Tag Archive: Women


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This week’s song/music video is for the song “I Just Want the Paper” featuring chorus vocals by The Notorious B.I.G. (Produced by ME!)

INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Strap yourself in, get a good cup of coffee, a light snack, and a comfy place to sit – THIS one’s gonna be a looooong one…

The journey for this song starts back in 2005.  I graduated from college in May, and had been living at my uncle’s house in Lansdale, PA for 6 months.  During that time, my financial situation had gone from bad, to much worse, to the point where I could no longer afford to make payments on my Honda Civic, and had to change over to an older car donated to me by a family friend.  For reasons too long to type right now, I moved back down to Richmond in November of that year to live with my mom.

Then, believe it or not, things got even WORSE.  My car broke down, and the only job I could manage to find was as a window cleaner, which, due to my fear of heights (combined with the fact that it was wintertime, and I got VERY cold having to deal with water in 40-degree weather) lasted barely a week.

By January of 2006, I was feeling beaten down.  Here I was, a college graduate from a well-respected historically Black college, and I was back at home with no idea how to get myself out of my rut.  And I was depressed – not in a “oh my God, my life is so horrible I want to kill myself” type of way, but more in a “I should be doing more with my life than I am because I know I’m smart enough” type of way.

When I wasn’t searching around town for a job – eventually, I ended up working at a dinner theatre company in Richmond on weekends for $30 a day plus tips – I would be on my Mom’s computer making beats on the bootleg Fruity Loops program I’d bought off eBay.  I had been working on a beat where I placed Aaliyah’s vocals on top just to see what it would sound like.  The instrumental was upbeat, but it seemed too fast-paced for the Aaliyah sample I had chosen.

Eventually I ended up placing her vocals on another song (which has yet to be released, but will be once I become famous and can afford the cost for using said vocals), but had no idea what I would use the beat for.

Then, a wonderful thing happened: I started to make some money.  And not just from my job…

While at home one Sunday in January, I was looking in The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s auction section, and happen to come across an ad for a yard sale where the lady was selling everything in her house for $5 or less.  I hadn’t started getting paid at my job yet, and all I had on me was $12.  I borrowed my mom’s car and headed over to the sale, buying as much as I could with the money I had (which, given how low the prices were for these items, was actually a lot).

Once I returned home, I put all of the items up on eBay.  Lo and behold, the majority of the items sold for 3 times what I paid for them!

I proceeded to do the same thing each weekend for the next 8 months: I’d get up either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday morning (or sometimes all three), go to yard sales around town, buy stuff I thought would sell well on eBay, then go home and place them up for auction online.  Eventually, I ended up making enough money to buy a car for $500 and move down to Atlanta, along with the first two month’s rent to boot!

Anyway… around my second month of doing this, I became less and less depressed, and I realized why: even though I still didn’t have a car, and still lived in my Mom’s house, I was happier simply because I had some money in my pocket.  It may sound dumb, but just knowing that I was able to not have to rely so heavily on my mom to help me financially, and that I could contribute to the groceries and gas bills made me feel like I was on the right path towards being on my own.

BTW: Anyone who says having money won’t make them happy is LYING to themselves. I had next to no money, and I was definitely NOT happy about it.

It was also around this time that the 8th anniversary of the death of one of the most beloved rappers of all time would be coming up soon – namely, Christopher Wallace, better known as “The Notorious BIG.”  He died in March 1997, and I always had a dream of wanting to do a song with him.  So I figured, what better time than then to do a song with his vocals somewhere in the song?

I started tinkering around with some acapella Biggie vocals I found online, but couldn’t figure out which one I wanted to use.  Then, I got the acapella from his song “Dead Wrong” – most of the song is actually quite inapproriate, but I’ve always loved the song – and I found a part of the song I could use for the chorus:

“I don’t wanna rape ya/I just want the papa’/the visa, capicia?/I’m out like – the vapors!”

I was going to use the verse as originally said, but it dawned on me that talking about rape in a chorus might not catch on too well.  So, I decided to just have him say “I just want the papa'” twice in the beginning of the sentence.  Still sounded pretty catchy!

