A short bit ago, we had the pleasure of hosting a Hip Hop feast here in the Mix with some very distinguished gentlemen. You may have heard of’em… Yeah, some serious heavy hitters in Hip Hop’s underground community. You may know 2Mex from his work with the likes of Visionaries, Mind Clouders, SonGodSuns, Of Mexican Descent, Brain Busters, Look Daggers or possibly his solo endeavors… One of the hardest working dudes in the game!
You probably know Radioinactive from his work with The Shape Shifters or possibly his solo work… Bigg Jus? Well, he was with this little crew that you may have heard of called Company Flow. Or maybe you’ve heard his solo outings like this… And L.A. JAE…all vinyl DJ and member of Shape Shifters, member of L.A.’s infamous CBS Crew, owner of theworldofhiphop.com, touring DJ for some of Hip Hop’s finest, and producer of some very quality music (including a Hip Hop album aimed at kids!). He also just happens to be one of the coolest dudes you’ll ever meet. If you didn’t know… Now ya know. Here’s some of the conversation that went down when we sat down and grubbed down on a feast fit for kings…or at least Hip Hop royalty.
TKM: How does food relate to the creation of your music?
Bigg Jus: Yeah, I don’t know. That’s tough because I think weed has a little bit more to do…with the creation of music for me, than actually food. I try not to – you know, I try not to eat anything heavy and then work on something creative. So I don’t associate the create part with food…
L.A. JAE: I’d say, food and creating music…it happens when I’m at the house…cuz that’s when I’m makin’ all the stuff – cuz we cook a lot at the house. I’m associating it like, if you’re mixing this (ingredient) your mixing that (ingredient), I’m taking this record, I’m taking that record and I’m mixing these records together…maybe subconciously something’s happening. It’s always good to have a good meal. There’s always food there. I don’t know what the link could be but subconsiously it could be the whole…making of both of them, I don’t know. That’s how we do it.
Radioinactive: Well, there’s a lot of biters out there [we all cut him off with a good laugh at that]…I mean, I think food/cooking and making music, it’s all about having the awareness to be able to discern between all the subtleties between the different ingredients. It’s like the ratio that you put together, you know…whether it’s like JAE said, the different sounds, rhymes or singing or lyrics – It’s like how you garnish, if you put too much of this or too much of that, you know, too little or not enough butter…if you’re superficial with your sounds – artificial with your sounds…you know, it’s like if you have good ingredients in your music then you know you’re going to have the best tasting music. I’m all about the gourmet things so I think it’s all about – you develop the awareness to appreciate the subtle flavors that are in there. And some people who haven’t heard our music, for instance, they don’t have the education or the ability to appreciate what we’re doing. But it’s like, once you learn you’re like, “oh yeah, that’s raw cheddar, that’s truffle this or…
TKM: It’s like a palette.
Radioinactive: Yeah, the palette, there you go. Yeah, you develop the palette. Then you can enjoy. So our stuff is very artsy, you gotta develop that palette first and then you can appreciate the music.
2Mex: I think for me there’s times where I get to have a great meal – get to have a beautiful meal and you appreciate it and you can transfer that energy of being like, “Wow, I got to really – like today we got to be blessed today with a great meal with great homemade ingredients, good company and good conversation. So you know, you can bounce off the beauty of that, it makes you feel strong and blessed – that you could step into your creative process, feeling good. I know many times – and sometimes it has to do with budget, personal budget, where we go around this world and we’re in different places and the way your creative process is, it almost affects how much you want to spend on yourself to feel good. Cuz there’s so many times where I’ve been on the road and things are tough and we’re like, “Man, I’m so tired of this day. Let’s go treat ourselves good. I don’t care about the bills. Let’s go spend that extra 15 bucks on a meal to feel human again – to feel right. Food is the great equalizer. Everyone is rich when you’re eating well. Everyone. So, food is the great equalizer that makes poor people rich. So, you can be poor but if you know what to do with what you got, you’re rich.
TKM: Beans and rice.
2Mex: Exactly. Well, your cooking reminded me of my mom. The way the chicken was shredded…it reminded me of home the way the beans were whole…it reminded me of home. It just reminded me of being in a place where I need to be more. So there’s the beauty of that creation – your creation, you shared it with us. We’re creative, so we go away feeling kingly, feeling like royalty, cuz we were blessed. You know, regardless of the other facets of life, for this moment – this meal made us feel like, you know, Kings. To me that’s the connection. So, food and the creative process, it makes me feel good when I’m able to live like a king like that.
