Detroit rapper, comedian, father and former autoworker GmacCash spoke to the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter about why he supports striking workers and about life inside the plant as a young temporary part-time (TPT) worker.
Gmac initially gained popularity in 2016 for his sleeper hit “First Day at Popeye’s,” a parody of fellow Detroit rapper Tee Grizzley’s “First Day Out,” swapping jokes about his love of the fast-food chain over the original beat about getting out of prison after committing robbery. Citing a unique combination of woke rap (J Cole) and spoofs (Weird Al Yankovic) as his biggest influences, Gmac has cultivated his growing fanbase by taking up “everyday people” issues. (Readers should note Gmac’s explicit lyrics before clicking links below.)
He released the comedy rap video “FMLA” in 2018, which gained a massive popular following among auto and plant workers on social media and going viral overnight. It ultimately cost him his job at FCA’s Sterling Assembly Plant last October.
“They told me to take it down at first,” he said, referring to the music video. “Then a week later they came and told me I was fired.” The justification was a code 27 violation, or misuse of company property, for filming the video outside of the plant.
[. . .]
Gmac’s most recent song, “On Strike,” was an instant hit on social media. He went to the picket lines in Warren to film the video and support his fellow workers. “I have a lot of family in the auto industry. With my music, I rap about relatable things and trending topics. So when something happens, I’ll get anywhere from a hundred to a thousand tags, with people asking me to do this or that topic,” he said, describing how he uses Facebook and Instagram to connect with his audience for content ideas.
“I had so many tags to do this song. That’s where a lot of my fans come from—a lot of my fans are ordinary, regular people, not people out here trying to be something they’re not. So that’s why they appreciate what I do, and it’s almost like I’m the only one doing it! I don’t see a lot of people rapping about potholes or snow or whatever. I’m just staying in my lane and I just wanna rap about everyday things that I go through every day.
“I’m from Detroit, my family’s from Detroit, my mother works at Chrysler; uncles, aunties, cousins, friends work at Chrysler—everybody works at Chrysler. My mother’s in the union, my uncle’s in the union—really my whole family comes from Chrysler.
“The strike, it’s a big moment. That’s why I chose to do the song—there’s never been a strike since I’ve been born! I always heard about them and now there actually is one, and you can see it in person. So why not do a song about it, because the song’s going to be remembered. Ten years from now there might not be another strike!”
Wanted to give special recognition to someone supporting the strikers.
Now Clea e-mailed a recipe and said that she cooked it when her husband was on strike because you can make it twice a week. You can make it and serve it over rice first and then later in the week make it again and serve it on bread as sandwiches. A note -- if you come across "panko bread crumbs" and freak, don't. You can make your own bread crumbs if you'd like. But panko bread crumbs are actually a type of bread crumbs that you can buy in a box at most grocery stores. So if you're new to that ingredient, don't let it throw you. Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 large egg
1 tsp. ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 oz. (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, 1 cup of cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, egg, and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined, then form into meatballs.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add meatballs in a single layer and sear 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and chipotle in adobo and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and return meatballs to skillet. Cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Top with remaining 1 cup cheese, then cover with lid to let melt, about 2 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley before serving.
Thank you, Clea, for that recipe. Marvin e-mailed to note that when there was a strike in his family, they had rice a lot. If you buy it dried, it is less expensive. You can use whatever but I go with brown rice which has more fiber. Now what Marvin points out is that they had rice every night of the week and his mother found a way to do that. He remembers that she'd cook it and add salsa after and it was 'Mexican rice.' Or she'd cook it and add some black eyed peas to it. She'd cook it and slice two stalks of celery and add that to it. It was never just plain rice and he said that's how she was able to serve it nightly without complaints. That's a good tip, thank you, Marvin.
Now here are some Tweets about the strike.
GM could learn a thing or two from unions. After GM cut health insurance for striking workers, @UAW stepped up to cover their pay & health care because that’s what unions do: take care of workers.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:
Friday, September 20, 2019.
In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.
In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.
Younger Black Voters to Their Parents: Break Up With Joe Biden, I’m Bored. An organic effort by black millennials and Gen Z-ers to influence older family members against Mr. Biden may be important in the Democratic primary. nytimes.com/2019/09/20/us/…
He's referring to Astead W. Herndon's report for THE NEW YORK TIMES. The report fails to note that similar efforts took place in previous elections, including in 2008. There was, for instance, "the great schlep" where voters were encouraged to get their Jewish grandparents in Florida to vote for Barack Obama. THE NEW YORK TIMES' own reporting of that effort ran October 5, 2008 and was entitled "Sarah Silverman's Message to Your Grandma: Vote Obama."
From Herndon's article:
For Mr. Biden, though, students carried mixed feelings. They respected his tenure as Barack Obama’s vice president, but implicitly rejected his campaign’s central premise, that the primary goal of Democrats in the 2020 election should be defeating President Trump.
They pointed to systemic problems they said the country must address, such as inequality, climate change and gun violence. The Democratic nominee, they said, should embrace progressive proposals like canceling student loan debt, the Green New Deal and gun buyback programs.
Most #viral News Now: Younger Black Voters to Their Parents: Break Up With Joe Biden, I’m Bored
As a voter, you are much more likely to be influenced by someone you know and face-to-face contact is always stronger than any other. The efforts these activists are undertaking will have some success. It could be a huge success depending upon how much effort is put into the action.
Joe Biden wants to lead. But when has his leadership ever been a good thing? In last week's debate, Bernie Sanders noted the reality of Joe's 'wisdom.'
"Iraq is the biggest foreign policy disaster of at least the past 45 years. Bernie Sanders was completely right about it. Joe Biden was completely wrong. That is something to hammer him over and over again."
The YUGE difference between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden:
Bernie led the fight against the Iraq War.
Biden followed Bush and Cheney. #DemDebate
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders went back and forth on Biden's support for the war in Iraq. n.pr/2UP0CKY
Joe's never shown real leadership. But now, at 76, Joe swears, if you give him a chance, he's finally ready to show leadership.
Yesterday on KPFA's FLASHPOINTS, host Dennis Bernstein and guest Norman Solomon discussed Joe's corporate ties.
On Iraq, Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Zeina Karam (AP) report:
It is wedged between Saudi Arabia to the south and Iran to the east and hosts thousands of U.S. troops on its soil. At the same time, powerful Shiite paramilitary forces linked to Iran pose a growing challenge to the authority of the central government.
As the pressure mounts, divisions within Iraq’s pro-Iranian factions have burst into the open, threatening to collapse a fragile government coalition and end a rare reprieve from the violence that has plagued the country for years.
“Regional challenges facing Iraq will make it even more difficult for Adel Abdel-Mahdi to bring the (militias) under control,” said Randa Slim, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, referring to Iraq’s prime minister.
The divisions among Iran’s Shiite allies in Iraq have been spurred by a spate of airstrikes blamed on Israel that have hit weapons depots and bases belonging to the Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF.
Why isn't Joe asked every day about how to address Iraq? He voted for the war that destroyed the country. That alone should make him responsible for coming up with solutions. He can't stop bragging that Barack Obama tasked him, as vice president, to deal with Iraq. If he wants to brag about that, he needs to be asked about that.
He claims today that Bully Boy Bush tricked him into supporting the Iraq War. Is Bush still tricking him? Is he tricking Joe into silence?
Joe needs to stop his folklore stories and start addressing reality. If the press isn't up to demanding that from him, they just need to admit that they're worthless.
The following sites updated: