McDonald’s latest “celebrity meal” features a collaboration with rapper and hip-hop artist Saweetie (born Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper). The $10 or $11 dollar “Saweetie Meal” – pricing depends on where you live – features a Big Mac, four chicken McNuggets, fries, Sprite, and barbecue and “Saweetie ‘n Sour” dipping sauces.
Fans can also enter the “Saweetie Saweetstakes” or purchase “McD’s x Saweetie Merch” – targeted toward teen and pre-teen girls. The McDonald’s website encourages them to buy, saying “How about some Saweetie swag to go with The Saweetie Meal? Serve pure icy-ness with tees, totes and lots, lots more. It’s limited-edition merch for that unlimited flex.”
The Saweetie-McDonald’s T-shirts run $38 to $42, while shorts cost $72 and hoodies are $118 to $128. Socks are a relative bargain at $18.50.
Aside from shelling out 10 bucks for 1210 calories of fast food or $128 for a hoodie, parents may want to check out what Saweetie talks and raps about.
“Icy-ness” refers to Saweetie’s song “Icy Grl” which grew from short raps on Instagram to become a platinum-selling single and a YouTube video with over 122 million views. “Icy,” in urban slang, refers to someone who is fresh, swag, or wears transparent jewelry with diamonds. An “Icy Girl” is “high maintenance and all about her money,” according to the Urban Dictionary. It’s an apt description of both the song and Saweetie, who talks and raps about her deep interest in money and material goods.
In a video explaining the lyrics and meaning of the song, she begins by taking a swig from a bottle of Hennessy, a French cognac. A line from the song says, “Let me get some Hennessy while I’m chilling on the beach,” and she explains, “I grew up on Hennessy. I love Hennessy.”
Saweetie says the song was motivational for her, written before she’d made it big in pop music. “Icy Grl” talks about how hard it is to succeed in the rap world dominated by men, and it does have positive references to learning from her circle of women friends. She says, “So every single one of my friends are better than me in something and I learn from them.”
But the lyrics are laced with foul language and offensive terms for women and blacks. Her videos also feature sexually suggestive dancing and clothing. One video on her YouTube channel is titled, “I shot with P*rnhub” where she says, “We just wrapped a really sexy skit with Pornhub.” The more than 633,000 people who’ve watched that video on her YouTube site get to see her in costume for the Pornhub shoot and performing sexually-suggestive acts.
We spoke with Adam Holz, director of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In. He told us, “It speaks to our level of cultural desensitization when a company like McDonald’s teams up with an artist whose got any number of songs that are anything but family friendly. Vulgar language and references to pornography are just two of the issues you’ll find in Saweetie’s lyrics. But those concerns don’t seem to be a deal killers for the world’s most famous fast-food joint.”
So one wonders: Do McDonald’s executives watch Saweetie with their own pre-teen and teen daughters? Do franchise owners know the foul language in her songs?
And if they have watched these videos and know the song lyrics, why are they promoting this to our children?
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has collaborated with a performer with foul, obscene lyrics. An earlier celebrity meal featured rapper Travis Scott. His song “Sicko Mode” has over 916 million YouTube views. The Plugged In review says the song’s subject matter and content includes “harsh profanity and graphic references to sex,” accurately reflecting the song’s title.
Concerned parents – and others who care what’s being promoted to children – may want to contact McDonald’s executives and franchise owners and ask – politely, but strongly, “Do you know what your restaurant is promoting? And why is it pushing this on young girls?”
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Focus on the Family’s Plugged In offers families detailed information about movies, videos, television episodes, songs and games.
Photo from Facebook.