2020 has sparked intense debate and discovery about commonplace phrases and products that have racist origins, such as the beloved jingle used by ice cream trucks everywhere. Now, rapper RZA is doing something about it.
Good Humor announced on Thursday that they teamed up with the Wu-Tang member to create a new jingle free of negative connotations.
The old tune broadly used by ice cream trucks, “Turkey in the Straw,” was widely performed in American minstrel shows in the 1800s where it was common for actors to wear blackface.
The song was usually modified to include “hateful, racist lyrics.”
Once Good Humor became aware of their jingle’s problematic history, the company contacted RZA to work on a new one to ensure “ice cream trucks across the country continue to spread joy to everyone for the next 100 years.”
“They called me up and was like ‘We gotta do something about this, RZA. We can change the dynamics, we can make a new ice cream jingle for a new era,'” RZA says of the revamped ice cream tune, “We wanted to make a melody that includes all communities, that’s good for every driver, every kid.”
“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,” he continued. “That means forever, you know what I mean? Like Wu-Tang’s forever.”
The whimsical melody incorporates the basic sound kids and adults commonly associate with ice cream trucks while using a catchy hip hop beat.
Good Humor is now “calling on all drivers to stop playing ‘Turkey in the Straw’ immediately” and, to ensure that, have released the song as a free download so that every ice cream truck can use it.
By Megan Stone