That’s right. I’ll say it. I’m a white, middle-aged mother, the spouse of a retired Marine, and an all around fuddy duddy. And I just love The Gregory Brothers’ auto-tuned version of a news report about a rapist who was thwarted by his intended victim’s brother, Antoine Dodson. There’s a lot to love about the “song,” starting with how it used technology to bring about an Internet sensation. At the risk of blaspheming the glory that is funk, I think its place in altered-voice music history is second only to the 1980 club favorite, “More Bounce to the Ounce,” a vocoder-enhanced hit by Zapp and Roger Troutman.
That isn’t all I love about the “Bed Intruder Song,” though. I love how it came to be. In a world where siblings are more often news fodder when they hurt each other, where rape is a tragically common crime, where unemployment tries many a person’s sense of right and wrong, and where many men his age can defend no one because they’re incarcerated, Antoine’s defense of his sister is both inspiring and assuring.
While critics suggest there is something wrong with Antoine exploiting his insta-fame, the fact remains that before the police were called, before the reporters showed up, and before the Internet heard all about him, he had already jumped to the defense of a loved one and gone up against a criminal with little regard for his own safety. Any financial gains Antoine makes as a result of doing right by his family and being further rewarded and celebrated for it by others is the very definition of the American dream.
And I just love that.