190208_RAP

A city of Janesville employee poses with a placard this week as part of a friendly battle of words between the public works departments of Janesville and Beloit.

JANESVILLE

Rock County’s sister cities might not be at war, but they are in a battle.

A rap battle.

It started Tuesday, when folks at the Beloit Public Works Department posted photos alerting residents to the impending ice storms.

The first photo showed a worker holding a placard that stole a line from Vanilla Ice’s 1989 hit, “Ice, Ice Baby.”

“Stop, collaborate and listen,” it said.

The photos continued with three men, each standing in front of a truck holding placards reading:

“Ice is back with a brand new storm.”

“If there is a storm, yo, I’ll solve it.”

“Check out my truck as the salt dissolves it.”

It was, perhaps, a good thing they weren’t actually reciting their lyrics. They certainly looked like men more skilled at plow-truck driving than hip-hop rhyming.

Kamron Nash, operations superintendent for Janesville public works, saw the post and suggested Janesville respond, said city spokeswoman Maggie Darr.

“We thought it would be fun to spend five minutes having a few of our plow drivers do a response and just bring some levity to the weather situation,” Darr said.

Darr and colleagues decided to rip off Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 hit, “Baby Got Back.”

It started with three women holding these signs:

“Oh my gosh, Janesville, look at those streets. They are so slick! …”

“I mean, who understands Mother Nature anyway? It goes from minus 30 to 50 degrees in one day.”

“Ga-ross!”

Photos that followed showed three Janesville drivers and their trucks:

“I like clean streets and I cannot lie. You other drivers can’t deny.”

“When I roll up with a truck full of salt, and there’s no cars on the street”

“You get PLOWED!!!”

The comments on the Facebook posts were mostly positive and understanding of the humor.

No one suggested that last line might be a bit, um, edgy.

One man complained about a plow destroying his mailbox, to which the city replied with instructions on how to get a replacement.

Several people also complained drivers should be out plowing and salting.

“Nice that both towns are having some back and forth fun,” a woman commented.

“We’re just getting started, Janesville!” Beloit responded.

No response had come as of Thursday afternoon, but Darr said drivers were busy dealing with the latest round of freezing rain.

When and if Beloit responds, “Then perhaps we can respond in kind,” Darr said.

While some might have fun with this, others might respond as they would to bad puns or dad jokes.

Some Gazette newsroom folks who are much younger than this author emitted several groans and suggested both cities consult more modern lyrics.

They also suggested posting Facebook photos with people holding placards is an open invitation to alter the words.

Said another newsroom critic, “I think, just don’t go there.”

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