America’s recent reckoning with the way racism has wormed its way into every aspect of our lives (at least in cases where it wasn’t baked in from the very beginning) has been long overdue, and now these heavy conversations have evidently reached the ice cream industry. As reported by Rolling Stone, the Good Humor ice cream company has decided to retire its old ice cream truck jingle “Turkey In The Straw” because of the song’s racist history. As Rolling Stone explains, the song initially gained popularity through blackface minstrel shows, and if that’s not enough of a justification to toss it into the garbage bin of history, the song’s Wikipedia page has a special section for “racist versions.” (And they are very racist.)
So with that song out, Good Humor did what any ice cream company would do in a similar situation: It called up RZA and asked him to write a new one. The new melody blends “traditional ice cream truck sounds with jazz and hip-hop elements,” and RZA explains that he wanted to write this new song so it would be “good for every driver” and “every kid.” On top of that, for what is apparently “the first time in a long time,” RZA’s tune is going to be made available to all ice cream trucks in the country “in perpetuity.” In other words, this could theoretically be the ice cream song forever—and honestly, if you can get RZA to write your jingle, why would you bother ever replacing it?
Now we just need to see how the ice cream truck industry survives in a post-COVID society. Maybe they could add some kind of catapult that safely tosses ice cream into people’s hands? Until that happens and its safe for ice cream trucks to roll down our streets again, you can hear RZA’s melody below (and below that is a video he made talking about it).