I'm-a Fry This Chicken In My Hand!


Tom Breihan at the Village Voice devotes far, far more words than anyone should have to on Webstar's novelty hit "Chicken Noodle Soup."

It's basically a kids' song; precious few adults are willing to risk trying the unbelievably goofy leg-kicking arm-flapping dance that goes along with the song. Byron Crawford called the song "minstrel show rap" last week, and it's definitely hard to watch the dance without getting uncomfortable blackface vibes, but it's not like the whole "Chicken Noodle Soup" thing exists to entertain white people. As far as I can tell, it's an entirely grassroots phenomenon.

That may be, but when I watch the video I can hear the distinct sound of stone crashing into pavement as Western Civilization collapses. But Byron Crawford at XXL, whom Breihan links to, sees "Chicken Noodle Soup" as part of an insidious trend.

Minstrel show rap.

Flush with revenue from the likes of Mike Jones' Who Is Mike Jones?, the Ying Yang Twins' "Wait (The Whisper Song)," Three-Six Mafia's Academy Award-winning theme to Hustle and Flow, and D4l's "Laffy Taffy," record labels are rushing out to sign the most coon-like negros they can find.

On one level this is just another battle between self-appointed cultural watchdogs and artists who just want to have fun and make some scratch. But I can't deny that the videos Crawford links to are like outtakes from Bamboozled. In particular, "Fry That Chicken" by Ms. Peachez is one of the most racially awkward things I've seen in years. It's hard to tell if it was spontaneously created by black people or by pranksters at a George Allen picnic old-fashioned hatenanny.