The Medicine Show Grudge Match 1993: "Whoomp, There It Is" VS. "Whoot, There It Is"
Aww, we're disappointed in you people. We really thought you cared. We here at the Medicine show do care, a lot, which is why we've spent the last two weeks sacrificing our time, hearts, and unrequited love of our families into bringing you today's Grudge Match. It harkens back to a simpler time, a time when all it took to have a good time was to kindly allow an MC to clear his throat. A time when all you had to do was ride that train, or just get a little boombastic.
In fact, we were so wrapped up in turning it out that perhaps we failed to notice that in the same month, two tracks were unleashed upon the public that prompted roughtly the same call to action. One was Tag Team's infectious "Whoomp, There It Is," the other being 95 South's "Whoot, There It Is." But which would prevail?
Challenge: When we find where it is, what do we shout?
While Atlanta maestros Tag Team suggest that when we find it, we alert those around us with a staggering "whoomp!", 95 South would have us utter a rollicking "whoot!" The Medicine Show's English department informs us that in terms of onomotopoeia, "whoomp" delivers the much stronger sound, like that of a massive, resounding thud or crash. "Whoot," these same experts tell us, is a little more passive, not unlike the subtle calls G.I.'s give one another during stealthy missions in war movies, or the sound one makes when teaching children the sounds an owl produces. POINT: Tag Team is clearly making a much louder noise when determining where it is.
Challenge: What are we looking for, anyway?
95 South's message is clear, the narrator is looking for booty. In fact, booty is so much the cause for search that the song itself opens with the voice of an old man begging the question "Excuse me sonny, do you know where I can find some booty?" to which 95 South clearly offers a solution helpfully, albeit in five and half minutes of rhyme (nine minutes in the "ultimate maxi-mix"). 95 South also offers clues as to where it can be found -- hinting that you can "get a peek" for "a twenty dollar bill that's nice and crisp." Sounds easy enough to us. Tag Team, however, makes their hunt a little harder. According to Whoomp, "these words mean you're getting busy," which is admittedly more vague. The Medicine Show field team tested both these proclamations of discovery in the public arena, first by singling out construction workers who were clearly very busy and shouting "Whoomp, there it is," then by targeting female shoppers at a local mall by pointing at their anatomy with a "Whoot, there it is." While the "whoomp" went largely ignored, the "whoot" yielded far more interesting results, including the expulsion from a neighborhood Long John Silvers and, in one unfortunate staffer's case, chlamydia. POINT: If you're looking for booty, just take 95 South.
Challenge: Which tune shows more respect for the traditional meters set forth by the canon of classic poetry?
While you're not likely to see phrases like 95 South's "pop that thang" or "slam that big ol' thing off the stage" in your Norton Anthology of Poetry, you might notice a clear alliterative descendant of e.e. cummings or Dr. Seuss in Tag Team's "Whoomp, chaka laka chaka laka chaka laka." However, it must be noted that Whoot employs a traditional a-a-b-b-c-c rhyme scheme, compared to Tag Team's a-b-c-d-e-f-g, which was a far as we got before we just stopped keeping track. POINT: Despite its 20th century vernacular, 95 South shows much respek -- to the beloved scribes of the Victorian era.
Challenge: But 95 South and Tag Team both make such compelling arguments, who should I listen to?
While 95 South's booty-heavy Whoot retired mainly to the strip club circuit, Whoomp has still been discovered at roller rinks, children's birthday parties and, oddly enough, in the closing credits of Addams Family Values .POINT: Tag Team. To use their own words, Tag Team is "comin' atcha" -- the "atcha" being "atcha eight year-old nephew's upcoming Snowball dance."
Challenge: Both tracks were successful, but which group "kept it real" after these hits?
C.C. Lemonhead and Jayski McGowan of 95 South went on to produce future club favorites "Tootsie Roll" for the 69 Boyz and "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)" for Quad City DJ's. Sadly, Tag Team's career was more lackluster, with the hit's variation of "Whoomp, There It Went," as well as the forgettable "Here It Is, Bam!" And no, we are not making these up. POINT: We like the way 95 South rolls -- forward, building on initial accolades.
THE CHAMP: 95 South, 3-2 Props to 95 South. Our lives are all better having known you. We guess. When we were a nation searching for where it was, you shined like a beacon of light, showing us where the booty at. And for that, I think we all owe you a great debt of thanks.
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