Sam Stomach "80 Bites" (2013)
Rap may have a bad rap for being negative but there are lots of positive raps out there including ones about diet and healthy living: the latest of which is the song/video above - "80 Bites" by Sam Stomach in which the cartoon character encourages healthy eating habits while wisely suggesting limiting ones intake to the amount of bites on a daily basis. "80 Bites, 80 Bites, 80 Bites" repeats Sam in his advice rap on only eating 80 bites of food throughout the day, and thereby retraining your stomach container to return to its original size which in turn will lead to fewer cravings for food / calories. "Puff said it's all about the Benjamins. He was wrong. It's all about the bites my friend," raps Sam who disses most diets. However he instead encourages downloading the "80 Bites" App and signing up for the new diet (at a $50 membership no less!). So really the video/song is just an ad. But still it's coming from a good place and it got me thinking about hip-hop and healthy eating. Beyond movements like the kids oriented Healthy Hip-Hop organization and individuals like "The Hip-Hop Chef - Cooking Tyrone" who cross-pollinate hip-hop with cooking and who endorses vegan diet and healthy cooking/living, there are numerous hip-hop tracks that rap about diet.
D-Nick The Microphone Misfit "Abnormality" (2010)
Hip-hop songs whose lyrics reference eating well and avoiding junk food include Homeboy Sandman's "Mean Mug" off his 2010 album The Good Sun in which he asks? "Mean muggers not for nothing. Where have you been lunching? What have you been munching? My dude, food consume will affect your mood. Mickey D’s be pumped with drugs" Then there are full hip-hop songs from over the years exclusively devoted to encouraging a healthy diet. These include Boogie Down Production's (BDP) self-described "PSA" rap titled "Beef" in which KRS-One sends out a warning rap on a certain meat that he sees as "the number one drug on the street." Another song is "Abnormality" by D-Nick The Microphone from Illinois - done for Graffiti and Grub, a natural foods store on the Chicago's South Side (video above in which this pertinent rhetorical question is posed: "You wouldn't pay your bills with counterfeit money so why would you put something counterfeit in your tummy?") Then there is A Tribe Called Quest's classic "Ham and Eggs" off their debut album People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm with lyrics like "I don't eat no ham and eggs coz they're high in cholesterol," and Dead Prez's "Be Healthy" off their revolutionary album Let's Get Free with lyrics like "I don't eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat. I'm from the old school, my household smell like soul food, bro, curried falafel, barbecued tofu no fish though, no candy bars, no cigarettes. Only ganja and fresh-squeezed juice from oranges." ATCQ, BDP, and Dead Prez audio-only videos are below.
Dead Prez "Eat Healthy" (2000)
A Tribe Called Quest "Ham and Eggs"
BDP "Beef" (1990)