Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TOP STORY >> Feuding cities in hip-hop sendup

Leader staff writer

“Sherwood’s hot, Sher-wood’s hot. Jacksonville can go ahead and hate, hate,” goes a line in a parody produced by a Little Rock group that promotes Sherwood, but slams Jacksonville too.

Sherwood Mayor Virginia Young, who is in the video, said it was a community project for Leadership Greater Little Rock. “They came in last fall to learn about the city and then surprised us when they said they were going to produce the video. It’s so well done that people think we had it done and spent money for it, but we did neither,” the mayor said.

Besides the mayor, and the Little Rock group, the video also features City Clerk Angela Nicholson and city matriarch Amy Sanders.

Young knows there’s grumbling about it, but “I thought it was well done and the group had fun doing it. And don’t we have more important issues to worry about, like the water issue between the two cities.”

She said the chamber of commerce had the video up on its website about a week ago, but took it down and then it seemed to resurface on another site before it was taken down again. She said most of the comments she’s gotten have been positive, but it has upset some people and officials in Jacksonville.

Even though the video is no longer available, it is still circulating through e-mails and attachments.

It was sent to Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher about a week ago. “I saw one produced on El Dorado that was very classy and told my staff we needed to do one like that. It made you want to go to El Dorado. Then about five hours later I get the Sherwood one. What can anyone say? The video speaks for itself,” Fletcher said.

Another line in the video shows Sanders as a police officer making a traffic stop to the words, “We got our cruisers pulling over losers.” That got a number of negative comments.

Not only does it rap, “Sherwood’s hot, Sherwood’s hot, Jacksonville can go ahead and hate, hate, hate” three or four times in the three-minute-plus video take off on a Taylor Swift song, “Shake It Off,” it also makes two references to its bigger neighbor, declaring Sherwood has Gravel Ridge and that it is working on loosening liquor laws to provide the city with more revenue.

Sherwood and Jacksonville battled over the annexation of Gravel Ridge about a decade ago. Jacksonville voted to annex the community and then Sherwood did the same.

A third vote of just the Gravel Ridge residents gave the community to Sherwood.

Both cities have also been working together and separately to loosen antiquated liquor laws that have made 90 percent of Jacksonville dry and 50 percent of Sherwood dry.

Jacksonville has had trouble generating a sustained drive to get enough signatures to vote on overturning the laws. Sherwood apparently is further ahead in its efforts.

The video was filmed in numerous areas of the city, including city hall, the fire department and a drinking establishment.

Of the 22 comments posted with the video when it was on vimeo.com, most were negative.

Among the comments on the vimeo.com site, good and bad, were:

Delia Vaught Rains wrote, “My hometown. Love it.

L wrote, “Slamming another town to build you up only showed how low class you are.”

Previously Proud Resident wrote, “So many professional ways to show off the city and this is the only thing that we can come up with?”

KR wrote, “This represents the absolute worst about Sherwood.”

Amanda wrote, “Cute video.”