WTF Fun Fact 13221 – Yung Gravy Donates Bras

“Yung Gravy donates bras” is probably not a sentence that makes much sense to most of us. But it’s actually a good deed done by a 26-year-old Minneapolis rapper.

Yung Gravy donates bras to a good cause

Women apparently throw A LOT of bras at rapper Yung Gravy during his concerts. In fact, he ended up with quite the collection.

The rapper, whose real name is Matthew Hauri, told his 7+ million TikTok fans recently that he had over 1,900 bras. He also planned to donate them all to women’s shelters.

And to top it off, he promised to match the value of the bras and donate the money to a breast cancer foundation. Of course, he needed to ask his fans how much a decent bra goes for these days. (He had to be pretty startled when he found the cost of 1,900 “decent bras.”)

Word gets around

When you have over 7 million social media followers, words of your good deeds get around.

According to Rare (cited below), “The rapper’s video posted on November 28 had the simple caption ‘save the nip’ below it. Footage of Yung Gravy getting practically smothered in fan bras accompanied a vow to donate the bras. He also promised to match the final value of the bras to a breast cancer foundation…In less than a month, his video has received over 16 million views and nearly 3 million likes.”

Eventually, the I Support the Girls Foundation (ISTG) heard that Yung Gravy donates bras and reached out. “ISTG’s mission is to work with a wide network of affiliates to collect and distribute essential feminine items, including bras and hygiene products, to impoverished women in need of them,” according to Rare.

Yung Gravy donated the bras to ISTG and helped sort through them. Some of them still had tags on them, meaning that they were purchased just to throw at the rapper!  WTF fun facts

Source: “Rapper Yung Gravy Donated 1,900 Bras Fans Threw at Him on Stage” — Rare

WTF Fun Fact 13210 – “Fight For Your Right to Party” Was Satire

The Beastie Boys’ hit “Fight For Your Right to Party” was actually a parody of frat culture. In fact, the group hated that the song became an anthem for the kind of partiers they were trying to mock.

The controversial history of Fight for Your Right to Party

The Beastie Boys released “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” as a single in 1987. The song is on Licensed to Ill, their debut album.

The group wrote the tune as a satire of party culture and the excesses of youth. Their whole point was to mock the very idea of “fighting for your right to party,” not celebrate it. But with lyrics full of irony and sarcasm, many listeners took the song at face value, and it became an anthem for partying and rebellion.

Of course, Fight for Your Right… was a commercial success. It reached number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 2 on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

There was always a hint

Watching the video should have given most people a clue about the song’s real goal. In fact, if you go back and look at it, you’ll see the video contained many comedic and absurdist elements. It features the band members playing themselves as irresponsible party animals

MTV put the video for Fight For Your Right… on its list of the 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made.

The Boys said it themselves

According to Far Out Magazine (cited below), Mike D himself revealed the song was a big joke:

“It was summer 1986. We wrote it in about five minutes,” Mike D recalled in 1987. “We were in the Palladium with Rick Rubin, drinking vodka and grapefruit juice, and ‘Fight for Your Right’ was written in the Michael Todd Room on napkins on top of those shitty lacy tables...

Although, Mike D has fond memories of creating the track — how people interpreted the song was an entirely different story, “The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different,” he lamented. “There were tons of guys singing along to [Fight for Your Right] who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them. Irony is often missed.”

Frankly, we’re having a hard time wrapping our heads around the fact that we’ve been partying to an anti-partying anthem our whole lives. But people who didn’t get the joke are the ones who ensured it made millions.  WTF fun facts

Source: “The reason why The Beastie Boys hated one of their biggest tracks” — Far Out Magazine

WTF Fun Fact 13196 – Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald have some interesting things in common. Fitzgerald’s full name is actually Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. That’s because his parents named him after his distant relative who wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald were relatives

Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Maryland. We know him best for writing the lyrics to the United States’ national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem was originally titled “Defense of Fort McHenry.” Key wrote it in 1814 after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. We know him best for his novels “The Great Gatsby” and “Tender Is the Night.” Scholars characterize Fitzgerald’s works by their themes of wealth, youth, and disillusionment, and they helped to define the “Jazz Age” of the 1920s.

