How We Eat
S1: Hey , I'm Parker Edison , host of the Parker Edison Project , a podcast that explores black cultures and lifestyle. And our latest episode , hip hop icon Imani of the Far Side , shares tales from his career , including how he eats on world tours.
S2: Hey , it's Indian food everywhere. You from me ? Or I can always find some avocados and some tomatoes. I can get a bottle of a jar of peanut butter or almond butter and just get some crackers. And I'm real simple.
S1: Now , that's up next on the project. Okay.
S3: So like I'm on the show , The Wired.
S4: Even though I've never seen that show.
S3: It's just I hope there's.
S4: A wire because I you know , it'd be misleading.
S1: It it there's not a lot of wires. There's actually not a lot of wires. And I haven't watched it either. So I'm not like a strong.
S4: Reliable source. I'm not. Though.
S1: Though. I'm really not , though. Give me one second.
S5: One now tuned to the Park Edison project and project.
S6: Take boys , boys.
UU: Boys and girls.
S1: I got bit by a dog today. It's a true story.
S7: It all started up a true story. I got bit by a dog.
S1: I'm pretty sure the area is North Park.
S8: That's not North Park. That's not Park.
S9: No , there's no. Which park is. Are you north of. Exactly. That's.
S1: I didn't know that. I just thought it was all North Park. That's. I was. I was off of , like , 39th and , like , Marlborough. Yeah. No. Okay , so if that's not North Park.
S9: What is it ? So pretty sure North Park does not go any east of the 805. Okay. Definitely not. Almost to. No , definitely not. Almost to the 15.
S9: That's like pretty sure it's central. Normal heights. Where's.
S9: Okay , wait. That's east. Normal heights. Southeast normal heights.
S1: That's southeast 30 , 39th. And like Oklahoma Boulevard , it's like southeast normal heights. Yeah.
S8: Okay , that's fair. You don't have to know.
S9: But I did actually cheat and look at a map because I was wondering myself. But North Park is all over the place.
S1: I looked at a computer to and it said that Route 80 was a big US highway and it went from one side of California to the other , from the West Coast to the East Coast. And that El Cajon Boulevard used to be a part of it. And it was like the main East-West road out of San Diego. And that's why it's like geared to travelers. So that's why there's like the Lafayette for hotels. There's like late night card rooms. There used to be strip clubs like Tens or Lip's like Adult Entertainment , all of that's in that little space. And just so like 30th and like.
S11: Ten , three minutes later.
S9: University Because it led you to the university.
S1: Get the fuck out of here.
S9: Yeah , there was that. The Board of Education was a I thought it was a university or a school main school because then that's in the University Heights area. That's like there's a campus drive.
S12: Oh yeah.
S1: It's University Heights.
S8: Oh yeah , Yeah. Oh. Okay.
S13: Okay. Yes. Okay.
S9: And then maybe that's why then in the neighborhood of University Heights is like a university way. North Park doesn't go at Cajon and I think north of El Cajon is That's University Heights to North Park.
S9: East Village. Yeah.
S1: Yeah. And then we'll go on to get we're going to get breakfast because I haven't eaten yet. I haven't eaten.
S9: Newest place. It's inside Mod Bomb This. He's a Sonoran barbecue. Oh , they took over the space. I think it was , like , amplified ill works. But the acid vault is still downstairs , so now they're actually serving some great food. So it's his own kitchen that runs shares the same space. Oh , yeah , Super Yums.
S1: Can I. Can I buy you a plate since you're plugging me in with them ? Yes.
S9: I'm never going to say no to food or free food , even if I just ate. Yeah , Yeah. I'm like , I can make room. Sure. No problem.
S1: Let's go. Let's. Let's get in here about this.
S14: Three minutes later. Hi.
UU: It's something. Guys. Hey , how's it.
S16: Going ? Because.
S9: How's it going ? Good. Good.
S16: So I can put some seeds over here. We'll be a little closer to the wood fire oven.
S1: That'll be awesome. Yeah , this is perfect.
S9: Drew Parker. Edison Park. Edison. Drew Bench.
S18: Pleasure to meet you.
S8: And Popolo. Mod bomb is basically an art space , if you will. It's the brainchild of a wonderful lady named Aubrey Miller. She started the acid vault.
S18: I know. Aubrey.
S8: Yeah , she started the acid vault. Tiny nightmare. Yep.
