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A giant slide unexpectedly sent kids flying – and inspired a viral rap

Gmac Cash raps that the $1 ride is ‘like jumping off a roof’ — and you can even ‘lose a tooth’

The Belle Isle Park giant slide was temporarily shut down after kids slid down at unusually high speeds. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources )
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When a giant slide reopened in Detroit last week after a two-year hiatus, videos of children cascading down the 40-foot structure at high speeds generated both laughter and genuine concern.

The six-lane slide was open for only about half the day before park officials closed it over safety issues. But the clips went viral — as did one local rapper’s rhythmic public-service announcement.

“You can break your back, on the giant slide,” Gmac Cash raps in his newest release. “You can even break your neck, on the giant slide. You can even bump your head, on the giant slide.”

Gmac adds that the $1 ride is “like jumping off a roof” — and “you can lose a tooth, on the giant slide.”

Fans placed the song over clips of kids flying off the slide’s slopes in potato sacks. One video racked up 1.2 million views by Saturday afternoon. Actor Lamorne Morris, who guest-hosted Monday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” featured a clip of the song on the show, saying: “I am so sorry, Beyoncé. That is the jam of the summer.”

Gmac, 29, is a Detroit native who’s gone viral for other songs based on news events, including “Coronavirus,” which has more than 4 million views on YouTube.

“I’m like the voice of Detroit,” he told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “Because anything that happens in the city, I’ll do a song about it.”

He had not planned to do a song about the giant slide, but the requests kept pouring in.

He relented, he said, and laid down the track in a matter of minutes. And “it just went crazy,” he said.

The song is also based on his personal experiences with the slide. As a kid, he estimates he rode down the giant slide “over 100 times,” though he remembers a less intimidating structure back then.

“It was real pretty, really yellow and blue,” he said. “But now it just looks like a rusty building or something.”

First erected in 1967 in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, the slide was replaced years later with a similar structure, the Detroit Free Press reported at the time.

A 40-foot tall slide in Detroit closed hours after opening on Aug. 19 due to safety concerns. (Video: Kenyatta McCadney via Storyful)

The slide closed in 2020 when the pandemic started. But when it reopened last weekend, it quickly became clear something was amiss. Children were coming down the slide at unusually high speeds and getting tossed into the air on each slope, causing some to crash hard onto the metal structure. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which runs the park, said in a statement to news outlets last week that there were no injuries.

The riders might have been accelerated by a fresh coat of wax on the slide, the Free Press reported. Park officials said in a Facebook post on Sunday that they “scrubbed down the surface and started to spray a little water on the slide between rides to help control the speed.”

The slide reopened Friday, a few days after officials released a video on how to slide down properly. Riders must be at least 4 feet tall, fit their whole bodies into a potato sack and then lean forward the whole way down the slide, their Facebook post says.

Gmac said earlier in the week that he planned to go down the slide this weekend. He has no fear.

“You got to stay focused and leaning forward,” he said, adding that it’s “just like riding a bike.”