Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2007 02:33pm | Post a Comment

What makes the still popular US pastime of ghost riding the whip so adaptable is that it is the ultimate all-American type past time that everyone can do, or at least relate to; one that is based around the automobile. The auto, the car, the ride, the whip -- whatever you call it, since the 1950's when young rebellious Americans first started getting their own wheels and the automatic freedom that came with it, has gained its own subculture. And this auto subculture has been closely linked with music, sex, alcohol, drugs, and (of course) driving stunts. 

And ghost riding the whip, which has been extremely popular the past two years, is the current offshoot of this ever-evolving auto American pop culture. Since last year it has gotten a lot of sensationalist mainstream coverage which has only fueled its popularity and as a result flooded YouTube with lots of "ghost riding the whip" video clips being posted daily.

How to ghost ride the whip: "the whip" is the car, the ride, and "ghost ride" is how it is driven -- by the ghost, meaning that the car drives itself and the driver hops out of the drivers seat to sit on the hood or run around the car and tries not to crash, and if s/he does, then tries to remember what type of auto insurance s/he (though predominantly a male past time) has. S/he may also need medical insurance.

The soundtrack to ghost riding is Bay Area hyphy rap, which directly helped fuel its current popularity, including such faves as Mista F.A.B.'s "Ghost Ride It" (video below) and, of course, E40 and the Federation as featured in the ebaum's world video clip below with the crashes (when ghost riders attack). These ghost-ridin' songs are the latest in a long tradition of Bay rap that celebrates illegal car activity and is rooted in the beloved but outlawed tradition of sideshows, long an ingrained part of underground urban Bay Area culture, with songs such as 415's  single "Sideshow"  (featuring Richie Rich and from the album 41Fiven), reflecting the illegal car activities back in the late eighties.


In Oakland, California, every Saturday night, brothers be ridin
Straight lace Zeniths, rag tops, buckets, high performance
We really don't be trippin, you know what I'm sayin?
But now it's like this
Police came through, but now they're gone
In other words, the side show's on
Troy's in a Maxima straight up lit
Short's comin through in a Benz with a kit
Oakland's movin somethin, and that's real
Bruce from the Deuce comin through in a 'Ville
This is a side show, boy, we don't fake it
Police come through on a fluke and try to break it
Up like that with a riot hat
You're gonna need more than a billy club and a gat
To stop the side show, officer...

In recent years there have also been a ton of indie, locally produced DVDs made about sideshows and ghost-riding. The late Mac Dre's songs and Thizz TV also gave major love to ghost riding the whip. And going back to the early nineties, Bay Area rap videos from numerous artists such as Seagram (RIP) and N2Deep have regularly featured cars doing donuts and other tricks.

The ghost ride and the rest of sideshow culture is popular all over these days but wherever it is practiced is seems to come with its own soundtrack -- Yay Area rap. And it has caught the attention of many, including Tom Green, whose video clip below from his online TV show is a fun interpretation of ghost riding the whip -- across the Canadian open plains.  Meanwhile, proof of its crossing over in the mainstream consciousness is in the grandma ghost rides the whip video below. And for more info and updates go to YouTube and do a search under "ghost ride the whip" or check out the site of the maker of the video on top of this AMOEBLOG --


Relevant Tags

Sideshow (1), Bay Area (34), Mac Dre (33), Richie Rich (4), E40 (15), Ghost Ride (1), Mista F.a.b. (1), Thizz (3)