AC Transit's "Epic Beard Man" Makes Hip-Hop Crossover

Cam'Ron samples audio from footage of fight on AC Transit bus

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Mar 11, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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AC Transit's "Epic Beard Man" Makes Hip-Hop Crossover

Salim Virji

An AC Transit bus was the stage for what has become a piece of modern epic poem spoken in the age of the Internet -- Photoshop, YouTube, Facebook and now a promotional hip-hop single.

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Hip-hop MC Cam'Ron is capitalizing on the internet sensation known as "Epic Beard Man," the video posted to YouTube last month the showed a racially-tinged brawl aboard an AC Transit bus in Oakland.

Titled "Amber Lamps" and featuring Vado, the single comes in advance of Cam'Ron's new album, Boss of All Bosses 2.5 on label Wu-Tang Records.

The song's title is in reference to a woman who sat through the fight while listening to music on headphones as the fight between a passenger and Thomas Bruso, AKA "Epic Beard Man" escalated into a relatively one-sided punch match.

Bruso rose to Internet fame in part because he had already been captured in a YouTube video getting into a fight at an Oakland A's game, and is spotted regularly in Oakland and San Francisco.

An interview with Bruso and his sparring partner, known only as Michael, and a mini-documentary on Bruso followed in the wake, and a number of music videos, parody images and remixes have since appeared online.

The song from Cam'Ron features samples from the verbal exchange as part of the chorus hook, though the song itself is mostly about gangster posturing and not particularly the incident itself.

As of writing, it has wracked up a measly 1,710 reported views -- the original video has nearly 4 million.

Jackson West imagines that some academic could write a thesis about American racial politics and how it relates to this incident.

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