Also ask about his shrimp and grits! Kelly O

In Seattle, hiphop often crosses into food—a concept we were pondering recently (yes, that is how some of us procrastinate—what do you think about, the Sounders?). Of course there is Vitamin D's Hip Hop Kitchen mixtape, released three Augusts ago and slept on like a campground—if you don't know, it's seriously dope and about as unusually food-forward as the Beach Boys' "Vegetables." There's also the Backyard BBQ mixtape series by dj100proof, which incites grilling wherever it goes; that one Shabazz Palaces lyric about sprinkling hot sauce on cabbage; the fact that ye olde Seattle hiphop publication The Flavor (1992–96) had "flavor" in its title; and two odes to grocery stores, "Fou Lee" by Blue Scholars and "Rogers Thriftway" by Amos Miller. But can we go deeper into these hiphop/food crossovers? Indeed we can.

Here, we've put together a list of the six rappers who don't just reference eats, they live it, making their name as chefs, cooks, and food-business entrepreneurs in the 206. Enjoy.

NAME: Jimaine Miller

THE FOOD: Chicken, waffles, pies, and more

FIND IT AT: Your doorstep

In hiphop you need youthfulness and ebullience and freewheeling spirits, but you also need a grown-ass MC to be like, "Get the fuck outta here, son." That's Maineack. The gruff voice in Tha Stahi Bros with Vitamin D, he's got a deadpan delivery and a wicked sense of humor. On social media he's #MuffinMaine, #DefChef, and #TurnoverKing, slanging meals direct to customers through orders placed in comments sections and messenger chats. His specialties are chicken and waffles, taco lunches, apple/sweet-potato pies, turnovers (jerk chicken, beef empanadas, Jamaican beef patties). I recommend the Jamaican patties—gently spicy and with a flaky turmeric-yellow crust, they're Hot Pockets for adults. Schedule a pickup by friending Def Chef on FB, following Jimaine Miller on Instagram, e-mailing, or hitting 253-486-0825. AM

NAME: Bubba Jones

THE FOOD: Barbecue

FIND IT AT: Jones Barbeque

Jones Barbeque is an award-winning Seattle staple—if you've never eaten their rib tips, I daresay you don't really live here. I've been a devotee since their original MLK location with the uneven floors and the line out the door. Right now, the West Seattle location (4417 Fauntleroy Way SW) is the only store open—the Columbia City shop is closed for relocation but should be back up by spring. Musician/producer Bubba Jones started off working the family pit when the business started in the early '90s, making enough to build his first studio at the other family business, Jones Clavier, the South End's only music store and school of music. At that first studio, he took on interns Erik Blood (2014 Stranger Genius Award nominee) and Pierre Ferguson (Foundry Recording Studio, ex–Mountain Con), and it was Ishmael Butler who brought him into producing professionally, working on Cherrywine and the early Shabazz Palaces experiments. The last time I ran into Bubba, he was dishing his family's trademark barbecue at the old Rosebud (now Saint John's), and the hot sauce was still kickin'. He's currently looking to open a new Jones that plays on their classic recipe, with a bar mixing drinks made to complement the 'cue, and live music. "Of course," Bubba tells me via e-mail, "the music part is what's got me excited!" LM


THE FOOD: Filipino cuisine

FIND IT AT: Food & Sh!t

Geo raps in the group the Bar, but is far better known from the Blue Scholars (performing at the Showbox at the Market on September 12)—aka the group that held Seattle's unanimous youth-rap vote until the rise of the Macklemore ("You were robbed" —textmsg). He also runs a monthly pop-up restaurant with his wife, Chera, called "Food & Sh!t," serving modern Filipino meals at Inay's (2503 Beacon Ave S) on Beacon Hill. He's damn talented—his food is on-point and so is the design of the menus and the web presence. I will never forget his "Thingstaken" concept dinner, named to criticize Thanksgiving. It was there that I learned the Filipino citrus calamansi could be a delightful flavoring for turkey. And Chera's ube (purple yam) cheesecake is almost as fluffy as this article! Visit for details on the next pop-up. AM

NAME: Silas Blak

THE FOOD: Soul food

FIND IT AT: The Kingfish Cafe

An artistic obelisk of great integrity, Silas Blak raps abstractly in the group Silent Lambs Project, and lately he has been on a solo kick with the ascendant crew Cabin Games. He also cooks during the lunch shift at Kingfish (602 19th Ave E), Capitol Hill's soul-food restaurant. I ate there recently while he was on duty and had a fried shrimp po'boy that looked too big to close like a book, and yet somehow the bread allowed it. A takeout slice of red velvet cake included a bonus container of caramel whipped cream. The whole experience was both way too much (heart attack) and not enough (tasty food, quickly consumed). AM

NAME: Jerm

THE FOOD: Upscale soul food, vegan fare

FIND IT AT: Your doorstep, your event, or in your own kitchen

Jeremy "Jerm" DuBois is everybody's slick uncle, even to folks he's barely older than—he's a one-man hall of game, soul-sincerity, and uproarious shit-talk. He's also been rapping extremely well since way the hell back—Alpha P, 400 Years, the infamous Westlake cipher scene of the '90s, you name it—and he could tell you stories to make your perm curl up. You might know him best for the gravitas and sanctified singing he brings to his band of brothers, Kingdom Crumbs, currently working on their next album. His catering company, Mattie Bell's (named for his grandmother), follows family recipes built over generations to create upscale soul food, everything from addictive fried catfish sandwiches (which he used to sling hard at the Capitol Club) to vegan fare. If you're lucky enough to eat a family dinner that Jerm's cheffed up (on top of on-site catering and delivery, Mattie Bell's will also drop by and run your kitchen for the night), you're going to feel right at home. Visit or e-mail for details. LM

NAME: Jesse "Akil" Lee

THE FOOD: Hotcakes on a stick

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FIND IT AT: The My Sweet Lil Cakes truck

I first met Jesse "Akil" Lee, a painter and poet affiliated with the Oldominion mossie (also: "Shout-out to Moor Gang—Nacho Picasso is my bro," he texts me) a lifetime ago when I first moved to Capitol Hill. Years later, he'd tell me about the genius business he and his fiancée/partner Sheena dreamed up in bed one night: "Hotcakes on a stick, stuffed with local fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses, all with custom dipping sauces or syrups." Or as it's known now, My Sweet Lil Cakes. The photogenic pair made it happen, too—the combinations of savory and sweet sealed in golden-brown waffle-cakes that Akil and Sheena joyfully dole out are pure artistry, developed with local chef Nami Soto. I'd recommend the classic free-range chicken with maple butter, or that blueberry honey lemon ricotta with honey lemon syrup—all slung out of their tangerine trailer with retro Good Humor Man–type panache. Check out for location and catering info. LM recommended