On Monday, Pusha T teamed up with one of McDonald’s competitors to release “Spicy Fish Diss Track.” The 75-second song, which had racked up more than 4 million views on his Twitter account as of Tuesday morning, hypes Arby’s new Spicy Fish Sandwich while attacking the McDonald’s classic Filet-O-Fish.
“I’m the reason the whole world love it, now I gotta crush it,” Pusha T raps before comparing the McDonald’s fish sandwich to feces. “You should be disgusted. How dare you sell a square fish asking us to trust it. A half slice of cheese, Mickey D’s on a budget?”
Pusha T may not like the Filet-O-Fish, but his beef with the Golden Arches is bigger than a single menu item. The rapper was in his 20s in 2003 when he and his brother, who goes by the stage name No Malice, wrote the “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle, Pusha T said in a Rolling Stone interview published Monday. The brothers claim they were paid about $1 million total, which Pusha T called “peanuts for as long as that’s been running.”
It has anchored McDonald’s advertising ever since.
“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.”
McDonald’s didn’t immediately respond to a Monday night request for comment from The Washington Post.
In a 2016 article titled “The Contentious Tale of the McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ Jingle,” Pitchfork reported that others credited with creating the jingle have denied the rapper was involved. Pusha T commented on the controversy that year during an appearance on Pitchfork Radio: “It’s funny that people find it so amusing now that I wrote that,” he said.
In the new Rolling Stone interview, Pusha T said he wrote the jingle when he was young and didn’t ask for as much money or ownership stake in his music as he does now — something he regrets. For two decades, it’s gnawed at him.
“I was a part of this and I should have more stake,” he told Rolling Stone.
Along came Arby’s and a chance to exorcise those alleged demons. In the diss track/advertisement, Pusha T unleashed, panning the Ronald McDonald-backed sandwich as a “little cube of fish from a clown.” He maligned it as “basic,” “drowned in tartar” and “tasteless.”
In contrast, Pusha T said, “Arby’s only deals in the greatness,” its “crispy fish is simply it. With lines round the corner, we might need a guest list.”
The diss track did the trick. “I had to get that energy off me, and this [ad] was the perfect way,” the rapper told Rolling Stone. “You know what? I’m over it.”