Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"
Single by The Offspring
from the album Americana
Released November 9, 1998
Recorded 1998
Length 3:07
Label Columbia[2]
Writer(s) Dexter Holland
Producer(s) Dave Jerden
Certification 4x Platinum (ARIA)[3]
Gold (IFPI AUT)[4]
Gold (GER)[5]
Gold (NVPI)[6]
2x Platinum (IFPI NOR)[5]
3x Platinum (IFPI SWE)[7]
Platinum (BPI)[8]
The Offspring singles chronology
"I Choose"
"Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"
"Why Don't You Get a Job?"
Music video
"Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" on YouTube

"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,[9] making it one of the most commercially successful singles released by the band. The song is a mocking portrayal of a wigger, a white man who likes to act like an African-American stereotype.

The song appears as the seventh track on their Greatest Hits (2005).

Composition and lyrics[edit]

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."[10] 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."[11] Given rap culture is the starting point, Holland clarified that it was not an attack on African-Americans, but "poseurs of any kind",[12] but without wanting "to be preachy about it... We're getting amusement out of it more than anything else."[13]

Track listing[edit]

Cassette single and 7" black vinyl[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"   3:08
2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Geek Mix) 3:01

Initial pressing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"   3:08
2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Geek Mix) 3:07
3. "All I Want" (Live) 2:02
4. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (Spanish Version) 3:08

Australia CD Maxi[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"   3:08
2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Geek Mix) 3:07
3. "No Brakes"   2:06

Italy 12" black vinyl[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"   3:08
2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Geek Mix) 3:07
3. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Baka Boys Remix) 3:01
4. "All I Want" (Live) 2:02

Promo 12" black vinyl[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Baka Boys Low Rider Remix)  
2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (The Baka Boys Remix) 3:01
3. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (Dust Bros Space Echo Remix)  
4. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (Dust Bros Dust Mix)  

Promo CD[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (Album version) 3:11
2. "Callout Hook #1"   0:10
3. "Callout Hook #2"   0:05

Music video[edit]

In the video, directed by McG, the video begins with the "white guy" singing the opening lines and with Noodles walking on the road 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, [14] who went on to cameo in the "Why Don't You Get a Job?" video and occasionally appear at Offspring concerts.[12]

DVD appearances[edit]

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.)

Rock Band and Guitar Hero[edit]

The song was released as downloadable content for the video game Rock 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 tracklist on December 22, 2009.


Chart (1998–99) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[15] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[16] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[17] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[18] 3
Canada (RPM) 5
Denmark (Tracklisten)[19] 2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[20] 1
France (SNEP)[21] 10
Germany (Official German Charts)[22] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[23] 1
Japan (Oricon) 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[24] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[25] 1
Poland (OLiS)[26] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[28] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[29] 1
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[30] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[31] 53
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[32] 5
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[33] 13
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[34] 31
US Top 40 Tracks (Billboard) 36


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[35] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[36] Gold 25,000x
Belgium (BEA)[37] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Diamond 100,000^
France (SNEP)[39] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[40] Gold 250,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[41] 2× Platinum 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[42] 3× Platinum 90,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] Platinum 600,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Antecedents and descendants[edit]


  1. ^ "Offspring, The – Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)". Discogs. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)". Rate Your Music. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1999 Singles. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  4. ^ (German) IFPI Austria - Verband der Österreichischen Musikwirtschaft. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  5. ^ a b [1] Archived June 13, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Goud / Platina | NVPI. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  7. ^ [2] Archived January 19, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Home. Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 629. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  10. ^ You Gotta Keep Em Alienated
  11. ^ Dexter Holland's Americana Tour
  12. ^ a b White Punks on Dope
  13. ^ How to Survive in Suburbia
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  16. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  19. ^ Billboard - Google Books. (1999-02-27). Retrieved on 2014-04-01.
  20. ^ "The Offspring: Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  21. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (in French). Les classement single.
  22. ^ " – The Offspring Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)". Irish Singles Chart.
  24. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  25. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)". VG-lista.
  26. ^ "Polish Singles Chart". Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  27. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)". Singles Top 100.
  28. ^ " – The Offspring – Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  29. ^ "The Offspring: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  30. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for The Offspring.
  31. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Offspring.
  32. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for The Offspring.
  33. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for The Offspring.
  34. ^ "The Offspring – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for The Offspring.
  35. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1999 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Austrian single certifications – The Offspring" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved September 13, 2015.  Enter The Offspring in the field Interpret. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  37. ^ "Ultratop 50 Singles Vlaanderen 1999". Ultratop Belgien Charts. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Canadian single certifications – The Offspring". Music Canada. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  39. ^ "French single certifications – OFFSPRING – PRETTY FLY" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Pretty Fly')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Norwegian single certifications – Pretty Fly" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  42. ^ "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.
  43. ^ "British single certifications – Offspring – PRETTY FLY (FOR A WHITE GUY)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 13, 2015.  Enter PRETTY FLY (FOR A WHITE GUY) in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  44. ^ "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)". Retrieved 2014-04-01. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"A Little Bit More" by 911
UK Singles Chart number-one single
January 24, 1999 - January 30, 1999
Succeeded by
"You Don't Know Me" by Armand Van Helden featuring Duane Harden
Preceded by
No Aphrodisiac by The Whitlams
Triple J Hottest 100 Winner
Succeeded by
These Days by Powderfinger