Music | August 13, 2020 11:23 am

Good Humor Had RZA Write a New, Non-Racist Jingle for Ice Cream Trucks

The Wu-Tang rapper helps replace "Turkey in the Straw," which has ties to blackface minstrel shows

RZA of Wu-Tang Clan performs during EMBA Fest 2020 at Oakland Arena on February 21, 2020 in Oakland, California
RZA of Wu-Tang Clan performs at EMBA Fest 2020 in Oakland.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Over the past few months, companies across America have had to take a cold, hard look at the ways they contribute to systemic racism, whether it’s reexamining their hiring practices or eliminating any branding that’s rooted in stereotypes. With that in mind, the Good Humor ice cream company has announced it is ditching the traditional “Turkey in the Straw” jingle in favor of a new one penned by RZA.

“Turkey in the Straw,” a traditional folk tune from the early 19th century, is commonly played by ice cream trucks, but it was also frequently used in blackface minstrel shows. Good Humor has issued a call to action to ice cream trucks to retire the tune due to its racist ties, and it reached out to the Wu-Tang rapper to find a suitable replacement.

For the new jingle, RZA “drew inspiration from his childhood memories of chasing after ice cream trucks in Staten Island — blending traditional ice cream truck sounds with jazz and hip-hop elements,” according to a press release.

“We wanted to make a melody that includes all community, that’s good for every driver, that’s good for every kid,” he says in a behind-the-scenes video about the jingle. “And I’m proud to say, for the first time in a long time, a new ice cream jingle will be made available to trucks all across the country, in perpetuity. That means forever — like Wu-Tang’s forever. And I can assure you, this one is made with love.”

RZA’s jingle will be available to ice cream trucks across the country beginning this month. You can give it a listen and watch his behind-the-scenes video below.

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