Rap parody becomes an anthem for Market Basket protesters
By DOUG ALDEN New Hampshire Union Leader
Photos from the ongoing protests against Market Basket's firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas are set to music in the Super Secret Project's new parody video, “Dear Market Basket.”
The Super Secret Project’s Christian Wisecarver, left, and Billy Donohoe. JOHN CALVERT
The Super Secret Project wasn’t sure one of its signature musical parodies would be an appropriate way to step into the battle between Market Basket employees and the corporation.
But once enough fans asked for it, Christian Wisecarver couldn’t stop himself from thinking about potential lyrics, which within a few days became the group’s latest online hit and was quickly adopted by Market Basket employees and supporters during rallies to restore ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
“The sentiment is the star of it,” Wisecarver said of “Dear Market Basket,” a rap that has provided some levity during the ongoing saga that has cost some employees their jobs.
Wisecarver said he came up with a draft last Friday, sent it to partner Billy Donohoe, and by Sunday night they had finished recording it.
Rather than a live-action video, which can take up to a month to produce, the song is accompanied by photos of empty shelves, rallies and other shots of employees and customers holding out for the reinstatement of Demoulas.
They posted the final result on YouTube on Monday. The online hits have reached 43,000 and counting. (To see the video, click here.) “I’m glad that the employees liked it,” said Wisecarver, who lives in Hampstead. “We just wanted to do something that we thought might help the situation and sort of show our solidarity with the Market Basket employees.”
And like all SSP efforts, there’s plenty of laughs strung together in lyrics like “A tisket, a tasket, dear Market Basket, I cannot believe how long your obstinance has lasted.” and “Excuse me if I’m testy — I haven’t eaten in a week.”
“That’s what we do. We make funny videos,” Donohoe said. “If making a funny video can help keep their spirit up, that is 100 percent great.”
The Super Secret Project is actually a trio, including producer Darby DeChristopher. The group had a huge online hit in 2010 with “Granite State of Mind,” a spoof on Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” that features Wisecarver rapping the words to the Robert Frost poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
They’ve been featured on the Tonight Show and the Today Show and have quite the New England following on Facebook, Twitter and their own website, www.thesupersecretproject.com, where there are links to view and download SSP videos.
Although its songs are parodies, the trio takes the work seriously.
“We’re perfectionists when we make our stuff so it takes us a long time to get a project from concept to fruition,” Wisecarver said. They opted for the slideshow approach because they weren’t sure the Market Basket saga would last long enough for them to produce a full video.
“We’ve absolutely been astounded by the attention that it’s gotten,” Donohoe said. “In a funny way, venting our frustrations has given the employees and customers something like an anthem.”