So, I was going to just use that, but I wanted the chorus to switch up a lil’ bit in the second half.  I found another song of his called “Everyday Struggle” where he says the line, “sittin’ back, countin’ double-digit thousand stacks,” and thought that would go perfect with the song!

Lastly, I figured I should add my own part to the chorus.  I decided I would take Biggie’s words literally when he said he “just” wanted paper, meaning all other things associated with it – “the cars, the clothes” – wouldn’t matter nearly as much as just having some money in my wallet.

From then on, the song just kind of developed by itself.  It took me a couple of months to get all the words down for the song, working on it bit by bit until it finally sounded right.  Why did it take so long?  Read on…

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

1. This is one of the songs I made where about 75-80% was freestyled.  For some reason, I was able to think of the verses for the song in chunks, at different times, and memorize them.  The entire first verse was recorded off memory, and portions of the second and third verse were also mostly freestlyes that stuck in my brain.

2. The fourth line of the song uses a sample of Destiny’s Child’s “Soldier,” the part where they say “gotta carry big things, if you know what I mean…”  The “big” thing they are referring to is their man’s member endowment, and I thought it would be hilarious for me to put in the song.  (And, in case you’re wondering ladies… well, keep wondering!)

3. The line, “now my future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades” came to me when I was watching a VH-1 special of the top 100 1-Hit Wonders, and one of the songs mentioned was “The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades).  Ya never know where influence will hit ya!

4. Starting at the 3rd line of the second verse and ending at the 5th line, the flow used was copied from Nelly’s big hit “Grillz.”

5. My favorite lines in the song – “I’m tired of sitting there all day, simply just lay/ing around, with no chick to hold me down/ you can’t invite chicks – over your Mom’s house!” – was taken from a freestyle I did on a Mobb Deep beat prior to the recording of this song.  I figured, “hey, since no one will hear that freestyle, I might as well use that line!”

6. The line, “I’m fixin’ /to get with Vixens…” was written for a specific person.  At the time, this girl on MySpace whose screen-name was “Vixen” had been writing me in response to many of the blogs I’d been typing on my page.  She lived in Richmond, and we had gone out once or twice.  I was considering performing this song at an open mic night, and I asked her if she would like to see me perform.  She said yes, and, at the time, I thought it would be cool if I inserted that line into the song so that when I said it at the show she’d be impressed.  She ended up not showing up, though… I still performed the song that night, and liked the line so much that I kept it in the song.

7. The line used at the end of the first and third verses – “Damn, it feels good to live life like me” – was taken from a Tony Yayo song!  As under-appreciated as his album, “Thoughts of a Predicate Felon,” was, I was bumpin’ that CD HARD when it first came out, and he said this line in one of his songs.  The way he said it sounded so good, I was like, “Dang! I have GOT to say that in one of my songs!”

8. The beat was produced by me using my Fruity Loops program.  Aside from the Biggie and Destiny’s Child vocals, there are no samples in the beat.  Hire me, people!!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

I shot the video in April of this year.  I had just gotten my hair cut after having grown it out for six months, and suddenly wanted to make a music video for one of my songs.

I hadn’t really gotten into the whole video-making mode yet, so I didn’t know all the video editing programs I had.  I had another one I was using, but it wouldn’t allow me to just load up a video and show it straight through – the program liked to dice up the footage instead and play it out of order.  For this reason, I decided to just shoot the video as a one-shot deal.

But I didn’t just want it to look like some boring ol’ video of me staring into the camera saying my song.  So, I figured if I moved around a lot and jiggled the camera, people would either get dizzy or think it was a cool effect – either way, they definitely would not be bored watching it!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

1. Prior to making this video, I had gone back to Richmond to… well, actually, I had driven up to DC to see a portrait of Stephen Colbert (of “The Colbert Report” fame) and drove through Richmond in the process.  I picked up some boxes of papers and magazines I had left in Richmond when I moved down to ATL. One of those magazines just happened to be a XXL Hip-Hop magazine with The Notorious B.I.G. on the cover.  When it came time to make this video, I wanted a visual representation of him on camera, and it just so happened that I now had the perfect way of doing that: by showingthe magazine pic during the chorus!!

