Detroit rapper Gmac Cash pays tribute to Gov. Whitmer with 'Big Gretch'

Rapper launches GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Cartier sunglasses for Whitmer

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer now has her own theme song, and if Detroit rapper Gmac Cash has his way, she'll soon have her own pair of Buffs, too.

Gmac Cash released his ode to Whitmer, titled "Big Gretch," over the weekend. In two days it has racked up more than 124,000 plays on YouTube, and is looking like another viral success for the rapper, who scored an early pandemic hit with "Coronavirus," which was released in March and has surpassed 3.2 million hits on YouTube.

Gmac Cash's "Big Gretch" is a hip-hop ode to Gretchen Whitmer.

In the song, Gmac praises Whitmer's leadership during the COVID-19 shutdown ("if you want to leave the state you can stay gone, but right now Big Gretch says stay home," he raps) and refers to her as "Big Gretch," the nickname she's recently earned in Detroit and on social media.

Gmac works fast; he wrote, recorded and released "Big Gretch" on Saturday. And he's not surprised by the immediate reaction. "It's catching on in a big way," says the rapper, whose real name is Gerald Allen. "It's a big situation all around, so why not do a song about it?" 

In the song, Gmac dismisses the recent protests in Lansing as "irrelevant" and backs the governor in her spat with President Donald Trump, and says Whitmer is doing her best to keep Michigan safe during the coronavirus health crisis.

And he's embracing the governor with open arms — virtually, and from a safe social distance, at least. 

"Big Gretch got 'em shook now," Gmac says, "when it's all over, you invited to the cookout." 

Whitmer, responding to the song on Twitter, thanked Gmac.

"This is too much. Love the nickname. Love the song. See you at the cookout, @GmacCash. Until then, Big Gretch says stay home and stay safe!" 

In the chorus, Gmac advocates for a pair of Buffs — buffalo horn sunglasses from Cartier, a popular sign of respect from Detroiters — for the governor. "Throw the Buffs on her face, cuz that's Big Gretch," Gmac raps, referencing recent memes that show Photoshopped images of Whitmer sporting the prestigious glasses.  

And he's doing his part to secure a pair of those Buffs for Whitmer. He launched a GoFundMe on Sunday to raise $2,500 for the glasses; in 14 hours, more than $900 has been secured. He expects to hit the fundraising goal by Monday's end, and hopes to be able to deliver her the sunglasses as a gift from Detroit. 

The 27-year-old says he's been getting some negative comments in comments on the song which, given the political nature of the song, he expected.

"It's 'what about this, what about this-and-that she did,'" he says. "I think she's a great leader, and nobody's perfect. Nobody we get in office is going to be 100 percent perfect with every person. So honestly, I agree with her on the stay-at-home situation, and that's pretty much what this song is about."

In recent years, Gmac has done songs about Popeye's chicken ("First Day at Popeyes"), Michigan's weather ("Snow") and other songs derived from topical, local material; last summer he hit with "We on the Lodge Wit It" after video of motorists shutting down the Lodge freeway spread online. He delivers songs with a humorous slant he derived from his early fandom of "Weird" Al Yankovic. 

With "Coronavirus" and "Big Gretch," he's pleased to be spreading a positive message through music at a time when people can use it. 

"The thing I'm most proud of is I'm not talking about violence or anything degrading, but just telling people to stay at home," he says. "Both of these songs are basically saying stay at home."