McDonald's Rapper Deal Yields Backlash
Recent articles report that McDonald's recent attempts to lure hip-hop artists to drop references to Big Macs into their rhymes has already begun to backfire, with the recent release of Gatbustaz new single, McGangsta.
If the man at McDonald's really were truely down with the rap community, their corporate empire surely would have been mentioned by now... Rap music today is filled with unrequested plugs and promotions, as well as the obvious brand drops and product placements, particularly in music videos. Even within the fast food sector, several top chains have had their day in the sun. Pizza Hut has been sung out about by nearly a dozen artists, including Gang Star, Afroman, and Pink. KFC has been mentioned by nearly every known rap artist to date, including Masta Ace, Run DMC, and Notorious B.I.G. Even Dave Thomas of Wendy's fame has been mentioned, by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony... It would appear that the rap community adores corporate fast food whoredom, and have even expounded upon the joys of McDonald's competitor Burger King, at several key points over the past 20 years, including mentions in 2 separate songs recorded by popular rap artist Too Phat. One of DeLaSoul's most classic hits, Bitties In The BK Lounge, refers to the competing conglomerate in it's title... It would appear that besides it's obvious influence over the ronaldesque wardrobe of rap phenomenon MC Hammer, McDonald's simply cannot keep the attention of the rap community the way it's competition has.
It is often cited that the burger giant simply hasn't given back to the culture as much as competitors such as Burger King have. In fact, Burger King's own "Search for Herb" campaign in 1986, (although considered a failure and only showing a 1% return on new whopper tasters, compared to the expected 10%) is attributed as the root of ebonic terminology "Herb" commonly used to describe a nerd, dork, or a target for humiliation, such as the "Herb" character from the national promotion, where Herb was actually out in public, searching Burger King's across the country looking for someone who hadn't tasted a whopper... A herb, indeed, but sometimes considered a pioneer in the early stages of what has become today's "Reality TV."
So, with so much support from the community for it's competition, should McDonald's really have expected anything but backlash? In begging for acceptance, they totally herbed themselves.
Chain wants rappers to mention Big Mac
BY OREN YANIV and LAURA WILLIAMS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
With names like Big Pooh, Big Daddy Kane, Big Rich Tha Don and Notorious B.I.G., "big" is already huge for rappers.
Now, McDonald's reportedly hopes to lure hip-hop artists to drop references to Big Macs into their rhymes.
Though it's not offering money upfront, the fast-food giant is willing to pay rappers $1 to $5 each time songs with the plug hit the radio, according to today's Advertising Age. McDonald's hopes to have its signature sandwich in several songs by summer, the mag says.
And it looks like the plan just might boost sales, some McDonald's customers said yesterday.
"If 50 Cent says so, they're gonna buy so many Big Macs," predicted Kai Davis, 27, a customer service rep and Jay-Z fan from the Bronx. "[Rappers] have a big influence."
"Anything they say, people are going to do," added 16-year-old Benji Lusena of Harlem.
But others said they weren't so easily led. "I usually don't use stuff just because somebody else uses it," said Pedro Rojas, 20, of Jersey City. "If you like the food, then that's about it."
Rappers have been pushing products gratis since Run DMC revived a flagging sneaker brand with its 1986 smash "My Adidas." Hip-hop artists have famously rapped about high-end brands like Cartier, Versace and Dom Perignon.
Sales of one French cognac went through the roof thanks to Busta Rhymes' "Pass the Courvoisier."
McDonald's isn't the only company now paying to break through to the hard-to-reach youth market. The marketing firm Maven Strategies, which McDonald's hired for the Big Mac project, got Seagram's gin mentioned - for a fee - in five raps last year, Ad Age says.
McDonald's has final approval over the Big Mac mentions, so perhaps the company won't want oversized pitchmen like Fat Joe. Decades ago, McDonald's dumped chubby Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald in favor of a leaner clown. Dem Franchise Boyz, on the other hand, might be the perfect spokesgroup for the 30,000-outlet chain.
It would appear McDonald's efforts to get rapper's to mention their brand in songs has paid off, or backfired depending on one's opinion, in the form of a Gatbustaz song, entitled McGangsta, dedicated solely to all things McDonald's. With the usual intestine busting beat and profanity-laden lyrics, the song certainly mentions McDonald's but, likely, not in a manner of which McDonald's would approve. In one of the song's verses, after telling the window attendant to "shut the fuck up," the rapper proceeds with:
I tell you what I want
Beef patties' what I want
Big bum's' what I want
Great bitch is what I want
Big mac, fuckin big macs
I like big macs like a ho likes big dicks
shove one in their move, they damn are lovin it
As if to call attention to the idiocy of McDonald's paying rappers to mention their name, this song ends with the artist calling McDonald's, we think, motherfuckers. If this is, in fact backlash, McDonald's may wish they'd never considered this program.