In an age where Rick Ross appears in Bon Appétit and Action Bronson pens tales about blowfish binges at Morimoto for Grubstreet, it’s safe to say that food-rap has gone mainstream. Just like the sneaker fanatics who played out their rewind buttons hunting for shoutouts to their favorite kicks, there’s now a new wave of hip-hop fans who go just as crazy for a reference to abalone or lamb breast.
Of course, talking about grubbing on wax is nothing new—in fact, it’s as old as the genre itself. Even the foundational hip-hop record “Rapper’s Delight” by Sugarhill Gang devotes a verse to dining (“Have you ever went over a friends house to eat / And the food just ain’t no good?”), and few lines are as heavily quoted as Rakim’s “thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me.”
But while it’s easy to drop a clever couplet about food from time to time (we’re looking at you, Fabolous), it takes dedication to return to the subject frequently, exploring its nuances and crafting a body of work that says something about the American culinary experience.
Here, we celebrate the MCs who have made food their muse, and who have shown consistency, obsessiveness, or unusual flair in their gastronomic rhymes.
This is the Food-Rap Hall of Fame. Grab a snack, crank the speakers, and let’s begin.