What was your experience of food growing up and do you have any memorable dishes from your childhood?
My Grandma was Italian so on Sunday’s we would all sit round a massive table, probably 20 of us, and the dishes were pasta, meatballs, lots of salad and chicken breast in breadcrumbs. She had two big freezers and was always stocked up with ice cream. My uncle was an ice cream man so he would turn up and the desserts were on the house! My grandma used to bring over kilo’s of parmesan cheese like some Colombian smuggler from Italy. It was hidden in her luggage. So the smell of basil and fried garlic were a big memory as a kid. She used to make her own red wine, there used to be a massive lorry delivery every year of red grapes in the Italian community, all these little chubby flat capped dudes would go running down the road to get there early for the best bunches. I remember big massive wine distilling bottles with plastic tubes sticking out in her garage. She used to also make her own pasta, so there would be tables of hand rolled pasta. There were always trays and trays of sweet fried peppers for guests with fresh Italian bread. Italian style cakes and Garibaldi biscuits. It’s probably why I’m a chubby emcee. My dad used to joke that the Salami meat was donkey meat, I never ate it ever because of that image in my mind. She had a wicked way of cooking the veg in the gravy in the oven. I remember my first trip to Italy, I woke up at 11 wanting some Frosties, by 12:15 the dinner table was covered in a banquet. They eat early over there, the main meal is lunch as they wake up early as well and have a siesta. So the next day I woke up early to appreciate the big meal. Her name was Margherita Rosaria Esposito, always had rosary beads in her hand and pictures of Catholic Saints and old style ornaments. A real lady, she would have mahogany handled hair brushes and watch black and white films on some snowy pictured TV. Mario Lanza Cassettes and Pavarotti tapes.
What are some of your favourite food bars in hip hop?
You know what Juga-naut has nuff food bars. When I first became a fan of him he was dropping dishes in his rhymes. One that always stood out and I don’t know why I still find myself saying “Late night eating seafood, fried shrimp with the calamari, Taiwanese beef stew” then another rhyme that always pops up is Jay Z “I check cheddar like a food inspector, my homie struck told me dude finish your breakfast”
Another is Big Pun, “If I ain’t blazing something with the mac, I’m in the shack baking Muffins”
Talk us through the inspiration behind the ‘Get Rich or Die Fryin'” project – how did it come about?
The Guerrilla food brand Gangsta Wraps is all about big puns, so everything on the tape is an infamous blend of wraps and hip hop, We all at some point worked in fast food places to earn some pennies, so we formed a crew for the mixtape and used hip hop and food to touch on various subjects involving health, ingredients, food addiction. “No Ketchup” is about sugar addiction and Alcoholic’s Anonymous type confessional song. We also blended the Gangsta Rap theme and classic New York hip hop into food lyrics. Everything in the tape is layered in food but with a Gangsta inspired twist.
Quick Fire Round –
Toast or Cereal? Toast (bread addiction my enemy)
Walkers or McCoys? Walkers (fuck Monsanto)
Full English Brekky or Sunday Lunch? Sunday lunch
What kind of munch do you pack for hitting the studio?
I record at home so I’m a late night cupboard opener. Weetabix while I’m tapping akai pads
Are there any eating spots you wanna shout out in Nottingham or around the globe?
My man Juga-Naut A.k.A Chef jugz, personal chef, pop up restaurant Gangsta and of course Gangsta Wrap’s. The last event was a sit down 3 course meal while watching Chali 2na and Krafty kut’s. Mansfield Road has some good Turkish places. There’s a nice Thai restaurant in Victoria Centre upstairs. Food is booming in Notts right now.
Food Bar Round: Can you complete these food bars from Nas’ Stillmatic lp?
Cause you are what you eat,you eat what you can
You pray to bless the food but first… you wash your hands, to wash away the bad spirits.
Scorzayzee’s Pasta Sauce
Gotta go with the pasta sauce.
Real simple 3 cloves of garlic and half a finely chopped onion in olive oil in a pan. Add onions first then garlic (because garlic cooks quick in hot oil).
Real important not to burn the garlic.
Throw in a can of tomatoes and a dash of tomato puree add some fresh basil leaves.
Grate a carrot (or just add a tea spoon of sugar) and add it to take away the bitterness.
A very small dash of water, half a vegetable or chicken stock cube and salt and pepper.
Stir well and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally and bam quick pasta sauce.
Tip for good pasta cooking is add salt and a dash of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together. Throw on some parmesan cheese. Nice and quick. Taste’s better than that dolmio shit i know that.