Pusha T’s love/hate relationship with McDonald’s
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Pusha T's love/hate relationship with McDonald's

Virginia rapper and former Clipse member Pusha T is considered one of hip-hop’s exciting artists. His 2022 project, It’s Almost Dry, received critical acclaim and Pusha T’s 2018 body of work, Daytona, is regarded as a classic.

Although Pusha T has never been the most ingenious artist, as a former member of G.O.O.D. Music, under the wing of Kanye West, the emcee (real name Terrence Thornton), has managed to stand at the forefront of the culture.

Throughout the years, as a solo artist, Pusha T has had several beefs. From his battle with Drake to his Lil Wayne feud, Pusha has been central to many conflicts. However, one ongoing dispute the Virginia lyricist is involved in is with the fast food chain McDonald’s.

According to an interview Thornton gave to Rolling Stone, his contention with the chain dates back to the early 2000s when the multinational corporation failed to pay him and his brother fairly for their contribution to the famous ‘I’m Lovin It’ jingle.

Pusha T claims he and his brother wrote and performed the track. However, the song’s origins are disputed and many credit The Neptunes and Justin Timberlake with the jingle’s creation. The original was released in 2003, but according to Thornton, McDonald’s only paid him and his brother a one-time fee with no royalties.

For years, it has been rumoured that Justin Timberlake received a $6 million cheque for ‘I’m Lovin It’, but Thornton has since revealed that in comparison to the popstar, he got mere crumbs.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Thornton stated, “I am solely responsible for the I’m Lovin’ It swag and the jingle of that company. 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 when I wasn’t asking for as much money and ownership.” 

He continued, “It was like half a million dollars for me and my brother – but that’s peanuts for as long as that’s been running.” When Thornton originally got the offer to work with McDonald’s in 2002, he was elated and had a lot of love for the brand. However, in 2022, when he began to work with Arby’s, he decided to take public shots at the company.

Entitled ‘Rib Roast’, the McDonald’s diss track was uploaded directly to the Arby’s YouTube channel. The track sees Pusha take shots at McDonald’s famous McRib Sandwich in promotion of Arby’s new product, the Real Country Style Rib Sandwich.

The diss track sees Pusha insinuate that McDonald’s does not use real meat in its products and in comparison to Arby’s serves small portions. The diss track includes lyrics such as, “McDonald’s what you sellin’, mystery meat? / Hop up and go away, what does history teach? Micky D’s McRib, you ain’t it in the streets / The Real Country Style Rib Sandwich here to compete.”

In promotion of another Arby’s product, the rapper continued by taking fire at McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich, rapping, “Filet-o-Fish is ass / And you should be disgusted,” he rapped. “How dare you sell a square fish, asking us to trust it/A half slice of cheese, Mickey D’s on a budget? / Arby’s crispy fish is simply it/With lines ’round the corner / You might need as guest list/Exit stage left, the sandwiches taste fresh/A little cube of fish from a clown is basic.”

Although his business partnership with McDonald’s began with nothing but love, Thornton has now turned his back on the company. You can listen to ‘Rib Roast’ below.