Along with being our nation's birth, July 4th is also the day all eyes will be on Coney Island for Nathan's world famous Hot Dog Eating Competition. Yes, competitive eating's biggest day of the year goes down tomorrow as the biggest names in consumption will attempt to out-devour each other in a morning of intense voracious fun! Whether you're watching the competition from home or making the trek to Coney Island to see it live, you're probably wishing you had the perfect soundtrack. Well fear not as we at the Weekly have assembled the ultimate Hot Dog Eating Contest playlist!
Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five – “Beans and Cornbread” 1949
It's hard to believe, but for some people the idea of competitive eating is a bit hard to swallow. If it makes it any easier for the the skeptics out there, try to think of the hot dog eating contest as an act of self-defense. Case in point, Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five's “Beans and Cornbread,” shows how volatile food itself can get when expected to co-exist with each other. On a personal note, this song sticks with me for two reasons. While I do have fond memories of it as the theme to TBS's “Dinner and a Movie,” I did lose a substantial chunk of my personal savings on the Beans-Cornbread fight.
“Weird” Al Yankovic – “Eat It” 1984
Musical prankster and all-around genius “Weird” Al Yankovic has found his muse in food quite often. So much so, in fact, that a compilation of all his songs about confections in his catalog, appropriately titled The Food Album, was released in the mid-90s. Among his most popular singles of all time is his send up of Michael Jackson's “Beat It” lovingly known as “Eat It.” A classic comedy track, it earned Yankovic a Grammy and even charted higher than its source material in Australia. It also makes for a great motivator for you aspiring competitive eaters out there in need of some direction.
Fat Boys – “All You Can Eat” 1985
The 1985 film Krush Groove taught us numerous lessons about love, business, passion and making the most of oneself. For instance, when the Fat Boys happen across an All-You-Can-Eat buffet at a Times Square Sbarro's location, they get the most bang for their buck by eating everything in sight and rapping about it the entire time. While the images of the food slowly disappearing behind the boys is a great sight gag, perhaps the most memorable aspect of the scene is in how much Buffy the Human BeatBox shines. Eat up competitive eaters, let the Fat Boys guide you!
MF Doom featuring Mr. Fantastik – “Rap Snitch Knishes” 2004
A longstanding hilarious but unfortunately untrue rumor about Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is that champion hot dog eater Joey Chestnut had a song dedicated to him called “Joey's My Dog” recorded by the Wu-Tang Clan for their Iron Flag album. A bit of trolling that was accidentally read on ESPN and still pops up on his Wikipedia, the song does not exist as the album it was said to appeared on was released years before Chestnut turned pro. Still, there's plenty of rappers who love to focus on food, named MF Doom who named his 2004 Rhymesayers album MM…Food. With the bulk of the tracklisting reading like a menu, a highlight is “Rap Snitch Knishes” featuring the obscure but beloved unknown Mr. Fantastik.
Ween – “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese” 1992
The most important thing to remember about this year's competition is that, whether you're on stage sucking down hot dogs or merely eating a Nathan's soft-shell crab sandwich as you watch, the act of eating is the one activity that all humans share in common. Uniting us together as a species, in every culture throughout the recorded history of time we've bonded together by joining each other for meals and sharing the act of food consumption. Sometimes it's to unwind at the end of the day, sometimes it's just to celebrate the act of eating together with someone, and it's this linking gesture that Ween's “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese” is all about. Now mama, if you please, pass this year's Hot Dog competition!