Fishing feud: can McDonald’s survive Pusha T’s single-verse scud missile? | Hip-hop

For years, Arby’s has been bragging, “We have the meat.” Now the menu includes a spicy beef with McDonald’s.

On Monday, the hot delicacy chain released an ad for its crispy fish sandwich. Underneath the EDM-colored backingbeat is the rap song Spicy Fish Diss – a single-verse Scud missile aimed directly at McDonald’s pescatarian pill, Filet-O-Fish. And it does not waste any of its 75 seconds of driving time hitting the bush. “Filet-O-Fish is shit,” it cries, “and you should be disgusted.”

Even more delicious than this taster is the man who serves it – Pusha T, the 44-year-old Virginia Beach-educated master lyricist who formed half of the Pharrell Williams-produced rap duo the Clipse (with his older brother, No Malice ) and is the highest-profile track signed by GOOD Music in addition to the record company’s founder, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). For Pusha, Arby’s concert was no strange job (Arby’s We Have the Meats campaign also licensed Yogi and Skrillex’s 2014 EDM hit Burial with the rapper); it was personal.

Pusha has long claimed to have written McDonald’s I’m Lovin ‘It jingle with No Malice, Williams and Justin Timberlake, and he has been disgusted with the company for shortening him, as the micromody has become one of the most recognizable jingles. of all times.

19 years ago, Timberlake first recorded jingle; these days, it’s Successions Brian Cox who lazily whirls the familiar “ba-da-ba-ba-ba” in commercials from Golden Arches. “It was like half a million or a million dollars for me and my brother,” Pusha told Rolling Stone about his lump sum for the McDonald’s hit. “But it’s peanuts as long as [the jingle] has driven. I had to get that energy from me, and this [Arby’s spot] was the perfect way. “

From Ella Fitzgerald, who spreads around KFC, to MC Hammer, who sets Taco Bell in motion, to Mary J Blige, who howls after Burger King’s crispy chicken, black music stars have been sirens for fast food chains from the day they started the store in Black neighborhoods – where, unfortunately, they often tower up as the most viable meal plan for families with a lack of resources. Five years ago, Arby’s made a hard turn from the suburbs to the streets as it committed to a pitchman in Ving Rhames, the husky-toned Pulp Fiction star who delivers the company’s meaty slogan. The business has been booming ever since.

Still, it is shocking that it has taken until now for a food company to adopt a rap-fighting stance in defense of conspicuous mass consumption. After all, all that is fast food commercials but that Arby’s are crazy about their meat, McDonald’s boasts sales and Carl’s Jr. tumbling in unmotivated breasts and thighs? Even Chick-fil-A has a Jesus piece. From the very beginning, the whole business has been about real hip hop, which in itself is packed to the stomachs with references to favorite chains. (“I’ve got the socket, so sit down,” Migos whispers, “Solitaire, Chicken McNuggets.”)

You would be hard pressed to name a more combative gladiator in this arena than Pusha. In addition to a decades-long feud with Drake, he is famous for spinning elaborate stories rooted in his past life as a drug dealer. (Interestingly, his name and raspy voice dominate Arby’s ad, but he never appears on camera.)

In Spicy Fish Diss, which calls for attention with Dalí-like, Old Man and the Sea visual grammar, Pusha gets away with many double talents, none juicier than this: ‘With lines’ around the corner, we may need a guest list . ” Even Pusha’s choice of which Arby’s product to support is a blink: “If you know me and you know me well / Our fish will tip that scale.” (“Fishscale” is slang for a flakey, first-class cocaine.) On Twitter, some made a game of reconstructing the banknotes ring between Pusha and Arby’s leaders while writing rejected lyrics. And more hip-hop fans celebrated this collaboration than the reviled Pusha, who gets paid every time Arby’s spot is aired, as a sale.

Will this smoldering excitement lead to more pricey food? Megan Thee Stallion (Popeyes), Rick Ross (Wingstop) and Travis Scott (McDonald’s) are already in the game. They are already capable of firing shots back and, like Pusha, laying their rods large over the promotional video so their puns can be explicitly appreciated. It could be just what pulls hip hop out of its hallucinogenic slumber and back into the realm of martial arts.

Of course, there are probably some who interpret fast-food-themed fast-food commercials as a bad omen for the country. But they’ll probably never had a stomach for that kind of thing anyway. It’s time for fast food rivals to drop their family-friendly pretensions and start seriously going after each other’s necklaces in commercials. At the end of the day, it’s all empty calories. A spicy beef just adds flavor.

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