We’ve been down this old town road before.
A few months ago, my wife and I took my two boys to Monster Jam, the traveling monster truck competition and demonstration show during its Washington, D.C. stop. One of the trucks, Monster Mutt, comes out to Baha Men’s 2000, Grammy-award winning (!!!!!) cover, “Who Let The Dogs Out” Since then—though it has ramped up in the past two weeks, the coronavirus strikes again—my boys have been obsessed with this song. They say “who let the dogs out?” all the time. When we get in the car, they want to hear “Who Let The Dogs Out” on repeat.
No lie, on Monday, I listened to this song at least 20 times in a row. There was a traffic hiccup on the way to school. I waved to a fellow motorist with kids in the car asking for help. They did not stop and help. They just drove on by with the same look of “how many gotdamn times can you possibly listen to this song?!??!?!” look on their face. I hope it wasn’t “Who Let The Dogs Out” or “Baby Shark.” My guitar gently weeps.
I shed dry, silent tears as my kids danced as best as they could while being strapped into car seats. Safety first, ya know.
Honestly, I be trying. I have whole ass Fela Kuti weeks in my car where I play as many Fela songs as possible between car rides from Point A to Point B. Granted, that’s like one song—Fela has some SUPERDUPERLONG songs—but my kids have been introduced to afro beat. Hell, they’ve even been introduced to afrobeats. One of my favorite songs is WizKid’s “Ojuelegba” and I play it all the time. My youngest has whole ass dance videos online, courtesy of the Le Spouse, dancing to Burna Boy’s “Killin’ Dem.” Recently, I tried to introduce Andreya Triana’s “Lost Where I Belong” to the rotation since my oldest son loves interesting vocal performances; seriously, my kids are into music.
I can even live with constant forays into pop music. For instance, Justin Bieber’s song, “Forever” is a hit with the kids. All good. I even try to encourage all manner of other songs. Michael Jackson? No problem. Actually, my oldest son is quite a fan of The Jackson’s Victory album. But no matter how hard I try to steer the Titanic away from the iceberg, “Who Let The Dogs Out” is never far away.
“Daddy, you can play one of your songs...then we can listen to ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’?”
“Daddy, one more time?”
Or my personal favorite:
“You don’t like my songs, daddy? You don’t like it when I listen to ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’?”
Trolls. The whole lot of them.
I genuinely dislike that song. Not because it’s a terrible song, I’m sure it was just fine the first time I heard it in 2000. But at this juncture, I’ve listened to this song so many times that I’m waiting for the Federal Government to say it’s been infected with #ThatRona and will no longer be played on streaming services. No such luck thus far. Like, I just don’t want to hear it again but it brings my kids so much joy. So even when I don’t want to listen to it and would rather listen to, I don’t know, news transmissions of space activity via C-Span or some other super riveting listen, I have to remind myself that anything that brings my kids that much joy can’t be that bad. And I mean, if it really makes them happy that’s all that matters, right?
At some point, I was going to try to make the case that the song was explicit in nature and have it banned from my house but the truth is it’s kind of a women’s empowerment jam that speaks to men being inappropriate and women calling them out on their shit. I can’t even use that defense. It wouldn’t matter; my kids have no idea what they’re saying and are only here for the hook anyway.
So for the foreseeable fortune, “Who Let The Dogs Out” is the audio version of legos my kids leave on the floor that I will step on at midnight. It’s going to happen. It’s like when Bryan Mills told his daughter in Taken that she was about to be taken. It’s just facts: “Who Let The Dogs Out” is part of my life right now. I could still use help though.
Like, can somebody put the dogs back in? Please. Kthxbi.