• Detroit spent $400,000 on a new Hollywood-style sign as it hosts the NFL Draft.
  • Detroit views the NFL Draft as a chance to showcase its recovery after years of financial trouble.
  • Residents have widely mocked the sign and at least one rapper made it the subject of a diss track.

"All I want to know is now much we paid for this?" Detroit rapper Gmac Cash asks in his new single, "Detroit Sign."

The answer: About $400,000.

Jessica Parker, the city's deputy chief operations officer, told The Detroit Free Press that the installation of the sign is one of several infrastructure improvements planned ahead of the NFL Draft, which is set to take place in Detroit at the end of the month.

Before the city installed the sign, Parker told the outlet it would look "like the Hollywood sign, but smaller."

Cash disagrees.

"I thought our sign was going to look like Hollywood," Cash raps. "That's probably why they put this bitch right by the hood."

Cash's new song — in which he says the sign looks like "Times New Roman" — attracted more than 1 million views on TikTok in just one day.

Cash, a local Detroit rapper, has several songs about landmark attractions in the city, usually with a comedic spin. In 2022, he performed his song "Giant Slide" on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the city's giant metal slide briefly closed following safety complaints.

"This new slide you got to take a Tylenol to get on. If your kids gettin' on your nerves, make em get on," he raps in the song's chorus.

Parker said the city spent $400,000 of city funds to pay Fairmount Sign Company, which is based in Detroit, for the sign, the Free Press reported. The sign's letters stand at eight feet tall and sit on two-foot concrete blocks, according to the city.

In 2013, Detroit filed the largest ever Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy, defaulting on more than $600 million in loans. The bankruptcy filing erased about $7 billion worth of debt, and the city's financial situation has since improved.

In March, Moody's, a credit ratings research agency, upgraded the city's municipal bonds to investment grade for the first time since 2009.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan previously told Business Insider he hopes hosting the NFL Draft will show people how far the city has come since he took office in 2014.

"The last time the country paid attention to Detroit was 10 years ago when we were in bankruptcy," Duggan told BI. "Those images of streetlights being out, police not showing up, and blighted communities have stuck in many people's minds."

"We see the draft as a chance to reintroduce Detroit to America and the world," Duggan added.

Fairmont Sign Company did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider.

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