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Friday, August 03, 2007

McDonald's and Rap Music

You know, even though I'm a huge fan of McDonald's and have been an addict for nigh on thirteen years or so, I will always admit that it's bad food. You know it, I know it - the whole world knows that McDonald's is and will always be synonymous with "bad for you". This doesn't mean it's the WORST for you, and it certainly doesn't mean its TASTE is bad (not in the least!) - it just means that it's not healthy and it shouldn't be.

Whole Foods is synonymous with "healthy" and/or "pretentious" (at least in my book) - you wouldn't trust them coming out with a "Supreme Meat Lover's Cheeseburger Pizza", would you? That's because they know what they are and they stick by it. And McDonald's, you're "fatty burgers and fries" to the extreme - don't ever lose that. But enough of my pleas to fast food chains to stay true to their titles and lay off the healthy food menu items - this is about Twista.

It's okay if you haven't heard of this whole mess - I hadn't either, until I picked up my RedEye this morning. So for those of you who get the news from sources like me and my RedEye regurgitations, here's the scoop:

McDonald's is hosting a concert series. One of the concerts is going to be in Chicago and McDonald's picked Twista, a Chicago-native rapper, to be in the concert. They promoted the concert using Twista as one of the performers. And suddenly, there was a wave of billboards being put up chastizing rappers for their derogatory language, naming Twista as one of the long list of perpetrators. According to the rapper, McDonald's had even told him they were behind him during this potty-mouth-lyrics situation.

And then all of a sudden, as Twista so eloquently describes it, "they just told us that they didn't want me performing no more."

This is where the hypocrisy comes in. McDonald's obviously knew that derogatory lyrics were used - not only from the public accusations on billboards, but the fact that, uh, TWISTA IS A RAPPER! We don't live in the 80s or even the 90s anymore. You won't hear "rapping" about happy things like "saying hello to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow" or even hilarious things like "cooking MCs like a pound of bacon". Rap has degraded into this amalgam of debauchery and violence, and we ACCEPT THAT. You either like rap or you don't. But don't say you like rap while trying to deny everything that rap now is.

Sure, I loved the Sugar Hill Gang. But then rap grew up and starting f*%^ing the police.

So here's what I'm saying to you, McDonald's: accept Twista and the fact that his lyrics are lewd because he is, indeed, a rapper. You and rap have so much in common, let's all face the facts...

- Most people either love it, or they hate it. There's a few fence-sitters, who likely haven't experienced much of it.

- Most people against it say, "It's bad for you and bad for society in general." Most people for it say, "Sure, but we like it anyway."

- If you hear about a person who likes it, you'll immediately jump to a negative stereotype of what that person looks like based solely on that fact and without even having seen them once.

- Both are having a huge impact on the newest generation of consumers, and a huge number of people are up in arms about it being a huge NEGATIVE impact.

- Both are always trying to claim to be "cleaning up their act"; we know it'll never really happen.

So c'mon, McDonald's - just say Twista can play in the concert again. He had such nice things lined up because it was such a big gig and in his hometown. He was going to get a children's choir to join him for a song, and he was going to donate the money raised by his performance to two of his favorite Chicago charities. Does that make up for "crude lyrics"? Beats me. But he's not the only one to come up with catchy chants that society wants to blame all its ills on, is he, McDonald's?

I'll leave you with a "rap" from my childhood, written by McDonald's itself:

"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!"

(Twista's RedEye blog telling the whole story from his perspective)

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