.C. – I just prefer the weather out there, sunny and warm vs. rainy and cold like it is where I am right now.

So, I have a few things to think about.  In the meantime, some good news: I received an e-mail from a record label in London asking me if I’d be willing to perform for them.  They also said they’d be willing to pay for my travel expenses.  I don’t know if it’s a joke or not (I’m always skeptical about these sorts of things), but they sent phone numbers and web site addresses, and the site they had looked REAL professional, so hopefully it’s legit – just the fact that they’d pay for my travel makes the trip more than worth it!

As for this week’s video… once again, it’s one of those things where I have NO idea what song or video I want to do.  I only have a couple of songs off “The Next Black President” mixtape I could do videos for – I just have to figure out where and how I would film them.  But you know me – something will be up by Sunday!

That’s all for now – see ya Sunday!

-A.P.T.

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

obama-shirt-long

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

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

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

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

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

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

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

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Insights Into the Video Shoot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-A.P.T.

E-Mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

I have discovered a wonderful thing while living here in D.C. (or Northern VA, for those of you who like to be technical about such things): the coffee shop is an AWESOME place to meet people.

My current living location is not yet equipped with internet capabilities.  Consequently, I have to track up to my local Panera Bread everyday, where free Wireless Internet is available.

In my last few visits up here, I’ve had the pleasure of running into people who I’ve struck up conversations with.  If you know me by now, you know I don’t tend to go out of my way to introduce myself to new people… yet, somehow, the way I carry myself must be telling people: “This guy looks like he wouldn’t mind talking to me!”

A couple of days ago, I went to use the internet at PB.  During the hours of 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, they only allow its patrons to use the internet for 30 minutes at a time (in the hopes of cutting down on internet traffic).  While I was on the ‘net, this girl came and sat down in the chair next to me.  Of course, since I didn’t know this girl, I didn’t pay any attention to her. 

At 1:20 PM, the internet cut off.  I had to wait 10 minutes for 1:30 to hit so I could get back online again, so I pulled out a book I’ve been reading called “Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto” (an excellent read about people like me who enjoy their alone time, yet isn’t always understood by the masses).  While reading the book, the girl sitting next to me interupts and asks what my book is about.

The next thing I know, I’m involved in a 20-minute conversation with this girl who – it turns out – actually graduated from the same college (Hampton University) as me!

And today, after waiting for a wall plug to open up (so that my laptop wouldn’t die on me), I was able to sit in the same place – only this time, it was next to a girl who was there to campaign for her father for congress.  We, too, spent about 20 or 30 minutes chatting away about politics, as well as other things.

In short, the coffee shop kicks major behind in terms of meeting people, and I hope I’ll continue to come here even after I get internet in my place of residence.

As for this week’s video – I filmed it last night.  It’s a song off “The O-bama Mixtape,” and it’s the last Obama-related song I’ll be doing. EVER.  I’d like to get famous, and not just off of doing songs about a politican.  At the same time, it’s nice to know that my songs may have – hopefully – had an impact on making people want to vote for a black candidate.

That’s all for now – see ya tomorrow!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com/APT

This week’s music video is for the song “Blow It All” (produced by Swollen Drumz Productions).

THIS SONG IS AVAILABLE ON BOTH “THE O-BAMA MIXTAPE” AND “THE A.P.T. LP!”

DOWNLOAD “THE A.P.T. LP” HERE, ONLY 6.99: A.P.T. Presents: “The A.P.T. LP” (Sent automatically after payment)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

When I was shuffling through beats for song consideration for “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I came across this beat called “Blow It All,” courtesy of Swollen Drumz Productions. The beat already had the chorus in place – and thank God it wasn’t a sample, as it meant I didn’t need production from an artist like Jay-Z or some record company conglomerate in order to resell the song.

The beat itself is pretty short in time length, but it was the rapid pace at which the beat went that initially attracted me to it. I tend to speak at a steady medium pace when I do songs so that people will understand me… but when I’m not doing songs, I tend to talk like the rapper Twista. It’s been a problem for many years, and I think it stems from trying to interject my thoughts into conversations when I was younger. I was rarely able to get a word in edgewise when in a group of people, so I would say what I had to say really fast when there was a small space of silence.

26 years later, and I’m still talking like a speed demon!

Even with the fact that I talk fast, it was still a bit of a challenge to record the song. The goal for me was to record it in one take; however, by making that decision, it meant I had to start over from the beginning if I made a mistake during the song. Oftentimes, I’d get to the third verse, and have a small lyrical misstep that would force me to cut the recording and do it ALL over again.

Since the chorus was already determined – “I came to blow it, blow it, blow it all” – I had to make the song about trying to spend a lot of money. I created a scenario where I got a big wad of cash, and decided to go on a trip to Vegas for a high-roller weekend.

In terms of word-choice… people think rapping a song at a fast pace is hard, but it’s really not. All you have to do is pick words that sound similar to each other, then place them next to each other. Choosing the right words will allow you to flow the words together pretty easily.

