Blog

The Ice Cream Man

Royce Da 5’9 has new a tape out, “The Allegory”. There is an interlude on it titled “Ice Cream Interlude”. Beginning with a young kid asking a mom “hey mama, what’s an allegory? ” A woman answers the kid, “An allegory is a story with a subliminal meaning that has a political message based off the writer’s mind”

The Allegory

The interlude continues going into the kid wanting, then visiting the ice cream truck and the woman going into an explanation of the melody from the ice cream trucks origin, to the Ice Cream man. It all began with a man named Harry C Brown…

Brown wrote what is referred to as the most racist song in America ; “Ni***r Love a Watermelon Hahaha”, recorded with Columbia Records in 1916. The melody in “Ni***r love a watermelon” derived from a popular british folk song ‘Turkey and the Straw”.

Initially one could say the song on the ice cream truck is a shoutout to that earlier song.

But the melody hadn’t been introduced in the US until it was used in minstrel shows (racist films) creating the black face characters Zip Coon and Jim Crow.

Those two characters inspired “Amos N Andy”, the 1920-1960 sitcom. Although, the show began as a radio show called “Sam & Henry”, 2 white men who voiced southern black men moving to Chicago to follow their dreams, similar to the plot in “Amos N Andy’s”. 

When searching Amos N Andy on google photos of “Sam & Henry”, photos of the black cast from “Amos N Andy” and photos of white men in black face all show up.

The confusion further blurring and clarifying the lines of the potential and indefinite defamation of a people’s thorough race. That seems to be the grey area surfacing in the attempt to pinpoint the intents of connecting the “racist rabithole”melody, permanently to the truck.(then furthering it into popular children’s songs- Do your ears hang low). I encourage you to look it up yourself.

Yes, at a certain point speakers were put into the ice cream truck to play recognized film music to attract people….

But why did the industry of “ice cream trucking” leave it be. Why did they just silence the words rather than changing the song?

That brings my mind immediately back to Allegory; A story with a subliminal meaning that has a political message based off the writers mind.

Who or what is the story the writer is telling and what’s the meaning?

Facts are, the infamous melody always had a meaning behind the surface and it’s been as in our faces as “watermelon”.

For now, I did find a petition started a few years ago on Change.org prompting city officials to demand all ice cream trucks change the frequency and get in tune.

The few petitions I found were started in 2014. One had 20 supporters, another 7 and another 14. Maybe we should begin another one but are we all going to do our part to get it signed …. referenced links below.

NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/05/11/310708342/recall-that-ice-cream-truck-song-we-have-unpleasant-news-for-you

ENEWS: https://www.eonline.com/uk/news/541451/the-ice-cream-truck-song-has-a-racist-history

Link To Full Royce 5’9 Tape :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1MWghWX2oc&list=PLsAk6h4n-dS2XkdI31mm2E9tQMSmklwq_

Follow the Menace Port Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close