MdFF Picks: David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’ Ain’t Got Shit on ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’

“Who Let The Dogs Out?” / Still courtesy MdFF

A discursive documentary about the origins of the Baha Men’s 2000 hit, “Who Let The Dogs Out” begins eight years ago when Brooklyn artist Ben Sisto got stuck on one Wikipedia entry detail—that the success of ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?,’ the song, had a whole lot to do with a hairdresser named Keith who recorded a version of it blasting off a float during a parade, or so Wikipedia claimed. Sisto couldn’t escape this unverified, half-of-a-fact. “Keith? Just Keith? No last name?” He had to verify it. So he began Googling and calling and digging around. His quest was bigger than Keith and introduced him to a handful of variations on the song and/or chant, each one older than the next. Eight years later, who actually came up with ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’ is still unclear.

“Who Let The Dogs Out” hangs together using footage of Sisto presenting this saga to a live audience which makes it a bit like a distracted stand-up comedy special buoyed by the tics of investigative true crime, where twists, delayed and omitted information, and other tricks of the trade tug you around. We learn the song (or one version at least) was created as a response to party music misogyny, a Soca-tinged kvetch about dumb dudes on the dancefloor and how they’re like dogs. Then we learn at least two other people claiming credit for the song were supposedly thinking the same thing about sexism in the club. And we meet a ridiculous cast of characters including: the aforementioned hairdresser named Keith (he does indeed have a last name and is kind of famous); a few hit-hunting record industry schlockmeisters (including one who recorded an early version of the song under the name Fat Jakk and His Pack of Pets in a voice best described as aural blackface); an unlikely trio of Miami Bassheads; a whole bunch of Caribbean musicians (including the longanimous Anslem Douglas, officially credited for writing the Baha Men hit); singer Gillette, who is better known for junk-insulting “Short Dick Man” fame; a white rapper named Chuck Smooth; a technocratic promo guy for the Seattle Mariners; a far-too-furious lawyer; some morning DJs in Detroit; and a whole bunch of high school and college football teams “who who who”-ing all around the country as far back as the ‘80s at least.

At times, Sisto’s fact-finding presentation even comes with receipts—literally. A sampler owned by two goofy white boy producers who used it in 1992 to record and then sample themselves screaming “Who let the dogs out?,” creating a proto-“Dogs Out” track is proven it was purchased way back then when the receipt is found still in the box (bonus: a hard disk featuring the recorded chants, timestamped 1992 too). This verifies that the Baha Men’s version truly began eight years earlier in Jacksonville, Florida—or so we think for about 10 minutes.

There are touches of Orson Welles’ cinematic sleight-of-hand “F For Fake” and the strange obsession-is-the-obsession creep of “Zodiac,” but “Who Let The Dogs Out” is breezy, edited and narrated with the affable accessibility of a five-minute video you may see from Vice or Vox on your Facebook feed, fleshed out to a breathless, crowd pleasing hour-long unsolved mystery. Long after the doc is over, nagging existential uncertainty about facts of any kind, the weird Sisyphean fun of trying to figure out something you can’t really ever figure out, and the hook to this goofy-ass song remain.

Who Let The Dogs Out,” directed by Brent Hodge screens at Maryland Film Festival on Friday, May 10 at 9:45 p.m. at Parkway 1 and Sunday, May 12 at 4:45 p.m. at Falvey Hall at MICA Brown Center. For more information on MdFF go here.

138 Comments
  1. BFt772 I was looking through some of your content on this site and I conceive this internet site is real informative ! Keep putting up.

  2. Wanted to drop a remark and let you know your Feed isnt working today. I tried including it to my Google reader account but got nothing.

  3. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?

  4. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I ave read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you ave got the opportunity, Guess I all just bookmark this page.

  5. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice post.

  6. Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice post.

  7. I just want to mention I am new to blogs and seriously enjoyed this website. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your website . You certainly have beneficial stories. Kudos for sharing your web site.

  8. Wow, fantastic weblog format! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you made running a blog glance easy. The total glance of your web site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  9. Very nice info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thanks

  10. I simply want to say I am newbie to blogs and absolutely savored this web-site. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You definitely have terrific well written articles. Kudos for revealing your web site.

  11. You have noted very interesting details ! ps nice web site. We make ourselves a ladder out of our vices if we trample the vices themselves underfoot. by Saint Augustine.

  12. Rice earned this name due to his skill and success in the new cheap nike jerseys season is doomed to suffer from the much feared lockout.

  13. I would very much like to agree with the previous commenter! I find this blog really useful for my uni project. I hope to add more useful posts later.

  14. Thanks for another informative website. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

  15. I wanted to start making some money off of my blog, how would I go about doing so? What about google adsense or other programs like it?.

  16. Wow! Thank you! I continually needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I include a fragment of your post to my blog?

  17. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  18. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My site goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  19. I actually wanted to jot down a message to be able to appreciate you for all the nice suggestions you are posting at this website. My rather long internet lookup has now been paid with good quality concept to share with my family. I ‘d repeat that most of us readers actually are rather lucky to exist in a magnificent community with so many marvellous people with insightful strategies. I feel very much lucky to have used your webpage and look forward to tons of more cool times reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.

  20. Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  21. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your website is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

  22. Magnificent website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!

  23. Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with afterward you can write or else it is difficult to write.

  24. you are really a good webmaster. The site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterwork. you have done a magnificent job on this topic!

  25. IaаАа’б‚Т€ТšаЂаŒаАа’б‚Т€ТžаБТžd ought to talk to you here. Which is not some thing I do! I quite like reading a post which will make individuals believe. Also, many thanks permitting me to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.