I’m not just an online entreprenuer who can’t spell – I’m also a musician. I started when I was three years old. For Christmas, my dad got me a little drum set and I’ve been banging ever since.
I played saxophone in elementary and middle school. I took guitar lessons in high school and started a pop-punk band soon after. I also made some funny rap music with my friends.
The Boss: The First & Only Single From My 30-Day Rap Album
As a challenge on this very site, I made a rap album in 30 days. This is a single to promote the sale of the album.
The Best Podcast Rap Song (March 2016)
This song took two days to write and record. One day to write the beat in Reason and the next to write the lyrics and record them. I recorded the vocals in Logic Pro using a Mackie ProFX8 mixing board. And my Shure SM-7B, which you can see in the video. (Those last two links are Amazon affiliate links).
The video took three days to create. One day for filming (thanks to my girlfriend Stephanie Halligan for working the camera). And the next for editing and animations. The last day for cleaning up and adding the mid-roll joke.
Hashtag Hustle (August 2015)
I did this video for fun. I had the idea and recorded a rough version on my iPhone one day. I don’t remember how many days it took to make because I only worked on it when I felt like it. The beat was pretty simple and only took me a day.
I remember struggling with the lyrics, but that’s normal for me.
I asked my friend Matt Basara to help me film it. He runs a video production company now and we work well together. We have a shared vision. It took us only one day to get all the shots for this video, which still impresses me when I think about it. We planned the day well to get everything we wanted.
I got to perform this live at the Plutus Awards I hosted during FinCon 2015.
Can’t Get Enough (September 2014)
I performed this song song at FinCon – a financial bloggers conference. I got invited after the mild success of my personal finance rap video “All My Money” (scroll below).
After I said yes, I learned that they wanted me to do a rap parody and not perform “All My Money.” Since I REFUSE to do music parodies, I offered to write an original song for the event.
The video was crowdsourced. At the time, I didn’t know anyone in the personal finance community. The organizers of FinCon helped me reach out to popular personal finance bloggers.
I asked them to lipsync the chorus of the song (bonus points if they lip-synced the whole thing). I also filmed myself rapping the song using my Apple Air. The whole video looks like it’s shot on webcams, which it is.
I performed this song at FinCon 2014. Unfortunately, the cameraman filming the performance fell asleep and the footage was useless.
All My Money (February 2014)
I made this video to promote Listen Money Matters. I wrote and recorded the song in about two days.
Andrew and I spent two days in New York filming the video. My goal was to make everything look like a serious rap video.
Turns out it was a little too avant-garde to pick up any virality on the internet. In other words, it wasn’t shared a lot. I considered it a flop.
But it got me to perform at FinCon in 2014 where I met my girlfriend. And it saw some late promotion on Quartz and the Telegraph. You can read more about it here, and we filmed a “making of” video for it.
Pool Care Rap (June 2013)
This was the first professional rap video I ever made. At the time, I was trying to come up with a clever way to promote Swim University. I thought a rap video about pool care would be different.
I’ve been writing rap songs since 2001, but for myself and friends. This time I had to create something for a specific audience, which I had never done before. I had some beats lying around and had a catchy hook, but no words to fill it. Just me humming nonsense into my iPhone voice recorder app over the beat.
I squeezed in some word about my 3-step system for pool care and it worked! The Pool Care Rap was born (which is what I labeled it in my computer and never changed).
I get asked a lot about Nina in the video. I posted an ask on Facebook looking for a Rihanna type singer in south Jersey. An old friend from high school reached out and said her brother’s girlfriend was good. She put us in touch and that was it. She came over to record the song and ended up in the video, too.
I had a lot of ideas for the video. Just outrageous shots that I could never do on my own with $0. So I gave myself only two days to completely finish it. One day to film, one day to edit. That forced me to film everything in my friend’s backyard where I filmed most of my other pool videos.
This video did well for Swim University. It got shared with the industry and earned me lots of media mentions.
I’m proud of this video and still think it’s the best one I’ve ever done. Here’s the “making of” video.
Liberty Gigoloz (Formed in 2001)
My fake rap group is called Liberty Gigoloz. It used to be a handful of friends, but now it’s just me. This was the first and only video I made under that name.
The most recent project under the Liberty Gigoloz name was an 4-song ep I made for my best friend’s wedding at their request. It’s called The Wedding EP: A Collection of Love Jams. It includes the only R&B song I ever sang.
Technically we recorded four full-length albums from 2001 to 2006. I say “technically” because the first two albums (We Want You and Revolution) were completely free-styled and really not worth listening to it weren’t involved in the project.
The third album (Too Hot Fo’ CD) was the first one I did on my own. It was a written album that only contained a little bit of freestyle. There are a few songs I would share publicly, but still not all that great.
The fourth album was called Nation. It’s one of the best projects I ever worked on in my life. I teamed up with some new friends to record it. We took it every seriously, even though it’s absurd.