Race Class and the Dollar: Antoine Dodson Autotuned

18 Aug

This is guaranteed to bring you an instant laugh. Straight foolishness. All around.

But the song and video editing are creative from the Gregory Brothers, who produce the popular YouTube channel AutoTune The News (ATTN)

I had to muffle my mouth while watching it….at work.

And then today, I happened upon this…

I hate to say this, but this is one of the reasons I have a blog – to share the funnies.

These instances make me wonder, ‘who makes money off of these things?’ Lord knows Antoine Dodson could use it and he’s even asked for donations on his “official” website. Who owns the rights to the news from which this song is based? How do the Gregory Brothers capitalize on the phenomenon?

Antoine also has a facebook page, twitter account. And on top of that, he has a “zazzle” merchandise store. I’m undecided as to whether I’d call anyone that wore these shirts a Bama, or if I’d get one myself.

We’ve seen so much on Antoine’s fame, what about his sister? How is she doing? Have the police apprehended the intruder?

Update: Since beginning this piece, I’ve learned that Antoine has made a good chunk of change.  ABCNews.com reports:

He declined to say exactly how much money he’s made from the video and his new celebrity. But between a PayPal account on his website, which lets people donate to help his family, his merchandise and YouTube ad sales (the Gregory brothers split the earnings 50-50), he said he’s made “a nice amount of money.”

“It was enough to move my family from the projects,” said Dodson.

I’ve also learned that Kelly’s (you know, Antoine’s Sister) attacker has not been found. The ABC piece reports that initially she was upset by the lack of attention that the attempted rape was getting, having been overshadowed by the comedy of the viral video.

Of course, there is a great amount of discourse  on the racial, class, and cultural issues surrounding this phenomenon. Andy Carvin on NPR wrote a piece classically entitled, A Perfect Storm of Race, Music, Comedy And Celebrity that examines these questions and engages Baratunde Thurston of Jack and Jill Politics and The Onion. Carvin’s piece also turned me on to a website that tracks cultural phenoms and viral videos such as this. See how the designers and dare I say “internet anthropologists” at KnowYourMeme.com track the traffic around Antoine’s popularity and influence on the web (as evidenced by ‘derivatives’ or more remixes and responses).

I wrote about Antoine and his popularity around the web in a few blog comments here and there. No one person represents the entire Black Community; I don’t have a problem with Antoine. I don’t feel as though he points Black people in a negative light; that’s the criminal’s job. I think we need to keep in mind what’s important here –  a crime was committed. A sexual assault nearly took place.  The upside of the attention is that Antoine ‘Kevin’ Dodson was able to change his family’s situation by way of his passion and enthusiasm. One less person in the hood.

Just my ramblings. I think the A&T video is pretty hot too! Love the HBCU band!

5 Responses to “Race Class and the Dollar: Antoine Dodson Autotuned”

  1. jespy1 August 25, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    I am so glad you updated the fact that the criminal that broke into her room was caught. While everyone got a chuckle out of the video, it was still tragic that the original incident happened. Amen to everything you shared.

    • Najeema August 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

      Thanks for reading, but I want to be clear that the criminal has not been apprehended. I will continue to follow this story for that particular fact. However, I have learned that statistically, criminals that commit this type of crime are not caught. Sad, but true.

  2. Notorious Spinks August 28, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    They pulled the second video before I could see it. 😦

    • Najeema August 31, 2010 at 3:26 am #

      I’ve found another copy and I’m updating the video as we speak. It’s a must see!


  1. My Top 3 Fave Posts (at the moment!) « Southern Girl in the City - August 24, 2010

    […] And on the rare event that we do, our takes and writing styles are completely different.  “Race, Class, and the Dollar” discusses the issues regarding Antoine Dodson and the attention he’s received due to a […]

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