McDonald's Robber Is Finalist For McDonald's Jingle Contest

Perhaps in attempt to restore his McDonald’s karma, a man who once held up a McDonald’s at gunpoint is now one of two South Florida finalists in a McDonald’s jingle contest. Tamien Bain, age 29, held up a McDonald’s store when was 14 and served 12 years for the crime. Want to hear his jingle?

Go to this Myspace link and select track 4. Winners will be announced on July, 22nd.

The SunSentinel article says,

Bain said he told contest officials up front about his past experience with the fast-food chain. Being a finalist has brought his life with McDonald’s full circle.

On Memorial Day 1994, Bain and two other young men were thinking of robbing a bank, when they decided at the last minute to hold up a Miami McDonald’s instead.

No shots were fired during the robbery. But Bain, the youngest of the three defendants, was caught on the spot and later charged as an adult.

“The law at that time was very tough, especially in regard to juveniles,” said state Rep. Maria Sachs, D- Delray Beach, who at the time was Bain’s defense lawyer.

In prison, however, Bain channeled his energy into his music. His talent for stringing lyrics together won him numerous prizes in prison talent shows, he said.

We wish good luck to Bain, we guess? Perhaps there is some sort of full circle thing going on, because now he is trying to make McDonald’s money instead of stealing from them.

McDonald’s robber is finalist in jingle contest — for McDonald’s [SunSentinel]


Edit Your Comment

  1. AMetamorphosis says:

    Why should this thug be rewarded when he is a thief?
    Of course, he is a good reflection of the average McDonalds employee so perhaps he should win …

  2. hypnotik_jello says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Uh, did you miss the part where he already served 12 years in prison?

  3. TMMadman says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Perhaps because he has served his time in prison. Why shouldn’t he have a chance to prove that his prison time has changed him as a person?

  4. EarlNowak says:

    …because he made a mistake as a teenager, paid his debt to society,
    and is presumably on the straight and narrow? Good for him.

  5. Nogard13 says:

    He paid his debt to society by serving his 12 years in jail. Why should he be penalized anymore than he already has?

    As far as I’m concerned, his debt to society has been wiped clean and he’s just as entitled to compete in this competition as you or anyone else.

  6. jst07 says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Perhaps because hes actually trying to do something with his life now other than hold up McDonalds? The kid was 14 when this happened and just made a very very bad choice. I can’t say too much since I dont personally know him, but if hes trying to clean up his life, all the power to him.

  7. smythe says:

    @AMetamorphosis: How much maturing did you do from age 14 to 26? Now imagine that time in PRISON! A person can change especially at such a young age and in those conditions.

    I say congratulations Bain for getting his life on track and hope he can make a career out of his lyrical talents.

  8. snoop-blog says:

    It doesn’t help much that he told McDonalds that he better win, or else….

  9. jamesdenver says:

    I’ll know I’ll be chastised for sounding like a feel-good liberal for saying this, but

    1. Why was a 14 year old charge as an adult?

    2. 12 years seems REALLY excessive for a hold up.

    3. What kind of prison did he serve time in? If this was a real mens prison rather than a reformatory type school I’m shocked he actually came out better rather than worse…

  10. jamesdenver says:


    My thoughts exactly.

  11. Parting says:

    12 years in prison? For an attmepted robbery where no one was hut, while being 14? Wow, USA’s sytem is fucked up. In this case it would be fair that Enron’s executives would spend 1000 years in prison, they were adult AND screwed thousands of lives.

  12. magnus150 says:

    @AMetamorphosis: He isn’t a thug anymore apparently. He has the right to compete as does anyone else. He seems pretty good at music, but I don’t listen to that particular genre, so I can’t say much.

  13. mariospants says:

    WOW, 12 years is a SERIOUS sentence for a 14-year old. Frankly, I’m surprised that he didn’t come out of the system completely messed up. Still, the picture (is that supposed to be him?) certainly doesn’t instill much hope that the prison system is reforming robbers into ivy-league white collar research assistants…

  14. shorty63136 says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Your comments are the EXACT reason the prison system rarely, RARELY works. People screw up (YES, he screwed up), go in, do their time, have little to no rehabilitation, and then come out doing the same thing because nobody gives them the CHANCE to do better.

    This man CLEARLY took heed to rehabilitation or punishment and decided to get his life together after paying the debt that society – which means a group of his peers, people like you – said he should pay. What more do you want him to do???

