Rapper Settles Beef With McDonald's Via Harsh New Arby's Ad

Pusha T says he didn't get paid enough for 'I'm Lovin' It' jingle; hence, the 'Spicy Fish Diss Track'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2022 7:11 AM CDT

Not since Paul Marcarelli defected from Verizon to shill for Sprint has there been such a brand betrayal. In the early aughts, a one Terrence LeVarr Thornton (better known as rapper Pusha T) claims he penned McDonald's famous "I'm Lovin' It" jingle, and he apparently isn't happy with how much he got paid for his work. His revenge: a harsh new promo for competitor Arby's, which dropped Monday, reports the Washington Post. "I'm the reason the whole world love it / Now I gotta crush it / Filet-O-Fish is s--- / You should be disgusted," Pusha raps in the minute-plus "Spicy Fish Diss Track" he cut for the roast beef sandwich chain, with his lyrics juxtaposed over images of a fishing trawler, a bear eating a fish, a clown, and Arby's new Spicy Fish sandwich.

He goes on to rail: "How dare you sell a square fish asking us to trust it / A half slice of cheese / Mickey D's on a budget?" The 44-year-old performer tells Rolling Stone that he and his brother Gene Elliott Thornton Jr., who goes by the stage name No Malice, were "solely responsible" for the McDonald's jingle, which the magazine notes became "the longest-running marketing campaign" in Mickey Dee's history. Pusha also claims he and his sibling got paid a one-time fee of "half a million or a million dollars" for the promo, which he now considers "peanuts" considering how long McDonald's milked it for. Of course, there's a controversy behind the controversy, with some claiming Pusha T had only a part in writing the McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" jingle, while others say he didn't write it at all.

In 2016, Pitchfork published an entire article dedicated to the brouhaha, with Tom Batoy of the German music house Mona Davis saying he and another artist, Franco Tortora, came up with the famous "ba-da-ba-da-ba" jingle for the Heye ad agency, which had won a bid for McDonald's business. "Pusha T was never involved in the creation of the McDonald's jingle 'I'm Lovin' It," Batoy told Pitchfork at the time. Pusha continues to double down on his claims, however, telling Rolling Stone: "I am the reason. Now I gotta crush it." As for comment from McDonald's on the new Arby's ad, it hasn't offered any yet—even its Twitter account seems to be taking the high road, sticking to tweeting about dipping sauces and its plans to shutter its restaurants in Russia. (More McDonald's stories.)

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