News & ToursNovember 3, 2015

Arnold Palmer, the hip-hop song: Would he be flattered?

Arnold Palmer is timeless, as popular now as he ever was, maybe more so. Once the lemonade/iced tea drink took on his name, no introductions were necessary. Even to the hip-hop generation.

There is now a hip-hop song called “Arnold Palmer.” It appears on an album, “700 Fill,” by a group called Ratking, “the Harlem-bred trio at the forefront of the city’s hip-hop revival,” as New Yorker magazine described it.

The title of the song is taken from the drink that bears his name. Golf is mentioned in the song, but only in passing:

“Sipping up, housed in a six, Bruno playing ball Bussin' ass, dressing (****ing) fresh like he was playing golf Caddie in the back, holding Pattie's bags, pay him more.”

Here is the video (offensive language warning):

We’ll leave it to Mic, “a news destination that offers quality coverage tailored to [young people],” as it describes itself, to translate the meaning of the song:

“Ratking is keeping gritty New York hip-hop alive. In a review of the group's wintry 700 Fill, Pitchfork described their past work as a ‘search for an old city, one in danger of being thrust into the East River by an influx of doe-eyed, affluent young professionals.’ 700 Fill continues that search while battling the chill of the city's cruel winter. Rapper Wiki pauses on tracks like ‘Arnold Palmer’ to pine for summers and cities past, while using the iconic drink to wax poetic about his mixed heritage.”

It seems unlikely that Palmer would approve, not simply because of a generational chasm, though he would be substantially more familiar with the Rat Pack than Ratking.

Palmer likely would disapprove because of objectionable language in the lyrics — words he wouldn’t use in polite company and another he wouldn’t use in any company.

It just shows that not everything is as palatable as an Arnold Palmer on a hot summer day.

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