Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide want the experience of hanging out in the V.I.P. room of a dance club.
Little could excite them more than sitting in a V.I.P. booth while the liquor flows, women dance and a hot hip-hop track pumps over the sound system - even if they can only live the experience for less than 4 minutes through a music video.
That's one of the reasons the first music video from the hip-hop duo known as ktborderline has received more than 1.8 million views on YouTube since it was posted Feb. 11. The song, "Fresh in the Club," has been out for a year, but the music video is giving the duo behind the track, ktborderline - Kevin Walker Jr., of Mays Landing, known as Ke-Real, and Tommy Piccirilli Jr., of Galloway Township, known as Tommy Gunnz - widespread exposure.
"If you have money, you can pay for the V.I.P. When you have the V.I.P., a few scenes that are in there (in the video), that's what you see. Girls chilling, partying, the Ciroc on the table. Even when you are dancing, you have a lot of people on the dance floor. ... That video right there is a spitting image of club life," Piccirilli said.
As is usually the case in situations that seemed like an overnight success, planning and learning through trial and error led to the attention the video is receiving.
Even though Walker, 27, and Piccirilli, 29, both live in Atlantic County now, they met in 2005 on a construction site in Nashville, Tenn. Walker was doing masonry while Piccirilli was doing electrical work.
They created a group with two Southern guys called North-South Finest, but it didn't last. They lost touch for years, but they ran into each other by accident in the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing. The duo christened themselves ktborderline 18 months ago. Before reteaming, they tried to make it in the music business individually. They found they spent a great deal of money with little results.
When they reunited, they decided to do as much as they can themselves. Whatever they could not do, they would learn to do. They manage themselves. They created their own Website - ktborderline.com. They own the songs they recorded before "Fresh in the Club," including "Atlantic City Anthem" and "Unstoppable."
Ktborderline did shows in cities including New York City, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. They did showcase performances for artists and repertoire, commonly known as A&R, executives at major labels, including Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy and Jay-Z's Roc Nation. They also went knocking on the doors of every label in New York City on foot two years ago with their press kit and business card, which no one does anymore.
The song "Fresh in the Club" was recorded a year ago. Once it was completed, the duo decided they would go for broke and finance the $10,000 video themselves. They also spent at least half that amount promoting and marketing their video. To pay for all this, the two tapped into savings from their regular jobs - Walker as a barback at Revel and Piccirilli in maintenance at the Hamilton Mall.
Rapper Hasain McCovery, 29, of Absecon, appears in the "Fresh in the Club" video. McCovery, whose rap name is Haz, has known the duo for about two years.
"It was a cool experience. We all drove out to New York. First, we had to go get the Lamborghini (the car) for the video," said McCovery, who added the YouTube views the video has received is great. "It's about time that people started to recognize that those guys put a lot of work in the whole time. They were doing self promotion. They were going out to different cities and doing shows. ... It's not like it just came from out of nowhere."
The video starts with Walker and Piccirilli stepping out of a yellow Lamborghini. The club in the video is Sapony Night Club in Astoria, Queens, N.Y. The video is one big party scene with the duo in a V.I.P. box with bottles of liquor, women and men, who are seen dancing together and solo.
"Fresh in the Club" also showcases the rapid flow of Piccirilli, who has the first verse and the chorus. The song is a good advertisement for ktborderline's style as the lyrics are edgy, but not profane, while the chorus is catchy and hooky. The two hope this makes the tune memorable. The music leaps out of the speakers. Brooklyn, N.Y., hip-hop producer Money Moss created the track. Itchy House Films, which worked on videos for Three 6 Mafia, Waka Flocka Flame and Naughty By Nature, did the video. The rapid cuts add to the sense of energy the video has.
The song has been able to garner more than 1.8 million view on YouTube because Walker, who handles more of the business side of the group, mastered search engine optimization, which means getting the video in front of people's eyeballs.
"We came this far because we learned social media marketing. I can't really afford to be in L.A., Atlanta, D.C., Philly, so I told myself if I can't perform shows in these local areas, I might as well go global. I might as well travel my fingertips through the whole world. With the edge of my fingertips, I can be in Japan," said Walker.
The duo, which has more than 81,000 Twitter followers, celebrated hitting 1 million views on YouTube by visiting one of their regular places, Applebee's in Consumer Square in Mays Landing.
"I'm not that shocked because we knew it was going to be something heavy. We already knew it was going to hit pretty hard because of all the footwork we did, but our goal is to hit around 4 million. You need those kind of numbers to generate a record deal," Piccirilli said.
Besides continuing to promote and market themselves, ktborderline will be approaching the House of Blues Atlantic City in the Showboat Casino Hotel and Boardwalk Hall to be an opening act when one of those venues hosts a hip-hop artist. They also would like to create a closed-caption version of the video because that's needed to have it shown on network TV.
Atlantic City's Faheem Davis, known as DJ Fah D, played "Fresh in the Club" last year at the now defunct 40/40 and Club Arzu in Atlantic City before the video was released. He said it received a good response, and people kept dancing.
Davis, who plays a DJ in the video, played the song March 1 in the Foundation Room after the video hit the Internet.
"It was a big reaction. People know the words now. Before it was more of, 'OK, I like the beat.' Now, they're actually singing along," said Davis.
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