The Abstract and the Dragon: Smooth and Crunchy

Not too long ago, hip hop legends Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest) dropped a mix tape seemingly out of thin air. The Abstract and the Dragon  (it’s a free download by the way) is the product of Busta and Tip involvement in each other’s music careers since the late-80’s and it’s probably the best release put out by hip hop OGs in a very long while. It’s 2014 and they are managing to evoke nostalgic yearning for early to mid-90’s hip hop (they include tracks from the early 2000’s), throwing it back with beats reminiscent of The Low End Theory and guests such as the rest of A Tribe Called Quest and Redman(the mix tape’s cover art is a re-work of TLET’s original album artwork) while still keeping up with modern hip hop by updating beats and featuring artists like Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West.

If you’re pissed about Lil’ Wayne being on the tracklist, have no fear! I was pissed too. After his past few shit shows, a.k.a. his past few releases and features, he has redeemed himself, at least a little bit. Wayne features on “Thank You” with Kanye West (!!!) and it is the perfect blend of modern and old school hip hop. Q-Tip, Busta Rhyme, Kanye, and Wayne come together to smooth verses over a crunchy, staccato beat. It’s like when you eat crunchy peanut butter and it’s the perfect blend of crunchy nuts to smooth butter.

I was just watching the music video and I realized that since Busta started getting buff, hes’ started looking like a bisected cauliflower steak. That got me thinking, why don’t I make a food playlist of everyone featured on the album according to  their best food related lyrics form any point in their careers? So I made one, because it’s a damn fine idea, damn fine!

busta or cauliflower

Busta Rhymes, or cauliflower steak?

Hannah’s The Abstract and the Dragon Features Playlist:

(Recipes are available through hyperlink)

1. Busta Rhymes: extra cheesy baked mac & cheese. (“Constipated… too much extra cheese” from “Ill Vibe”. I adore a man who can openly talk about their bowel movements)

2. Q-Tip: a forty of Olde English (“Put out fires, with a 40, ounce of water” from “Youthful Expression”. Okay so technically forties are not part of any food group, but they should be. And technically Tip is not talking about forties, just forty ounce water bottles, but every time I hear this lyric I want to get my ass to a gas station and buy one.)

3. The rest of A Tribe Called Quest: Enchiladas and Fruit Punch (“I ordered enchiladas and I ate ’em/Ali had the fruit punch” from “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”. The recipe I linked to is vegan, but can easily be made with meat and real cheese. It’ll be delicious either way.)

4. Kanye West: homemade mayo (“Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips” from “Last Call”. I just adore old Kanye, and I also adore homemade vegan mayo so here’s a recipe.)

5. Big Daddy Kane: chicken and broccoli stir fry (“Come in the hood flippin’ chicken and broccoli timbs” from “Platinum Plus”. He’s referring to his light brown and green Timberlands, but it still sounds delicious.)

6. Lil’ Wayne: lasagna (“Real G’s move in silence like lasgana” from “6 Foot, 7 Foot”. Lil’ Wayne must really love lasagna, because he’s mentioned it more than once. For example, “Make some Luger lasagna” from “You Ain’t Got Nothing”.)

7. Missy Elliot: a whole damn bottle of Belvedere (“See the Belvedere playin’ tricks on ya” from “Work It”. Again, Belvedere isn’t a food, but who doesn’t love a big ass bottle of some premium vodka?)

8. Redman: something involving bananas, like frozen banana ice cream (“I’m a gorilla, leave a banana in your pipe” from “Part II”. Technically that’s Method Man’s song, but Redman features on it.)

9. Leaders of the New School: anything rapped about in “Mt. Airy Groove”. (Fun fact: Busta Rhymes is a member, if you didn’t already know)

Well, that about sums it up, get cooking!


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