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RZA unveils new ice cream truck jingle to replace problematic 'Turkey in the Straw'
Wu-Tang Clan founder and producer RZA unveiled a new ice cream truck jingle Thursday to replace the problematic "Turkey in the Straw" song known for its racist history.
RZA partnered with Good Humor, the frozen dairy dessert distributor, to create an updated ice cream truck tune to replace the old jingle that is commonly associated with minstrel show and racist imagery, according to the company's website.
"Remember that ice cream jingle?" RZA said in a promotional video for his new jingle. "Of course - we all know it. I'm not gonna play it right now, though, because we come to find out that it has racist roots."
According to a statement on Good Humor's website, the company explains the racist origins of the "Turkey in the Straw" tune, which dates back to minstrel shows of the 1800s.
"'Turkey in the Straw's' melody originated from British and Irish folk songs, which had no racial connotations ... Some songs using its same melody contained highly offensive, racist lyrics," the statement said.
The song gained popularity in the 19th century for being commonly played inside ice cream parlors.
Good Humor released the RZA jingle for free, encouraging other ice cream trucks to set the "industry standard" of using the theme in place of the old one.
"We wanted to make a melody that includes all communities - that's good for every driver, every kid," RZA said. "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 in perpetuity. That means forever, you know what I mean? Like Wu-Tang is forever. And I will assure you that this one is made with love."