I posted this stupid video last month to bring awareness to the lowbrow Hip-Hop that’s out there right now. Last Sunday, the New York Times had a writeup detailing the origins of that popular ditty we all have heard:
Yo, Do Your Ears Hang Low?
By KELEFA SANNEH
Published: September 17, 2006
It is one of the oldest tunes in the American repertory. In the 19th century it was a minstrel mainstay known, depending on the lyrics, as “Zip Coon” or “Turkey in the Straw.” More recently the same tune has been appropriated for a children’s song (“Do Your Ears Hang Low?”) and for the ice-cream-truck jingle that you may be hearing for a few more weeks. And now, thanks to the St. Louis rapper Jibbs, the old song provides the basis for a new hip-hop hit, “Chain Hang Low” (Geffen), which should still be playing on the radio long after the ice cream trucks have gone into hibernation. He raps — brays really — the verses and a chorus of children sings the refrain (“Do your chain hang low? Do it wobble to the flo’?/Do it shine in the light? Is it platinum? Is it gold?”). Perhaps without meaning to, Jibbs has updated one of the most popular melodies of the blackface era, reprising a song that has been stuck in American heads for a few centuries.”
Or perhaps, Jibbs is putting on his shuck and Jive coon show like every other mainstream rapper because he doesn’t know any better. GET IT TOGETHER PEOPLE