Laffy Taffy no laughing matter

Imagine: the bass rumbles from the surrounding speakers while the simple rhythmic twang of the synthesizer induces the ladies (and some…eh…men) to move their hips accordingly.

…duh duh DUH… duh duh DUH…

Some lame saying something about Chico Stixs and Jolly Ranchers, lets loose from his vocal cords a horrendous 16 bars that could not have taken more than two minutes to write.

The dance floor goes crazy, as the patrons all sing the infamously elementary chorus in unison: “Shake that laffy taffy, that laffy taffy…”

What the hell! Someone please tell me how these people have the audacity to get on the radio and say something so stupid. More importantly, how is it that people actually like this nursery-rhymed, ghetto sing-along song?

It goes to show Southerners’ lack of sophistication in regards to the nuances and niceties of hip-hop music. For years the Outkasts, Goodie Mobs and Lil’ Waynes of the world, those who take pride in their art form and offer lingual mastery through their lines, have been undercut by the Franchise Boys and Tampa Tonys of the world. These artists prey on the unrefined tastes of the Southern urban music consumer.

All it takes for an artist to gain spins in southern clubs is a trunk-rattling bass-line and a hook that is so stupid it becomes catchy. Alternate routes to club success in the south include talking about sex in such a way as to either degrade women (think Ying Yang’s “Georgia Dome” and Trillville’s “Some Cut”) or self-efface the concept of the independent woman by having a female artist talk about how she can prostitute her body to get money out of men (see Trina’s entire career.)

It seems as though these kinds of records never fail to flood dance floors. Quite honestly, this shows how ignorant we are. We come from the same ancestry as Marvin Gaye. Bob Marley’s blood pumps through our veins. Our pulse beats the same as Jackie Wilson’s heart did. For us to indulge in this is a direct insult to our forefathers.

No, I am not advocating that everyone should denounce hip-hop in favor of gospel music, but I am imploring that music lovers contribute to its progress by becoming responsible consumers.

Our collective acumen as a musical audience is directly reflected by the low quality of artistry played over the airwaves. If we were to evolve in this capacity, we would shift to record labels and artists alike.,

So the next time you’re in the club and the DJ plays “Shake that Laffy Taffy”, think about the substratum issues that go along with it and the chunks of black pride that you destroy with every swivel of your backside.

Terrence Williams is a sophomore mass media studies student from Jacksonville. He can be reached at