Gronk’s ‘Deeez Nuuuts’ Joke, Explained

Rob Gronkowski’s ridiculous response to Deflategate took hip-hop fans of a certain age back to the days of the early ‘90s, when the phone skit was king.

The Patriots tight end reacted with some annoyance after being peppered with reporters’ questions during a charity event Wednesday, saying the only thing they could deflate was “Deeez nuuuts.’’

And so the national debate quickly shifted from the content of the Deflategate report to the origin of “Deeez nuuuts.’’

Masterful diversion, Gronk.

Younger staffers here at Boston.com traced the phrase to recent Vines like this:

But no: It goes back at least as far as a nonsensical phone skit on Dr. Dre’s classic 1992 album, “The Chronic.’’ The track “Deeez Nuuuts’’ opens with a young man calling a young woman and asking, “Hey. Did what’s his name get at you yesterday?’’

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“Who?’’ she asks, falling into his trap. A TV plays in the background.

“Deeez nuuuts!’’ comes his reply.

The joke is as pointless now as it was in 1992, but it’s a valiant attempt to change the subject when your team is accused of cheating its way to the Super Bowl. (Another good distraction: Just flex.)

Here’s “Deeez Nuuuts’’ (Warning: contains bad words and dumb casual sexism):

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