By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Yo, Lethbridge County, let’s kick it — winter driving style with the bustin’ of some rhymes.
Rappers, for the past few decades have challenged each other to rap battles — last week, a few police services in Alberta and Saskatchewan threw down their very own winter driving raps to get the message out to motorists about the dangers of winter driving, while challenging each other to the ultimate of rap battles via social media.
It all started when the Kindersley RCMP in Saskatchewan posted an online rap parody, in regards to winter driving.
The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) followed suit, shortly thereafter, with their own little ditty, as the department also posted their rap online on Facebook and on Twitter.
“One of our employees that works here in the corporate communications section saw the Kindersley RCMP post,” said EPS spokesperson Anna Batchelor.
“It was on Nov. 24 the Kindersley RCMP posted a traffic safety version of ‘Ice Ice Baby,’” a song originally made famous by Vanilla Ice.
Batchelor noted, in the media relations and corporate communications section of EPS, the department thought the rap was humourous but also an excellent way to deliver a message of safe driving practices to the public.
“A little bit non-traditional but at the same time, sometimes that’s what breaks through that message barrier and does reach people. One of our employees here penned the rap in about half an hour or so,” she said, adding “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song served as inspiration. The hit TV show starred Will Smith.
According to Batchelor, the rap parody was posted on EPS social media on Nov. 25 and it took off.
“The public, in Edmonton, responded very positively to it and surprisingly a number of law enforcement detachments responded with their own versions to it. It has gone viral, in a sense. But, the most important part is, we’re getting those messages out about the dangers of winter driving and taking precautions to protect yourself and other motorists on the road,” she added.
Other police departments posted their own rap parodies/winter driving messages online including departments in Medicine Hat, Regina, Calgary and even the Coronation RCMP got “jiggy wit it.”
Many news agencies also reported on the rap battle sensation including Global TV, the CBC and the Weather Network’s Chris Murphy.
The following are the lyrics to the EPS winter driving rap (set to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song):
“Now, this is a story all about how
My car got flipped – turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I’ll tell you how my car spun out of control in mid-air
On the streets of Edmonton I wasn’t phased
Summer driving was easy most of the days
But then outta nowhere things got cool
All the water froze up in my grandpa’s pool
Then the storm filled the skies, yeah it was no good
Started making ice patches in my neighbourhood
I locked up the brakes and my mom got scared
My car hit the ditch, ‘cause I wasn’t prepared
I whistled a tow truck and when he came by
He suggested, “winter tires, and take more time”
If anything I could say I drive more safe now
I realized my bumper ain’t no snow plow
He dropped me back home, about seven or eight
And I yelled to the trucker, “Yo homes, smell ya later”
I looked at my wheels
Not to be taken lightly
Driving’s a privilege and I gotta do it politely.”
In the words of Mr. Ice — “word to your mother.”
Since the rap battles began earlier last week, Lethbridge Regional Police Service (LRPS) received a lot of messages challenging the department to join the other police services who have written winter driving rap parodies.
The following is the LRPS winter driving rap to the tune of “Gangsta’s Paradise” from Coolio and the movie “Dangerous Minds.”
The rap was posted on the LRPS Facebook page last week.
“As I walk through the valley in the shadow of the bridge
I look up at Whoop-Up Drive and see the cars as they skid
’Cause Old Man Winter’s been blasting so long
That even with the limit at 60, your tire traction’s gone
But I ain’t never ticketed a driver who didn’t deserve it
Excuses never work, you know that’s unheard of
You better watch how you’re drivin,’ where photo radar’s hidin’
Or you and your lead foot might be written up
I really hate to nag but you gotta stop
Don’t wanna croak, then look up and put your phone down, fool
I’m the kind of po-po little homies wanna be like
In my car, cruisin’ ‘round, lights and siren on all night
Been patrolling most my life, in this frozen winter paradise
Been patrolling most my life, in this frozen winter paradise.”
Kristen Harding, with the LRPS, said the department saw a few of the winter driving raps from the other police services online and the community began challenging the department to join in and the department did.
“We often find ourselves repeating the same messages, so i think we’re always looking for ways to be able to reach more people and make it more meaningful. I can’t imagine Kindersley RCMP envisioned a rap battle with other agencies when they posted their rendition of ‘Ice Ice Baby’ but here we are and it’s turned out to be a really positive way to get that winter driving reminder back out there, engage with the community, and have a bit of fun,” said Harding.
Harding added the response the department has received from the local community and beyond has been tremendous.
“We want to thank everyone for their kind words and support cheering us on. Oh and definitely a round of applause for all the other police services who have dropped the mic. Well played po-po, well played,” Harding joked.