One adaptation narrates the gloomy tale of hard times when workers were forced to sell, or “pop,” their tools because their wages were so little. The term “weasel” referred to a pressing iron used by tailors and hat makers.
A penny for a spool of thread, A penny for a needle. That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel.
"Pop Goes the Weasel" also is the best-selling single from hip hop duo 3rd Bass; it appeared on their third album, Derelicts of Dialect. Funk samples from the J.B.'s and Stevie Wonder were used in the song. Released a year after the ill-fated Cactus Revisited E.P., "Pop Goes the Weasel" instantly became a hit and soon went gold. The song helped the album reach gold status a month later. The song's message was similar to "Gas Face", voicing criticsm towards the many mainstream commercial rap artists that had been gaining attention in the early 1990s (i.e. Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer). Production came from John Gamble, Geeby Dajani, and Dante Ross (noted for their groundbreaking work on Brand Nubian and Grand Puba's debut albums).