The birth of Gimme Chai Comma YO!

“GIMME CHAI, YO!”
Written by Evan Jacobson, Copyright 2006

Every picture is worth a thousand words. Similarly, every song “usually” has a story to tell. I’m not certain if songs in the Hip-Hop genre actually contain a palpable story because it seems to be a combination of gibberish, double-speak, hoodlums, and rhymes, etc. Nevertheless, it speaks to some people and perhaps could tell some type of story…As for now, I’d like to focus on being creative, which is not always a logical process.

GIMME CHAI, YO was created as a result of three experiences: Teaching on the Lower East Side, comma usage, and Chai Tea…
It is no secret that I’m a coffee fanatic. However, I was introduced to Chai when I frequented a few Indian restaurants in the Lower East Side of New York City. It was winter and I wanted something hot to drink. Generally, I wouldn’t order coffee from an Indian restaurant. However, they have Chai Tea, which is usually some type of Tea (or blend) brewed with a variety of spices: Cardamom, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, etc. Milk or Cream is usually added to complement the spices. When I moved to Seattle at the turn of the century, I saw it on the Starbucks menu. However, it was made with Soymilk. Enter the Soy Chai. It’s similar to a Latte due to the frothy texture and richness. This is a nice hot beverage alternative to non-coffee drinkers. Hence, I used to go to Starbucks, order a hot Soy Chai, and read for a while, especially when I was working on my Masters Degree in teaching.
I just finished my 8th year of teaching English. The role of an English teacher is to basically do everything regarding writing, reading, listening, and speaking. It’s an ambitious undertaking, to say the least, because teaching anything goes beyond the scope of simply depositing information into the minds of today’s youth.
Moving forward, I’m constantly trying to teach punctuation in creative ways without putting the student into a coma resulting from ennui. To be clear, punctuation deals with properly using commas, periods, semicolons, colons (not your innards, or maybe…), question marks, etc. I’m fascinated with commas for some inexplicable reason. There are basically 5 comma lessons to get through all of Middle School:
1- Shopping list: Apples, Peaches, and Plums.
2- Appositives: John, the clumsy guy, fell down a flight of stairs. How sad!
3- Dates: July 4, 1776
4- Incomplete idea plus comma plus complete idea=beautiful sentence: While you fell asleep during Evan’s blog, the phone rang.
5- The infamous (wait for it…wait for it…) COMMA YO lesson. When a person’s name appears before the end of a question or sentence, insert a comma (that’s also another example of lesson #4).

Sometime in 2004, I was teaching in NYC. Two female students were arguing LOUDLY before my English class, and this is what I heard: “GIMME BACK MY CD PLAYER YO!” I dealt with the argument in my suave manner and it was resolved. However, there was something about this phrase that seemed to bother me. Ironically, the actual argument regarding the CD Player was less offensive. In short, a comma was missing and I decided to use this life example as an activator (the Do Now) and a teaching point.

“Okay, class—what is wrong with this sentence and how are you going to fix it?” “Gimme back my cd player yo.” I received a variety of responses:

“Gimme needs to be changed to Give me…CD Player needs to be capital letters… you can’t put yo in a sentence…”

I responded with, “it’s okay to say yo, but you can’t write it in class? Well, Yo is now a person and Yo is no different than Jennifer, per se.” They were really confused at this point, which also meant that they’re interested.

“Class, you missed the point: It’s give me back my CD Player COMMA YO! Is that any different than, give me back my toy, Juan?” Hence, the Comma Yo lesson was born.

The music session was recorded in my studio basement when I lived in New Jersey… I was breadless, then…

My friend, Kenny, was the first bassist I ever played with (going back to High School). He came to my house and we started jamming on a few riffs. In the 80’s, we recorded a lame version of original music heavily influenced by The Beastie Boys. We dubbed ourselves, “The Dirty White Boys.” It was a joke, but a shout out to The Beastie Boys. That is the closest I’ve ever come to liking Rap music. I appreciated that The Beastie Boys used actual Classic Rock samples and humor as a baseline (pun intended). Despite the extreme vulgarities, I had a great deal of respect for their album “Paul’s Boutique…”

I described the form, mood, and riff of the song to Kenny. After several attempts, he played a very groovy riff and we just rolled with it. We recorded our mini-session and needed a guitar player.

John, a teacher with whom I worked in the Lower East Side, knows more about musical equipment than manufacturers. He also is a true Rock Star underneath his scientific exterior. John listened to the pre-recorded parts and executed some greatness. It’s important that I describe his equipment: John’s guitar is a 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio Model; amplification is a 1977 Fender Princeton.  I recorded the original tracks on a Tascam 2488:

It took me about 5 takes to sound something like a rapper. It’s harder than it sounds. It’s not the direction that I originally planned.  However, creativity is difficult to explain. Moving onward, the magic happened, it’s mixed, and also uploaded to itunes under the moniker, Breadless in Jersey. The rest is history… When you listen to the song, it all makes perfect sense.

 

Limited Edition Disks are being manufactured while we speak.  When they arrive, I’ll roll out the insanely funny video. Shout out to Charles Johnson for 12+ hours of editing and brilliant direction.

The music is also available RIGHT NOW as a digital download via iTunes, Spotify, and www.songtradr.com

Sing along with the fun lyrics:

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why buh bye

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why

I travel down to Starbucks
my mind is always buzzin’
Macciato is my friend
and Chai is her cousin

Many folks do the dew
others wanna be
slurpin mighty Jamba Juice
and getting kicks free

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why buh bye

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why

Some do shots of wheat grass
and others munch on sprouts
but when I’m drinking my Soy Chai
there are no serious doubts

Give me cold give me hot
give me the best punch you’ve got
Give me Eggnog give me Soy
I’ll even read Tolstoy

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why buh bye

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
DON’T ASK ME WHY!

WHA WHA WHA WHA WHA…

Many folks do the dew
others wanna be
slurpin mighty Jamba Juice
and getting kicks free

Give me cold give me hot
give me the best punch you’ve got
Give me Eggnog give me Soy
I’ll even read Tolstoy

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why buh bye

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why

Bring the love, Johnny G. (Guitar Solo)

I travel down to Starbucks
my mind is always buzzin’
Macciato is my friend
and Chai is her cousin

Some do shots of wheat grass
and others munch on sprouts
but when I’m drinking my Soy Chai
there are no serious doubts

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
don’t ask me why buh bye

Give me CHAI comma yo
with cherry pie comma yo
from the sky comma yo
DON’T ASK ME WHY!!!

Jam it out

CHAI…

from the sky…

with punkin’ pie

it’s such a high…

without the BUTTER

 

FLY….

SLURP

AHHH

Umm

YUM
____________________________________
Written by Evan Jacobson, Copyright 2006.  Permission to use otherwise is strictly forbidden. Email me if you have any questions about using my music for commercial purposes. Go to www.songtradr.com for pricing.