S8: And that basically floated amplified ale works for a while. You know , poets , underground , drag shows , Jazz night , jazz nights. My favorite night is matter of fact , Mondays really became what this place became known for.
S8: Not for everybody , but in harmony and balance. It is just beautiful. It brings a certain umami. It brings this slightly medicinal flavor that is just so wonderful and lovely. It also has Papa in it and looking for a name. It was like I was looking for something that would be easy. Phonetically. Yeah. That's Popolo. Wait. Wait.
S18: Wait. Go ahead. Quick , quick tangent. Yeah. Eight.
S1: Eight. Your , your your staff just brought out the burger. The breakfast burger. Yeah. Drew , What's up , bro ? With this so incredibly tasty. I'm angry.
S18: Right now.
S1: I'm sitting here with Andrew. Andrew , you got to take a bite of this and. Yeah , yeah , I know.
S18: I don't know what I.
S9: Ordered , but there's a lot of stuff in there.
S8: Yeah , you ordered a few things. And a few other things came out to. Yeah , yeah , yeah. There's two parts to Popolo. Right ? It's phase one , which is get people hooked on our barbecue , give them brisket , give them ribs , give them the things that they are expecting and hoping for a burger , Give them these things that just really can get them to to come back and fall in love with us and trust us. Right , right , right. From there. Phase two is a whole animal program. I'm in talks with perennial pastures , whole beef , as they like to say. And then Thompson Ranch is whole pig. And so phase two of Popolo is a is a menu running concurrent with our current barbecue offering. And that is where this concept really takes flight , in my opinion. I'd like to ideally bring the the consumer over time to that brisket might not be available every day. You might show up and we might have liver and hoof and , you know , some brain. But you trust this enough that , you know it's going to be great and it's very good. And so the idea right now is to get everyone in with with the barbecue , have them enjoy the barbecue that we were working on , and then from there have the whole animal program roll out side by side with this. And over time , my theory is that the whole animal stuff will dwarf the regular barbecue menu.
S9: Like a bait and switch , but not maliciously , correct ? Correct.
S8: It's getting people to understand that this is the more sustainable model. This is the more thoughtful way of of eating meat. Right ? I mean.
S1: And I've heard that you have a policy that works towards no waste. Yes.
S1: Is there a pizza pop up ? Correct.
S8: We do. We do pizza pop up. So the team and I devised this idea of going into a zero waste model and making pizzas. We have this beautiful wood fired pizza oven here that we inherited at the space. And one of my key guys is has been trained by a master pizza solo , and he makes , I think , the best napoletana style dough anywhere. For example , we have chicken , we take chicken and we we have a fried chicken sandwich and we , we like to portion that out nicely. But then there's pieces that just don't make the cut because they're just either too small or maybe , maybe it's too large. We had to cut off an ounce and a half off of this piece. Oh , we don't want to throw that stuff away. But but there's also. We serve lots of pickles. What do you do with the leftover pickle juice that's already. You can throw the chicken in there. And so you brine the chicken. That chicken goes becomes barbecue chicken pizza. Right , Right. And so we creatively utilize or if like last week , one of our our new guys messed up the rice. It happens. Right. But I'm not gonna throw it away. Right. We're going to make our bond guys. Okay. So we made our bond guys pizza. So , you know , and I had some pork liver leftover from the whole hog from the grand opening event. So I took the pork liver , some ground brisket , the Right. Made meatballs , put that on pizza. And it was like it tasted like a bunny soup. Know in the sense of mod bomb being like a creative space for artists. In a lot of ways. I'm an artist. Popolo is is my business , but it's my art , right ? And so it's a space where a lot of art , it's kind of a hotbed for the arts in general. So it's really amazing to be here and to be doing launching my business , at least the fully realized version of the business here.
S1: So the fast Food 99 cent menu is fiscally symbiotic. Big businesses unload low quality or overstocked ingredients on lower income customers. Restaurants like Popolo are focusing more on humans instead of achieving capitalist money goals. For Drew , it's quote , all about a journey of complex flavors. It's an art , borderless cuisine , end quote. On the surface , Drew's just barbecuing but low key. He's doing society a service organic farm. Fresh foods are a little more expensive , but healthier food causes you less health problems. Medicine costs more than food. So if you think about it , Drew's quality food might be saving us money in medical fees. See the perks of Drew's good choices. I was recently working with a photographer friend of mine. My friends tend to know a little something about everything , and I was smart enough to hit the record button during our convo.
