Blackalicious: Food for Thought


“Going in your third eye for the styles ya hear
Making music that’ll bump for a thousand years
Eating right feeling conscience like health is first
Said a prayer that’s sincere and you felt it work
Times I feel I wanna shout, man it’s real that way
When I’m thinking things that make you feel that way” – Blackalicious

Over the years I have felt so much inspiration from listening to Blackalicious. I half-joke that music is my church and if that’s the case, their music would be like one of my favorite deacons. There are several MC’s that craft their lyrics in a way that make me think but sometimes they lack the right production to keep me hitting repeat or coming back for more. Not the case with Blackalicious. Chief Xcel is as much in the driver’s seat as Gift of Gab when you take a ride through one of their albums. They compliment each other like sea salt and chocolate.

This track should make you feel that way…

We were recently blessed with the opportunity to catch up with these two KitchenMix Hall of Famers. We’ve been attending their shows for years, sometimes even going well out of our way to catch one of their not-to-be-missed performances. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, make sure to put that on your to do list.

Here’s a little segment of our food talk with two of Hip Hop’s finest:

TKM: How does food relate to the creation of your music?


CHIEF XCEL: It’s vital. For me, I’m kinda like seeing the importance of three things: nutrition, exercise and rest. Cuz those three things kinda help me fire on all cylinders creatively. Whenever one is lacking – like for me, one of the things I’m trying to focus hard on is rest. Cuz my nutrition is pretty cool. But with the rest, you can recharge. You can be rejuvenated and be way more productive. I notice when I’m not eating right the affects that it has on me. So, yeah. Food is key. Definitely.


GIFT OF GAB: That’s a very unique, original question. I guess food is energy to me. Food is expression. Food is energy. Food is celebration. Depending on what you eat food is definitely mood altering. If I eat a good meal, I’m going to have a good state of mind. And when I’m writing, I’m gonna be more of a clearer vessel for the energy of creativity. So, food definitley affects my creativity.

TKM: I like that – a celebration.

GIFT OF GAB: If all there was was wack food, music would be worse than it is. You know? Yeah, definitley. Food definitely makes a difference! Wow, good question.

TKM: Can you talk about when you’re on tour, how does that affect how you eat?

CHIEF XCEL: Well, about two months ago I got one of those Nutri bullets. So now when I go to different cities all I’ll do – I don’t have to depend any more on – “Ok, am I gonna be able to find what I need?” Cuz I got some pretty specific dietary needs. So I just go, I get my produce. So long as I got a fridge in the hotel I’m good. And most of the vehicles that we travel in have power outlets in them too. So, I’m juicing the whole time on the road.

TKM: What are your specific dietary needs?

CHIEF XCEL: Well, I’ve never eaten pork. And I stopped eating beef at 19 – a long time ago. You know what I mean? I do chicken but really, it’s gotta be top grade. Same thing with turkey. I do meats, but rarely. So, with me it’s a lot of vegetables. A lot of fruits. Brown rice, quinoa, things like that.

TKM: Do you have a recipe you can share with us?

CHIEF XCEL: My favorite thing – I’ve kinda had this battle going on between spinach, kale and chard. Right? Spinach is winning out because kale and chard have a tendency to overpower everything. So I haven’t really been able to find the right combination with those two. But with spinach I’ll usually do a – like a spinach, pineapple, greek yogurt, blueberries, this herb called maca –

TKM: Oh yeah, maca’s good. It has lots of health benefits.

CHIEF XCEL: Yeah, I like that a lot. Especially with my work outs cuz it’s really good helping you with your endurance and stuff like that. That’s pretty much my main thing. Plus, my children – I have a five year old and a seven year old and they get into the whole juicing kinda thing too.

At this point the interview kinda shifted gears and we started to discuss nutrition and health benefits of certain diets and food combinations. See, we went bearing gifts: paleo chocolate chip cookies and gluten free brownies. Well, these dudes had apparently just had a conversation about eating paleo. So this coincidence led to a discussion about the benefits and drawbacks to the paleo diet. While it’s good for some, it’s not always good for others. We got into the whole break down of how detrimental synthetic sugars can be. Lots of food and nutrition talk. It’s always nice to be able to talk food and nutrition with open-minded individuals who take the time to listen and share their thoughts as well. After exchanging information, we left feeling both energized from the performance we had just seen and optimistic about the prospect of keeping the dialogue going and sharing food knowledge with these gentlemen. We plan on sharing recipes with them as well as resources (putting a package together for Gift of Gab including Stevia as an alternative to synthetic sugar). Until our paths cross again, we plan to continue to be inspired by their music and use that inspiration as we prepare our meals and hopefully inspire others.

Check out this amazing fan made video for Alphabet Aerobics…

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