History.com notes that: “The two were only distantly related—Key was a second cousin three times removed—but Fitzgerald was known to play up the family connection. While driving past a statue of Key in an alcoholic haze in 1934, he supposedly hopped from the car and hid in the bushes, yelling to a friend, ‘Don’t let Frank see me drunk!””

Other fun facts about Fitzgerald

In addition to having a famous relative, History.com revealed that Fitzgerald was also an awful speller. That’s pretty impressive since he made his living writing before the days of the spell checker. Luckily, he lived in the days of good editors.

His book “The Great Gatsby” was also not a bestseller in his lifetime. “It performed poorly compared to his first two novels, selling just over 20,000 copies and only turning a meager profit for its publisher. Popular interest in the book didn’t spike until World War II when some 150,000 copies were shipped to U.S. servicemen overseas.” WTF fun facts

Source: “10 Things You May Not Know About F. Scott Fitzgerald” — History.com

WTF Fun Fact 13191 – Shel Silverstein Is The Father of A Boy Named Sue

You may know the song “A Boy Named Sue,” by Johnny Cash. It’s about a boy who seeks revenge against his father for giving him a traditional girl’s name. But did you know Shel Silverstein is the father of A Boy Named Sue? No, not the biological father, but the person who wrote the lyrics.

How is Shel Silverstein the Father of A Boy Named Sue?

According to a history of the song by The Capital Repertory Theater (cited below):

“In 1969, it was a guitar pull – a get together where songwriters try out new songs – that brought together Cash and renowned children’s book author Shel Silverstein. The guest list for the gathering also included Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, but it was Silverstein who shined with his song which centered around a man named Sue, whose long-sought revenge on his father for giving him a girl’s name ends in a bar fight and ultimately understanding.”

Silverstein is a beloved children’s author, and the lyrics are unlike anything else he wrote. He was inspired by a friend named Jean Shepherd who was made fun of as a child for his feminine-sounding name.

Silverstein wrote a follow-up named “The Father of a Boy Named Sue” from the father’s point of view.

The debut Sue

Cash even played the song at the White House (for Nixon) and on his show next to the lyricist/poet himself. But the first debut of the song was at Cash’s iconic show at San Quentin Prison in California.

It was June Carter Cash who convinced him to try out the song on his tough audience. But Cash didn’t quite know the lyrics yet. He read them off a piece of paper. In fact, you can hear him laughing along with the audience on the track.

Not only did his prison audience love it, but the song also became a national hit, climbing to number 2 on the charts.  WTF fun facts

Source: “A Boy Named Sue” — Capital Repertory Theater

WTF Fun Fact 13189 – I Hate Elvis Badges

Meme sites and Reddit boards have long shared a tidbit of Elvis’s history that people find hard to believe. Elvis Presley’s manager once sold “I Hate Elvis” badges so he could make money off of people who hated The King just as he did with fans. And it appears to be true.

Selling I Hate Elvis badges

Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker was quite the marketing genius. He was also excellent at making himself money in any way possible. Many of Elvis’s early music and performance deals paid Parker half of the money.

By the end of 1956, Elvis’s merchandise was bringing in $22 million! For this, Parker got 25% of the profits. But it was a little reverse psychology that made him even more money.

Not everyone loved Elvis. And we all know that when something or someone is super popular, people take great pride in outwardly hating it to somehow set themselves apart from the “masses.” (Not to mention that older generations saw Elvis as a corrupting influence.)

As a result, Colonel Parker decided to make both sides happy and created “I Hate Elvis” badges for non-fans. That way he could make money off of the other side too. (Too bad he didn’t come up with an “I feel ambivalent about Elvis” badge – he could have covered all his bases.)