S4: Shout out , Luigi's. One of the ls you ? I.
S18: I had to get a slice because , you know , I was powerfully hungry.
S1: And you suggested we go to a market and grab something a little healthier for you. And while we were there , you were kind of milling around , and I remembered you said this thing about sometimes you'll build anticipation or even envision a meal before you eat it. You remember that ? Yeah.
S18: Can you can you.
S1: Kind of run that back for.
S4: It's not much different than what you would eat at home. But for some reason it always tastes kind of more elevated or better. And I think a lot of that comes down to the fact that , like , you're waiting for it and you like you read it on the menu and you're like , Oh , this is going to have , you know , roasted beets and carrots and it's going to be glazed. And so you're kind of salivating , thinking about what's to come. I think that's why everyone loves Christmas so much. You wait for it like the second it's over. It's like you're already waiting for the next one. But yeah , that anticipation builds and you know , what you put inside your body is an extension of how you feel about yourself. So one of the ways to reverse engineer that is by being more intentional about what you're putting in your body. Food doesn't just appear like someone grew it somewhere , somehow by a lot of time and a lot of energy. Something a lot of different things happened for , you know , this avocado to be like sitting here in my hands , like , ready to be eaten. Perfect. Like , perfectly ripe. That doesn't that , you know , that doesn't just happen. And we're disconnected in the sense that , like , we don't really think about that.
S18: Kind of sounds like what you're saying is the diet is more than just the food.
S4: Yeah , absolutely. It's like diet is more than just the food that we eat. It's our thoughts , our emotions , our behaviors , the people we surround ourselves with , the the things that we ingest , like visually , you know , the films we watch , the books we read. All of it is in some way it's all inside you in this , like , kind of weird , strange way , you know ? That's.
S18: That's crazy. I joke with you not. I never thought about that to this minute that I'm like , if I'm in a if I'm. If I'm scared or I'm depressed , then I don't want to eat. So my feelings are part of my diet in that way. And then , you know , when I'm when I'm happy or , you know , I might eat cake.
S1: And so the way I feel fully plays a part.
S18: Into the diet process , the.
S4: Food that we put in our bodies is for fuel. You hear that a lot , like it's to be broken down and processed and made into like ADP energy , right ? So if you're in an emotional space where you're processing a lot , then there's kind of like the machine is , is full , like the the printer is jammed like you can't the queue is like overloaded. So you're putting food in and like most of the time , you can't even digest it because you're just so wound up. And I guess that's like the best way to describe it. Wow. And especially if you're eating like processed foods that , you know , were synthesized in a lab , your body's like , What the hell is this like ? And where do we put it ? And right. So it's kind of confused.
S18: It makes total sense. It lines up to what you're saying , where you're like.
S1: The way you do one thing is the way you're going.
S18: To do everything. So if you if you do care about what you're eating , then you do care about the way.
S1: That you get your money for it and you.
S18: Do care about how you sleep.
S7: Yes , I see. I see the trickle down.
S18: Effect of it. I see.
S1: That is all the ideas that we think in action. Our location , our goals fuel direction. It decides our territory. Where we'll settle is so much more than what we consume at our dinner table. Perhaps we should treat it more like a vibe , meditate on it , make it more intentional. Take a second. Sit with that. I'm gonna hit a quick break , and when we come back , you'll hear how a rapper eats when he's touring internationally.
S5: Hang out. Stay tuned for more of the pep. Pep.
S10: In 2023. Hip hop is turning 50 years old , and there's no better way to celebrate this monumental anniversary than by playing the question's hip hop trivia game. Based on the acclaimed live event turned online show and podcast of the same name. The questions hip hop trivia features 300 cards to challenge and entertain everybody from casual listeners to the most diehard liner note reading rap nerds. The questions , hip hop trivia available wherever you get games and books or order yours at questions. Hip hop.com.
S18: And now back to the Pepe. The Pepe. Pepe. Okay. Okay.
S1: Okay. Lou. Eh ? Episode five. All right , let's get into the meat. Everything's been fire up until now. But this. This is one of those moments. I listen to this Cats album religiously. I vividly remember running his verses while walking around American University in Washington , DC. If I were president.
S10: And I was president.
S2: I would not carry oh , no spare change. I would just rearrange the whole government structure because.
