July 29, 2017
Todd plays "Laffy Taffy" on the piano
D4L - LAFFY TAFFY
A one-hit wonder retrospective
Todd: (sounding bored) Welcome to One-Hit Wonderland, where we something, something, something... something... Look, I'll be honest with you, I'm just gonna phone this one in.
(Intro to the video)
D4L: That laffy taffy
Todd (VO): Look, I got some vacation time coming up...
Todd: ...I made plans, and, you know, I was thinking maybe I can head out early, spend the next couple weeks in Myrtle Beach, so I'm just gonna shit out an episode and clock out.
D4L: Girl, shake that laffy taffy, that laffy taffy, shake that laffy taffy
Todd (VO): So...yeah, right, yeah, so if you're wondering how this particular blast from the past wound up on the schedule...
Todd: ...well, here was the decision making process. I asked myself, "What song would require the least effort from me?"
Todd (VO): What song do you not need to think about or research or analyze in any way?
D4L: C'mon trick, c'mon trick, Here go Mr. Chocolate
Todd (VO): And, yeah, that's how we got here. Laffy Taffy by D4L. By any standards, one of the dumbest #1 hit singles of the 2000's.
Todd: Or...any decade, really.
Todd (VO): And yeah, you heard me, it was a #1 hit in 2006, which...
Todd: ...I don't wanna say it was a bad year, but I remember a lot of crap like this.
(Clip of Dem Franchize Boyz - Lean wit it, Rock wit it)
Dem Franchize Boyz: Lean wit it (Rock wit it) Lean wit it (Rock wit it)
Todd (VO): Club bangers that, as far as I'm concerned, you couldn't really dance to it, made by people who had one or at most two hits and then jumped off the face of the earth. I can seriously run this show for years just based on shitty forgettable rap songs that got big in 2006.
Todd: But most of those club bangers were, you know, bangers.
Todd (VO): Laffy Taffy's basic claim to fame was basically the single slowest, hokiest, gentlest beat this side of a musical crib mobile.
D4L: (Candy girl) That laffy taffy, that laffy taffy
Todd (VO): And onto this lazy-ass beat, they, uh...they rapped a strip club song. About strippers that make you think about taffy. I don't even know.
Todd: So yeah, let's, uh, let's get this over with. I mean, I'm already packed. Girl, shake that laffy taffy, that laffy taffy...
Todd (VO): ...even if I weren't trying to get to the beach...
Todd: ...I probably woulnd't be spending a lot of time on this song. Good Christ.
D4L: Let me see that laffy taffy, nah nah nah, girl...
Before the hit
Todd: Who cares? No, no, I'm not gonna completely zone out here.
Todd (VO): Ok, the name of the group was D4L, which...God knows what that means. Sounds like some kind of abbreviation for Craigslist personal ads. Dudes 4 Ladies? Doglovers 4 Lasagna? I dunno, let me pull up Wikipedia here. Ok, judging by the album cover, D4L stands for "Down For Life." They were from Atlanta, which...of course, every rapper from the mid-2000's was from Atlanta. And yeah, Atlanta's obviously still huge, but in the mid-2000's, it was huge to the point of insanity. I think Jermaine Dupri was just picking random guys off the street and throwing them into the studio and they'd be superstars within a day.
Todd: Anyway, D4L was four guys...
Todd (VO): ...Fabo, Mook-B, Stoney and Shawty Lo.
Todd: That name sounds familiar, Shawty Lo? Yeah, I think I remember him, he had a couple hits, and...didn't know he did Laffy Taffy. I swear he did something recently, what was it? Ah, I'm sure it'll come to me. Anyway, let's examine where hip hop was in 2006.
[Clip of Unk - "Walk It Out"]
Unk: Now walk it out, now walk it out
Todd (VO): Answer? Not a great place! At least not the popular stuff, a lot of it was pretty bad, from one-hit wonders with not a lot of lyrical skill, but who somehow found a decent beat and a catchy enough hook and got big. We called it "ringtone rap..."
Todd: ...not sure why, lots of rap, including the good stuff, was used as ringtones.
[Clip of Huey - "Pop, Lock & Drop It"]
Huey: Pop, lock & drop it, pop, lock & drop it
Todd (VO): I think the idea is that anything that was called "ringtone rap" was popular as a ringtone but nowhere else. Like, that's all it was good for, being a ringtone. And that's about as long as you'd listen to it, you know, as long as you'd need to find the phone and shut it off. I mean, ringtones were great for this kind of rap song, because you would listen to the good part, which was the chorus, and not have to listen to the verses, which were usually filler garbage. And once ringtones were no longer a hot trend, it disappeared.
Todd: To be replaced by [image of...] Vine raps. And God knows what's gonna come after that, songs that...play when you fart. [image of Fartr] You'd get an app that, when you fart, it plays music, and that's where tomorrow's hits will come from. I dunno.
[Clip of Youngbloodz - "Damn!"]
Todd (VO): So yeah, that's where we were. You could blame a lot of that on the rise of Lil' Jon, who was all about loud banging hooks and not necessarily a lot of substance to fill out the parts in between, but Lil' Jon's gimmick was interesting enough that he was able to sustain a career out of yelling about 5 or 6 different words.
Todd: Not so much for most of his followers. Except for Shawty Lo, I guess. He must've had more of a career, 'cause I do remember him.
[Clip of Shawty Lo]
Todd (VO): Yeah, it's coming back to me, he had a couple hits, and a couple of guest verses, and... [Image of news article about Shawty Lo's death] oh yeah, he died in a car accident last year.
Todd: God damn it! Goddamnit, goddamnit, goddamnit. Well, ok, this episode is now a tribute to the late, beloved Shawty Lo, where we talk about the legacy, and...ah, Christ, nah I don't have time.
[Footage of Shawty Lo's funeral]
Todd (VO): The one time I try to rush something out and it turns out the guy just died. Let this be a lesson, kids...
Todd: ...this is what happens when you cut corners. [beat] Well, I mean, we're still doing the song, let's go, let's go
The big hit