We eat like savages in the pursuit of happiness.
You can’t have a good story without great characters. The narrative is lost on the mundane details of events without them. This is true within every segment and subculture of society. Think about it – boxing had Muhammad Ali, the NBA had Shaq, Hollywood has…well, you pick. Boxing is, arguably, one of the most fun and exciting sports to follow but without characters like Ali and the charisma and controversy that they bring as both the protagonist and antagonist of the story, the plot flatlines. It takes special characters to arouse the enthusiasm and/or consensus – or even disputation within the trade, craft, career path or field of study.
Sure, the NBA would still be the NBA even without all of the colorful figures that have represented it over the years. But what narrative would you weave together without the likes of Ron Artest (Metta World Peace), Dennis Rodman, or Shaquille O’Neal. They made it about more than just basketball. Suddenly, this sport – this subculture within the American fabric – has all of the elements of classic folklore. Now we have comedy, tragedy, and feats of mythic proportions injected into those storylines.
It exists in the world of music as well. In the sphere of Hip Hop, Sean Price is one of the most prominent figures in the cast that take stage and represent the culture. He’s our Shaq. Our Ali. The comedic aspect that Shaq Fu brought to game, what Ali brought in terms of pre and post-fight theatrics – all of that is in Sean’s repertoire. Dude is a character! He’s got a hell of a sense of humor and puts himself out there for a good laugh. If you saw his Nardwuar impersonation or his Pawn Stars episode, you know what I mean. And as far as the level of trash talk that a heavyweight can mouth off to an opponent, check any of his projects to see why I make the Ali comparisons.
We caught up with the rap prime minister, Hip Hop’s “people’s champion,” the man with a multitude of AKA’s, chopped it up, and got a better sense as to what makes this character tick. If you’re like me, you were introduced to Sean (Kimbo Price, Jesus Price, Sean Legend, etc.) as one half of the tag team champion group Heltah Skeltah. Their classic first album hit the Hip Hop community like an aftershock following Black Moon and Smif-n-Wessun’s initial bombs in the mid 90’s. After that, they were on demand like satellite TV. Sean Price has developed quite the following since then and has released several projects that showcase his lyrical dexterity. We talked a bit about what it is that feeds this rhyme animal. And in doing so, we got some tips, quips and antidotes that you’re not gonna wanna miss.
Here’s a mixed audio snippet of some of our conversation. Follow below for the rest.
What’s this about you eating raccoons and other “specialty” meats? Do you follow any kind of dietary regimen?
I’m on a see food diet, man. I see food and I eat it. See it and go for it. I don’t eat pork. I don’t eat too much beef. I do, but not a lot. I love food. I have no recipes. I don’t try and get too inventive. I’m just learning how to cook, B. I’m a mammas boy and my wife cooks. Sometimes our menu is short so I just wanted to add more stuff to our menu so I started cookin’. I love to eat.
I grew up with my grandmother. She’s a real country lady. So I’ve eaten all kinds of animals, B. I just ate whatever she made and I enjoyed it. I actually enjoyed my grandmother’s company and it would be me and her sitting there crackin’ jokes, laughing. I had the coolest grandmother in the world and she could have put doo-doo in the pot and put onions on it and I woulda ate it. That’s just me. [laughs] Word.
When we made a trip down south to Florida, where she’s from, it looked like they didn’t get the notice that slavery was over. The houses was all fucked up. Frogs all over the road when it rained. She had a backyard with like three pigs and twelve chickens. And she’d just go back there and just hack-hack, kill the pig. She would grab the chicken and just literally yank the head off of it with her hands. Bam! And then just throw it in hot water, shake the feathers off. We’d eat that shit later on that night. [laughs] My grandma was so skilled she’d just break their head off with her hand. Imagine gettin’ an ass-whoopin’ from her.
