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Chocolate Rain is a viral video created by Tay Zonday featuring a performance of his song “Chocolate Rain” that he wrote and produced. The video has been parodied and remixed in thousands of instances, eventually leading to Tay himself appearing on a number of television shows and being parodied on South Park.
At one point the video was among the top 50 most viewed YouTube videos of all time, but as of April 21st, 2011 at 65 million views, it is ranked #96 of all time.
Tay Zonday (given name, Adam Nyerere Bahner) was a grad student from Minneapolis, Minnesota when he uploaded Chocolate Rain on April 22nd, 2007. The song’s strange lyrics like “chocolate rain, some stay dry while others feel the pain”, would puzzle many viewers about what they actually meant. Later Tay would claim that the song was meant to be about institutional racism.
Chocolate Rain, Some stay dry and others feel the pain
Chocolate Rain, A baby born will die before the sin
Chocolate Rain, The school books say it can’t be here again
Chocolate Rain, The prisons make you wonder where it went
Chocolate Rain, Build a tent and save the world as dry
Chocolate Rain, Zoom the camera out and see the light
Chocolate Rain, Forecast to be falling yesterday
Chocolate Rain, Only in the past is what they say
Chocolate Rain, Raised your neighborhood insurance rates
Chocolate Rain, Makes us happy ‘livin in a gay
Chocolate Rain, Made me cross the street the other day
Chocolate Rain, Made you turn your head the other way
Chocolate Rain, History quickly crashing through your veins
Chocolate Rain, Using you to fall back down again
Chocolate Rain, Seldom mentioned on the radio
Chocolate Rain, It’s the fear your leaders car control
Chocolate Rain, Worse than swearing worse than calling names
Chocolate Rain, Say it publicly and you’re insane
Chocolate Rain, No one wants to hear about it now
Chocolate Rain, Wish real hard it goes away somehow
Chocolate Rain, Makes the best of friends begin to fight
Chocolate Rain, But did they know each other in the light?
Chocolate Rain, Every February washed away
Chocolate Rain, Stays behind as colors celebrate
Chocolate Rain, The same crime has a higher price to pay
Chocolate Rain, The judge and jury swear it’s not in the face
Chocolate Rain, Dirty secrets of economy
Chocolate Rain, Turns that body into GDP
Chocolate Rain, The bell curve blames the baby’s DNA
Chocolate Rain, But test scores are how much the parents made
Chocolate Rain, Flippin’ cusin in France the other night
Chocolate Rain, Cleans the sewers out beneath Mumbai
Chocolate Rain, ‘Cross the world and back it’s all the same
Chocolate Rain, Angels cry and shake their heads in shame
Chocolate Rain, Lifts the ark of paradise in win
Chocolate Rain, Which part do you think you’re ‘livin in?
Chocolate Rain, More than marchin’ more than passing law,
Chocolate Rain, Remake how we got to where we are
On July 11th, 2007, Chocolate Rain started to catch the attention of anonymous. On July 18th, Tay responded to his newfound audience by covering another of their favorites, Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, then dubbed “The Tay Roll”. By July 26th, Chocolate Rain was featured on Youtube’s front page, further popularizing the video, and 4chan showcased Chocolate Rain all over the page to honor Tay Zonday as well, with Chocolate Rain jokes and an embedded remix of the song.
Searches for Chocolate Rain spiked their highest in August of 2007 shortly after his appearances on Best Week Ever and Jimmy Kimmel .
Zonday has starred in a number of commercials including one for Comedy Central’s “Last Laugh”, “Cherry Chocolate Rain” for Dr. Pepper, “Rise Up” with Leslie Hall for Firefox, and in February 2010 he was in a Vizio Super Bowl commercial with Beyoncé. He appeared in Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” music video, and performed a musical number with Stephen Colbert at an autism charity event in October 2010.
He has received some work as a voice actor, and was hired by NASA to voice part of their presentation celebrating 50 years of NASA history. He has voice acted in Robot Chicken on Adult Swim in a Chocolate Rain spoof episode.
Nearly immediately after Tay’s first appearances on 4chan, parodies of his videos began appearing on Youtube. Many of these were able to break at least 1 million views, seemingly by association alone.
July 21, 2007 – Vanilla Snow
July 23, 2007 – Chocolate Rain 8Bit Remix
August 14, 2007 – Chocolate Rain by Chad VaderM