In a book titled Colonel (The True Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley), author Alanna Nash mentions the badges. She states:

“Parker, who tied on a vendor’s apron to peddle both I LOVE ELVIS and I HATE ELVIS buttons to folks who reacted strongly one way or another, didn’t care what the newsmen said as long as they said it — and paid their own admission to the shows.”

All press is good press if you’re making money off of it, apparently! You can still find vintage “I hate Elvis” buttons online.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Did Elvis Presley’s Manager Sell ‘I Hate Elvis’ Buttons to Profit From ‘Haters’?” — Truth or Fiction

WTF Fun Fact 13178 – The FBI and “Louie Louie”

Did you know there’s a connection between the FBI and the song “Louie Louie”? The FBI launched a criminal investigation into the Kingsmen’s song back in the mid-1960s to determine whether the lyrics were obscene. In fact, that investigation lasted two years!

The strange story of the FBI and “Louie Louie”

A letter from a concerned parent in 1964 asking to “stamp out this menace” of obscenity in music is one of many interesting pieces of the available-but-redacted FBI document on the song.

Of course, if you listen to the song, you’re likely to not understand any of the lyrics at all. They’re muddled at best and nonsensical even if you can make them out. But like so many musical conspiracy theorists, a handful of people thought they heard pornographic lyrics if they slowed the record down. The lyrics the complainants came up with said a lot more about the complainers than the artists!

For the record, here are the actual lyrics to “Louie Louie”:

Louie, Louie,
me gotta go.
Louie, Louie,
me gotta go
.

A fine little girl, she wait for me;
me catch a ship across the sea.
I sailed the ship all alone;
I never think I’ll make it home

Three nights and days we sailed the sea;
me think of girl constantly.
On the ship, I dream she there;
I smell the rose, in her hair.

Louie, Louie,
me gotta go.
Louie, Louie,
me gotta go
.

A fine little girl, she wait for me;
me catch a ship across the sea.
I sailed the ship all alone;
I never think I’ll make it home

Three nights and days we sailed the sea;
me think of girl constantly.
On the ship, I dream she there;
I smell the rose, in her hair.

Nothing obscene there!

Closing the investigation

The FBI never contacted singer Jack Ely during the two years of the FBI investigation. In fact, they closed the case saying: “, the man who sang the words of the song in the first place. At the end of the two years, the FBI didn’t even exonerate “Louie Louie,” they simply said that “the lyrics of the song on this record was not definitely determined by this Laboratory examination, it was not possible to determine whether this recording is obscene.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “The FBI Investigated the Song ‘Louie Louie’ for Two Years” — Smithsonian Magazine

WTF Fun Fact 13169 – Aretha Franklin’s Voice a Natural Resource

If you’ve ever heard Aretha Franklin’s voice (and there’s an excellent chance you have), you know it’s hard not to be impressed. There’s a reason they call her the “Queen of Soul.” But did you know that in 1985, the state of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources also declared Aretha Franklin’s voice a natural resource?

How is Aretha Franklin’s voice a natural resource?

Not only was Franklin a Michigan native, but she eschewed Hollywood and New York to move back to her hometown of Detroit. As a result, lawmakers in Michigan’s state House and Senate saw fit to recognize her connections to the city (and state) she loved. In 1968, Michigan declared February 16th Aretha Franklin Day.

Franklin’s career was already two decades old when her home state started finding even more permanent ways to recognize her achievements. For example, they specifically drew attention to her vocals by declaring them a natural resource.

At her funeral in 2018, Michigan then-governor Rick Snyder spoke about the impact she had on the state of Michigan. He noted her designation as a natural resource, saying: “That’s something special, folks. That strikes out right in the heart…She had a God-given voice, a talent, a musical skill that people only dream of. But she did more than that. She took not just the triumphs of her life, she took the challenges and the tragedies and brought a special humanity to her words, to her voice, to her music, that most musicians would only dream to have.”