For example, “pick a winner in winter” or “get a pickle at dinner” are easy to say fast because they have what I call “Sticking point” syllables. The “k’s” and “n’s” roll off the tongue easy, and can therefore be said a lot faster than something like “went to the bakery for some bread,” which, when saying it fast, causes the tongue to trip over itself.

This is what I call a “skill track.” It’s one of those songs that’s meant to prove I have rapping skills, writing skills, and the ability to flow with a track. I thought it was important to include this type of song on “The O-Bama Mixtape” because it was a vast contrast to the other songs I had on there, which were either parodies, remixes, or songs where I talked at average speed.

After I released “The O-Bama Mixtape,” I started putting together songs for “The A.P.T. LP” which came out a month later. In putting together songs, I realized I didn’t have a song that had a fast-pace feel to it like “Blow It All.” So, I figured, “hey – why not place that song on ‘The A.P.T. LP’ as well!” It’s the only song that appears on both albums.

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. Even though the song is on both “The O-Bama Mixtape” and “The A.P.T. LP,” there are differences in the recordings. The sound of the beat on the mixtape version is of a lower quality. This is because I didn’t need to purchase any leasing rights to include it on an album that was being released for FREE download. However, I had to purchase resell rights to the beat in order to sell it from “The A.P.T. LP,” which also meant being sent a fully mastered/mixed beat.

Another difference between the songs: I did more adlibbing on the mixtape version as a means to hype myself up. However, on the album, I tried to let the songs introduce themselves in via the beat, without talking at the beginning of every track. Therefore, the adlibs weren’t re-recorded.

2. My favorite line in the song: “Now my pockets getting bigger, ‘cause I made a lotta figures/Never thought that I would win it, coulda sworn it was a gimmick…” I like it because it’s the fastest rhymes in the song. They were also the hardest ones to say, as the words “now” and “my” do not flow together easily. In the album version (which is used in the video) I have a small flub there. I was going to re-record it… but I’m lazy at times when I record, and, after recording it so many times, I just said “screw it – leave it in!”

3. Even in the midst of rapping a song about blowing excess money, I felt the need to show fiscal responsibility. Thus, the line where, after I win a lot of money, I mention putting half of it in the bank!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I had so many ideas for this video… but, seeing as I make all these videos by myself, AND have a limited budget, I had to go with a fairly simple idea.

In case you were curious, though: my main idea was to do a remake of a Richard Pryor movie plot, where he inherits a lot of money but has to spend it all within a certain period of time. I was going to film myself going to different places in town to buy stuff, but I figured it would be hard to get people to agree to let me film them and me buying stuff, then putting it back and wanting the money back. Plus, most places of business require a filming permit, and I wasn’t trying to deal with the hassle.

At any rate, I won free tickets to see a fashion show at Howard University. Like I always do, I took my trusty camera with me to film some footage. I knew I’d use it for a music video at some point – I just didn’t know which song I’d place it with.

While watching the fashion show, it gave me the inspiration to write another song that could be used at events such as the one I was attending… but… sigh… well, since I’ve moved and now have house mates – one of whom is a woman that looks like Jabba the Hut (for those of you not familiar with “Star Wars” characters, she’s as big as an elephant) who almost NEVER leaves the house – finding time to record new songs is almost impossible. Oh sure, I can go over my brother’s apartment when he and his roommate aren’t there and try to record stuff, but even that requires catching buses, walking, and I have to do it on a day when I’m not working.

Sigh…

Anyway – I say that to say, I couldn’t record a new song that would have gone specifically with this footage. So, while walking to work one day, I realized that I could just use the fashion show reel for my “Blow It All” song. It’s about spending money, and the clothes in the fashion show were expensive and/or well-known brand names, so I figured the two would gel well together.

I also thought it would give me a chance to show that my songs could actually be used in other formats. During the show, they played a lot of songs that I’d never even thought of as being runway songs. And I thought to myself, “man, that would be cool if one of my songs could be used for a show like this.” Now, I have an example of doing such a thing!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. This video is only 3:36 minutes long.  I had to pick and choose which footage to use froma reel of about 15 to 20 minutes of video.  I may end up placing the remaining footage on YouTube – there was just so many interesting outfits and/or scenarios, and I wish the song was longer so I could “Show It, show it, show it all!”

2. There was a small bit I filmed showing the audience and myself, but I had to leave it out due to timing.  In that footage, I say the name of the song I was going to record for this footage, but since I didn’t have time to record the song, I thought it would be best to leave it out…

3. Incidentally, I won these tickets by going to a forum held by www.AllHipHop.com.  I answered a trivia question correctly (“What was the first rap group to go platinum?”) and next thing you know, I have a free pass to an awesome show where I got to film a video, too!

4. Edit time for the video: subtracting the time it took me to transfer the files into Windows Media mode, I’d say the whole thing took about 3 or 4 hours. 

5. FYI: I spent the majority of my day helping my Mom move stuff into storage and into her next living space.  Despite all the driving, lifting, moving, and cleaning I’ve done today, I STILL managed to get this video up before midnight.  Now THAT’s dedication, people!

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT

Soundclick: www.soundclick.com

 

Memo to YouTube: You can’t stop me, bitches!!!

