I wrote a poem, that well some take for a rap song – what’s R.A.P? I wrote the lines “…the way to a man’s heart is through food/but I cook my own food/so am making myself happy, which is a choice…”on the single ‘Letter 2 Ha’. Writing these lines, in part had nothing to do with food plainly, but everything to do with how food is a source of happiness for a man. Man! I love food and I think it’s only fair to say I am a foodie.
Have you ever thought of food references made in music and how metaphoric they tend to be? Do you think this makes hip hop even more literary? Being a dedicated foodie, I sat down to write and talk about my favourite food inspired lines. The thought hit me when I re-listened to Play01’s “Ova”
- Play01 – Ova
Play01 sampled Pryce Teeba’s “Side Zeno” on a track off his Bred EP, titled “Ova”. Ova is a Luganda word to mean avocado. The lines sampled are, “njenva Kachumbali abaako ova” which loosely means where I am from avocado is accompanied Kachumbali. Locally a mixture of onions and tomatoes, cut into small fine pieces is known as Kachumbali. Play01 was appealing to the need for variety, peace and harmony.
- Pryce Teeba – Side Zeno
This was a ground breaking track for Pryce Teeba in 2015. This track brought more attention to him and got rotation from many Kampala radio stations. It is on this very song that he said the aforementioned lines that Play01 later sampled.
(Ki) Commandoz is actually a name to a Ugandan favourite local quick food. Chapati and beans or even just gravy make up te popular quick fix meal. On this track reference to another popular meal is made by Enygma. He says: “on the outside am a chapati but inside am a jii (G)”. The Rolex (fast food) is made up of chapati which wraps eggs (gii) and other additives. Enygma employs the homophone jii which doubles as G as in to be good. On a track that has the two rappers talk about being commandos, the line was just G.
- Enygma, Big Tril, Ninja C and Olanya – Beans and Posho
This is a nostalgic song for any average Ugandan who studied mostly average Ugandan school where beans and posho were like a staple food
- Pryce Teeba and Mickey SoLow – Mama Mere
This was euphemistic song in whch you hear “doof” , “mere” used to mean sex. Mickey So-Low and Pryce Teeba played it safe on this one but using food related lingo. The track is off Baru and Pryce’s collaborative album African Stories.
- Wake – MUSILAMU
This is my favourite. It is a poem from Spoken Word artist/poet and rapper Wake. This is an ode to the rolex guy in Wandegeya known as Musilamu and open admission to the love of the rolex, that we devour.
Well these are some of the tracks out there by rappers with food inspired lyrics; in the comment section you can share your favourite.
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