A 55-year-old father and casino executive is living the life--or make that "de life"-- in a new rap video that's getting plenty of internet attention.
Allen Samuels' breakout video, "Living De Life," features the Newark, N.J., native dropping rhymes while sipping champagne on a private jet, partying at an oceanfront casino, and posing with a bevy of friends, including Shaquille O'Neal, TriBeCa Grill owner Drew Nieporent, and poker player Phil Ivey. It's had nearly 200,000 views since it was made public on YouTube two days ago.
Samuels, whose hip-hop name is "A. Samuels," said he penned the song four years ago after a wealthy French entreprenuer he met at a casino told him, "I know a lot of people with money, and they don't know how to live de life. I live de life, and you must live de life," Samuels said.
"I couldn't get that out of my head. That was like a mantra for me. I wrote the whole song in one day," he said.
He hoped to sell the song to another rapper until DJ Allen "AP" Pizza encouraged him to record the song himself.
Rapping Sensation Allen Samuels Is 55 and Living De Life
"When I met Allen, I saw that he had a style of his own, his own mannerisms, a good flow. Everything he was doing was out of the ordinary, but I was like, this guy's really serious, he has potential, he can stay on beat, he really really does what he does," Pizza said.
Pizza has worked with hip hop acts including Wyclef Jean and Naughty by Nature, but said he has never worked with a middle-aged white man before.
Samuels, who met his music producers and many of the video's guest stars while working as a host at casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., and Connecticut, said the video is not a gimmick or a one-time thing, but potentially the start of a second career.
"Hopefully we're going to drop a remix with rappers we're involved with or ones that are fans, and then we're probably going to want to put an EP out," Pizza said.
Samuels said his son introduced him to hip-hop about 10 years ago, and he has become a fan of rappers like Tupac and Game since then. The South Jersey resident said he hopes his son will help him write one of his future songs.
For Samuels, "Living de Life" is about "doing what you feel, doing what's good, what's natural for you. Following your dreams, doing the things you enjoy. In the video you see me playing basketball. I enjoy basketball. It's not about money, living your life. It doesn't matter how much money you have, it's about doing what you want to do and enjoying it."
Samuels is enjoying the ride of his video's success, and hopes to plan concerts and live appearances soon, he said. In the meantime, he'll keep his day job at the casino.
"I do enjoy what I do at the casinos. I'm a people person, so I like that. But this feels awesome," he said.