Around the same time, Wyclef Jean felt it necessary to remake/cover the song Stayin' Alive. This song became a favorite at those ridiculous dances because the melody and beat were familiar enough to dry hump to yet the lyrics referenced such modern themes as dry humping. As it happens, one particular line from that song became extremely popular at these to-dos and was yelled in unison at the highest volume – “So mista funkmaster pump the bee-gees, And all you college students bring your Ouijas.” It’s 0:54 into the song.
Like all trickster women, sorority girls keep evil secrets designed to control men. I first assumed the passion for this line was limited to an individual sorority and I wasn’t in on the reference. But it turned out to be a Greek-wide phenomenon. All it takes for a song to endear itself to an “academic” audience is a mention of college and a vague allusion to the occult. And it helps if Ouijas rhymes with BeeGees.
I kept this knowledge secret from my friends from the radio station, ultimate Frisbee team, and such. They didn’t need to know about the soft spot in my heart and my head for dancing and wearing off-the-rack suits and my dad’s old ties. Strangely, however, this same song started to creep into my life via these avenues as well. Mostly it was because at the time we all enjoyed the irony of anything disco related and, let’s be real, the song's catchy as hell. But like the other Grecian-half of the school, they too became infatuated with one set of lyrics.
It’s at 1:20 into the video…
In case you misheard that, it was, “Every step tangoed, your beat don’t concern me, I’m eatin mangos in Trinidad with attorneys.” I’m not exactly how it came to pass, but we became fascinated with that mangos/Trinidad/attorneys bit. It became a catch all for any situation.
- “What are we doing Thursday night?” - “ Man, we’ll be eating mangos in Trinidad with attorneys.”
- “You worried about that Asian history mid-term?” - “Naw, that’ll be easy like eating mangos in Trinidad…“
- “Uh, your roommate said you went to a sorority formal on Saturday. What’s that about?” - “Say what!?! That dude is straight up eating mangos…”
Unfortunately, John Forte, the rapper/producer who uttered those genius lines, was arrested 2000 on what I can only assume were trumped cocaine possession charges. As a music listening public, we were suddenly denied his brilliance. Who knows what would have happened to Wyclef, Pras and Lauryn Hill if they had been guided back to the studio by the steady hand of Forte? Certainly Hill wouldn’t have had to eat her children after I bought her solo album. Like everything else good from college, it faded from my memory. There's nothing left other than the liver cirrhosis.
Anyway, I’m not sure how this slipped my attention, but John Forte’s sentence was commuted a few days before Thanksgiving, for some reason. And it wasn’t like the conviction was thrown out on a technicality. Nor was he pardoned by a corrupt Illinois governor looking for an ambassadorship to Trinidad. The sentence was commuted by a guy named the President of the United States of America George Bush.
Carly Simon was involved somehow too. And Orrin Hatch also.
Congratulations , John Forte, for having a strange group of supporters and getting out of the clink. I don’t really understand how you manage to pull something like that off. But enjoy your freedom mangos, nonetheless. They taste so much better on the outside