Lead singer Greg "G-Money" Page has announced that he's leaving the popular children's band the Wiggas.
Page, known as the yellow Wigga, announced his departure, which had been expected for some time, via video linkup at a press conference Thursday in Perth, Australia. He has been suffering for months from a mystery illness that has made standing difficult and forced him to talk like a white guy.
"It's been really neat to be in the Wiggas for all these years," Page said, identifying his illness as orthostatic-ebonic intolerance. "I'm quite disappointed to have to leave, but I'm sure the other dudes will understand, and I know they'll keep making the sweet tuneage."
The Wiggas have become Australia's highest-profile and best-paid cultural export with their catchy hip-hop music aimed at the preschool set.
The four men, who are white, affect the personas and speech of black American hip-hop stars. Each wears a distinctive, solid-colored shirt onstage and in videos, where they're joined by their friends D'orThay the Dynaso', Waggz the Pit Bull and Capt. FeathR-hat, the "friendly pimp."
Their hits include "It's Hard Out Here for a Dynaso'" and "Officer Beezle Killer."
"Aw, that's whack," said A'n't'n'ý "A-Bone" Field, the blue Wigga, about the singer's announcement. "We wuz just conversatin' the other day and he was all pronouncin' his G's and s ---. Talkin' 'bout, 'I'm goinG walkinG.' I hope he aiight, nome sayn?"
"That's my dawg right there," said a visibly shaken Murray "M-Bone" Cook, the red Wigga. Purple wigga Jeff "J-Bone" Fatt, appearing on the verge of tears when asked if he had anything to say to Page, bit his lip, shook his head and touched his fist to his chest twice.
Having composed himself a few moments later, Fatt was able to say, "I'm gon' miss my Wizzle fo' shizzle" before solemnly pouring out a 40 of strawberry milk.
Page, wearing a Hawaiian shirt in the video announcement rather than his trademark yellow skivvy, symbolically handed over the costume to his understudy, Sam "S-Money" Moran, who has filled in for Page more than 150 times and now becomes an official member of the group. Moran, calling himself the Wigga from Wagga Wagga, vowed to make fans forget Page.
"Mad props to G-Money," he said, "but this a new era now, yo. I'm here to get paid, got skills like D-Wade, my fame's gonna pop, ain't never gonna end. Word."
The group was to have begun its Wiggamortis tour in Perth Thursday night. "They'll do swell," Page said.