The Strange Legend of Travis the Chimp (now in rap form)

October 13, 2009

(Originally posted 10/10/2009) Our plans to check out the mini-festival at the Mezzanine last night were scrapped last minute for logistical reasons, but replaced by something that was, in all likelihood, far more entertaining: the unveiling of hiphop trio the NewHotFire’s soon-to-be hit single and video, “Travis the Chimp”. This was my first introduction to NHF, but I have to say I’m already a big fan. They first treated us to a live performance of an unmastered track they’re still working on, which was very enjoyable. I’m not a big listener of hip hop generally, but even so, it’s pretty impossible not to like these guys when they’re clearly having so much fun spitting sweet rhymes and hamming it up for the audience.

Ok, so, back to Travis, though. This definitely requires some ‘splaining (you can read a far more verbose version of the events on Wikipedia). Earlier this year, there was a woman who had a pet chimp (who I’m also told was that chimp in the Old Navy ads?? A FAMOUS pet chimp) named Travis, and treated this chimp in rather peculiar ways, like sleeping in the same bed with it, and giving it coffee, and Xanax and stuff. But Travis started behaving in strange ways, like.. stealing her car? I don’t get how a chimp could drive a car, but ok.. and then one day the woman didn’t give him his Xanax, so he went apeshit (ha ha get it) and she got scared and called her friend and then the friend came over and the chimp freaked out and attacked her face!! and then the cops shot Travis. So.. that’s my rudimentary understanding of the story, but I think that’s all you need to know to put this video in context.

So, the fine fellows of NHF found this story so moving that they wrote a song and made a video for it named after the tragic hero of the story. His tragic flaw was his wild chimp nature, or perhaps Xanax. I guess the woman could also be seen as a tragic hero, her flaw being her proclivity to do weird things to/with chimps.


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