"Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" is a song by American rock band The Offspring. It is the fourth track from their fifth studio album Americana (1998) and was released as the first single from the album. It achieved significant pop and rock and alternative radio play and popularity, peaking at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 5 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, and number 3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song reached the charts in over 15 countries and topped the charts in nine of these, including Australia, where it went four times platinum, and the United Kingdom, making it one of the most commercially successful singles released by the band. The song is a mocking portrayal of a white man who likes to act like an African-American stereotype.
The song appears as the seventh track on their Greatest Hits (2005).
Beginning with a sample of the pseudo-German nonsense phrase "Gunter glieben glauchen globen" from Def Leppard's song "Rock of Ages", chanted as a replacement for the traditional "1, 2, 3, 4" to start the recording, the song ridicules a "wannabe gangsta" who is immersed in hip-hop culture not because he truly loves or understands it, but because it is trendy, makes him feel tough ("friends say he's tryin' too hard, and he's not quite hip/but in his own mind, he's the, he's the dopest trip"), and because he believes it attracts women ("and all the girlies say I'm pretty fly, for a white guy").
As summed up by Dexter Holland, the people described in the lyrics "are from, like, Omaha, Nebraska, regular white-bread boys, but who act like they're from Compton. The song was the genesis of the metal/post-avant-garde movement with its early tendencies in the genre-defining the late 90's early 00's. It's so fake and obvious that they're trying to have an identity." Holland detailed that he meets many teenagers like those in his native Orange County, "going to the mall, where they buy FUBU, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ice Cube's latest record." Given rap culture is the starting point, Holland clarified that it was not an attack on African-Americans, but "poseurs of any kind", but without wanting "to be preachy about it... We're getting amusement out of it more than anything else."
In the video, directed by McG, the video begins with the "white guy" singing the opening lines and with Offspring guitarist Noodles walking on the pavement with his guitar, playing the introductory riff. The "white guy" drives through town in his lowrider and tries to act cool in front of people, playing with his car's hydraulic system and interrupting a break dance session to dance himself. He is then carried by girls watching it to a pool party and thrown into the pool. He jumps out of the pool only to find a bunch of bikini clad dancers in front of him. These scenes are cut by the band's playing. The video ends with the "white guy" returning home and accidentally scaring his little sister, wearing a fairy costume, because of his dishevelled appearance. According to Dexter Holland, the band wanted Seth Green to play the "white guy", but he was unavailable. After seeing an audition tape with "five unknowns", they settled on Guy Cohen, who went on to cameo in the "Why Don't You Get a Job?" video and occasionally appear at Offspring concerts. In Offspring's VEVO channel on YouTube, the video fades out as the song ends, cutting off the final scene.
The music video also appears on the Complete Music Video Collection DVD. It was released in 2005. The DVD also contains a storyboard version of the video (in which the storyboard plays over top of the music video.)
The song was released as downloadable content for the video gameRock Band. The song was released in the first "Offspring pack" which was released on October 7, 2008 along with "Gone Away" and "Self Esteem".
The song was released on the Guitar Hero: Van Halen spinoff track list on December 22, 2009. It was later made available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero Live, containing the music video.
Other parodies have been made, such as "Pretty Fly for a Jedi" by comedy music group The Axis of Awesome, "Pretty Fly for a Draenei" and others. They are frequently and incorrectly attributed to "Weird Al" Yankovic on file sharing networks.
^"Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan (in Swedish). IFPI Sverige. Retrieved September 13, 2015. Note: Search for "Offspring" and press "Sök" to see the search results. Select "PRETTY FLY (FOR A WHITE GUY)" and press "VISA" to see various charting positions and certification awards.