A rape attempt is rarely the inspiration behind a hit pop song. In fact, Gregory Brothers’ drummer Michael Gregory, who created “Bed Intruder Song” — a darkly comical remix of a local TV news interview with Antoine Dodson about the attempted rape of his sister Kelly — admits that he questioned the appropriateness of turning a “bad situation” into a musical parody. But then he realized “it’s taking a terrible situation and making at least something positive out of it.”
Still, the Brooklyn-based group never imagined how “positive” their inventiveness would be for themselves or for the Dodson family. Not only has the song’s YouTube clip been viewed nearly 14 million times, but “Bed Intruder Song” debuts this week on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 89, almost exclusively from download sales. It also debuts on Hot Digital Songs at No. 49 with 30,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Furthermore, Antoine and Kelly Dodson are listed as co-writers of the song, and their family will receive 50% of the track’s revenue.
“Why I think people are latching onto it is frankly quite similar to why they latch onto a classic ballad or pop song that tops the charts — because there’s real emotion behind it that people identify with, even if, in this case, it was for unusual reasons,” says keyboardist Evan Gregory.
“Although this is an unusual path to take to reach the Billboard Hot 100, it is a path nonetheless. We’re thrilled.”
“Bed Intruder Song” came about after a news clip surfaced of Dodson, a Huntsville, Ala. native, charismatically telling a reporter in rap-like fashion, “He’s climbing in your windows, he’s snatching your people up, trying to rape ’em, so y’all need to hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband, ’cause they’re raping everybody out here.” Dodson also warns the perpetrator who escaped: “We got your T-shirt, you done left your fingerprints, you are so dumb . . . We’re looking for you. We’re gonna find you.”
Previous to “Bed Intruder Song,” Gregory Brothers recently saw YouTube and iTunes success with their “Double Rainbow Song,” an Auto-Tune remix of another popular viral video which currently has over 7 million views. As with “Bed Intruder Song,”, Gregory Brothers credited Paul “Yosemite Bear” Vasquez — who filmed the original YouTube version of “Double Rainbow Song” — as a co-writer and split the proceeds from the song.