Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Midweek Diversion: Ridin’ with chicken

The video above is an ad currently playing on New Zealand television for an international chicken fast food chain. The commercial is kind of cute, for lack of a better word, with unexpected imagery that makes the humour work. As such things go, it’s a good ad.

I liked the ad when I firts saw it, but I started to wonder about the song in the background. It’s kind of catchy, almost earworm-y, and I wanted to know more about.

The song is “Ridin’”, a 2006 song by Chamillionaire (real name Hakeem Seriki), a 37 year old an American musician, rapper, entrepreneur, and investor from Houston, Texas. The song features Krayzie Bone, who’s been part of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. The part used in the ad is the chorus:
They see me rollin
They hatin
Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin' dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin' dirty (repeat three times)
My music so loud
I'm swangin
They hopin that they gonna catch me ridin' dirty
Tryin to catch me ridin' dirty (repeat three times)
The lyrics work really well with the imagery in the ad, and the idea of oldies “ridin’ dirty” using their mobility scooters is funny. But the rest of the song is a little out of sync with the ad. As Wikipedia puts it:
The lyrics concern racial profiling and police brutality, as well as the stereotyping of African-Americans driving a vehicle with drugs or other contraband on the inside ("Riding dirty").
While the idea of fast food chicken being contraband for seniors is kind of funny in itself, the resy of the lyrics are quite explicit and far naughtier than most seniors would like to hear. That would make it an odd choice for an ad for a mass market product—except probably not here.

New Zealanders are always laid back about such things anyway, but I’d thought that chances were good that not many people were familiar with it. Well, maybe: It turns out the song went to Number 2 in New Zealand in 2006. I must not have been listening to pop radio at the time, because I sure don’t remember it.

Choosing music for ads can be fraught sometimes, especially in the USA, less so in New Zealand, maybe. And, just because I’m not familiar with a song doesn’t mean it wasn’t popular; this isn’t the first time I’ve made that mistake.

This little journey started, as it so often does (like it did last month), because I was curious about background music used in an ad, and when I found that I needed to know more about it, the artist, and what, precisely, they were rapping.

I love the Internet.

The official video for Chamillionaire’s Ridin' ft. Krayzie Bone:

No comments: