Monday, September 6, 2010

Bed Intruder Song!!! Sweeps the Nation, The Gregory Brothers Make Antoine and Kelly Dodson Viral Video Stars

It's been over month since the unfortunate circumstances that first brought Antoine Dodson and his sister Kelly, the victim of an attempted rape, into the public eye. They have since become household names as viral video stars in The Gregory Brothers' YouTube video, BED INTRUDER SONG!!! The story, which was featured on WAFF 48 News in Huntsville, Alabama last month became the inspiration of an episode of the Gregory Brothers' Auto-Tune the News, and has seen a viral spread like none other spawning an Internet phenomenon.

Both the song, which the Gregory Brothers list Antoine as co-writer, and the video became a remix anthem that has seen over 25 million views on YouTube, broke into the Billboard 100 and spurred covers of the video and song, merchandising, and a 50/50 split of the iTunes revenue between Antoine and Kelly Dodson and The Gregory Brothers. Antoine Dodson has also embraced social media starting his own websiteFacebook fan pageTwitter and channel.

The song, with its memorable lyrics, captures an angry Antoine Dodson directly addressing the camera warning viewers:
"He's climbing in your windows, he's snatching your people up trying to rape them. So you need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, cuz they're rapin' errbody out here.." 
Dodson and the Gregory Brothers —which consists of brothers: Michael, Andrew and Evan and Evan’s wife, Sarah — have both made numerous TV appearances discussing their viral success, and was featured in today's NY Times which called this phenomenon, "a rare case of a product of Web culture jumping the species barrier and becoming a pop hit."

The article pointed out are that the song has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, and was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart last week. The combined views of the two videos (the original and an extended iTunes version) have been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube. And, let's not forget that the song was No. 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the week of Aug. 20 (and is currently No. 92, and was ranked among singles by Katy Perry and Usher.

There has been a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of taking Dodson's original TV news interview and reinterpreting it into a song. Many blogs and articles have criticized how this type of remix culture as exploitative, and that the issue of rape became secondary to the sibling's viral success, but the Gregory Brothers told NY that people are getting the wrong message. 

According to Michael Gregory: 
“I think people who think it’s exploitative are filtering it through their own perceptions. What Antoine did was send a message of strength and anger, and we translated it into a song,”
Evan Gregory also said:
“Overall, I would add that our primary motivation for working on this piece was that we were compelled by Antoine’s personality.”
The NY Times article quoted Kenyatta Cheese, one of the creators of the web series “Know Your Meme” who described the Gregory Brothers success in part to their "viral video franchise" by posting the lyrics and chords encouraging covers of the song.

Kenyatta said:
“They made it more participatory, which increases the value of their original work. They embraced the remix culture and understood they have to contribute back in order to make it spread even further.”
The Gregory Brothers are enjoying their rise to fame and continue to Auto-Tune the News. They are working in a pilot for Comedy Central that should air sometime next year. Dodson admitted that he and his sister Kelly have benefited from the viral fame through what he calls a "golden opportunity", and says they will be using the proceeds from the song to move to a safer neighborhood and to a foundation for juvenile diabetes, a condition which both Kelly and his mother have.

In speaking with NPR, Dodson says he hasn't forgotten the context of the song:
"Some people do take it to be a joke. I don't, and neither does my sister and neither does my family. It's funny. We laugh at it all the time and listen to the song over and over. But that doesn't change the fact that this was a serious event."
The Huntsville police have not yet caught the attempted rapist, but Antoine Dodson's message continues to grow.

About Antoine Dodson
Antoine Dodson from Huntsville, AL was recently interviewed by NBC affiliate WAFF-48 News, for a man who broke into a window in Dodsons’ home. The man tried to assault one of his sisters in bed but fled the scene when Antoine heard noises and rushed in. The news clip went viral and remixes exploded on Youtube. Of all the videos, the Gregory Brothers auto tune remix caught on like fire and made it to iTunes top singles. Now, Antoine has a huge online fanbase, media attention, t-shirts and key chains on Zazzle, a hit single, and who knows what else!

About The Gregory Brothers
The Gregory Brothers are an all-family outfit.  Brothers Evan, Andrew, Michael, and Evan's wife Sarah have traveled the country together singing and playing.  Now they reside in Brooklyn where they produce music and video antics to the delight of children everywhere. For booking information, contact
gregorybrothers at g mail