RZA has written a new ice cream truck jingle that will hopefully replace the familiar tune, “Turkey in the Straw,” a song with racist origins. The Wu-Tang member partnered with Good Humor ice cream to release the jingle, which will soon be available for ice cream trucks to use nationwide.
"Good Humor invented the ice cream truck and is the maker of some of today's most iconic ice cream truck treats. And while we have not owned ice cream trucks since 1976, we wanted to be part of the solution and offer ice cream truck drivers a jingle that can bring joy to every community," said Russel Lilly, Senior Director, U.S. Ice Cream at Unilever. "So, to create a new jingle, we knew we had to team up with the mastermind behind some of the most memorable melodies of our time."
The old ice cream truck song, “Turkey in the Straw,” has been around for roughly 200 years — first popularized in minstrel shows — and it can still be heard in ice cream trucks today. In recent weeks, however, the jingle has been the subject of scrutiny from various celebrities for its racist roots.
"I remember the days when I would hear that iconic ice cream truck jingle outside, and I would drop what I was doing to chase it down for a treat. When I learned about that song's problematic history this summer, I knew I had to get involved and do something about it," said RZA. "I'm excited to share this new jingle with a new era of ice cream truck fans and continue to spread that joy with Good Humor."
RZA's jingle incorporates traditional ice cream truck music as well as jazz and hip-hop elements. It will be made available to ice cream truck drivers beginning this month on GoodHumor.com.
You can listen to the new ice cream truck tune below and then hear RZA discussing the story behind it underneath.