After 5th Ward Weebie's song "Let Me Find Out" — featuring tributes to both Wing Snack and Manchu — became a hit this summer, I started a personal quest for some of New Orleans' best food references in rap.
Below are five New Orleans rappers committed to cuisine:
1. "Mr. Ice Cream Man" by Master P
This track — which starts out with a tinkling ice cream truck jingle — isn't really about the sweet treat, but Master P's metaphor runs deep, even getting in a Baskin Robbins reference (I got half gallons of milk, fool/I got 31 flavors). The sultry refrain (Before you jump in the game, let's get one thing understood/If you sellin' that ice cream ya got to make sure it's good) grounds the track in serious — slightly ominous — slow jam territory.
2. "Light Snacks" by Curren$y
Curren$y is perhaps New Orleans' most culinary rapper, with a Twitter and Instagram feed full of chatter about everything from Lemonheads to his love of angel hair pasta. In "Light Snacks" the rapper shows off his highbrow culinary leanings, with an ode to the lady/ladies who keep him grounded (A lime to a lemon/My Jetset women), followed by a humblebrag about all his fancy snacking (I be on tour with him you should come along with us/Champagne, flutes, cheese, crepes, and fruit).
3. "Southern Comfort (On and On)" by Big Mike
While New Orleans native Big Mike might have been more associated with the Houston rap scene, he pontificated about his New Orleans roots in a late-90s track featuring (future rap-meets-food wonder) Mystikal. Mike described an ideal New Orleans day (I got these women ballin'/Shrimp and crawfish by the Lakefront/Five gallons of daiquiri/Grilled steaks and b*****) followed by Mystikal holding it down for his culinary roots (I was born and raised in New Orleans, I grew up on second lining and gumbo, red beans).
4. "Here I Go" by Mystikal
We all know by now that Mystikal has very strong feelings about salt in his pancakes, having told Elsa Hahne in her 2013 book, The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians, "Salt? Hell no! Get out of my kitchen. Scram! No, we’re going sweet. Who wants salty pancakes? Just the thought." Mystikal has also dropped some fine food-heavy tracks, including "Here I Go" in which he references chicken noodle soup (My lifestyle is rural, I'll hit on ya poodle/After disaster, have ya sippin' on chicken noodle) and gumbo (Get in da' line like a conga, plastic like plumbin'/Spicy like gumbo, y'all mother******* ain't ready).
5. "6 foot, 7 foot" by Lil' Wayne
While New Orleans' love-hate relationship with Hollygrove's native son seems to be an ongoing saga, Lil' Tunechi is a fine proponent of New Orleans cuisine and a playful advocate for food in general. The first single released after the rapper's stint in jail, "6 foot, 7 foot" has a wide array of culinary references, from Honey Nut Cheerios and lima beans, to gelatin and lasagna (Paper chasing, tell that paper, "Look, I'm right behind ya'"/B****, real G's move in silence like lasagna). The finest food line, however, is also a direct message to all his haters (Young Money eating/all you haters do is add salt).
What are your favorite food mentions by New Orleans rappers?