Pants On the Ground

As I parent I could instantly relate to “General ” Larry Platt and his song Pants On the Ground. “Hey! What are those pants doing on the ground? Put them in the laundry basket.”

It’s so easy to laugh at Platt, but the truth is he’s only half joking. The civil rights activist and street performer says he’s had it with droopy drawers —and he isn’t the first to go wide with the pants down message.

Bill Cosby, in his controversial 2004 NAACP speech, said “People with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack. Isn’t that a sign of something or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?”

During the 2008 campaign, President Obama told MTV, “Brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What’s wrong with that? Come on.”

Then weirdness and poignancy collided head-on Monday –Martin Luther King Jr. Day– when Platt took his act to The View. As you might expect, co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck spent some time in deep conversation about the social ramifications of Platt’s message.

26 responses to “Pants On the Ground

  1. Many may laugh at this man, but he made a valid point. Our young people really need to get a mirror, and their parents need to take off their blinders, and be parents. Those who wear their pants slung low, look absolutely ridiculous! Thank you Mr. Platt for a message done well with humor.

  2. Instead of dismissing the song, like I first did, my wife took the time to actually pay attention to its lyrics before rendering her judgment. She explained its message to me, and I’m the first to admit, I erred bigtime. Mr. Platt should enjoy his 15 minutes of fame to the max, ’cause he’s deserving of a huge thumbs up! I only wonder if Brett Farve understood the importance of that message when he led the Vikings in a lockerroom celebation by singing “Pants on the Ground” following their win over the Cowboys in this past Sunday’s divisional playoff game.

  3. I commend Larry Platt for his crusade to get young men to pull up their pants. I do not understand this fad of showing one’s underpants while wearing pants below your butt. What really amazes me is that some young women evidently find this fad appealing. What is appealing? A man with his pants down so low you can see his underpants and worse the crack of his butt is NOT attractive. In my secret life I go around with my BB gun and shoot every butt showing man I see in the butt. I bet that would end this stupid fad!

  4. Can I get this on iTunes ? I’m gonna sneak it into my son’s playlist…

  5. Doug: Brett Favre’s almost as old as we are, isn’t that funny? I’ve got a feeling that Favre just thought it was funny and was not sending a message to the youth of inner city America. They probably won’t learn anything about solid decision making from Favre, either.

  6. I gotta ask. How is this an important message? Sure kids look stupid these days, but kids always find a fad that looks unnatural. People are making such a big deal about this but I don’t get it. There are more important messages like don’t pick up the gun, don’t pick up the needle, and don’t run out in the middle of the street without looking. The look of the pants saging can wait until after the kids are getting educated and have more opportunity to make better decisions.

  7. Favre has a deal with Wrangler. I don’t think he cares where the pants fall on the posterior as long as Wrangler sells more of ’em.

  8. Rob, the only thing that the kids of today may learn from Favre is that it pays to keep vacillating.

  9. I seriously need this song. An MP3 or something. Seriously, the message only makes sense. I also want to blast it when I see sagging pants.

  10. andykevin said “The look of the pants saging can wait until after the kids are getting educated and have more opportunity to make better decisions.”
    You are ill-advised with a stupid statement such as the above. Do you seriously think kids will get an education with their pants saging? I don’t know of any kids who I’ve seen with their pants saging interested in getting an education because if they were, they would not wear their pants on the ground lookin’ like a fool. I disagree with you, this is an “important message.” We as adults need to teach our kids the importance of looking professional and not silly. This is exactly why we have guns and needles problems in our communities because we allow our kids to make their own decisions and don’t teach them any morals and what’s right and wrong.

  11. AuNEiCk_1 (A Unique One)

    “I gotta ask. How is this an important message? Sure kids look stupid these days, but kids always find a fad that looks unnatural. People are making such a big deal about this but I don’t get it. There are more important messages like don’t pick up the gun, don’t pick up the needle, and don’t run out in the middle of the street without looking. The look of the pants saging can wait until after the kids are getting educated and have more opportunity to make better decisions.”

    As an educator, its strikingly important. Granted there are much deeper issues that NEED to be addressed, but for some odd reason it correlates. The sagging of the pants to reveal any intimate detail reveals a lack of personal integrity- period. Anytime one is willing to reveal him or herself in that manner means degradation to them as an individual, their race and country. Look at the trend they are facing. Do they really have a choice when almost every aspect of pop culture media is saying “Its ok”? Personally, I am tired of preaching the message because I am here to REINFORCE the values of our nation and that that’s taught at home; however, clearly there are few that reamin in this anything goes environment of the emotionally and mentally prostituted millenium participants.