L.A. JAE: When you’re starving, too though. When you’re hungry and you gotta eat – the creative process is still going. You gotta figure out how to make something work with nothing. You’re sitting there starving but you can still make your music and still – we’ve been in some spots in France where we’re making music and the guys we’re making music with – Kamal’s in their fridge coming out with eggs and oil…and we’re working on a song…So, when you’re hungry too. It just brings out your creativeness – when you can just make something out of nothing. Just some eggs and oil and few other little ingredients…
Bigg Jus: Food and touring completely go together. Completely go together more than the whole creative process.
TKM: Oh, really?
2Mex: Oh yeah. You almost look forward to – I remember looking at a tour schedule and saying to myself, “Yes, we’re going to this spot – like Austin food trucks or in Olympia, Washington there’s this place – this incredible spot – you know, in my mind, like a month beforehand I’m like “oh, I get to go to Olympia? I’mma hit that spot.” You get there and it’s open, you made it a point to go to that spot early…and now a wish of a month comes true. And now, we’ere gonna add you guys to that. We’re gonna be back.
TKM: Cool. For sure. Alright, how about this: maybe there’s a recipe you could share with us, or a great meal that comes to mind – a meal or recipe that comes to mind. Cuz part of what we’ll do is take inspiration like, “I’m gonna make this inspired by…” Like the SonGodSun Oven Meal or the Bigg Jus Garlic Salad…
2Mex: My mom is, to a few people that know – Xinco and Deeskee and a couple friends of mine…my mom has this breaded chicken…and it’s probably just what she puts in the breading and you know, that it’s cooked with love. I don’t know all the exact ingredients. It’s a breaded chicken but there’s something about the breading that is…I’m trying to think what’s in it…I don’t know, there’s obviously like some garlic and some onion powder, stuff like that in it but my mom just has this chicken – like a milanesa and she’ll just call me like every three weeks like, “Are you gonna be around? I’m gonna make the chicken like you want.” Sometimes I give my mom a 20 and say, “Can you make a gang of that? Like, can you make $20 of that? Cuz Deeskee wants some, my other roommate wants some…” I can eat those for days. I’ll ask my mom and have her send you what it is besides the normal breading. I’m sure she doesn’t go to the lengths of everything’s organic but there’s something in there – some kind of spice blend that works. I could eat that every week. For me, that’s it. It’s really bomb.
Radioinactive: My favorite thing that I make that my lady just loves when I make it is, but I barely cook it, is this egg curry. [showed us a pic] It’s basically – you gotta get good eggs if you can find the farm fresh eggs. Garlic, ginger, chiles, fresh cumin – cumin seeds, clarified butter – ghee, tumeric, cilantro…first you put the clarified butter in the pan and you let the cumin seeds pop. Then after that you add all the chiles – oh, and onions, and you cook’em down and then add the garlic and ginger. Then you put the eggs in after you’ve hard boiled them. But after you hard boil them – you cook them for a couple minutes and then you let them sit in the water so then it like doesn’t cook them too much so when you put them in the – they finish off easier. It’s good. Lots of chiles!
L.A. JAE: Simple. It’s gonna be carne asada. Super easy. Get a skirt steak – I wouldn’t necessarily go to the carnecerias – I’d just go to a good butcher…I get my skirt and my flank steaks mixed up. I know one’s the big thicker one – whichever one’s the thin one. You know. I usually do four pounds. Get like five oranges, squeeze all the orange juice in there, get about five lemons, squeeze all that in there and the kicker is pico de gallo. Make sure to put it on each piece. Put it in a bag, let it sit for a whole entire 24 hours. Gotta let it sit. Then it makes the meat super soft. And it just gets all up in there. The next day just put it on the grill with some cilantro on top – BOOM! I guarantee dude, that stuff…FIRE! Yeah. Fire.
