Hip-hop and waffles have history.
Waffle House, the esteemed southern eatery, gets name checked with great regularity. Various locations have witnessed rap-related brawls, and the chain issued a cease and desist on 450lb MC Jelly Roll, whose mixtape “Whiskey, Weed, and Waffle House” misappropriated the famous yellow signage, during the summer of 2013. Waffle love isn’t always reciprocated. Sometimes, waffles are thugs. And, almost always, waffles reveal a person’s true self.
For example, the UK’s latest food meets grime webseries, the “Joe Grind Kaspas Challenge.” Imagine if Adam Richman was interesting (i.e. a rapper), and his gluttony a conduit for real jokes. That’s basically what you’re getting.
The series kicked of on September 11, with namesake Joe Grind (who, to be fair, is pretty much a weed carrier for his more famous brother, Giggs) coaxed by host Aaron Roach Bridgeman to “eat two waffles and two scoops of ice cream in under five minutes and hopefully do it in a time that the next contender cannot beat.”
During the attempt, Bridgeman offers some words about rapper, a biographical sketch of sorts—turning the affair into a bizarre, humanizing profile show. Kaspas, if you’re wondering, is “a chain of exciting new dessert houses that offer the world’s favourite hot and cold desserts under one roof”—and clearly the world’s most innovative branded content developer.
Like the superior “Five Pound Much”—a show based on giving a grime MC a bit of dosh and the relatively simple, but highly individualized task of buying some snacks—the “Joe Grind Kaspas Challenge” succeeds in bringing rappers down to earth. In the most recent episode, watch South Londoner Stormzy’s tough guy façade melt when he is belittled by ice cream’s dreaded brain freeze.
“Listen, I don’t know what devil created you,” Stormzy says, referring to challenge leader Arnold Jorge. “And don’t know what flipping’ depths of hell you were born in, but for you to do this in 1:40 is not right.”
The rules of the challenge are surprisingly civilized: you must use a knife and fork. Even so, contestants regularly note that there mums won’t be proud of them, while the host laughs, along with some unseen camera guy. Ghetts, arguably the most famous MC to appear (episode 6), gives Bridgeman a stern stinkeye when he realizes TWO waffles, not one, is the aim. It’s arguably the best bit of all, and makes us wonder how the hell folks are corralled into the ordeal in the first place.