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Roseville rapper makes Vh1’s Best

By: Josh Fernandez The Press Tribune
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A local musician who has been working hard for the last few years to make a name for himself was very surprised to learn that he’s become something of a cyber sensation. Randy Murray, 24, of Roseville, is a hip-hop artist who goes by the name Random Abiladeze. The graduate of Roseville High School has been building his resume in the Sacramento region by performing throughout California alongside huge artists, including Nas and Little Brother. One day, Murray was sitting around in Davis, California (where he attended college) with friends Leejay Abucayan and Ruby Ibarra, when they decided to make a low-budget rap video, just for fun. “I wasn’t even thinking of making a video,” Murray said. “But we decided we were going to do something.” Ibarra and Murray walked around the small apartment, rapping in the bathroom while washing hands, and then in the kitchen making breakfast, while Leejay beatboxed (made a drum beat with his mouth) in the background. And after several attempts (28 tries, to be exact) to record the entire six-minute rap in one take, they finally got it right. The result was an unprofessional grainy, shaky music video with bad lighting and sub-par sound. But the DIY video overflowed with personality and chemistry between its subjects. Tired and accomplished, they posted the finished product to YouTube. And as the Internet did what the Internet tends to do – which is magnify seemingly minute instances into worldwide events – they all went about their business. But the next thing they knew, the video garnered almost 40,000 web hits, with hundreds of comments from strangers, like user mamiixnatii, who said, “That was amazing. Especially since they (were) just making breakfast.” Something about the video endeared itself to viewers, and its popularity gained momentum. Soon after the video was posted, it was featured on Vh1’s Best Week Ever website. In a blog, Vh1 writer Noah Garfinkle admitted he didn’t know anything about rap, but was still amazed. “This rap video is very impressive,” he wrote. “This is all done in one take and these people rap for a very long time and do a very good job staying in rhythm.” Murray and friends were equally amazed. “We were honestly just messing around and being stupid — we never thought the response would be so overwhelmingly positive,” Abucayan said. “I never knew it would blow up and become this viral.” But, as Abucayan said, “The Internet is a crazy place.” Another nod to the video came in June when its creators won KDVS 90.3 FM’s first annual Music Video contest. So how exactly does a video go viral? There are actually hundreds of online tips attempting to answer that very question. Most of them include things like seeding (planting your video at appropriate video sharing sites), calculating demographics and content strategy. According to Dan Ackerman Greenbert, co-founder of the viral video marketing company The Comotion Group, there are a few things you need to create a successful video. “These days, achieving true virality takes serious creativity, some luck, and a lot of hard work,” he said in an article on the popular Tech Crunch blog. But Murray offers another, less serious, tip. “I think we would have gotten 50 thousand more views if we would have put some kittens in there,” he said. While Murray was joking, it was the group’s lack of seriousness that won out over a stuffy masterminded plan about content strategy and target demographics. As for the future, Murray says the sequel to “Kitchen Raps” is in the works. “In the back of my mind, it’s like we’ve already set the bar,” he said. “But it’s going to be a lot of fun to try and top ourselves.” Josh Fernandez can be reached at joshf@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- To watch the “Kitchen Raps” video, go to www.youtube.com and type in “Kitchen Raps.”