    By the way, haven’t heard the song but anybody willing to try to take a stand on the issue in an effort to refocus a lost generation by all means THANK YOU! Muah! ;0)

  12. This song is going to set off a huge trend in US society. After all, who wants to be that guy walking down the street with your pants sagging down and then hear someone yell out “Lookin like a fool wit yo pants on the ground”.

    What needs to happen and WILL happen.

    1. General Larry Platt with record the song.

    2. He will have a video for the song where he takes kids off the streets and makes them go belt shopping. The kids will buy the biggest thickest belts at the store and a belt buckle with the most bling bling.

    3. Society will follow and the trend for 2010 – 2011 will be young guys wearing thick belts with bling bling.

    4. Jean makers will see the trend and will start to design jeans that have larger belt loops so people can wear thicker belts.

    5. All the stores will have racks upon racks of thick belts and faux bling bling buckles.

    The general will be the cause of the biggest trend for the next few years and people will begin to forget that American Idol and General Larry Platt were responsible.

  13. #12: That’s it. I’m getting on right now to find a belt maker to throw some money at.

  14. I just hope Young folks will listen. Every generation has it’s fads and trends that the older generation doesn’t “understand” but there comes a point where this one has to come to a end, hopefully it’s now.

  15. I am so glad that and older gentleman brought this into the forefront. It is ridiculous that men (and some women) choose to pull a bad fashion statement from our prison system and think that it is appropriate. One will never see this type of fashion “statement” being made in corporate boardrooms, executive offices, financial institutions or other places of business.

  16. Please stop making a hero out of this man and his puerile prattling. The “general” has offered up nothing more than a diddy he made in the time it took to put a belt on. And a pair of wristbands. Now, from this most elementary of efforts, you all are breaking your wrists giving him praise. Shame on you for being as sheepish as you can be. Shame on the producers for allowing this nonsense on television. You know what – just shame on everybody.
    What makes matters worse is now some of you want to make him a beacon for social consciousness. “Pants-on-the-whatever” is your rally cry for a problem that has escaped you – until just now? This Saggy Pants Epidemic, or SPN1 for you germaphobes, has been around for quite some time. But all it takes is a game show contestant making a fool of his self to snap you to attention.
    Are you now willing to accept Row Row Row Your Boat as the theme song for the Navy? How about you now go with 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall to gather support for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
    Just another sad example of flash and empty pants over substance.

  17. I’d knock General Platt and Brett Favre and tasteless youth and character-free parenting and teachers’ unions and neutron verbosity … if I wanted to be an alter kocker. Which I don’t, cuz once you go there you don’t come back. Next thing you’re a Republican, dislike/like garlic, despair society for breakfast, bore people you used to interest, etc., etc.


  18. Guys, it’s not a fad. Pants being worn low is a look that’s been rocked for…oh God, 15-20 years. I’m not kidding or exaggerating.

    I’m not trying to make you all sound like old curmudgeons, since you’re doing a good job of it yourselves. I’m just saying that railing against “pants on the ground” with such ferocity and even drawing the line between that and dereliction of education and personal responsibility is pretty silly.

    Sure, use it as a metaphor. But apply it TO the message, don’t make it the message itself. Otherwise you’re just a big clown, just a big clown, walking ’round town singing about pants on the ground, doing some splits, wearing sunglasses inside, going on the View singing “Pants on the Ground.”

  19. I’m pretty sure this “look” started in prisons; the pants are worn low so that the “tops” would have easy access to their “bottoms”. Google it.

    So if your kid want to look like he’s “easy”….go for it!

  20. I agree that the fad is pretty gross. I don’t know how they can walk without the pants really falling down. One time I saw a kid actually have to pull them up because they were so low and falling down!!

    However, I DO agree that this is just a fad that kids are doing, like every other generation. It is unfortunate this started with gang members needing a place to hide their guns, but really, how many kids have guns in their pants? Kids just want to do everything their parents don’t want them to do. It’s a right of passage. Kids are supposed to look dumb.

  21. This man is going to change the way people wear there clothes.I think this is what hip-hop needs in this day and era.Atlanta is known for wearing there pants on the ground

  22. To clarify: it’s also not true.

    And IT’S NOT A FAD. Please see the accompanying picture in that link of an album cover from 18 years ago with that style.

    Guys, I’m trying to help you here. Seriously.

  23. Hahaha… Please, Kevin. I read it on the internet, so it must be true.

  24. SPN1…..that was funny!!!!!!

  25. he is right every body has their pants down this old man expressed what he thought and believed which is what everybody should do goodjob larry platt

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