Fast-food chain Wendy’s drops mixtape “We Beefin?”
Ryan Israel | Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Yes, Wendy’s did that. On March 23, the fast-food chain released a five-song, 10-minute mixtape titled “We Beefin?” I imagine the discussion amongst the Wendy’s marketing team went a little something like this:
Boss: “Our food is dumb lit and our Twitter account is mad fresh, but we need another way to prove to the young ones that we are hip and cool.”
Employee: “These kids are always talking about ‘fire mixtapes.’ We should make one of those.”
Boss: “That’s genius. You’re promoted.”
I see no other way the conversation could have gone, given the outrageousness of the idea that a burger joint might release a mixtape as a form of promotion. However, the idea has been used before. On April Fool’s Day in 2016, the company Hamburger Helper released a mixtape titled “WATCH THE STOVE.” So Wendy’s was not coming completely out of left field when they released their own mixtape, although theirs is so bland and uninspiring that it leaves much to be questioned.
Before I completely denounce “We Beefin?,” I want to point out the mixtape’s two positive qualities. First, the cover art for “We Beefin?” is a direct reference and tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut studio album, “Ready to Die.” The critically-acclaimed album is a piece of rap history, and Wendy’s did a good deed by paying homage to the legendary project. The second positive characteristic of “We Beefin?” is the choice of artist for the mixtape. Wendy’s, a company that has a female mascot, made the smart decision to have a female rap artist, who remains unnamed, deliver the rapping throughout the project.
That said, the two positive attributes of “We Beefin?” are easily outweighed by the mixtape’s musical mess.
Production-wise, “We Beefin?” utilizes an incredibly bland and boring array of beats. Wendy’s claimed in a promotional tweet that “We Beefin?” would have “Fresh, never frozen beats,” but that claim is far from the truth. None of the mixtape’s five songs have a beat that could even remotely be described as fresh. Each beat that appears on “We Beefin?” fits into the category of a stereotypical trap beat. It wouldn’t surprise me if a Wendy’s employee had simply typed “trap-rap-type beat” into Soundcloud and picked out the top five results.
The rapping on “We Beefin?” also follows the trend of bland and uninspiring. The anonymous female rap artist delivers every verse on the mixtape in a monotone voice and hardly varies her flow or style. I hope this unknown artist can find success on her own, without the creative restrictions of a fast-food company.
Lyrically, “We Beefin?” consists of semi-clever, beef-based wordplay and a number of pointless insults hurled at competitors like McDonald’s, Burger King and Chicken Shack. The whole situation reminds me of the feud between hip-hop artists Drake and Meek Mill in 2015. In this situation, McDonald’s is Drake, a well-established and dominant fixture in the game, and Wendy’s is Meek Mill, an up-and-comer taking shots at the big buck. I doubt McDonald’s will release a response as amazing as Drake’s “Back To Back,” because they don’t need to. “We Beefin?” has created only a small amount of buzz, so it’s not worthy of attention from the industry-leading McDonald’s — or anybody else.
As a marketing strategy, “We Beefin?” is a creative yet excessive attempt to attract the attention of millennials and create buzz on Twitter. As a piece of music, “We Beefin?” is a lifeless and uninteresting advertisement that is not worth more than one listen, just for humor’s sake.
Artist: Wendy’s (the fast-food chain)
Album: “We Beefin?”
Label: Six Course Inc.
If you like: Ordering a Frosty and french fries at Wendy’s
Shamrocks: 0.5 out of 5