After she’d cut off the head she’d throw it in scalding hot water and that would literally take most of the feathers off. She’d go in there and pluck the rest off. It didn’t take that long. When you pop the neck off it does that bleed-out process. It still runs around a little bit like a chicken with its head cut off. That’s true. I remember I was sitting there and I started singing the Looney Tunes theme [mimics tune]. And that’s what it reminds me off. Chicken runnin’ around a little bit and then gets thrown in the hot water.
You know what? I’m pretty sure I ate squirrel. Possum. Raccoon. You know what’s so funny? My uncle’s nickname was Coon. I know that sounds so racist and niggery but that was his nickname, Coon. [laughs] I’m not making this up. He went down south and would come back with frozen raccoons wrapped up in newspaper and give them to my grandmother. I don’t know what she did to them but when they were ready to eat, I ate’em. In a stew, baked in the oven, either/or.
Are you pretty adventurous when you’re out there on the road?
My past 3 or 4 tours – me and my DJ, P.F. Cuttin from Blahzay Blahzay – we stopped eating bullshit like McDonald’s. We go to the sit down restaurants now and just have a good meal. Yeah, I am adventurous. I went to Paris and I had kangaroo, kangaroo steak. It was fuckin’ awesome. It don’t get no iller than kangaroo.
They have a spot in Park Slope in Brooklyn called Bareburger and I had an ostrich burger. That’s pretty good. And I had elk sliders. Those are pretty good, too.
I know some people that don’t trust nothing abroad but them golden arches, but that shit get tiring quick though. We find good spots to eat. And the promoters we have show us the good shit in their town and I appreciate that. I’m in my forties. I don’t want a slice of pizza and a Rolling Rock beer. I ain’t no college kid.
I’m sure you’ve got some good food stories with all the traveling you’ve done. Is there anything that’s stood out as far as food cultures?
I noticed in Germany, I think all the hipsters like hamburgers. There’s a lot of hipster cheeseburger spots in Germany now. I went to Burgermeister, that shit was bangin’. Some great burgers. My friend Skyzoo, took me to a spot in Brooklyn and I had something called the Brazilian burger. It’s a burger with a fried egg on top. That burger was great! But my bathroom experience behind it was horrible. I’ll never eat it again. [laughs] I got a funny story. One time we went to Italy and it dawned on me. I looked at P.F. and said, “you know what? I’ve never had Italian food from Italians. I’ve only ever had the black version of Italian food.” [laughs] I was so ignorant. I saw ravioli, let me get ravioli. You know, I’m such a derelict, I’ve only ate ravioli out the can. I had no idea ravioli even had meat in it, for real. I felt like such a fuckin’ idiot. [laughs] I’m so used to opening a can and throwing it in a pot, heating it up and going for it. I didn’t know real ravioli got cheese in there.
You’d probably be the type to be on one of those adventurous eating shows.
Yeah, you know what? If I ate pork, I would definitely be one of those dudes on TV like – what’s my man’s name that eats all kinds of wild shit – Zimmern. I’d probably be on some Zimmern shit. I wouldn’t be eating donkey balls like he do but…I think he ate fermented dick one day. That’s disgusting. I’m not doing that. That guy Zimmern is nuts.
What are your thoughts on GMO’s and all of that?
You gotta eat to live. I’m gonna eat, man. Those people should go to hell. Let the animals live the way they lived and eat what they’re supposed to eat. You got all these people doing all this freaky shit to the food. They’re all going straight to hell.
You know, they farm raise these fish and they feed it stuff a normal fish wouldn’t eat. It’s swimming around in its own shitty water, you know? They have these salmon farms and the dude that owns it was feeding them corn. Where the fuck do you see salmon eating corn? They’re fucking the fish up with their private fish farms. They ain’t doing us no favors. They ain’t helping.
Are you into herbs and seasonings?
I saw something about the essential herbs and spices. So I wrote them all down and I went and bought’em. They have this seasoning called marjoram….maaaaan, no one’s got marjoram in Brownsville! [laughs] They didn’t even know what I was talking about. They was like, “What?!? What the hell is that?” I found all the herbs and spices but no marjoram. I made lamb chops the other day with rosemary. I didn’t even know what rosemary was until a couple days ago. I’m a wack dude. I only know about salt and pepper and paprika and all that shit. [laughs] I’m from Brownsville but where I live at now it’s more of a West Indian neighborhood so they actually cook with all of that good shit – rosemary and all of that.
What’s the relationship between food and you being a creative artist?
Just the energy. We would do like 32 shows in 28 days. You gotta eat right. Or you ain’t gonna make it. You gotta eat right.
I know I can’t get on stage with a full stomach but I don’t like to get on stage hungry. I wanna go eat, have an hour or two, smoke some weed, take a mean crap and then I’m ready to go.
What kind of food combinations should we stay away from?
I’ve been to Japan, many moons ago. And believe it or not, I had Thai food in Japan. I had the chicken with the peanut butter on it. I didn’t like that shit. I like peanut butter and I like chicken. Chicken and peanut butter does not go together. When I was young, I used to like barbeque chips and strawberry ice cream together. I know that sounds crazy, right? That used to be my shit though. I would crumble it on my ice cream.
If you were hired by a potato chip company to come up with the next flavor of potato chip, what would it be?
The next flavor of potato chip should be a Peter Luger potato chip. You know Peter Luger’s Steak House? One that tastes like a porter house steak from Peter Lugers. That would be alright, the Peter Luger chip.
What got you away from pork?
I got knowledge of self. Nation of Gods and Earths as a child. You know what’s funny? I have an article where they’re talking about pork in everything. They actually got pork in bullets. Pork is used to hold the top part of the bullet into the casing. There are so many things that pork is used for. All ice cream has pork in it except Breyers. I’m probably still a victim of pork by-products. I’m not the kind of guy that reads the back of ingredients all the time. You know, there’s pork in tooth paste. But then that Tom’s toothpaste tastes terrible. I’m like man, pass that pig over there. [laughs]
What’s one of your favorite recipes?
My beautiful wife’s BBBC – Bernadette’s Burnt Baked Chicken. I’m a lucky man. What you do is get you a bag of those of frozen wings. Throw some pepper on it. Some sazón, some garlic, some garlic powder, some onion powder and…yeah. Throw that bitch in the oven and forget about it. The more you forget about it, the more burnt it gets and the happier I am. She made some last week and she didn’t burn it and I was kinda mad. It didn’t deal break or anything but I was still upset. [laughs]
Has this winter weather affected how you’ve been eating?
This is the first winter I’ve respected in a long time. I usually don’t respect winter. Last year I pulled out my big jacket once. The year before I pulled it out once. This time I wore it like five times. I actually respect this winter. But nah, we eat like savages in the pursuit of happiness all the time. That’s how we eat. We eat like savages in the pursuit of happiness.
If you could have anyone make you a meal, who would it be?
My mother. My mother makes the best fried chicken in the world. I don’t care what – I will say this, let me put this out there – if you got a parent, and hopefully they live a long time, but before they die get them recipes, man. Some things just can’t be – some things I just won’t eat no more. I used to eat liver. I don’t eat liver no more. First of all, liver ain’t nothing to play with. Second of all, my mother make it awesome. I won’t eat nobody else’s. Banana pudding with the vanilla wafers. The way my mother made it tasted like nobody else’s. I acutally got sick trying to eat someone else’s shit before. Get those recipes from your moms if you can. Please. A lot of things I’m missing out on.
What makes a meal a feast?
It’s more than the food. It’s the surroundings and the people you’re breaking bread with. Good friends, good food, good convo. That makes a feast. Feasting isn’t just a bunch of food. I can go down to Golden Corral and eat all I want but it’s not a feast.
“Let the animals live the way they lived and eat what they’re supposed to eat. You got all these people doing all this freaky shit to the food. They’re all going straight to hell.
