The story behind the viral song “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” is a tragic one. The singer of the catchy tune, Jermaine Fuller, also known as Buckwheat Boyz, died in a police standoff in 2002, after shooting a cop and taking two hostages. What many people don’t know is that Fuller was the cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg, who tried to persuade him to surrender peacefully.
Fuller shot a police officer in the chest during a traffic stop in Las Vegas on August 13, 2002, and fled to a nearby apartment, where he took two hostages. He later released the hostages and barricaded himself in the bathroom, claiming he had a famous relative. The police contacted his brother-in-law, Snoop Dogg, who recorded a message urging Fuller to surrender peacefully.
“This is Snoop Dogg, your brother-in-law. I know you’re going through some hard times, but you need to think about what you’re doing. You have a lot of people who love you and care about you. Please don’t throw your life away,” Snoop Dogg said in the message, which was played through a loudspeaker.
However, Fuller did not respond to the plea. After 11 hours, the police entered the bathroom and found Fuller dead of a gunshot wound, either self-inflicted or from the earlier shootout.
Fuller’s mother, Patricia Fuller, said her son was a good kid who had a lot of talent, but got mixed up with the wrong people. She said he had a history of mental illness and drug abuse, and had been depressed after his father died.
Snoop Dogg’s publicist, Meredith O’Sullivan, said the rapper was devastated by the news of his cousin’s death. She said Snoop Dogg had tried to help Fuller in the past, and had a close relationship with him.
“He was a very talented young man. He had a bright future ahead of him. He just made some bad choices that led him to this tragic situation,” O’Sullivan said.
Fuller was the singer of the novelty song “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”, which became a viral hit in the early 2000s, thanks to a dancing banana animation created by Brian D. Linder. The song was featured in several TV shows, movies, and video games, and became a popular meme.
Linder said he was saddened by the death of Fuller, whom he never met in person. He said he was a fan of his music, and wanted to pay tribute to him with his animation.
“It’s a sad day for the music industry. He was one of the pioneers of the internet meme culture. His song will always be remembered as a classic,” Linder said.
– Rapper made plea during standoff, Las Vegas Sun Newspaper, August 14, 2002
– SNOOP’S KIN DIES IN SIEGE, New York Post, Aug 14, 2002
– The Meaning Behind The Song: Peanut Butter Jelly Time by The Buckwheat Boyz, oldtimemusic, November 16, 2023