I like Hawkeye. The Marvel cinematic universe is dominated by superheroes that include a cryogenically frozen super soldier, a billionaire arms dealer, the literal God of Thunder, and a hot purple alien who can bend space, time, and reality. Then there’s Hawkeye. He has no powers. He’s the one who brought a bow and arrow to an Infinity Stone fight. Hawkeye is just a guy doing his best. He is my favorite Avenger.
For obvious reasons, I keep these thoughts to myself. Bottled. But as Hawkeye became more and more prominently featured in the trailers for Avengers: Endgame earlier this year, I felt a renewed wonder about whether there were more people out there who kept this fandom to themselves. So I was intrigued when I learned that the actor who plays Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner, had an app. I didn’t know why it existed. I definitely didn’t know that the app was controversial. But I did know I wanted a safe space to enjoy Hawkeye without being publicly shamed, so I downloaded it.
This is the loading screen for the Jeremy Renner app.
In retrospect, this was the first red flag. The second is that the app is called “Jeremy Renner.” Not “Jeremy Renner Official.” Not “The Jeremy Renner Fan Experience.” Just “Jeremy Renner.” So the first time you use the app, you get the following notification.
I clicked “OK.”
Next I had to register my username. I took a shot in the dark and typed in “Hawkeye,” though I was sure it had already been taken. Astonishingly, it had not. This is how I became Hawkeye on the Jeremy Renner app. It was the happiest I have felt in some time.
At first, I thought claiming the Hawkeye username was a triumph. In retrospect, the name’s availability was the first clue that the Jeremy Renner app is not for people who like Hawkeye. The Jeremy Renner app is for people who like Jeremy Renner. A lot. If you want to know what the Jeremy Renner app is like, imagine Facebook’s layout from a decade ago, but if every post on your newsfeed was about Jeremy Renner. The home feed is where Jeremy posts about Jeremy. The fan feed is where fans post about Jeremy. The fanboard ranks the people by how much they talk about Jeremy (I am 290th). The music option is where you can listen to whatever Jeremy is listening to at that moment in time, but only in 30 second snippets because they don’t have the rights to the songs.
The Jeremy Renner app is the first place I heard of Renner’s budding music career. On Friday, Jeremy (on the app, we call him Jeremy) released two songs on streaming platforms. One is a cover of “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals. The other is called “Heaven (Don’t Have a Name).”
To the outside world, this was a bemusing and befuddling moment. The guy who played Hawkeye is pivoting to music? Multiple outlets blogged about the strange news. But those of us on the Jeremy Renner app have known about his music career for months. He sang the closing credits of the movie Tag (the one where he broke both of his arms filming so they had to CGI them in).
(Before you ask, yes, you can purchase that song on Amazon.)
Renner first performed “Heaven” at the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas in September.
(The title of that video, posted from Renner’s official YouTube account, spells his name “Jermey.”)
Jermey’s new song uses the same lyrics for the track he recorded for Sam Feldt in October, and they are as confusing as ever. Here are the lyrics to the beginning of the song (according to Genius) with some annotations when questions naturally arise.
She’s got the voodoo that’ll make you believe
Oh, she tastes like lipstick and Tanqueray
Tanqueray is disgusting. Gin is for cleaning bathtubs, not human consumption. I cannot think of a meaner thing to say to someone after kissing them than, “You taste like gin.” Also, why does she taste like lipstick? How does Jeremy Renner kiss? How much lip-licking is going on here?
All I remember is she grew up in Atlanta
But she moved to the Bay
An uptown beauty you could never escape
Heaven don’t have a name
There is no “uptown” in Atlanta. There is certainly no “uptown” in the Bay Area. Perhaps they were listening to Billy Joel.
She keeps it old school
Feels like rock ’n’ roll, but got that new groove
So unpredictable, I gotta tell you, I’ll never be the same
You’d think someone this impactful would be more memorable.
I know she keeps it old school
Throws on “Billie Jean” ’cause she ain’t no fool
She could be my beauty queen
I gotta tell you, I’ll never be the same
’Cause heaven don’t have a name
Heaven don’t have a name
Heaven does have a name. It’s called “heaven.” Like Atlanta and the Bay, we can be reasonably confident it does not have an uptown.
I hear they call her danger, she’s looking for a cheap shot
Nobody has been unironically called “danger.” Not once. It has never happened.
She’ll always be a stranger dancing to the jukebox
Maybe Jeremy’s memory about this night is fuzzy because it happened so long ago that there was a jukebox involved.
You can make your own judgments on the song, and people on social media will surely be harsh. But on the Jeremy Renner app, it has already been decided—both singles are smash hits.
As my colleague Kate Knibbs reported two years ago, whether these accounts belong to devoted fans or app administrators creating an echo chamber of Renner love is unclear. If it is the latter, they have succeeded. If it’s the former, I have joined a cult devoted to the poor man’s Mark Wahlberg. But while people on social media make fun of Renner for his pivot to music, the good people of the Jeremy Renner app will see him as I do: just a guy doing his best.