Summertime Cookout: Top 8 Hip Hop Songs Using Chicken and/or Beef
By now we all know that hip hop and food are just as connected as school and homework. Whether it is the focal point of a punchline or a song title itself, our various meals definitely play a big role in hip hop music. Two particular foods, chicken and beef, are major contributors to some of the best food related lines in hip hop history. Since the earliest days of hip hop, rappers have continued to take chicken and beef and bring on new meanings to them, that would live on as slang for the world to use. Beef went from a dish on the dinner table to a problem or rising animosity two people had between each each other, one of the more famous being the West Coast and East Coast beef involving Tupac and Biggy. Chicken has also transitioned from being a favorite on everyone's food list to another way of saying someone is a punk or afraid. These are just two examples of the many ways these two words have been transformed through hip hop culture. Hundreds of artists have mentioned chicken and/or beef in their songs, however there has to be some that are better than others right? Ranked from 1-8, here are the top 8 hip hop songs using chicken and/or beef.
Number 8 - Desiigner, Panda - “I be gettin’ to the chicken, countin’ to the chicken, and all of my ni**as gon’ split it”
The breakout single of Kanye West’s new signee includes a very specific line involving chicken. This reference is obviously using chicken as a synonym for money and how Desiigner is making his money and will be sharing it with his friends. He was also featured in this years XXL Freshman class along with rappers such as Dave East, Lil Dicky, and many more.
Number 7 - Nicki Minaj, Only - “I don’t f**k with them chickens unless they last name is cutlet”
One of the best singles off of Nicki Minaj’s Pinkprint album, Only, refers to chicken in two ways. The first being punks or other dumb females, and the second being literal chicken. Nicki’s point is that she doesn’t meant with any type of chicken unless it is the actual food. This is one of the many lines that Nicki has said that has brought her into the conversation of the best female rappers to ever live.
Number 6 - J. Cole, G.O.M.D - “Rest in peace any nigga want beef, secret service couldn’t keep the man safe”
Arguably one of the best songs from Forest Hills Drive, G.O.M.D is literally what the title suggests. Cole wants everybody to let him be and uses beef in a threatening manner, in order to let anyone who oppose him know that they will have major problems.
Number 5 - Chance the Rapper, Angels - “Got the industry in disbelief, they be asking for beef”
Coloring Book, Chance the Rappers junior album discusses a wide range of topics. From his girlfriend to God, many things are addressed but one major thing to note about Chance is that he refuses to sign to a label. He has mentioned this topic in previous songs and this one is referring to how he has the music industry in disbelief at all he’s accomplished. In the context of this sentence, Chance uses beef as the problems that the industry is trying to cause due to his success.
Number 4 - Kanye West, Hey Mama - “Famous homemade chicken soup, can I have another bowl?”
Originally debuted on the Oprah Winfrey show, this beautiful song is dedicated to Kanye West’s mother, Donda. The song details some of the struggles that they have went through and the genuine love and pride Kanye has for his mother. He uses the literal term for chicken in this song but it means so much more. The love, the work, and the care his mother has given him all is shown through her giving him her famous homemade chicken soup, and Kanye just had to let her know how much he really enjoys it.
Number 3 - Notorious B.I.G, What’s Beef? - “What’s beef? Beef is when you need two gats to go to sleep”
From one of the most well known and skilled rappers coming out of New York, this song is really about how real beef has to have real violence and action. Biggy isn’t new to what beef is and he feels that for it to really be considered beef it must be actually violent and very real. The song and its meaning goes to show how real Biggy actually was.
Number 2 - Kendrick Lamar, The Blacker the Berry - “Or eat watermelon, chicken and Kool-Aid on weekdays”
To Pimp a Butterfly is the album that solidified Kendrick Lamar’s spot in rap history. The song touches on subject such as his hometown of Compton, his belief in God, and even social issues involving the black community. His hit single Alright was used as a chant during Black Lives Matter protests and his performance at the BET awards was one to remember. The Blacker the Berry, discusses black culture and how Kendrick considers himself to be a hypocrite because he mourns over black people being slain by police officers, but gang banging causes him to kill his own people anyway. He uses chicken in his last verse of the song to express the stereotypes black people are given and how he must embrace and follow them as a black male, despite them not being necessarily beneficial. This song, and this album, deserves much praise.
Number 1 - Nas, Fried Chicken - “Fried chicken, fly vixen. Give me heart disease but need you in my kitchen.
From the great Nasir Jones, Fried Chicken entails the love that black people have for extremely unhealthy foods, the main one being fried chicken. These foods have very negative effects on our bodies yet we still eat and enjoy them. Busta Rhymes also lends his skills on this track, however, he transitions the unhealthy food from chicken to pork. Busta says “I’m a eat some sh*t until what I’m eating kills me. And I choose to do that, why? Cause that’s just what niggas do.” The song banters the eating habits of black people but it does shed light on a very undermined issue.