Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

Look What I Found: Rap Snacks

7-Eleven is a magical place, literally. New and exciting snack foods that you won't find anywhere else simply appear there out of thin air, seemingly conjured into existence by the thoughts and dreams of young, and young at heart, Americans. The perpetually lit fluorescents bathe these unfamiliar products in a garish light befitting their glorious entry into our world. If you care at all about what's going on in the world of junk food, you should be checking your local 7-Eleven at least once every two weeks. And when you're visiting another city, well, that just goes without saying.

When I was in St. Louis for the PCA conference, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a 7-Eleven, and what I found there affirmed my life philosophy. Rap Snacks. Potato chips marketed to the hip-hop crowd, featuring the likenesses of popular rappers. I'm sure that Rap Snacks are more prevalent in the South than someplace as lily white as New York City, but I didn't see them anywhere else, so 7-Eleven still gets the award for Best Place to Shop Ever.

Eat my book. Read Rap Snacks.

I'm sure many of you are unfamiliar with Rap Snacks. Well, you know how some products are the Official Beer of the NFL or the Official Cinder Block of NASCAR? That shit is for lames. Rap Snacks is the Official Snack of Hip Hop. They are the official potato chip of an entire counter culture, a global phenomenon. And one with no central organization, no official members. A culture that legendary rapper KRS-One recently wrote a 600-page book of incoherent ramblings on. He needn't have bothered. All he had to say was "Rap Snacks."

Of course I'm just kidding. I'm the Official Internet Writer of Sarcasm. That’s the great thing about being the Official Snack of Hip Hop. It’s not official at all. It’s not even real. It’s totally made up, and I applaud the marketing people for such a bold and absurd proclamation.

The only variety of Rap Snacks this particular 7-Eleven had in stock was Bar-b-quin' with My Honey flavored potato chips featuring Romeo ("leave the Lil’ out"). I know that may not seem like a proper flavor, but these aren’t your standard chip flavors from the suburbs. These are urban flavors from Romeo’s mansion.

Romeo would certainly not be my first choice for chip endorser. After all, nobody actually likes his music. I mostly know him from the time he had to live with that white family on Crashing with Master P. As the son of a notoriously wealthy rapper and entrepreneur, I'm guessing Romeo's favorite flavor of potato chip is "caviar dipped in gold.” But then again, Romeo bought Rap Snacks back in 2007 from its founder James Lindsay, so I think that cemented him as their ace.

They're potato chips, only rappier.

It does look like he introduced some positive changes though. He got rid of the bland animation and horrendous digitally altered photographs and gave us the beautiful hi-fi, photo realistic packaging we have today. He also added the gooey font on “honey” that makes me think of horror movies for some reason.

The chips are pretty much what you would expect. They are pretty thin but offer a respectable crunch. They are orange, sweet and very highly flavored. I thoroughly enjoyed them, but lest you think that Rap Snacks are just an ordinary snack marketed to young urban children, I would like to point out the positive message that is emblazoned on every bag.

Each flavor has its own and all of them can help anyone become a better person. Romeo’s tells you to “Stay in School,” which is appropriate because Romeo is currently going to college, at USC, where he plays basketball. The intriguing Honeydew Cheese Curls (I've actually read positive reviews of these online) featuring Magic (seriously, who the fuck is Magic? And if you’re like me and don’t know, have fun finding his Wikipedia page, there are lots of pages for “magic”) offers the popular “Reading is Fundamental.” The ODB Sour Cream & Onion chips (which identify him only as Dirt McGirt; if they wanted to avoid any association with the word “bastard” on their packaging, why didn’t they just go with Big Baby Jesus?) advise to “Think Responsibly,” which is way easier than acting responsibly. I should know. The Youngbloodz Southern Crunk Barbeque flavor demands that you “Get Crunk” which is when I think they stopped trying to offer positive messages to kids. And finally, Murphy Lee’s Extra Hot Red Hot Riplets (poetic, ain’t it?) just say “Pimp Education.” No, I’m serious. In this instance, I am not sure if “pimp” is being used as a noun or a verb, but I do know that either way I still don’t know what that means. None of the flavors encourage you to exercise, eat your vegetables or abstain from indulging in terribly unhealthy junk food.

Overall, I’m thoroughly happy with my Rap Snacks purchase. I wish that 7-Eleven had more flavors in stock, or that Rap Snacks had a functioning website. For now, I’ll just have to be happy with what I have. I will happily stow my prized bag of Rap Snacks with my copy of Rap Jam Vol. 1 and my unopened box of Yo! MTV Raps trading cards.

But the Rap Snacks story isn’t over. Next up is a line of pork skins and cracklins featuring rapper and reality TV superstar… Chopper Young City!!! From MTV’s Making The Band 2. Flavors will include Sweet BBQ and Ham & Cheese. That’s right, HAM flavored PORK skins. And Chopper! Also, keep your eyes peeled for Rock Snacks. I know I will.

"c-H, o-P!"

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5 Responses »

  1. Nicely done, Jere. I'd like to try them.

    In other news, call me when you find these:

    http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0939/1.jpg

    Bonus points to WWF for such a fantastic slogan with that ad.

  2. Sorry! The correct answer is "Clap On, Clap Off? I'm watching TV - everytime someone gets a round of applause, my garage door goes up and down!"

  3. We would have also accepted: "If it McComes from where I McThink it does - I don't want to McEat it!"

  4. "Cereals", for $200: "Grape Nuts - You Open It Up, No Grapes, No Nuts! What's the Deal?"

  5. Found rap snacks at 7-11 in granite city Illinois today may 4
    2012. Not many places carry them. They are good