Tom MacDonald’s “Cancelled” Lyrics Meaning
Tom MacDonald is a rapper who regularly addresses the issue of cancel culture. Cancel culture alludes to a phenomenon in the social-media age whereas public figures receive sometimes career-destroying backlash – in the form of bans, loss of sponsorship and followers – often in the aftermath of making highly-controversial statements or doing something else which is counter-mainstream.
And even if being ‘cancelled’ doesn’t destroy said figure’s career outright, it does often manifest, at the least, in a loss of revenue. Indeed as touched upon in the trivia section, MacDonald has apparently dealt with his own cancellations shortly after this song was released. But as for the lyrics themselves, they are based on Tom basically taunting his haters. He does so by letting them know that even if they wanted to, he “can’t be cancelled”.
Why Tom MacDonald believes he can’t be Cancelled
And him making such a statement isn’t just a case of run-of-the-mill, unsubstantiated braggadocio. Rather he drops some valid facts as to why he feels this way. First is that he’s actually an independent artist. And as such he doesn’t have to worry about being dropped from his label due to negative press (which is what happened to even greater musician, Marilyn Manson, just a couple of days before “Cancelled” came out).
Then he goes on to elaborate that his “hands are clean”. So even if someone went about digging up dirt which could damage his reputation, as far as Tom is concerned there is no dirt to dig up. Rather he gets lambasted due to his personal views, such as allegations of being “in love with Donald Trump”. But since MacDonald is an artist whose shtick, shall we say, is based on being politically incorrect, then he is more than willing to suffer such criticisms. Or rather he is committed to keeping it real with himself as an artist, despite how others may feel.
Along a similar vein, the rapper also points out that he “ain’t [got] no sponsors”, nor does he endorse any brands. Rather he is his own brand. So again he’s not as worried as other celebrities would be in terms of maintaining an image that the masses agree with. Indeed he even goes on to seemingly taunt advertisers and those looking for clickbait by, in the first verse, alluding to the notion that his face, complete with a number of tattoos and piercings, isn’t even marketable.
Tom sings a different Tone
The second verse then takes on a different tone. Here, MacDonald dedicates ample time to touting his lyrical proficiency. In other words, he is poppin’ not because he’s White but because he can rap. Tom also, even throughout the song we can say, takes jabs at other rappers. Who they are exactly isn’t specified, but one does get the feeling that it may be specific persons, in addition to the state of the hip-hop industry in general. For instance, he goes on to imply that rappers being obsessed with riches, which is in fact the norm, is childish. And even in that regard as an insider he knows that many of them aren’t as paid as they portray but are rather faking it.
“Cancelled” is Dual-themed
So in all we can say that this is a dual-themed rap. First and foremost Tom MacDonald is letting it be known that he is not keen on the idea of changing his ways to please anyone. If he wanted to play the same game that other rappers do in the name of becoming rich and famous, he had/has the opportunity to do so. But instead he perceives himself as a “total-focused soldier”, i.e. a musician with a cause. And said cause includes not only staying “woke” himself but also not giving in to the pressures of cancel culture.
Indeed the way he feels is that if someone doesn’t like what he says, they should just “change the channel”. But in terms of actually trying to cancel him, such is an act of futility.
And as somewhat of an after note, MacDonald wants the world to know that he is verily a top-of-the-notch emcee. In fact he goes on to compare himself to some of the all-time greats, i.e. Biggie, Eminem and Tupac, in that regard.
Quick Facts about “Cancelled”
This song came out on 5 February 2021 via, according to SoundCloud and other sites, a label called 666 Records. There is also an official music video to “Cancelled”, which Tom uploaded onto YouTube on that same date.
About a week before this song came out, Tom dropped a track entitled “Fake Woke” which did in fact end up being cancelled. In other words, it was temporarily removed by Apple Music and iTunes, even after achieving number one status on the latter platform.
According to Tom, this mishap was due to “an internal error on (his) part”, and the removal of the controversial track was “not a censorship thing”. That would not explain why the song had concurrently disappeared from Amazon Music. But anyway “Fake Woke” did eventually reappear on both Apple sites as well as apparently on Amazon.
Tom MacDonald wrote as well as produced “Cancelled”.