RZA Creates New Ice Cream Jingle to Replace 'Turkey in the Straw,' Problematic Tune With Racist Roots
The star teamed up with popular ice cream brand Good Humor to make the tune.
Emmy-nominated artist and producer RZA, who is best known for his role in Wu Tang Clan, is making history by creating a new ice cream jingle to replace the old one, which has racist undertones.
The star teamed up with popular ice cream brand Good Humor, the creators of the original ice cream truck, to rework “Turkey in the Straw,” the ice cream jingle we’ve all known for decades.
It recently came to light that the song was traditionally British and was brought to the American colonies by immigrants, according to NPR. The melody was then used in minstrel shows with the actors wearing blackface and racist versions of the song, such as “Old Zip Coon” and “N**** Love a Watermelon,” were developed.
“They didn't create it or anything, but when they was informed of the history of it, they wanted to do something about it,” RZA said of Good Humor.
RZA said the company reached out to him because they wanted to create the new jingle to “replace the negative energy” of the old one.
“Anytime that we could get a opportunity to replace something negative with something positive, I'm all in for that,’ RZA told Inside Edition Digital.
The artist said all the feedback from the new song has been positive. Good Humor has also called on all ice cream trucks to stop playing the old tune and has made RZA’s new song available to ice cream trucks across the U.S.
"Good Humor has not owned ice cream trucks since the 1970s, nor did we create 'Turkey in the Straw' or any other jingles," the company wrote in a statement. "However, 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."
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