Screengrab via TMZ/YouTube

McDonald’s tries to ruin Kanye’s good McDonald’s poem

Never tell Kanye how to make his art.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 23, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 5:01 am CDT

Kanye West wrote a poem about McDonald’s for Frank Ocean‘s Boys Don’t Cry zine. It’s extremely weird at first glance, but, like everything Kanye does, will definitely look like genius in retrospect. 

McDonald’s, which is a corporation and not a person capable of apprehending art or emotion, disagrees.  

Here’s Kanye’s poem, “The McDonald’s Man,” as recited by Joey Bada$$: 

Kanye, forever ahead of his time, knew the french fries had a plan before any of us. It’s, as Bada$$ explains, deep. Shakespearean and shit. 

But any pure-hearted jam can be ruined by #brand #interaction, and the poem had barely made the rounds on the internet before McDonald’s had to go and step on it. 

It seems that someone at McD’s just couldn’t let go of one evocative line, in which Kanye sees jealousy in the McRib’s “artificial meat eyes.” 

So now we have this two-faced tweet, in which McDonald’s simultaneously thanks Ye for the free publicity and diminishes his artistry with its institutional finger-wagging:

The meat isn’t artificial? Wow. Next, you’re going to tell me that milkshakes can’t feel jealousy, or that french fries are not sentient and are thus incapable of forming plans. 

It’s uncool at best and disingenuous at worst for McDonald’s to fact-check Kanye’s fictional, artistic work about alive fast food. Especially in the same tweet where the company claims to have the capacity to “love … creativity.” 

Kanye doesn’t tell you how to make a damn Big Mac. Don’t tell him how to make his art.

If corporations are people, they’re definitely fuckboys.

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*First Published: Aug 23, 2016, 4:42 pm CDT