S1: Yeah , yeah. If you know , you know , Rap Group , The Far Side has been around the world on multiple tours. In fact , I believe they just got back from a stint across the pond. I ran into him at an event out here in Southern California. Shout out my guy 60 East and top fest. Appreciate you play boy at a tore the stage down and right after this gentleman was kind enough to do an interview with me. We dig into his rap pedigree some of his work history and of course , how he eats. Who are you and what do you do for.
S2: Was born in Compton , California. I'm an adventurer. I'm a music maker. I'm a musician. I'm a magician. I love life. And I'm a grandfather and a father and a poet and a brother and a friend. My mama call me Imani. My sons call me daddy , my lady. Call me daddy , my grand , my granddaughter. Call me papa. A lot of people call me Citizen Strange. Some people call me Uncle Imani. Some people call me the Phantasmagorical , the Oracle. You know what I'm saying ? Hey , cult leader of one. You already know Cult leader one.
S18: Hey , a respect. Respect.
S2: But I have different emotions because I was a different person at different times and was making music , and some of my more popular compositions is the bizarre Ride and Laugh Cabin. But there's a whole lot of like music out there , whether it's with hieroglyphics , that we didn't pass it up and did music or if it's with track over here , over here , or if it's with Blue or with Fat Lip and Trey Right. Nowadays , I mean , don't stop making music and got a whole scenario over here. Weird science , you know what I'm saying ? About to drop some stuff. Weird and strange hitting you real soon. Keep your ear to the street so you can hear the beat.
S18: Oh , hey. And I got to ask this because.
S1: You just mentioned Souls of Mischief.
S2: I mean , we didn't actually do the whole full length , but there's a there's singles out there.
S1: It's about to go do my homework. I'm about to dig that up. And also the far side , just classic material and it doesn't always get all the credit. I think it deserves it being in that same place as The Chronic or as these seminal albums. But there seems like there was a rift at one time that split right down the middle between what was happening with the chronic and gangsta rap and the movement that you were a part of , which is.
S2: I think the rift looked like that from afar. You know how things change. The situation has changed. The closer the further you pull out of something. It looks one way. When you get closer and closer and closer. We were totally intermingled. You feel me ? We just not gangster. We don't wear khakis. But then was our people. You feel me ? It's LA. You probably grew up with some gangsters , but that don't mean I got to be gangster. But I still love my gangster homie. And we was connected to a tone loc because of our manager. You already know telling lo just like from the streets. So we was with tone , you feel me ? And we went on to it with Iced You like that was one of our first tours when Ice Cube was so low and we was opening up for Ice Cube , who was all intermingling in the places where it was poppin because we was all trying to be seen or trying to get hurt or trying to network or trying to make it get it , you know ? I mean , get out , get a good get out of our situations. We just never needed to be like gangster because we was ourselves. So we was not , you know , some people was faking the funk because it was the thing to do. But we couldn't we couldn't really do that. You feel me ? I'm a huge.
S1: Fan of the catalog. You know , I studied these records and always wanted to know if the track Jigga Boo Time was kind of a nod to Robert Townsend's Hollywood shuffle.
S2: Of course , that's one of the movies that helped shape where we stood in the world. Like we felt like he was talking our language. The name of the group was almost true Boo ! But all of our elders were like , That's a horrible name for y'all to go with. That's just what it was. It was just like it felt like it was a big game or a big club and you feel me. And it's like no matter what you do to try to rise above it , you still end up being a part of it. Like , you know , like and I'm no disrespect , nobody like but like Clan or Public Enemy or , you know , if they're Prez even , it's like you got to get in the bed with like the enemy almost to get your message out there. You feel me fully. We looked at that and was like , okay , how ? We do it. They love it when you're dancing and when you laugh and they'll kind of like go along with you and they won't take you so serious. But if you like , run back any of the subject matter what we was talking about mean that record was like groundbreaking ahead of the game. Just as far as the topics that we were dealing with. I just caught.
S1: You cats in Ontario , California , and you were all over the stage for 45 minutes straight , maybe , maybe four seconds. You stood still. But the rest of the 44 minutes , you was active. And I wanted to talk to you about your diet.
S2: I haven't eaten no beef and like hell along with chicken since I had my kids. My kids are like my youngest son is 25. My oldest son is 28. I haven't had no beef and no chicken since had since I've been a father. I do stuff until I'm done with it. So got it out of my system. I guess I'm sometimes don't even be eating dog. I mean , I don't eat with my body. Be like , Yo , we're running low on field. As someone who's.
