On the very first recorded rap song, “Rapper’s Delight,” Wonder Mike of the Sugarhill Gang delivered an extended rant against the terrible-tasting chicken that a friend had cooked up for dinner. Since then, hip-hop has often had a symbiotic relationship with the world of food. From the food raps of Action Bronson to the refined food blogging of Bun B, rappers like to eat both figuratively and often literally.
In recent times, there is a growing trend of rap-related cookbooks that seem to have been hitting the market. Rappers and authors have been trying to tie the world of hip-hop with the world of cooking in various, different manners for years now. On an appearance on SiriusXM’s Food Talk, Queens rapper Ja Rule declared his intentions to write a cookbook of microwaveable recipes based on his experiences in prison.
Regardless if the book is ever published, it would hardly be the first cookbook to tie rap with food. XXL is looking back today at 5 hip-hop cookbooks that have been published in recent times.
Cookin’ With Coolio
In 2008, eternally-braided rapper Coolio set his eyes on the world of fine cuisine. Based on his experiences of cooking 30-minute meals dating back to when he was ten-years old, Coolio released Cookin’ With Coolio: 5 Star Meals At 1 Star Prices, with publisher Atria Paperback. The book showcased Coolio’s cooking-style that the Cali rapper dubbed “ghetto gourmet.” Imaginatively titled meals such as “Soul Rolls,” “Pasta Like A Rasta,” and ”Finger-Lickin’, Rib-Stickin’, Fall-Off-the-Bone-and-into-Your-Mouth Chicken” were amongst the recipes, proving that sometimes it takes a thief to cook a good meal.
2 Chainz’ #MEal Time
As promotion for his latest album, B.O.A.T.S II: #Me Time, ATL rapper 2 Chainz paired a deluxe copy of his new album with a rather off-beat extra, a cookbook. Dubbed #MEal Time, Chainz offered healthy gourmet recipes that his personal chef, Chef Aleem, prepares for him to eat while on the road. Recipes include such fare as “Shrimp Scampi,” “Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa,” “Chicken Marsala,” and “Herb-Crusted Lamb Rib Chops” for a delectable, culinary experience, 2 Chainz-style.
The Hip Hop Cookbook: Four Elements Cooking
Compiled by Cutmaster GB, The Hip Hop Cookbook: Four Elements Cooking, collects recipes from some of hip-hop’s most seminal, pioneering figures from all four of hip-hop’s core elements: DJing, rapping, graffiti, and breakdancing. Culinary contributors to the book include Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster D.ST, DJ Static and Crazy Legs of the legendary Rock Steady Crew.
Released in 1998, Rappers’ Delights: African-American Cookin’ With Soul was written by author Al Pereira that attempts to bring hip-hop culture to the kitchen. Recipes include Queen Latifah’s “Royal Turkey Cutlets” and Flavor Flav’s “Rice Pilaf” to Patra’s “Island Snapper.” The book is probably best known for the extreme brevity of the recipes, best exemplified by the directions by Flav’s recipe: “ A bag of rice and all your favorite sh*t.”
Bon Rappetite: The Cookbook
Spinning off from a popular hip-hop-based food blog, Bon Rappetite: The Cookbook, is a book written by hip-hop and food aficionados Everett Steele and Bunny Mcintosh. The book has a bevy of recipes titled with a bevy of hip-hop-themed puns including “Roastface Killah,” “Big Boi-led Shrimp” and “Waka Flocka Flambé.”
Action Bronson And Mario Batali Are Working On A Cookbook
Action Bronson is working on a “visual cookbook” alongside cooks Mario Batali, Michael White, and Michael Voltaggio. The dishes will play off his new album Mr. Wonderful, which you can stream now here.