More tributes to Franklin

You can find homages to Franklin throughout her native Detroit specifically. For example, in 2017, the city council named a street Aretha Franklin Way. At age 75, she vowed to dance down the street every time she used it.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Was Aretha Franklin’s Voice Declared a ‘Natural Resource’ in Michigan?” — Snopes

WTF Fun Fact 13164 – Dolly Parton Books For Children

Dolly Parton founded the Imagination Library in 1995. Since then, she has used the organization to donate over 182 million books to children.

Dolly Parton’s philanthropy

If you only know Dolly Parton as a country singer, you’re missing out on some of her most amazing work. Born into poverty in Tennessee, Parton has long helped kids and teens in her hometown of Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains learn to read and graduate high school.

She even donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s coronavirus research lab – the one that helped created the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine!

Now in her late 70s, Parton has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to help people, but her literacy efforts may be among the most meaningful since she’s changed so many lives.

In 1988, she created the Dollywood Foundation to inspire children in her home region to “achieve educational success.” The foundation gives out scholarships to high school students that want to go on to (an accredited) university but can’t afford it.

The expansion of Dolly Parton’s books for children

Since 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (which is part of the foundation) has been sending high-quality books (not religious tracts or cheaply-printed donations) to children up to age 5 each month. The goal is to get parents to read to kids and get kids reading early (at least until they enter school and have access to books there). As of May 2022, she’s given out over 182 million free books. A family’s income doesn’t matter – no matter how rich or poor, children can receive books if they’re under the age of 5.

Even Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos understands that Parton knows how to do good with money. That’s why in 2022 he gave her $100 million to keep going. Parton herself is the author of many books aimed at children 4 – 7 years old.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Dolly Parton receives $100 million award from Jeff Bezos: ‘I will do my best to do good things with this money” — CNBC

WTF Fun Fact 13151 – Franz Liszt Sent Fans Dog Hair

In the 1830s, pianist Franz Liszt became one of the first celebrities. Women were so enamored of him (and his hair) that they sent requests to him for a lock of it. Eventually, Liszt bought a dog to clip hair from to fulfill their requests.

The first celebrity

Long before The Beatles made women go mad, there was Franz Liszt (1811-1886). The Hungarian musician was the star of concert halls all over 19th-century Europe. And not only was he talented, but people also found him very attractive. Word of his beauty spread like wildfire in a time before anyone could even share photos.

It’s probably no coincidence that the word “celebrity” began to appear in the dictionary around the time of his popularity in the 1830s.

It probably helped that Liszt’s talent was matched by his luscious locks, which he threw around in a frenzy as he played piano. And since he gave around 8000 concerts in just eight years alone, plenty of people got a chance to see him.

Fans were so mad about Franz Liszt that his biographer described the height of his popularity as “Lisztomania.” According to the BBC, “One eyewitness recalled that ‘on one occasion a woman snatched up a half-smoked cigar that Liszt had cast aside and in spite of repeatedly retching she continued to smoke it with feigned delight’. Baronesses and countesses tore at each other’s hair in trying to lay hands on a glass or handkerchief that Liszt had used.”

Eventually, women were throwing themselves at his feet and tearing at both his and their own clothing while doing so. Then there was the fanmail.

Franz Liszt and the hair conundrum

Women would often try to get a piece of hair or a broken piano string in his presence. One story that’s often repeated is that Liszt got lots of fanmail asking for the locks of his beautiful mane.

It may be an apocryphal story. But legend has it that he got so many requests for hair that in order to fulfill them, Liszt bought a dog that he could snip hair from.

To this day, people claim to have locks of his hair that likely belong to a dog (if the story is indeed true).  WTF fun facts

Source: “Forget the Beatles – Liszt was music’s first ‘superstar'” — BBC