But Still No Cash for the Star Wars Kid


It's possible to profit from unexpected YouTube fame. Just ask Antoine Dodson, the man whose impromptu rant about the rapist who assaulted his sister was autotuned into "The Bed Intruder Song." The New York Times reports that the track

"Music is everywhere, you just have to have the ears to hear it." —John Cage

has now been seen more than 10 million times on YouTube and reached No. 3 on the iTunes R&B chart….What distinguishes this surprise hit from other viral videos is that its accidental star, Mr. Dodson, is sharing in all the profits from the auto-tuned version and hopes that his new fame could be a route out of the projects for his family.

In an interview with Wired about their hit, Evan Gregory said, "Antoine is participating in all of the revenue from the sale of anything we do [with the song], 50-50." His brother, Michael, added: "We're really breaking 'unintentional singing' ground, so we're trying to set precedents by making it so that Antoine, or whoever that artist might be in the future, has a stake not only as an artist but as a co-author of the song. It's like you said: He wrote the lyrics, he's the one who put it out there. What we're doing on iTunes and on any other sales, we're splitting the revenue after it gets through Apple down the middle."…

While Mr. Dodson told ABC News this week that his sister's attacker was still on the loose, he also said that he has made "a nice amount of money," from his various new income streams: "enough to move my family from the projects."

NEXT: Not Tonight, Honey. It's a Felony.

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  1. The 70s as portrayed by ABC sitcoms called…

  2. My hat’s off to The Gregory Brothers who seem to be exceptionally decent people.

    1. That was my thought as well. When I first saw the video a week or two a go I was blown away by the talent of the Gregory Brothers in creating the autotune song. Then to read how they view the interviewee as the lyricist and singer and split the revenue 50/50 – that’s really impressive. Very few people these days would go that route.

      I was also extremely surprised to learn that the extended version of this rose to #3 on the iTunes R&B charts. That’s just nuts…

    2. I just discovered this video about two days ago and it totally made my week. I think it’s great they’re sharing the profits.

      “So you can run and tell that, run and tell that, run and tell that, homeboy, home-home-homeboy.”

    3. It’s definitely a case of enlightened self interest and is bound to get them a flood of base material to work with. They wouldn’t get that if they had stiffed Dodson.

  3. Wow, his sister’s rape turned out to be quite the stroke of luck!

    1. ^^^
      And this is why the internet is a Libertarian paradise. How beautifully inappropriate.

    2. He assaulted her but did not succeed in raping her.

      1. Antoine sang “they’re raping everybody out here.” So who am I supposed to believe, you or Auto-tune?

    3. How totally fucked up can you get?

      I can’t stop laughing, though. Does that make me as big a piece of shit as you? I’m afraid to look in the mirror.

  4. “What distinguishes this surprise hit from other viral videos is that its accidental star, Mr. Dodson, is sharing in all the profits from the auto-tuned version and hopes that his new fame could be a route out of the projects for his family.”

    Have you tried education and hard work? Worked for me.

    1. Have you tried education and hard work? Worked for me.

      Step at a time Pip! Step at a time.

    2. Seriously, my life began in the projects and one of the single biggest factors in keeping people there is the belief that there are only two options: abject poverty or a lottery win.*

      * which includes entertainment superstar or professional athlete

      1. Why, Pip? Do people in the projects really believe that there is no world outside of the projects (or entertainment stardom)? What do they teach or aspire to in schools?

        I’m seriously interested in your answers as I find this problem incredibly puzzling. And no, I hope you will provide a deeper answer than “they’re public schools, duh!”


        1. There is an endemic attitude in large poor neighborhoods that says that nobody from there can ever “make it”. This is the same in trailer parks and housing projects and slums.

          My ex grew up in the projects in a southern town. Even her family told her she couldn’t make it, that whitey was out to get her, she was too stupid… She worked three jobs putting herself through school. I never heard anyone from the old neighborhood or the family try to support her, and I heard a lot of talk aimed at pulling her back down. She graduated and became a CPA on her own, and never let any of them know how much their attitude bothered her.

          After we got married and bought a nice place outside of Atlanta we got to hear how lucky we were. And we got to endure the subtle and not-so-subtle requests for handouts. They really believed that all those years of working 60 hour weeks while going to school full time equated to winning the lottery. As far as they are concerned, money and a good job just fell into her lap. These attitudes are very deeply ingrained, and are not at all exclusive to minority communities. Don’t believe me? Head over to the nearest trailer park and ask a few of the rednecks there about their economic future. One of my director level colleagues has an identical story about her life and escape from the all-white trailer parks of her youth.

          1. Thanks, Cyto. What is the solution to this mess? Is there one?

            1. You know who had a solution for shit like this?

              1. No, but I’m scared to ask.

              2. I believe it was a – er – “final” solution?

            2. When the government goes broke and can’t keep these communities on life support, I guess we’ll find out.

        2. It’s simply a cultural thing. And of course it isn’t everybody. But people in the projects truly believe that if they were to work hard, it would just be a waste of time. A lot of children are taught that from birth, both by what they hear and what they see. If no one in your known family has a high school diploma, obtaining one for yourself appears to be both a daunting task and a waste of time.

          Watch this PBS video to see how bad things are. At about the 4:00 mark you see that children are exposed to a very violent life. The experts refer to the people as pathogens.


          1. Very good video. Reminds me of the opening minutes of Menace2Society where the people arguing on the stoop makes the viewer very uncomfortable. Thanks, Pip.

  5. How about the Amber Lamps guy? I know Epic Beard Man is pretty well known, but I wonder if his victim at least got his hospital bill paid.

    1. Have you seen the Epic Beard Man documentary?

      1. I’ll have to look when I get home. Is that where they talk about him getting tazed at some baseball game?

        1. That’s part of it, but the bulk of the film is him sitting around with his friends reminiscing, bragging, and weeping about his life.

          1. Was he actually a vietnam vet? I only have Encyclopedia Dramatica as a source so far.

            BTW, I’m pretty sure I spotted this guy a few times when I lived in the bay area.

            1. He can’t be a Vietnam vet. If he was, Vietnam would be the 51st state.

              1. Nice! 🙂

          2. Now it just dropped quite a bit on my priority list, unless there’s video of him getting tazed.

            1. Yeah, there’s some baseball game footage at the beginning. That’s part of what makes it interesting — he was the star of two otherwise unconnected viral hits.

              1. OK, I’ll check it out, thx.

      2. I need an I AM A MOTHERFUCKER shirt.

  6. I like the John Cage quote, but he autotune song is more in the Steve Reich vein, no?

  7. I still think this is the best song of the century so far.…

  8. Their Autotune the News stuff is somewhat amusing.

  9. “Antoine is participating in all of the revenue from the sale of anything we do [with the song], 50-50.”

    Which explains why the price on iTunes is double the norm.

    1. iTunes prices jumped a while back from .99 to 1.29. I was shocked that this song, not being put out by a major label, is 1.29 though

  10. Please! Please! Please!


  11. Where’s my money?

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