The American rapper Pusha T has issued an extraordinary attack on McDonald’s, releasing a diss track with a rival fast-food chain, Arby’s.
The 75-second song was inspired, the rapper told Rolling Stone, by resentment over what he claims is McDonald’s failure to pay him and his brother properly for their part in writing and performing the famous I’m Lovin’ It jingle.
In the diss track (essentially a rap that attacks a target, usually another rapper), Pusha T criticises McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish while promoting Arby’s Spicy Fish Sandwich.
“I’m the reason the whole world love it, now I gotta crush it,” he raps.
He also says the Filet-O-Fish is “shit” and adds: “You should be disgusted / How dare you sell a square fish asking us to trust it / A half slice of cheese, Mickey D’s on a budget?”
The origins of the I’m Lovin’ It McDonald’s jingle are disputed.
It was released in 2003 and features rapping by Pusha T and his brother Malice, whose stage name is No Malice. Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake are also credited, the latter having been paid $6m for a full song of the same name.
In the interview with Rolling Stone about his defection to the Arby’s camp, Pusha T said McDonald’s only paid him and his brother a one-time fee, with no royalties, for their work on the seminal ad.
“I am solely responsible for the I’m Lovin’ It swag and the jingle of that company,” the rapper said. “That’s just real. I am the reason. Now I gotta crush it.
“I did it at a very young age, at a very young time in my career where I wasn’t asking for as much money and ownership. It’s something that’s always dug at me later in life like, ‘Dammit, I was a part of this and I should have more stake.’
“It was like half a million or a million dollars for me and my brother – but that’s peanuts for as long as that’s been running. I had to get that energy off me and this [Arby’s ad] was the perfect way to get that energy, like, ‘You know what? I’m over it.’”
According to a Pitchfork article published in 2016, other artists credited with creating the track deny Pusha T was involved.
In his own interview with Pitchfork, Pusha T said: “It’s funny that people find it so amusing now that I wrote that.”
By Tuesday afternoon the pro-Arby’s track, which the rapper shared with Twitter followers on Monday, had racked up more than 4.4m views.
“Drowned in tartar, that Filet-O-Fish is tasteless,” Pusha-T raps. “Arby’s only deals in the greatness. I bet the house on it like it’s Vegas.”
The rapper tweeted: “Just dropped a diss track with Arby’s. Grab some popcorn and a Spicy Fish Sandwich. #ArbysPaidMeButIWouldSayThisAnyway.”