The Most Scathing Diss Track Of 2024 Is About Detroit Architecture

Rap’s hottest beef right now isn’t Kendrick Lamar dissing Drake and J. Cole on “Like That,” or J. Cole dissing Kendrick on his song “7 Minute Drill” (before immediately apologizing), or City Girls’ JT throwing shots at her fellow group member Yung Miami (or not, depending on which one of the two you ask). It’s a feud between a Detroit rapper named Gmac Cash and his city’s newest architectural landmark.

Some context: Last week, the city of Detroit installed a budget-looking sign on I-94 that spells out its name in mint-green lettering reminiscent of chewing-gum packaging. The local reaction to it has been, to put it gently, unimpressed. So Gmac, who has a history of writing songs referencing extremely specific local phenomena, took it upon himself to be the voice the people needed by dropping the most scathing diss record of the year, the instantly viral “Detroit Sign.”

“They done ordered us a sign off fucking Wish,” he says near the top of the track, merely setting the table for the evisceration to come. Other disses include “Thought we was about to get some shit, they really just ho’ed us / Then gave us a sign in Times New Roman” and “We must have got these letters on a discount, the wind blow too hard, fuck around and knock this shit down.”

The inspiration for the song, which Gmac tells Vulture took him about five minutes to write, came from the rapper’s desire “to be different from every other artist in the city.” So far, it’s working. Locals appear to agree with his take about the sign’s underwhelming appearance, while others are “waiting on the sign to respond” with a diss track of its own. (If it inexplicably does, Gmac has more in the chamber, including a line he didn’t use in the original song about how the sign looks like the one for Dollar Tree.)

This isn’t the first time Gmac has tussled with a Detroit hallmark. His 2022 single “Giant Slide” took aim at a notoriously unsafe amusement-park attraction, and a 2019 song called “Potholes” threw barbs at the city’s poor road maintenance (“Fuck around and drop your burger if you trying to eat / Fuck around and spill your water if you trying to drink / Fuck around and bump your head just for trying to think.”) Gmac notes that the songs are just for fun and agrees he could always call up Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer if he wants to lobby for change more seriously.

In the meantime, though, he is enjoying the success of “Detroit Sign” — and has no plans to pull a J. Cole. As he puts it, “I can’t apologize about no sign.”

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