2. This video was shot in my apartment.  I think I may have been sitting around and just suddenly decided to do a video, because my place is quite junky.  A slower-deciding version of me might have wanted to clean up first, but oh well!

3. I actually had this video posted on YouTube back in April.  However, I took it down yesterday and re-posted it because I had included a download link in the video for the song that stopped working 7 days after I posted it.  Of course, back in April, no one was trying to download any of my songs, so all the links to them went dead.  Clearly, it’s a different story now 🙂

4. Estimated editing time: less than an hour.  I think I need to do more one-shot videos!

That’s all for now – enjoy the song, available exclusively on “The O-Bama Mixtape” (for now).  See ya next Sunday!

-A.P.T.

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

This week’s song/music video is for “It’s Over,” written and produced by me!

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INSIGHT INTO A SONG

Aside from doing music, I am also a big studier of human relationships. Specifically, why and how people meet and fall in and/or out of love.

This studying stems from my own attempts at relationships throughout my high school and college years, where I was constantly trying to figure out how seemingly every guy out there BUT me was able to get girls to like them. I’d have a few girls here and there show interest in me, but then, unbeknown to me, they’d no longer be interested in pursuing a relationship.

Of course, they wouldn’t come out and SAY they weren’t interested. Instead, they would not show up for dates, not return my phone calls, or pass by me without saying a word. I didn’t understand why this was happening, so I decided to find out. I looked up men’s dating advice tips in books and online, and eventually discovered what I was doing wrong: I was being needy, pestering, and trying to give too much of myself too soon.

One of the advantages of knowing all this stuff is that I can now tell when a relationship is either going great, is starting to end, or never was there to begin with. Personally, I’d rather cut my losses early instead of having false hope about it working out with a girl and still trying to pursue it when her interest is no longer there.

It is in this spirit that I wrote this week’s song, “It’s Over.” The song actually stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few months back. We were talking about some of the people we went to college with, and… well, I don’t want to give too much of the conversation away, but I will say this: some of the girls we went to school with made TERRIBLE decisions about the guys they decided to pursue. Amazingly, despite the emotional crap these girls allowed these guys put them through, many of them are STILL chasing after them!

The reason? They’re stupid. Oh, and they also aren’t able to tell themselves that the relationship they want just isn’t happening. But mostly, they’re stupid.

After the conversation, though, I realized that I, too, use to be one of those “stupid” people who wouldn’t face the reality that a girl just wasn’t interested in me. So, for the benefit of others who are as stupid as I used to be, I made this song!

The song is divided into two parts. The first verse is a shout-out to all the guys who can’t realize when the girl they’re dating no longer wants to see them. I give the guys examples of the girl’s disinterest, such as cancelling dates, not calling them, hanging out more with her friends, and so on. The second verse is a shout-out to all the girls who also can’t realize when a guy no longer wants them. Examples include: him hitting on other girls; only calling her for sex; and other surprises that you’ll have to hear.

As with many of my songs, the examples are based on real life; The “guy” I’m talking to in the first verse is the stupid version of myself, while the second verse is based on info I heard about a former schoolmate of mine that I wish I could talk to about her situation. All in all, both these experiences made for good song material!

Some Interesting Song Tidbits:

(1) Um… I think I gave most of them away in the previous paragraph! Oh wait, here’s one: I’ve gone through most of the situations talked about in the “guy” verse. Minus the crying on the bathroom floor – I’d cry in a much better place than THAT!

(2) I made the beat to this song! In the chorus, you’ll notice the high-rising notes that sound similar to the one used in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The sound is supposed to be the “awakening of knowledge” sound, as in, the person hearing this song is, hopefully, having their eyes opened to the fact that the person they’re after does NOT want them!

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO:

You’d be amazed at how many different video ideas I have for just ONE song.

My original idea for the video was to be walking down the street singing the song as though I’m talking to someone. I even filmed that version while walking to the barber one day. But, I decided to use that idea for another song instead.

My second idea was to film both scenarios being played out by different people.  In other words, I’d film the first part using myself, and play out the different things I talk about in the song’s first vers;, I’d film the second part using a girl acting out the scenarios in the second verse.  Unfortunately, I have often found it difficult to schedule other people for film times, especially since I think of most video ideas at the spur of the moment.  I’m getting better at planning ahead, so hopefully I’ll have other people starring in my videos soon!

But, this past week, I was inspired to do a third video idea. This time, I’m a pod caster who gives out relationship advice on his own station, WAPT (catchy name, ain’t it?)

Then, I was going to shoot the video in the empty apartment above mine, to give viewers a different atmosphere than just my apartment, which I use quite often.

However, I woke up at 3 in the morning a few days ago, and thought: “Wouldn’t it be funny if I just filmed the whole thing in my bathroom, with the excuse being that I get better sound pod casting in there than I do in my regular apartment space??” So, that’s what I did – I rolled out of bed a few minutes later and filmed the whole thing in 2 hours, then went back to sleep for 4 more hours!

Some Interesting Video Tidbits:

(1) Since I’m a relationship advice radio guy in the video, I thought it would be cool to have people call me up asking for advice. This turned out to be the most nerve-racking part of the shoot, as it forces me to rely on outside help for the video.

You’d be surprised at how many people I have to ask to do something as simple as an online video. Some of them are camera-shy, and don’t want their image to be broadcast to the world. Still, others are worried about how their voice might sound, and won’t do something as simple as call my phone to leave a message!! Like, who’s going to see my video and say, “Gee, that sounds like Becky – man, does she sound stupid!!”

With that said, I was able to get my oh-so-helpful brother to be the guy caller. Even then, I like to do things on my time, and I actually shot the video before he called me; I had to cut-and-paste his voice in during post-production. Meanwhile, I couldn’t find a girl to call my phone, so I just used my own voice. In retrospect, I could have asked one of my friends in DC to help, but I want to spread out how much I use them, especially since one of them did vocals for two of my upcoming songs…

(2) My bathroom is SMALL. I live in a studio, and as such I had to record the scenes with me in a “closed” bathroom with my door open. Luckily, I was able to angle it so it looks like I’m still in an enclosed space!

(3) In the video, there are various cuts and splices, as there are with most videos. However, the parts in the video where there are long stretches of the same shot are what I call the “emphasis” points. For most of the chorus I don’t cut to other shots because I’m trying to emphasize to the person being focused on in the verse before that their relationship is OVER.

(4) Estimated edit time: I have no idea. I started yesterday afternoon and worked on it for about 2 hours before I went out to eat, then came back home and edited while watching TV, then edited this morning while watching church on TV. I’d say somewhere around 7 or 8 hours sounds right, but I have no idea!!

(5) Lastly, this whole scenario in the video – me being a radio guy – is partially a shout-out to the radio stations that have been playing my “Obama, Obama” song.  In the last week I’ve gotten messages from a LOT of people in different states saying they either heard the song, or – in the case of the radio DJs themselves – had played the song.  So, THANK YOU RADIO DJS, YOUR SUPPORT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

This week’s song/video is called “Shout Out 2 My Big Girls (a.k.a. Big Girls Need Love, Too)!”

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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

5 years ago, when 50 Cent burst onto the music scene and became really popular, him and Lil’ Kim had this song out called “Magic Stick.”  I wanted to write a parody of the song (since I’ve always been a HUGE Weird Al Yankovic fan), and thought it would be funny to do a song called “Fattest Chick” (with the chorus being, “I date the fattest chick/take her out to eat once, she wants to eat twice…” and so on).

I took the 50 cent beat and made a freestyle to it – in fact, the entire first verse of this song is that freestyle verbatim, except for the last line – and was going to make a whole song out of it… but the CD I recorded the beat on started skipping, and I couldn’t find where I got the beat from, so I said “Screw it” and saved the freestyle as is, without any plans to release it.

