RZA came up with the ingredients for a new ice cream truck jingle that isn’t spoiled with a racist past.
The Wu-Tang Clan mastermind teamed up with Good Humor, the century-old ice cream company that brought us the original ice cream truck, strawberry shortcake bar, chocolate-coated ice cream on a stick and more goodies, for a musical treat with a trap flare to it. The company chose to ring in its centennial anniversary this year with a different sound, one that ensures “ice cream trucks across the country continue to spread joy to everyone for the next 100 years,” according to Good Humor’s website.
“We come to find out that it has racist roots,” the rapper-producer said in a video explaining the story behind the revamped ice cream truck instrumental. “We wanted to make a melody that includes all communities, that’s good for every driver, every kid. And I’m proud to say for the first time in a long time, a new ice cream truck jingle will be made available to trucks all across the country and perpetuity. That means forever, you know what I mean? Like Wu-Tang’s forever?”
The all-too recognizable ice cream truck jingle, “Turkey in the Straw,” came to fame at American minstrel shows in the 1800s where performers wore blackface, and later renditions of the melody developed offensive, racist lyrics. Taking its problematic roots into account in light of the current Black Lives Matter movement, Good Humor called on all ice cream trucks nationwide to stop playing it immediately and start playing RZA’s jingle, which comes at no cost to them. Good Humor also promises to provide education on how to replace the tunes in trucks’ industry standard musical boxes.
Enjoy RZA’s new ice cream truck jingle and accompanying explainer below.