Exclusive: David Chang Talks About “The Future of Food,” His Feature on Deltron’s New Album

In true boss form, he doesn't rap but just talks a bunch of shit on wax.

Photo: Gabriele Stabile

Photo: Gabriele Stabile

Earlier, we caught wind of the track list for the forthcoming Deltron 3030 album, Event II, and experienced a major food-and-rap-nerd mindfuck upon reading that Momofuku’s David Chang is featured on a track called “The Future of Food.” What the hell could that be about? we thought. Does Chang actually spit a verse? Is he, like, the next Action Bronson, but with even more culinary cred?

There was only one way to find out, so we called up Chang to get the behind-the-music treatment on this left-field collabo. Here’s what he had to say:

Interview by Chris Schonberger (@cschonberger)

How did this come about? I know one of your recipes was part of the Positive Contact collaboration that Dogfish Head did last year, but I was never sure if the chefs were actually involved in working with the artists on that.
Dan [the Automator] was one of the first customers of Noodle Bar—he’s been coming to Noodle Bar for like nine years. It turned out we had a bunch of mutual friends, but I never said anything to him until someone introduced us. And then he would just come in and I’d cook for him all the time, and we sort of hit it off from there. Every time I’m in San Francisco Dan takes me out to eat, and we’ve just become fast friends over the years.

One day several months ago—maybe winter or late fall—he was like, “Hey, do you want to go out out.” He lives in the East Village so I said sure, and then he was like, “Do you want to go into the studio? Do you want to say something ridiculous about food?” So I’m like, okay, and we did it and he played it back… [Laughs] I don’t even remember what I said—it was so ridiculous, I thought it was not nearly as good as what I’d heard from some of the other people on the album.

The Joseph Gordon-Levitt track is going around and it’s pretty poetic. You’re saying yours isn’t like that?
Mine is not unmemorable, but so bizarro-weird for me that I don’t remember what I said.

Were you in a coherent state when you did it?
I was in a coherent state, but I remember telling Dan I wish I was not in a coherent state.

Any recollection at all of what you touched on? I know the track is called “The Future of Food”…
[Laughs] It really is me just riffing on the future of food and Dan putting music to it.

I was in a coherent state, but I remember telling Dan I wish I was not in a coherent state.

So when you hear it on the album, it’ll be the first time you’ve heard it since you recorded it.
Yeah—and I’m probably not going to want to hear it…. Put it this way: I don’t want my track to be the one that ruins the album. [Laughs.] People can just skip over it quickly.

Are you a fan of Deltron 3030?
Absolutely. We play Dan’s stuff a lot at the restaurants. I don’t think people even realize how many albums Dan’s produced over the years—we play his stuff all the time, but Deltron for sure. That last album is awesome, and it’s funny that it came out that long ago.

Now that you’ve done this, do you think could become a sort of culinary DJ Khaled or Diddy figure who just talks shit on people’s records?
Man, I don’t even know—I’ll only do it if Dan wants me to do it.

Well, I can’t wait to hear it. And I guess you can’t wait to hear it, too?
[Laughs] Again, I don’t know what happened. I know it sounds funny, and it was supposed to be funny—I’m not rapping, I’m just talking and Dan does his thing.

Did he prompt you at all in the studio?
No… I mean, he’s a producer, so he just told me, “Why don’t you talk about this? Why don’t you talk about that? What about this?”

But specifically about the future, right, since that’s sort of Deltron’s running motif?
Yeah, specifically about the future. I definitely heard some other funny bits [from the album]—obviously David Cross’ bit is insanely funny. That was tough, because I heard his stuff before I went on and I was like, What the fuck, man? I’m not a goddamn comedian!

Yeah, you don’t want to have to follow a guy like that. Anyway, you should do an event where Del performs at the restaurant, it would be awesome.
If he wants to, I’m game.

 

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