Fast-forward 5 years (wow, that’s a LONG time):

In the course of my dating life, I’ve noticed that the majority of the girls I end up dating or having crushes on were those with a lil’ meat on the bones.  I don’t know why this is, but skinny girls, while attractive, are nothing in comparison to a big girl that knows how to accessories properly – and, they can usually cook, and I can eat a LOT, thanks to my high metabolism.

So, when I started making songs again, I decided to see if I could re-use the song I made for parody, and turn it into a REAL song.  When I was in college and went to parties, there was always a portion of the night where they would play this song called “Watch Out for the Big Girl,” and all the big girls in the club would dance to that song HARD, like it was their anthem or something!

Only problem was – those were the only words to the song!  And frankly, I found it kind of insulting – like, what, we’re supposed to watch out for her like she’s going to (a) run us over or (b) eat us??  What kind of B.S. is THAT?!?

So, I decided that I, too, wanted to make a big girls’ anthem, one that would allow me to use some humor yet also point out what I like about big girls.

Incidentally, the first line of the song – “Big girls need loooove, too/so if you’re a big girl, I loooooove you” – has been in my head for almost 6 years.  I just like the way it sounds, and encompasses what the rest of the song is about 🙂

INSIGHT INTO A VIDEO SHOOT:

This video was actually recorded prior to the start of this “One-Song-A-Week” project.  I had discovered a couple of weeks prior that I could make videos on my PC laptop via Windows Media Maker, and wanted to practice making a video I could then edit in the program.

Since I had just recorded this song, I figured I would do a video to this one.  I filmed it using my Kodak 6.1 Megapixel camera, and kept it real simple: a bunch of shots of me mouthing the words and/or dancing around in my studio apartment.  Edit in a few cool colors and transitions, along with some pics of celebrity big girls I find to be particularly attractive, and BOOM – instant video!

Also: I got the glasses from the Kanye West concert.  He came down to Atlanta on May 4th, and when I saw them, I knew I had to get them and use them at some point for a video.  Plus, they were the cheapest souveigneer available – and they were $10!

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

-A.P.T.

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com

This week’s song/video is called “Erectile Dysfunction” (A Parody of Snoop Dogg’s “Sensual Seduction”) – Appeared on “The O-bama Mixtape!”

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INSIGHT INTO A SONG:

Last December, Snoop Dogg released his song, “Sensual Seduction,” and after one listen, I KNEW this song would be ripe for a parody!  After taking two days to figure out what I could use as subject matter that would sound close to the phonetics of the original song, I suddenly thought of “Erectile Dysfunction” and burst out laughing!

Clearly, this was a good idea to run with.

I recorded it and wanted to get the song out there, but I had two problems: one, I didn’t have time to put a REAL video together because it was around Christmas and staying with family; and two, I wasn’t too familiar with any free MP3 download sites.  So, I found a bunch of pictures online, pasted them and put them together on www.onetruemedia.com, loaded up the music and made a crappy-ass video for the song, figuring it wouldn’t get much play, but I could at least send it out to my friends via youtube.

Imagine my surprise when, one day after putting it on youtube, it had 120 views – and I hadn’t even told anyone about the song yet!

5 months later, the song just passed the 10,000 view mark.  My brother’s girlfriend’s brother, who goes to VCU, said it was the #1 downloaded song at his school – odd, given that I didn’t give a link address for the download of the song until last month.  Guess someone must have recorded it and sent it around – and I couldn’t be happier about it!

So, enjoy the song! Come back next week for another song, courtesy of me!

-A.P.T.

*UPDATE: After the project ended, I started working on another website featuring a character named Non Juan, a puppet who is terrible at getting ladies to date him.  One of the music videos we shot for him was a remake of “Erectile Dysfunction” recorded in his voice.  This is the video that now takes the place of the original video which, as you may recall, was very, very crappy.  Enjoy!” – A.P.T., May 18, 2010.*

E-mail: aptsongs@hotmail.com