The song will replace "Turkey in the Straw" for Good Humor ice cream trucks from now on.
The company, which turns 100 this year, is addressing the signature jingle of every ice cream truck around the country: "Turkey in the Straw." While most people associate it with flagging down a popsicle, the song's past is a dark one, rooted in racist tropes dating back to the 19th century. To fight the good fight, they've enlisted the help of a hip-hop legend to make a brand new song!
"As we mark Good Humor’s 100th anniversary this year, we must acknowledge the history of the ice cream truck jingle, and take action to ensure ice cream trucks across the country continue to spread joy to everyone for the next 100 years," the company said in a press release.
RZA is the founder of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, and along with his genre-defining work, his resume now includes an ice cream truck melody. The rapper created a new song to replace the former jingle, and a video on Good Humor's website shows him hard at work in the studio.
"We wanted to make a melody that includes all community, that's good for every driver, every kid," the rapper says.
"Turkey in the Straw" was originally an instrumental tune before it was adapted in the United States as a song for minstrel shows. The lyrics, which featured derogatory and racist language targeted at African Americans, reflect an unfortunate period in American public life. Though it's since become an ice cream parlour staple, its current version has erased its previous connotations.
"As a leader in the industry, and the creator of the original ice cream truck, we want to be part of the solution on this issue, particularly since we work closely with so many ice cream truck drivers across the country," Good Humor states.
The new jingle has been released by Good Humor for free and will become the default song for music boxes manufactured from this point on. They've also requested that drivers cease using the old jingle. In addition to providing information about the song's history, the company has listed its objectives in fighting for racial equality.
Our thoughts? Simply put, this new song kills. Like much of Wu-Tang's output, it's bass-heavy with flourishes of jazz and hip-hop. Any ice cream truck blasting this is a win in our books!
What do you think of RZA's new jingle? Sound off in the comments!