Antoine Dodson’s “Bed Intruder” song hits top 100 on Billboard charts



It was a rare case of a product of Web culture jumping the species barrier and becoming a pop hit.

The song’s source material could not have been more unlikely: A local TV news report from Huntsville, Ala., about an intruder who climbed into a woman’s bed and tried to assault her.

But with some clever editing and the use of software that can turn speech into singing, the Gregory Brothers, a quartet of musicians living in Brooklyn, transformed an animated and angry rant by the victim’s brother into something genuinely catchy.

The resulting track, “Bed Intruder Song,” has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and last week it was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart. Its video has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube.

And to top it off, the song was No. 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the week of Aug. 20, ranked among singles by Katy Perry and Usher. The chart takes into account sales and radio play as well as online streaming.

“It’s not easy to get on that chart,” said Silvio Pietroluongo, director of charts at Billboard. “There are plenty of decent radio songs that don’t reach the sales chart.”

Russ Crupnick, an analyst at NPD, said the song’s success pointed to a shift in how music is shared and discovered. Around 70 million Americans buy a CD each year, he said, which is on par with the number of people who are now listening to and finding new music on YouTube.

“The bar is getting lower for creative artists to break into the mainstream,” Mr. Crupnick said. “In a sense, it’s not surprising that this viral pop music is succeeding as a pop-culture phenomenon.”

The Gregory Brothers’ choice of subject matter has elicited a range of responses, with some critics asking whether they were perpetuating stereotypes or making light of a serious crime.

In both the original news clip and the video remix, the victim’s brother, Antoine Dodson, looks into the camera and angrily tells his sister’s would-be attacker: “You don’t have to come and confess — we’re looking for you.”

But the group says they were drawn by Mr. Dodson’s energy. “The song is memorable and compelling for the same reasons a conventional song is,” said Evan Gregory. “He’s conveying emotion and a strong personality, and that’s what we latch onto in a pop performance.”

In fact, the song is credited to “Antoine Dodson & The Gregory Brothers,” and the group is splitting the profits from the song with him.

For his part, Mr. Dodson said he welcomed the unexpected attention and was hoping he could also ride the wave of Web fame.

“We all have the song as our ring tone,” he said, adding that it had brought “some brightness” to an otherwise dark incident.

“We’d intended to get attention to what happened to my sister — but not this much attention,” Mr. Dodson said with a laugh.

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0 Comments

  • RoundupRussy

    Reply Reply September 7, 2010

    This whole chain of events is a travesty and disrespectful. Since the initial report of this crime, it was reported on blog sites focusing on the attitude, dialogue and sassiness of Antoine Dodson and not on the fact that one of our beautiful black women was almost the victim of rape. Between Youtube parodies, “Run Tell That Homeboy” T Shirts and This Autotune nonsense produced by a teenage Caucasian, we have lost sight of the value of this woman.

  • Yofi

    Reply Reply September 16, 2010

    I completely agree with RoundupRussy; how does one autotune a rape case? I believe Evan Gregory just got married about a year ago. If someone climbed into his house and began to pull his wife’s pants down while he was in the other room, he would be more focused on getting his wife some counseling and working with the police to find the perpetrator. However, what the Gregory Brothers found in the sexual assault of Kelly (Antoine Dodson’s sister) was a script of comedy. They did not see a young man protecting his sister, or a young woman who was dealing with the violation of her humanity, they saw an opportunity to exploit the pain of 2 people dealing with life in the “projects.” Rape/molestation is a major crime that is under reported because of the stigma and fear of retaliation associated wtih it. It is also something that the United States characterizes as a women’s issue, and we know that that U.S. does not think of woman equally when addressing gender issues, which means it may never receive the national attention it deserves. So the Gregory brothers are just exploiting 2 young people who need community support, mentally and emotionally. However, the Greogory brothers bet on the fact that the world would find it hilarious that Antoine Dodson’s passion for his sister and his anger over their circumstances could be made into a song that exemplifies how Blacks are still seen as the laughing stock of the entire world. This is a reminder that the rape of black women has never been taken seriously outside of the black community. Everybody nows a black girl that has been raped/molested, and instead of helping us solve this issue, people are making parodies of our plight and selling to other people who think we are nothing but trash, including other black people.

  • rose ferriell

    Reply Reply October 12, 2010

    I think its great he is not i repeat NOT about the Rape its the brother and how he reacted to the situation of his sister being rape He tryed to help her

  • Emilie Spaulding

    Reply Reply October 22, 2010

    I hope things may going okay together with her. Such nice girl should have a better life than what she is having.

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