Whenever I think of that damn “Bed Intruder” song I start to smile and it gets stuck in my head. I’m smiling because the song is so catchy but also because Antoine Dodson’s story is so caught up in it. Here’s a guy whose sister was the victim of a crime who was able to completely change his future by speaking out and being himself.
Antoine performed his signature “Bed Intruder” song on the BET Hip Hop Awards last night. It was just a quick auto-tuned refrain accompanied by one of the Gregory Brothers, the band who remixed it and helped make him famous. The crowd went wild and you could tell that Antoine really enjoyed himself and was comfortable on stage. My only complaint is that it’s too damn short and they should let Antoine cover the song without interferences.
Gawker points us to this interview that Dodson did with The Root in which he talks about the performance, along with people’s concerns that he’s making light of a serious crime. He addresses the questions very well and says he’s hoping to speak out for rape victims. He also says that he’s a proud gay man and hopes to speak out on behalf of his community. The more I hear from this guy the more I like him. For real.
The Root: Did BET reach out to you to do the performance, or did you reach out to them?
Antoine Dodson: I am not desperate at all. I don’t call people and say, ‘Hey, I want to be on your show.’ They reached out to me and said, ‘You are the hot topic right now, so we want you to be on the show.’ I thought I was just presenting. I did not know what I was doing until I got there. So I was like, ‘Oh, I’m performing? OK.’ That was my first performance ever.
TR: Do you think your performance obscures the serious issue of the alleged sex-crime attempt?
AD: I hate that people might feel that way, but all I can say is, ‘What if you were in my shoes?’ So what people are saying is crazy. I’m performing the song because it’s such a serious situation. Not only am I performing the song, but I feel that if I keep performing it, it will keep the situation fresh. It won’t die down. People really need to stop and think before they make these crazy comments and these dumb opinions. I’m not trying to make this into a joke. If y’all can make the video viral, then you can make the message viral. You think a bunch of rumors and opinions are going to make me hide in the closet? If anything, I’m going to be on the camera even more.
TR: The first time you watched your news interview, what was going through your head?
AD: I was laughing like crazy the first time I saw the interview. My whole family was watching it. When I was doing the interview, I was mad as ever, but to see how I was acting when I was actually mad — I didn’t know that I act that way, so it was kind of funny. I’m still upset about the situation, but we feel like when we put it on TV, our voice got heard.
TR: African Americans have a particular, sensitive history with minstrel shows, which made a mockery of the conditions of black folk. Do you think people will connect your performance with minstrelsy?
AD: Of course they will connect it with that. The media is just going try to bring you down, but the whole thing about it is, I’m going to try my best not to be another Britney Spears and not let it take me down. I won’t go through it like she did, but she came out of it. People have jobs where they just dig up stuff, so you better count on it.
TR: Did the perpetrator ever get caught?
AD: No, he did not get caught, and the crimes are still happening in Lincoln Park. He must think that this is a hit around the world now and that he’s just going to keep going around breaking into people’s houses, thinking he can capitalize on it.
TR: What do you plan to do with the fame?
AD: I plan to do a lot of things. I want to be everywhere. I want to get into the music industry. I want to be the voice of the people. Most of my fans are rape victims who are scared to talk about it. I want them to speak about it and do it aggressively — not trying to make a joke out of it and become a celebrity, but to let it flow from their hearts. When it comes to serious situations like this, you should really speak out.
TR: So what are your goals with this?
AD: I’m just going into it as deep as I can. I want to talk about rape victims all over the world, and also my lifestyle. I’m an African-American gay man. Coming from Chicago [like I do], you will struggle with that lifestyle because people fear what they don’t understand, so I need to speak for them as well.
Antoine has an official Halloween costume that you can buy through BedIntruderCostume.com for $18.99. It comes with an afro wig, black tank top, red do-rag and a piece of paper to match the rolled up paper he was wagging in the news interview. He admitted on Fuse.tv that it was actually a bus schedule! He’s not riding the bus anymore.