Pop & Hiss

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Fast food gets a frighteningly real R&B parody

July 15, 2009 |  7:38 am

When superstar rapper Jay-Z came across the use of the suddenly controversial music program Auto-Tune in the now-infamous “Frosty Posse” TV commercial for fast-food chain Wendy’s, he was supposedly moved to pen “D.O.A.” ("Death of Auto-Tune"), declaring Auto-Tune officially over.

“They're joking on it. It's like, OK, enough of that,” he mused to MTV News last month. “It was a trend. It was cool in the beginning. Some people made great music with it. Now it's time to move on.”

While pundits debate both sides of the issue, one can only imagine the inevitable fallout that’s probably starting right about now in the wake of the latest Taco Bell campaign, wryly titled “It’s All About the Roosevelts” (in reference to the former president’s mug on dimes) to promote their new value menu.

For one, producers Dr. Dre and Scott Storch could make a solid case that one of the cut's main hooks — what sounds to be a sample of a Japanese koto — is strikingly similar to the one that anchors the cut “Still D.R.E.” from Dre’s second solo album, “Chronic 2001.”

But from the whispered delivery of the verses, annoyingly catchy chorus and the ridiculously over-the-top video, “It’s All About the Roosevelts” sounds like Andy Samberg’s the Lonely Island playing an amazing practical joke on some unwitting ad agency. Shown before film screenings and throughout the 2009 MLB All-Star Game, the song wouldn’t sound out of place between Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas on pop radio. 

In short, it’s kind of the jam. Which also means it’s sure to make someone — most likely a recording artist or a producer — really mad. At least that's our hope. Anyone? 

— Scott T. Sterling

Screen shot courtesy Tacobell.com