In the summer of 2017, a musician who goes by the name Squeezy Jeez uploaded a hip-hop concept album to the music streaming site Bandcamp. As far as I can tell, it is the only rap album inspired by the time a U.S. president became enraged by the squirrels that were digging up his White House putting green.
You could call it “Fear of a Squirrel Planet.” Squeezy Jeez called it “Eisenhower Vs. the Squirrels.” Over a laconic beat, the album begins this way:
The year is 1954, my name is Eisenhower. The 34th U.S. president is in power.
I love my country, but I also love golf.
So I’ma build some putting green to putt off.
I’m so excited. More than anything in the world
I hope it doesn’t get ravaged by squirrels.
Of course, Dwight Eisenhower’s putting green did get ravaged. Squirrels buried their nuts in it, infuriating Ike. As Squeezy Jeez put it:
My rap game is strong but my golf game is stronger,
And I won’t take these squirrels ruining that any longer.
Eisenhower suffered a spate of bad publicity when the press learned that White House squirrels had been trapped and released in the wild. (Presidential scandals were a lot tamer then.)
In its five songs — none longer than two minutes — “Eisenhower Vs. the Squirrels” neatly lays out the controversy. The squirrels get to rap, too. But who, I wondered, is Squeezy Jeez? Also: Why?
He’s Max Womack, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Austin. He said he was inspired by the musical “Hamilton.”
“I wanted to find a really weird presidential story to kind of cover,” Max told me.
He searched online and came across the Eisenhower squirrel tale. “I tried to make something out of that, just to kind of fill in the gaps and add more absurdity,” he said.
He wrote and recorded the five songs in a day, supplementing prerecorded beats from Logic music software with instruments he played. (Max plays in a band called Weird on Top.)
Max said that making “Eisenhower Vs. the Squirrels” was a little challenge he set himself. When I spoke with him, no one had downloaded it except his family and friends.
I asked him if there were any squirrels in his neighborhood.
“There are quite a few,” Max said. “I enjoy squirrels quite a bit.”