Editor’s note: This article includes links to videos with adult language.
Farmington Hills resident Matt Cloonan put the final touches on his latest rap video over the weekend and uploaded it to YouTube on Monday.
By Wednesday, “King of Farmington” had more than 40,000 views and was trending on social media – along with a vigorous argument over whether he was the King of Farmington or of Farmington Hills.
Cloonan, who performs under the name “Clooner”, said he’s really a little of both. A local resident for about 18 years, he attended Gill Elementary and Power Middle School, which are both in Farmington Hills, and graduated from Farmington High School.
“If you live in Farmington Hills, and somebody says, ‘hey, meet me downtown’, our downtown is Farmington,” he said.
Two cities, one community
The social media response “created a divide, almost a civil war between Farmington and Farmington Hills,” Cloonan said. The video is shot mostly around a “Welcome to Farmington Hills” sign (more on that later), but the rest of the locations are in Farmington.
Cloonan, 25, said he wrote the lyrics with a pause between “Farmington” and “Farmington Hills”, because he sees the cities as one community. After all, he said, even the Farmington Community Library buildings in each city share the same books.
“It’s all connected,” he said. “(The cities) may have a different mayor, but it’s all one happy family.”
Anthem for Farmington
A long-time rap fan, Cloonan got into music in high school and started producing videos in 2015. Eventually, he grew to love the art and creativity as a way to express himself.
Of his 30 or so videos, none has gotten as much attention as “King of Farmington”.
“I’ve always wanted to make a Farmington song,” he said. “Because I live here, I wanted to kinda make an anthem for it.”
In the rap world, Cloonan said, Detroit is the place to be. He’d like to see Farmington Hills – and other Detroit suburbs – get some respect as well.
“Detroit’s on the map already,” he said. “Why would you want to be the 50th best (in Detroit) when you can be the best of your city and put your city on the map?”
The social media storm appears to have started with this Twitter post from Detroit native and Huffington Post front page editor Phillip Lewis:
I need someone from Farmington Hills, Michigan to step forward and explain this right now pic.twitter.com/LCVdA46XSB
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 20, 2020
Reactions ranged from this post by Detroit rapper Danny Brown…
This actually slaps!! https://t.co/jmVWiTP3iO
— Danny Brown (@xdannyxbrownx) July 20, 2020
… to this tongue-in-cheek critique.
As a representative on behalf of Farmington Hills, we denounce this atrocity and pass it on to Livonia https://t.co/BxKGiJidBx
— Saed Aabed (@saed_aabed) July 21, 2020
And we’ll give the Mayor of Farmington Hills the last word:
Greens is in Farmington, also. Farmington Hills has Cafe Cortina. I just can’t explain why someone would sit in front of a FH sign and sing about Farmington unless they clearly recognize that our signs are much prettier. Next time he should use our way cool water tower.
— Vicki Barnett (@vickibarnett) July 21, 2020
Here’s the video, produced by Luke Superior, a Farmington native now living in Atlanta, and Adam Shepard.