S2: You from me or I can always find some avocados and some tomatoes. I can get a bottle of a jar of peanut butter or almond butter and just get some crackers. And I'm real simple , man.
S1: Got you. Got you.
S18: Did you really do the.
S2: Didn't do the choreography. What happened was I was taking my homegirl to an audition and I was like an audition , too. And I made it into the video for remembering the time and some of the moves that they were doing with some of the moves that I did in the audition to to get the position. And that's how I made money before was a rapper used to be in videos and dancing behind rappers and behind people. I wasn't like Guy Guy video and like Bobby Brown videos and new additions and like hella videos. Then I used to dance and in color. I was like , the fly guys , me and my partners , we used to dance on in Living Color because we knew Rosie Perez. So the Michael Jackson video , that was the last video that I ever did. And because I was doing demo tapes with the bar side at the time and I started rapping.
S18: Respect , hey.
S2: You can find me Imani and underscore can. Imani can.
S1: Hey , brother. Thank you. This is. This is so major to me , man. I'm beyond a fan for what you do be. I appreciate you so much for taking the time to do this. Man. Honestly , for me , the food I eat has always been connected to my economic status at the time. Usually steak , scallops , blueberries , things like that are for special occasions. I'm getting out of that thinking like Nico's concept. I'm altering the reality that leads to the food I eat. Maybe if I eat more of the foods that make me happy , I'll be happier. Not the worst experiment to try. I'm gonna close this show. Well , actually , the only way I can. Let me get a call back. Hold up.
S2: My name is Imani from the world famous The Fantastic , the phenomenal far Side , the ghetto , Overkill , the phantasmagorical. And I'm like , Try to listen to my tune. This is called actual feature , My Man Coltrane , produced by Computer Jay. You.
UU: You. We be able to get you ? Yes. You come in with. This uncle , the ultimate.
S2: Oracle Supreme when I dream is when I feel most alive. Dive in mind in overdrive. Move like a leaf in the wind. Get away clean In the end we get away clean in the end We acting on the laws of attraction. When the music starts , that's when the magic happens. Wish it starts to happen. Starts to happen When you hold on to passion , lasting passion , blaze and laughing things will never be the way they used to be. And that's cool with me. Cool things are never be the same way and I'm cool with that. With that. Cool with that. Don't think I'm weak. Don't think I'm weak because I show kindness when I speak Kind of unusual music you ain't used to. My music is dark.
UU: Black and beautiful. Say it. You Love you. Love you. Good evening , Mr.. In. Oh. Oh. You Come here. Yeah.
S2: I talk to myself in the dark to spark dawn. With both eyes closed , I still see sparks. Everything I said has roots. The unseen step into the space hatch with a light dream.
UU: Go deep as a submarine. The waters are so serene. This place is just a frequency just to see.
S1: Thanks for stopping in. Parker Edison project is produced and hosted by yours truly , Parker Edison and the good people at Platform Collection. Be sure to subscribe and catch the next episode on Apple , Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have any comments or questions , visit the Parker Edison Project and please , please leave a review so people can see what you think of the show. My guy , Chris Reyes , is our head editor. Adrian Villalobos is media production specialist. Lisa Jane Morris said his director of audio programming and operations and John Decker is senior director of content development. This programming is made possible in part by the KPBS Explore Content Fund. I love saying that because it reminds me of Sesame Street. Seriously , y'all stay safe out there.
For this episode Papalo chef Drew Bent (https://instagram.com/drewbent?igshid=ODMwYzU2MzQ= ) discusses thoughtful dining and hip hop icon Imani (https://instagram.com/imani_can?igshid=ODMwYzU2MzQ= ) of the Pharcyde shares tales from his career including how he eats on world tours.
Music: Gene Flo Beats https://instagram.com/gene_flo?igshid=ODMwYzU2MzQ=
Episode artwork: https://www.liquidsketchstudio.com/hello-links
Show credits: Parker Edison (Host), Chris Reyes (Head Editor), Prof Robert A. Saunders (Geo-Political Consultant), Adrian Villalobos (Media Production Specialist), Lisa Jane Morrisette (Director of Audio Programming and Operations) and John Decker (Senior Director of Content Development)