Bigg Jus: I don’t know. It’s changed for me because I’m fat now and I need to lose weight. So, nowadays it would be like apple, pear, kale, pineapple juice. That would be me. And my favorite salad would probably be cherry tomato salads with cucumber, some cilantro, salt and pepper and lemon…but yeah, two years ago it would definitely be a giant steak with blue cheese smoked on the grill and a side of feta cheese and tomatos. And potato salad. We change it up now. That’s what got me here.
L.A. JAE: That second one sounded way better.
Bigg Jus: That’s what got me here. But now I’ve really – I really appreciate the juicing. I have an Omega (juicer). A shot of wheat grass is awesome to me now.
TKM: Word. Hey, well seeing as you guys travel so much, what’s the best city for food or the dopest spot that comes to mind?
2Mex: My favorite spot, and I’ve seen it on TV – I trip out on it. It’s in Austin, TX and it’s called Sam’s – you ever been to Sam’s? It’s a BBQ spot – it’s famous but it’s very – the cheap spot…I mean, the guy puts his hands on the meat – younawmean? He puts his hands on the meat and you’re not mad. You know, usually you’d be mad but – it’s just one of those spots where for 5 or 6 bucks you’re gonna eat and you’re good. Or the other spot, when I go to Hawaii, I go to this spot called the Rainbow Cafe – and I’m a sucker for an incredible macaroni salad…that Hawaiian macaroni salad, it’s like a mahi-mahi – a piece of mahi-mahi, a piece of teriyaki beef, all sweet, and chicken with a thing of rice and some mac salad.
Radioinactive: I got a lot of favorite spots around the country but New Orleans Cafe – the crawfish…Charleston, SC the Hominy Grill. Everything there. The breakfast – it’s gourmet Charleston food that’s way up there. Garlic Ahi fried rice in Hawaii near Wikiki – ridiculous.
L.A. JAE: Alright. In Arizona, of course Pita Jungle. Back home, KyoChon = best wings in the world. On 6th just West of Normandy. It’s open til 4 in the morning. My other spot, Komodo, it’s like an Asian-fusion – Oh my god. That’s on Pico and Robertson…and then for BBQ is Bodacious BBQ in Carson. Those are the licks!
Bigg Jus: I don’t know the name of it. It’s in New York. It’s on 6th Street in the Village. It’s a spot that just has gourmet macaroni and cheese of all different –
Radioinactive: Oh, I’ve been there. Do they serve it on a skillet –
Bigg Jus: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That place is good! I’m a sucker for the blue cheese buffalo wing macaroni and cheese. They got a brie one. They got a truffle one. And then I guess my newest, there’s a spot in Chicago called Schwa which is really good. I took pictures. Like the gastro – like 9 servings of just little, small, really dense, thick, delicious bites of stuff – it just keeps on coming. That was probably the best meal I’ve had, probably in the past ten years. Just because the combination of things that they serve back to back to back to back…honest, the kitchen staff is insane. Really, everybody there is crazy. They just kind of make up stuff as they go along and I think it’s all depending on – like they have standards and staples but you get whatever comes out. Some of the stuff goes together. Some of it doesn’t. But each bite is – you know, you only get 2 or 3 bites and each bite is like amazing. By the end everyone’s walking out saying that’s the best meal I’ve ever had. And it’s uber expensive.
Radioinactive: I got one more place to add. It’s in San Francisco, in the Richmond and it’s called Burma Superstar. They have this smoked tea salad that’s crazy. They got all the ingredients – the little fried garlic and they mix it together table side and then they have this chili lamb that’s like this Burmese style lamb and it’s pretty spicy. Just so much flavor. If you like spicy – it’s got jalapenos simmering in it but – dude, it’s just…
L.A. JAE: I know, I’ve thought of about five more spots.Haha.
TKM: Ya’ll could probably go on for days. But we just wanna thank you for your time and energy. This has been great and we look forward to hosting you guys again in the future. Next time we’ll do it up a little bigger. Tonight we are kings and a queen!
Friends, please check these dudes out if you’re not familiar with them. 2Mex just dropped a really good collaborative effort called Like Farther, Like Sun. Radioinactive just pressed up his latest album on vinyl, and you need that. Jae is working on some gallery art and boomboxes. Check his site for details. These good folks are always working on something, keep an ear and eye out for’em. Find’em on your favorite social media and keep up as they keep pushin’ along. We will be putting these recipes into action and sharing those experiences with you. Stay tuned in and keep the beats turned up. Peace.