BY Leslie Overman
In their hit YouTube music video spoof, rappers gtg491y and gtg562h pose a question to Tech's engineering majors: "Why would you take the harder route, when there's an easy way?"
The easy way, the duo insist, is to "take the M-train." Translation: Major in management.
The video, which was posted to the Web site April 23 and has been viewed more than 77,000 times, has made gtg491y, aka Daniel "DBay" Baily, and gtg562h, alias Brandon "Swaff" Swafford, celebrities among the North Avenue set. It was even screened at the Alumni Association's quarterly board meeting May 16.
In an elaborate production filmed throughout campus, the two are spotted inside the Tech Trolley, in a hallway in the Glenn Residence Hall, in front of the Kessler Campanile and in the rumble seat of the Ramblin' Wreck. Choreographed dance sequences are played out on an escalator at the Barnes & Noble bookstore and in the College of Management's courtyard.
In a comment posted to the video's YouTube page, one viewer wrote, "Only management students would have this much free time on their hands."
Actually, neither of the video's writers/directors/actors/producers hopped the M-train. Swafford received a bachelor's degree in industrial design from the Institute in 2007. Baily is set to graduate in August with a degree in industrial engineering. He's staying at Tech to pursue a master's degree.
Baily and Swafford began collaborating on freestyle raps when the latter was still a student at Tech. Some of the "M-train" lyrics were composed more than a year ago but never written down, Swafford said. During the spring semester, the two ran into each other and decided they should lay a track down before Baily's graduation.
The song was recorded in two 10-hour recording sessions at The Rockporium, a recording studio at which Swafford works as a record producer and mix engineer.
From the first take of the song's recording to the final edit of the music video, the process took about a week and included a lot of late nights. "All this effort was to get it out in the midst of dead week. I guess Tech really trains you to perform under pressure," Swafford said.
While the popularity of the YouTube video may not have made DBay and Swaff household names, it has resulted in some double takes from passersby.
"I don't really think of it as fame, but people definitely have recognized me out in public and asked if I was the guy from the M-train video," Swafford said. "It's very rewarding when they say how much they've enjoyed it or how it helped them get through finals week. I heard a lot of stories about it getting played in numerous classrooms right before students took their final exam which blew me away. DBay and I never expected to have the kind of response we've had."
Tyler Ward, twardphotos.com
Daniel Baily, left, and Brandon Swafford have a YouTube hit with their "M-train" music video.
M-train YouTube video