Taco Bell Commercial, It's All About The Roosevelts (Video & Lyrics)

In 1998, Puff Daddy (now called P Diddy) rapped, “It’s All about the Benjamins.” He wasn’t referring to Hebrews, he was referring to $100 bills. Now in 2009, Taco Bell produced a commercial where performers rap about “The Roosevelts.” And yes they are referring to dimes.

The commercial mocks a high-budget hip hop video by having its intrepid performers rap about the frugality of Taco Bell’s menu. Thus the allusion to Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose countenance decorates the dime.

Taco Bell celebrates its Why Pay More menu by rapping to its customers that it\'s all about the Roosevelts.

Taco Bell celebrates its Why Pay More menu by rapping to its customers that it's all about the Roosevelts.

The clever spot, whose two minute version appeared during the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star game on July 14 (the most watched sporting event of the summer), is quite funny because it’s such a precise emulation. This isn’t a spoof, or a parody, it’s a straight-up homage done so perfectly that it attracts guffaws and chortles.

It’s done with such expertise that if one didn’t know any better they might assume it was an actual attempt as legitimate hip-hopery.

The commercial was directed by Chris Applebaum, winner of the 2007 MTV Video of the Year Award for Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” It stars Bobby Edner. The ad was created by Draftfcb, located in Chicago.

While Land of Punt finds the advert brilliant and quite uproarious, others disagree. Christine Huang, writing for the Huffington Post, believes the commercial is rather racist.

In her article, Advertising And Modern Minstrelsy: What’s Funny About Race Roleplaying? Huang claims that the only reason the spot is funny is because white guys are rapping. Worst, they aren’t being self deprecating. In her opinion that’s racist.

She reads a lot into a two minute spot aimed at pimping tacos to drunk teenagers, but the reason the spot is funny is because it has white guys rapping. White guys rapping is always funny. It’s what those in the business of show call “comedy gold.”

However, the real “yuks” are found in the fact that it’s uber ridiculous when real performers, regardless of their race, rap about “money, cash, ho’s.” Rapping about spare change only takes the preposterous notion of venerating ill-gotten wealth to the next level of absurdity.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXngi6tUma0]

Cash strapped
A little short on the greenbacks
Thats what its like
Growin up in the cul de sacs

Mobbin’ to the bell, we’re gettin something to eat
Have my shorties countin’ dimes ’cause todays my treat
I’m a big dog, my pockets full of change
Throw the dimes in the air, kid, I’m makin’ it rain

It’s all about the Roosevelts, baby
Flash them dimes, 79, 89, 99
It’s all about the Roosevelts, baby
Give me tacos and nachos and what’s yours

Pockets empty, wallets looking lean
Paper money’s out, silvers our new green.
Cruisin’ to the bell, we’re rolling cars three deep
Coinage in the glove box, dimes under the seat
I’m like a banker, always rollin’ with change
I ain’t a player, I’m just playing the game.

It’s all about the Roosevelts, baby
Flash them dimes, 79, 89, 99
It’s all about the Roosevelts.

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