Yeah, they took down my entire site, but so what?!?  I’m on a mission people.  One video/song (minimum) every Sunday for one year.  That’s 52 videos (minimum) from May 2008 to May 2009.

I hope you didn’t think losing all 316,000 views for my “Obama Obama” video, or the 4500+ views for my “The N!@@er Song” would cause me to go crying off into the sunset.  

And yeah, who cares if you messed up my advertising plan for my album – I STILL sold a few copies, and guess what?  I’m going to sell even MORE once the videos come out — on YOUR site!!

So… with that said, this week’s video is already in the can.  It’s from one of the songs off “The A.P.T. LP”, a hot dance song with a bangin’ beat and some… interesting… lyrics and scenarios.  Yeah – that’s all I want to say about it for now!

Okay, I’m done!  And HA HA HA to YouTube – you can’t stop a man with a dream, people!!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

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

Ladies and Gentleman… I present to you…

 

“THE A.P.T. LP!”

This project has been quite a learning experience, and a true labor of love for me!  I just spent 32 hours up straight putting this album together, and a lot of hard work went into making these songs!

Here are all the important links you need to know:

*** To purchase the MP3 Version of “The A.P.T. LP” (5.99): Click HERE!

You will be greeted at my Payloadz site by three men dressed as hunchbacks named Sam.  Okay, not really – but you will be able to pay and immediately get the download file for the album!

*** To purchase the CD version of “The A.P.T. LP” (7.99): Click HERE!

CDs will be shipped out every Tuesday and Friday (I don’t have a car yet, so I have to schedules these types of trips to certain days.)  It will arrive in your mailbox in an envelope, which will contain a CD inside a packaging sleeve for added protection.  The CD will have a cover with a list of the songs on the album.

Oh, yeah – here is a list of all the tracks on “The A.P.T. LP”:

  1. Intro – “And the Award Goes to..”
  2. A.P.T. (What’s My Name?)
  3. Hooptie (Guest Appearance by S. Stephens)
  4. What We Do
  5. Tha Hood vs. The ‘Burbs
  6. Smooth Talker
  7. It’s Over
  8. Stop Cockblockin’ (feat. Ms. Theory)
  9. The N-word Song (a.k.a. The KKK-ramer Song)
  10. Fly Chick
  11. Blow It All
  12. Skit – An Interview w/DMX (feat. Mr. Smallwood)
  13. Bust My G.A.T.
  14. Retirement Home
  15. A Commentary on Each Album Track
  16. BONUS TRACK: F–k New Orleans (feat. G.W. Bush)

I’m still working on getting each of the songs posted as an individual purchase – for right now, though, GET THE ALBUM!! It’s hot!

More from me later as other things develop!

Sorry I haven’t been updating as frequently as usual… actually, I’m not sorry – I’m mixing together an album!

Right now, as I type this, it’s 8:39 PM. And the album is still NOT done.  Why?  Because I do EVERYTHING last minute.  I’ve been “working” on this all day, but won’t really start kicking things off until around 9:30 or so.  The album will be posted before I go to work (sometime around noon), and I may or may not post this week’s video before then also – if not, I’ll just post it up after I get home from work.  It’s already done, so all I have to do is add the intro and ending to it, and voila!

Anyway, here’s promo videos 4, 5 and 6.  The fourth one is footage I took of myself playing this very scary maze game online – watch the video for my reaction!!  The fifth one is me talking about how much it actually cost me to put this entire project together.  In short, I need to sell at least 76 albums to break even.

Promo video number 6 is a remix I did to the “Obama Obama” song.  I thought people would be tired of it by now, but it still gets close to 5,000 views per day on my page, plus other people have posted it as well.  However, the reason I did a remix is because this rapper named Tyga, who is, ironically enough, signed to Lil’ Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment label, took my “Obama Obama” beat and made his own Obama song.  I wasn’t too mad about this, until I figured out he’s actually performing it and getting PAID for it, while I sit here in my apartment going, “WTF?!? That should be ME performing it!!

So, rather than do a diss song or snap at him, I fused his version together with my version, and created an “Obama Obama Mega-Remix.”  Instead of making a real video, I put up all the info about my album dropping tomorrow, along with mentions of “The O-Bama Mixtape” and a call for people to tell Tyga to shout me out.  I put it up 3 hours ago, and it’s already gotten a LOT of views – talk about a great advertising idea!

Enjoy the promo videos, and get “The A.P.T. LP” tomorrow, Sunday, August 24th!


“The A.P.T. LP” Promo Video #4 – Scary Maze Game Reaction


“The A.P.T. LP” Promo Video #5 – Recording Expenses


“The A.P.T. LP” Promo Video #6 – “Obama Obama Mega-Remix” feat. Tyga

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/notoriousapt

 

 

Greetings, everybody!!

Here are the second and third promo videos for “The A.P.T. LP,” Out Sunday, August 24th!

Above: The second promo ad, where I talk about the ups and downs of signing to a major label.

Above: The third promo ad, where I give you all a sneak preview listening to some of the songs off the album!

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/NotoriousAPT