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Home / Entertainment / RZA came out with a new ice cream truck noise because the old one was used in minstrel shows

RZA came out with a new ice cream truck noise because the old one was used in minstrel shows



Wu-Tang’s famous hip-hop icon has teamed up with ice cream brand Good Humor to rethink the signature “Turkey in the Straw” noise played by ice cream trucks across the country. Because as it turns out, the melody has a problematic past.
“Do you remember that ice cream noise? Of course, we all know it,” RZA said in a promotional video for Good Humor, which is owned by Unilever. “I will not play now because we have managed to find out that he has racist roots.”
“Turkey in the Straw” originates from a traditional British tune, brought to the American colonies by Scottish-Irish immigrants, according to researcher Theodore R. Johnson in his 201
4 article for NPR.

The original song has no racial impositions. But the tune for “Turkey in the Straw” was used by minstrel performers in bold and placed in highly racist verses – and this is how it rose in the U.S. rankings, Johnson wrote. Ice cream parlors throughout the 1800 commonly played minstrel songs, which eventually turned into ice cream truck trinkets.

“While these Turkey in the Straw associations are not the only part of its legacy, it is undeniable that this tune creates memories of its racist repetitions,” Good Humor said in a statement.

Good Humor called on all ice cream truck drivers to stop playing “Turkey in the Straw” and said the new RZA-created trinket will be made available to ice cream trucks across the country. The trinket will also be added to the ice cream truck industry standard music box, the company said.

“Good Humor has not owned ice cream trucks since the 1970s, nor have we created ‘Turkey in the Straw’ or any other trinket,” the company wrote in a statement.

“However, as the industry leader and creator of the original ice cream truck, we want to be part of the solution to this issue, especially since we work closely with so many ice cream truck drivers across the country.”

Listen to the new noise here.

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