23 November 2011


I’d keep telling people about these: a ridiculous “urban-themed” hip hop snack but totally forgot the name and any of the details. It’s sort of like telling a joke but flailing on the punchline. No-one likes a flailing punchline — really.

The first time I came across “Rap Snacks” – as I’ve now found out – was in a non-descript (possibly derelict?) gas station off of the interstate in St. Louis, Missouri. We had spent the evening hanging around a venue in a not-so-good part of town and were now packing up to make tracks to our next destination: Memphis, Tennessee. The initial draw of Rap Snacks were the cartoon-ish illustrations of the endorsing “rapper” on the packaging and the bold colouring made by usage of only a few solid primary colours. There was sort of a Spy Vs. Spy or Dick Tracy vibe going on.

Warren G., L’il Romeo, Pretty Willie… can’t say I’ve heard of these guys. They must have some clout in the rap world to get a snack with their name on it. Perhaps the snack flavour is a representation of their personality. Pretty Willie is a spicy yet smooth personality: therefore Salsa Cheese.

Knowing that ages young and old will pick up a bag, positive messages are printed on the packaging: “Respect Your Elders”“Stay In School”… Looks like they’re taking a cue from Mr. T.

“Worry is a misuse of imagination” – quote by Chopper, a “rapper” that I’ve never heard of. This quote is from a bag of Hot Sauce Pork Cracklin’s.

Maybe this was a smaller, tight knit scene of bonafide rappers getting together and doing something positive? Who knows? The message is sure there. As well as a big potential for advertising. Getting the artists out to the rap music lovers… and lovers of dry, salted snacks.

We know musicians have been tied with food for a while: Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü owns a restaurant in Minnesota, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand wrote a food book and I know various musicians of the punk/hardcore cannon that have written about food or pursue a career in food in tandem with their musical endeavours. Bands have even made novelty merchandise around food.

Maybe a genre-based snack could be launched on a more microcosmic scale.

Many different variations, each with some sort of active persona on the packaging with a morally uplifting (or nihilistically sarcastic) message on the front of the bag/box.

If I had that bizarre opportunity to put my face on a snack it would likely have cashews in it.