If you were gonna do an ode to a food or a meal, what would it be?
Probably a sea food song. I’m big on sea food. You know the actor Ryan Phillippe? That’s my boy. We went to a restaurant and busted out like 4 or 5 dozen oysters before we even ate dinner. Shrimp cocktails. I love sea food.
What are the best cities for food?
Rome, Italy. I had some great food. A four or five course meal. They came in with some regular pizza at first. Then they came in with a platter of fish, then some of the noodles with the pepper sauce – mad platters. I couldn’t eat that much but it was good. It’s on my Instagram. I’m on there as @seanpricealpha but it’s private. I’ll look out for you but I don’t just be letting people get on my shit. I got my kids on there. I like social network but then I don’t because it’s like a license to clown. Punks will say the cruelest shit. The foulest shit that they’d never actually say to a human being’s face. I have rapper friends [who have open accounts] and people will write the most disrespectful shit about his wife. Why would you say that? You wouldn’t say that to his face. So I keep my shit private just because of that. I guarantee you, most of the people on there don’t have the balls to say that to that person’s face. And I don’t like that shit. I’m sensitive. Even on Twitter. I block everybody. I’m famous for blocking people. I’m the Dikembe Mutombo of Twitter. Nooooo. I wave my finger, no bullshit here. I just blocked your ass. I lead the league in blocks. Trust me. I don’t do it for the numbers. I don’t give a shit about that.
You got any food tips or tricks?
My wife taught me when I’m frying my chicken to put mustard on the skin. It makes the chicken crunchy. Put your seasoning on there and then put some mustard on there. It’s so crunchy. My wife’s a genius.
Oh, and if you make some mackerel patties, crush Cheeze-Its up and mix it with the mackerel and then fry it up. I learned that in jail. Trust me. It’s good. A good prison trick. You gotta improvise in jail. Or fry some chicken and use frosted flakes. Season it with that. It’s like breading your chicken with frosted flakes. Trust me.
Do you have any routines that you follow?
Before a show I stand on my head and grab my balls. I’m dead serious. My wife’s seen me do it. I’m like yo, y’all gotta get out. I gotta meditate. I did it once, had a good show afterwards. So I just kept doing it. Like when you play basketball and you have a good game. You know what, I’m keeping these sneakers on. Keep playing with them until you have a fucked up game and then get rid of them.
What are you working on right now?
My new album is called Imperius Rex. Crummie Beats did most of the beats on it. There’s no 9th Wonder on this one. I think I’m just gonna go down south and do a whole album with him.
I’m writing a book about some of the shit I say on Twitter. I got this dude from Hip Hop Game that collects all my posts and then he’ll ask why I said that, I tell him and he jots it down. It’s coming out good so far. Twitter from an asshole’s perspective. [laughs] And people can go check out the track I just dropped the other day called “Go Rambo.”
To stay up on this character development, be sure to find dude on Twitter – just don’t do anything to get yourself blocked. His Soundcloud page is also worth visiting and checking out. If you’re not familiar with his catalogue, start with Heltah Skeltah’s first album, Nocturnal. As far as solo albums, you could probably start with his 9th Wonder assisted, Monkey Barz, but my recommendation is to start with Jesus Price Supastar and work your way through everything else he’s had a hand in. You’d probably also be doing yourself a favor by heading over to his YouTube page for a few good laughs. He’s got everything from parody videos like “The Joy of Painting with Sean Ross” to his reality TV rap clinic show.
A great character has to be multidimensional. That’s probably what makes Sean Price Hip Hop’s lead in the sea of characters that represent the genre. Spend some time with his back catalogue and comedic videos and let those hold you over until the new project drops. My man, Adam Mansbach (Rage is Back) was telling me that he had pitched the idea of writing a screenplay for Rock and Ruck to star in. I really hope that can be worked out. C’mon Sean, you and the Rockness need to do it for the fans. Adam, if you’re reading this, send them script. Let’s get these characters on the screen.