    I hope he wins and THEN gets a nice $50,000/year job at an advertising agency writing jingles and slogans for other companies. Good luck to him!

  15. Puck says:

    Yeah, he got dicked in the first place by the horrendous US court system, i’m actually happy for the guy and rooting for him. I could care less about the jingle, I just hope that it all turns out well for him from here on out.

  16. incognit000 says:

    I can’t decide if they’re trying to reach out to the urban poor by choosing one of them as a spokesperson or if they’re hoping the “scandal” of using someone who held up one of your restaraunts as a frontman will make them look “edgy.”

    In either case I wouldn’t eat there if you paid me. The food is horrid and badly prepared.

  17. Sidecutter says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Are you serious? The man made a mistake. As a teenager no less. yeah, his mistake was of a more serious nature than most teenagers, but I bet you did something pretty dumb around that age too. The man served his time for what he did, developed a skill too. He lost most of his adolesence and early adulthood to being in prison for what he did, and came out, apparantly, as a productive member of society, instead of some idiot gangbanger returning to the same life of crime.

    Why should he NOT be allowed to have the same chance to win?

  18. shorty63136 says:

    @Sidecutter: Oooh, boy. Idiot things done as a teenager. Shhh…let’s leave that back where it belongs. lol

    Great points, nonetheless.

  19. trinidon2k says:

    The more money McD’s makes, the more he could steal from them.

  20. bria says:

    I bet the harsh sentence had something to do with his race.

  21. SexierThanJesus says:

    He paid his debt to society. I see no issue with this. I grew up in a crappy town and did some things I’m not too proud of either….good for him.

  22. cyclade says:

    “Ba-ba-ba-ba-baaah, I’m thuggin’ it!”

  23. ekthesy says:

    If he wants to be taken seriously as a rapper, he’s got to start wearing those keys around his neck and saying he’s got this competition “ON LOCK”

  24. The_Gas_Man says:

    “prison talent shows”
    Did that line make anyone else laugh?

  25. Tmoney02 says:

    @ekthesy: Brilliant! You should see if he needs a manager!

  26. @cyclade: I’m sorry, but that made me chuckle.

  27. Shadowman615 says:

    I wonder if a white 14-year-old kid from the suburbs would have gotten the same sentence. I’m not trying to make any accusations or political statements here, I’m just wondering…

  28. DoubleEcho says:

    @mariospants: Just imagine if they decided to rob the bank – That would be federal charges, correct? I’m willing to bet he’d get more than 12 years (if the same zeal was shown towards juvenile offenders in that crime too).

  29. dianabanana says:

    12 years is pretty bad. But he probably did hold a loaded gun to someone, with the intent to harm. I also think he’s done his debt to society and wish him the best. I’m sure everyone’s made some bad decisions at 14.

  30. snoop-blog says:

    I’m cracking up that everybody refer’s to an armed robbery as a “bad decision” and are comparing it to the stupid things they did which were probably not even misdemeanors. He held up a frikin mcdonalds! You know where families with their kids go to for a happy meal? White or black he deserved all 12 years. And at 14 it’s not like he had kids he was trying to feed by robbery, it was just straight up wreckless greed. Yeah he paid his dues in jail and I don’t hold it against him, but you do the crime, you pay the time.

  31. tom2133 says:

    da da da da da… I’m robbin’ it…

  32. donkeyjote says:
  33. Puck says:


    There’s been a few of these, they’re pretty damned amusing

  34. poetry1mind says:

    This is interesting. So many things to look at. I don’t understand how a teenager can serve over 10 years in prison. Especially when there was no shots fired. Of course I am not saying that he deserved a trip to Disney Land but at that age if you didn’t kill or harm anyone, you shouldn’t have to spend 10 years in prison.

  35. Dabigkid says:

    Every contest in life is not a morality contest, guys. This is a competition about making the best song, not feeding the most kids in Africa. Good for him if he made a good song, regardless of whether he is or was an asshole.

  36. Valhawk says:

    Twelve years for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon does not seem excessive to me. If someone holds me up at gunpoint I hope they get at least 12 years.

  37. ChuckECheese says:

    Wasn’t this story on Oprah already? I remember because underneath the audience chairs, Oprah put Big Macs and chocolate milkshakes.

  38. Superawesomerad says:

    @Valhawk: Where are you seeing an assault charge?

    Also, I think it would behoove each of us to think of the retarded shit we did when we were 14 – and yes, every single one of us did retarded shit. Maybe not armed robbery, but certainly nothing we’d like to be held accountable for now.

