Pants on the Ground and Pride Down the Drain

By Ashley Bagwell

   When the new season of American Idol premiered, it was expected that there would be some memorable auditions and some impressive talent. What the world didn’t see coming, however, was the internet sensation that became of the song “Pants on the Ground” by ‘General’ Larry Platt.

   Platt’s original song has spawned numerous covers and remixes, bonafing its place in internet history. The song has been covered by celebrities including Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, Viking’s quarterback Brett Favre, and the Today Show hosts Meredith Viera, Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry who also organized a performance of the song.

   What often doesn’t get taken into consideration though is meaning that can be derived from the song. The lyrics, at face value, seem to stress a negative opinion on the fashion trends of certain young men in today’s society. Young men who put “gold in [their] mouth,” wear their “hat turned sideways,” and wear their pants loose enough to “hit the ground” seem to be the targets of the song.

   The episode featuring Platt aired Jan. 13, only five days before the aniversary of Martain Luther King Jr.’s birthday. King made the ultimate sacrifice for the rights of minorities not only America but also in the world.

   Taking into consideration the fact that Platt earned the nickname “General” from Hosea Williams because of his heroic efforts on behalf of the civil rights movement, and the fact that the Georgia General Assembly designated September 4, 2001, as, “Larry Platt Day”, for his, “priceless and immeasurable contributions to society”, as well as, “his great energy and commitment to equality and the protection of the innocent and for his outstanding service to the Atlanta community and the citizens of Georgia,” leads to the possiblity that this song has a greater meaning.

   When men, like King, have died for such nobel causes it begs the question, what is the younger generation living up to? Men walking down the street with their pants around their ankles do not exactly provide much confidence in our generation. The meaning that song can provide goes much deeper than a fashion statement if truly evaluated.