If you can't get that crazy song out of your head since 62-yr old 'General' Larry Platt first sang it on American Idol mocking the contemporary street fashion of wearing your pants at half-(m)ass(t) - you are not alone!
Will there be a 'Pants on the Ground' single? You can bet on it. Platt says he's considering offers to record the song. This tune may not rival the finer rap-artists of the day, but it certainly is memorable.
The laugh-out-loud performance by Atlanta civil rights veteran Platt continues to not just put a smile on everyone's face, it has become a viral sensation that has a lot of folks taking a turn at covering it. In an attempt to surface the best renditions and remixes, I combed YouTube for the best 'Pants' arrangements available today. Here is my TOP FIVE list. Please vote for your favorite in our POLL at the end of the blog.
1- 'General' Larry Platt
Of course we would be doing a disservice to the originator of the song - Mr. Platt himself. Indicating he is the song's lyricist, here he performs his original audition before the American Idol judges on January 13. This YouTube vid has already attracted over 850K views.
2- Jimmy Fallon impersonating Neil Young
Coming in a close second is Jimmy Fallon's interpretation. Channeling Neil Young, Fallon puts a spin on the now famous tune as if was a classic rock song from the 60s. According to this version, "flying on the ground is still wrong, and pants on the ground are highly questionable." Somehow, his spot-on performance manages to make lines like "looking like a fool, walkin' downtown with your pants on the ground" sound like a political protest chant.
3- Brandon Gray
This rendition adds a little grunge to those 'Pants.' Witness guitarist Brandon Gray’s head-bobbing acoustic mix in the Stone Temple Pilot mode. Mr. Gray: "I think this song all touched us greatly. While this isn't even close to the amazingness of the original 'Pants on the Ground', it's my little attempt at covering this classic song," assert Gray.
4- Brent Morgan
Morgan adds a little Dave Matthew's spin to the classic tune. It's an easy-listening take on the General's heart-felt lyrics.
5- Jesse Miles
Miles does an acoustic folksy version of 'Pants on The Ground' which has a little verve yet somber delivery.
BONUS UPDATE # 1 - Jan 17 - While not a full-blown version, here is a valiant attempt by Brett Favre covering the song in his locker room in a post-game celebration song after the Vikings beat the Cowboys.
Bonus Update #2 - January 19- When something goes viral, new artists emerge to attach themselves to its popularity. In this case, I must say I was pretty impressed with this rapper who goes by the name MARS, and actually got a lot more creative with the song. In this 4+ minute professionally-produced music video, his rendition is more a rebuttal than it is a new arrangement. Called, "Pants Up," Mars definitely lends a cool "Eminem" type vibe to bringing those pants up where they belong...(spoiler: his secret tool is suspenders!)
While viral trends like this come and go a la William Hung's 'She Bangs' from a couple of years ago, the General might be a passing fad as well. But more interesting is what he accomplished before his current 15 minutes of fame. For those interested in the General's colorful bio, here's a snapshot of some of the highlights of this 62 year-old's life story.
So, while 'Pants on the Ground' has made its mark on the world's current zeitgeist, props off to a man who has also lived an honorable life of struggle and accomplishment.
- September 4, 2001 was deemed Larry Platt Day in Atlanta by The Georgia General Assembly.
- He gathered to march with the Civil Rights Veterans Movement in 1963 with Reverend Hosea Williams and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- He helped organize sit-ins with both the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
- He caught a beat down during the Bloody Sunday March in 1965.
- His nickname “General” was bestowed upon him by Rev. Hosea Williams due to his work with the civil-rights movement.
January 28 UPDATE: General Larry Platt may have to stand and defend his cult hit "Pants on the Ground." The Green Brothers of Highland Park, Michigan, wrote to MyFoxDetroit.com claiming that their 1996 recording "Back Pockets On The Floor" has the same "intent, idea and message" as Platt's 'Pants.' "
There you have my picks for the TOP FIVE YouTube stand-outs. Within only 4 days, the viral contagion attached to this song has inspired over a hundred would-be artists to try to cover it in many different ways as you have seen from this TOP FIVE sampling. So take a moment and vote for your favorite and let the world know what you really feel about 'Pants on The Ground.'