February 21, 2024

Pusha-T’s Beef With McDonald’s Is Actually Real

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Pusha-T has real beef with McDonald’s and it goes way back.

Today (March 21), Push dropped a diss track with Arby’s aimed directly at McDondald’s. At face value, the move feels random and odd. But the motives actually run far deeper than a somple cash-grab marketing scheme.

According to Push and music industry veteran Steve Stout, the Clipse rapper had a hand in creating McDonald’s iconic “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. The story behind the track, however, has tons of crossed wires.

The story goes that McDonald’s hired over 10 advertising agencies to help turn around their failing stock in the early 2000s. The result was the world-known “ba-da, ba-ba-ba” that everyone associates with Mickey D’s. The late Butch Stewart, a jingle mastermind, then reportedly helped turn those five-syllables into song form, which McDonald’s spun into a mastermind marketing plan.

They took the concepts to Pharrell, who then turned it into a song for Justin Timberlake. McDonald’s had Timberlake release the song months before their campaign with the jingle began, making it appear to be an organic undertaking, although it was all one massive commercial.

The United States version of McDonald’s soon-to-be viral campaign officially began in September of 2003. The commercial featured a track with singing by Timberlake, but also rapping by none other than Clipse—the rap duo featuring brothers Malice and Pusha-T.

Steve Stout shocked the industry in 2016 when he revealed that Push had a had in writing the jingle, but today he has set the record straight from his eyes. “I am solely responsible for the ’I’m Lovin‘ It’ swag and the jingle of that company,” he told Rolling Stone. “That’s just real. I am the reason. Now I gotta crush it.”

He continued: “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 [ad] was the perfect way to get that energy like, ‘You know what? I’m over it.’”

But Push’s stake in the McDonald’s vs. Arby’s situation goes even deeper. Arby’s “We have the meats” jingle samples a Skrillex and Yogi song called “Burial” that Pusha raps on. He claims owns 40 percent of the song and gets paid every time it gets played.

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