At rapper MC Renner’s show in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, sources report a new song was performed in hopes of clarifying recent tweets. After performing his single “Dawn of Dopeness”—which clocks in at 2 minutes and 28 seconds—for 10 minutes, Renner launched into his newest song, “The Great White Shark”.
Concertgoers reported that the song was an explanation that MC Renner—white—is not racist, coming on the heels of several troubling tweets launched at singer Seal from Renner’s Twitter, @smokeajrenner. “yo seal,” a tweet from July 30th reads, “y not re name urself blackfish?”
Shaky footage taken on a fan’s phone reveals some of the concerning lyrical content: “And I know I was a Moby Dick/sailing on that racist ship/S.S. Sorry I called you a blackfish/I got these females fishes doing tail-whips.”
Upon going viral, many critics noted that the song calls into question whether MC Renner is racist or just ignorant, even throwing a little unrelated misogyny into the mix. “Shame on you, @smokeajrenner,” one-time fan Martha Stewart tweeted. “ignorance can’t be written away with seafaring lyrical analogies. #fishy”
Other fans rushed to Renner’s defense. “u guys dont get it,” @mackalilmore fired back, “hes telling u hes NOT racist an ur still calling him 1 #smh”.
Another fan pointed out a lyric he thought cleared up Renner’s views on Seal and the African-American community at large: “You think I haven’t watched The Wire/well I haven’t, but I still might.” Renner then adds, “You can’t fight fire with fire/you can’t see my soul, you need a blacklight.” The fan quoted this lyric with the commentary, “would renner use a black lite on his heart if he was rly racist???” To which many African-American and even white tweeters responded, “Yes.”
Around 11:30 p.m., three hours after his concert ended due to Oklahoma’s state law on curfew, MC Renner took to his Twitter to see the response to his newest single. “hows every1 feeling about #greatwhiteshark?” he tweeted, seeing that the hashtag was already trending.
Renner then began a Twitter rant in response to the backlash he received. “Uuuuuuuuuughhhhh,” his first tweet read at 11:37 p.m. “sick of being missunderstood 4 bng an artist. If u guys REALLY new how I felt abt black ppl u would b sick.” After several users tweeted back that these tweets made him sound even more racist, Renner’s tone got angrier. “SRSLY??? Im telling u I ❤ black ppl an all u can do is hate.”
After about 8 minutes of silence, Renner tweeted again at 11:50: “ohhhhhhh I c how that could b taken wrong way. my b.” He then signed off for the evening, stating, “tmrw I will release new NEW single #AHOY (Let Me Explain).” The tweet was later deleted when he did not release “#AHOY,” instead spending much of the next day retweeting videos of footage from Shark Week and one photo from a Cracker Barrel he was at with members of his crew.
A music video for “The Great White Shark” briefly appeared on Vevo before being taken down. The video showed various interracial couples snorkeling and swimming with dolphins and sharks.
This article was written by Ben, who has yet to engage Seal in a Twitter beef but dreams of it nightly.