  39. Crazytree says:

    I think this is a great story.

    He repaid his debt to society… and now is making a positive contribution.

    This is a wonderful success story… as long as he stays off the crack.

  40. snoop-blog says:

    since when does retarded shit I did at 14 = armed robbery? I’d like you to not include me in this same catagory thank you. The duby’s I smoked and beer I drank at 14 does not equal armed robbery. sneaking out of the house =/= armed robbery. Stealing candy from the gas station =/= armed robbery. skipping school =/= armed robbery. Yeah infact there’s such a thing called statute of limitations and ALL of the stupid shit I did at 14, would by far be beyond those limitations, as opposed to ARMED ROBBERY, which has no statute of limitation.

  41. @Victo:

    12 years in prison? For an attmepted robbery where no one was hut, while being 14? Wow, USA’s sytem is fucked up.

    What’s with all the USA hate from Consumerist posters today?

    It’s not that big of a deal – I just think people forget that the US lives in the biggest Glass House in the world. It’s annoying when all other countries want to do sometimes is throw stones, ignoring the US leading the world in foreign aid, disaster aid, providing a huge percentage of the UN’s military force, etc.

    But back to the article – good for McDonalds for giving the kid another chance, and here’s hoping he’s learned to make better decisions!

  42. duetoprivacy says:

    @bria: I thought the same thing, you can tell we are seasoned readers of another Gawker site…

  43. @InfiniTrent: That got formatted wrong.

  44. Superawesomerad says:

    @snoop-blog: If you bothered to read my post you would have noticed that I didn’t place armed robbery in the same category as most stupid shit 14-year-olds do. However, it still arises from the same impulsiveness and inability to grasp consequences that every 14-year-old possesses.

    Also, it’s spelled “doobie”.

  45. snoop-blog says:

    @Superawesomerad: well my comment wasn’t directed at you alone, and I guess maybe I smoked too many of them to remember how it’s spelled. Either way, I just think it’s a suitable punishment for the crime. I don’t think it had to do with him being black, in fact if he was mexican he would have got the same punishment- okay a bad attempt at an even worse joke…

  46. Sh3rpa says:

    @ ametamorphosis

    perhaps, he experienced a metamorphosis during his 14 or whatever years in the klink, beginning at 14, while you were developing that keen intellect that enables you to make such asinine, entitlement riddled statements?

  47. donkeyjote says:

    @ChuckECheese: The recession has even hit Oprah’s show :/

  48. corbyz says:

    Holy crap… TWELVE YEARS for a robbery? For someone who was only 14 at the time? He probably could have been set on the right track at that age. 12 years is just a court’s way of guaranteeing the criminal has no chance of a decent life. I mean, did he kill someone or something? (No, it says no shots were fired) 12 years for trying to steal however much money is inside a McDonalds?

    Laws run amok.

  49. Mr.SithNinja says:

    12 years at 14 years old and he never shot anyone??? There are murder cases that end with the killer getting a lot less than that. I guess coming from a nation that used to hang people for stealing a horse or cattle, I shouldn’t be surprised. Our Leagal system just plain sucks. If you are poor you get 12 years for robbing a McDs. If you can afford proper representation you can get away with anything from stealing millions from a corperation to murder.

    Anyway, big ups to him whether he wins or loses and keeps striaght.

  50. lingum says:

    I hope he was ravaged in prison.

  51. ChuckECheese says:


    He probably could have been set on the right track at that age.

    Yes, somebody should have wagged their finger at him and said, “Do you hear me? No more armed robberies!” And “I don’t care what caps you think you’re going to pop where, but mister, guns are not toys!”

    Leave your DVD collection out of this discussion.

    You gotta admit that McD’s is going to be troubled if this guy wins. You don’t want people who tried to rob you becoming spokesthugs, even if reformed.

  52. bwcbwc says:

    @jamesdenver: 1) It’s Florida. Not sure of the exact ranking, but Florida is way near the top of US States sentencing teenagers as adults. Nathaniel Brazil was originally sentenced to life after battering another kid to death as a 12 year old. (On the other hand, that sentence was overturned, and he’s back in jail for other crimes and parole violation now)
    2) Mandatory sentencing guideline when a gun is used in a crime (10-20-life for first/second/third offense).
    3) Not sure about where he served.

    Somehow, I don’t think Mickey D’s will actually pick him as the winner of this contest, regardless of jingliness of the jingle.